The Great Gatsby
Over-the-top for sure, but Baz Luhrman’s film captures the flamboyance and quirkiness of Fitzergerald’s novel perfectly. Lurhrman, more than any other director alive, understands currency: by using appropriate cultural currency, he is able to convey what a place or time would have felt like for the people living in it. The music and partying 0f the 1920s isn’t ever going to move us in the way it moved people of that era because for them it was current; for us? Quaint at best; so what does Lurhman do? He incorporates into his film our currency, in this case, the elements of our culture that seem raucous, gratuitous, and larger-than-life, which actually helps us to understand the 1920s on a visceral and emotional level far better than staying “faithful” to the currency of the time every could. Genius.
Not 2013 albums, per se, but here’s what I’ve loved listening to this year: Gotye, The Decemberists, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, The Head and the Heart, Bon Iver.
I first read Blindness, by Jose Saramago (winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature), back in 2000, but I had the pleasure of rereading it this year for a class I’m teaching. As sparse as Hemingway, as witty and wise as Marquez or Nabokov, but more devastating than anything I’ve ever read. This novel inspired me to try LARPing in my class for the first time. My students loved it, but I have a feeling their parents might question my decision to force their children to beg for food rations while blindfolded and held prisoner under the threat of a Nerf gun. It was all in the name of experiential learning, I swear.
Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison. Anecdotal and personal yet brimming with enough botanical nerdery to keep me interested. And the recipes look delicious!
Fragrance & Beauty
I started using this Bath & Body Works lotion exactly a year ago, and I still haven’t gotten sick of it. It’s woodsy, sultry, and just sweet enough. Reminds me of cashmere sweaters and cuddling up on a chilly day, yet it’s still somehow entirely appropriate for 90F Bali weather!
The perfect pinky peach shade, and I love the minty sensation!
Cards Against Humanity = hours of inappropriate fun. Think Apples to Apples for…well, bad apples. Also, it never gets boring because 1) the combinations are endless, 2) you can download more cards, and 3) you can just make up your own questions and answers for even more hilarity. Best. game. ever.
Aroma Spa Retreat, Sanur. Delma and her team run an impeccable operation. High quality massages and treatments at really affordable prices. I love the coconut body scrub and fully body massage.
DD Warung, Sanur. Perhaps the only authentic Thai food in Sanur. The owner is from the south of Thailand. The food is fresh, spicy, and cheap! I had a great plate of green mango som tam that reminded me of being back on the streets of Bangkok. Address: Jalan Batur Sari 47C. Closed until January 18th, unfortunately.
Soap-making. I finally took a class, and I’m a convert! (Contact Ledu, and he’ll come to your house: email@example.com)
We made Oatmeal & Honey cold-processed soap using a base of coconut and sunflower oils. The only hard part is having to wait 4 weeks for it to “cure.”
Photos (taken by me, of course!)
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA. Summer 2013.
Beets, Mumbai Farmers’ Market, February 2013
Chicks with Mama, Karjat Village near Mumbai, January 2013.
Diving with a whale shark in Koh Tao, Thailand. March 2013
And drumroll please…my absolute Favorite Moment of 2013:
Becoming a Mom…to two adorable kittens, Pumpkin and Chairman Meow, our Bali rescues from the amazing Villa Kitty. August 2013.
It was a splendid year!
Happy 2014. May your year be filled with serenity, courage, wisdom, gratitude, love, and joy.
What would be on your “Best of 2013″ list? Write your answers in the comments or link back to this post so we can read all about it!