Monday, January 3, 2011


It's that time of month when things get a little rough for me and, socially speaking, I have to pretty much go hermit, since it takes all my energy to get through the day and do my work and I become easily overwhelmed and despairing. Although I am inactive -- besides periodic walks and making myself dance every couple of hours (seriously!) by the end of the day I am drained...although like many people I have difficulty sleeping during depressive episodes.

Here is what I was wondering: I can't seem to find a book or movie to hold my interest, which might be my restless state, but I'd love to hear some good recommendations for things I can sink my teeth into. My friends here have never steered me wrong! Music, too, while we're at it...I have been finding Artie Shaw good for perking me up, and have been re-reading Separate Lives, which is of course good, but I'd love something a bit more immersive. No incest, please, I am not of the frame of mind for grit. Well, I guess if it were in a lurid, 13th Tale-like context perhaps I could handle it.

Don't think this is the fault of New Year's, which was quiet, or the weekend, which was filled with friends and good talk and a couple of nice meals. I was just due for a blue period. I find it comforting to write here; it does not require the effort of real contact nor does it worry anyone as does talking to my parents, who are good about not reading here since I explained to them I needed a private space for thoughts etc.

I have chicken marbella in the oven as I hoped the smell would be appetizing. Might try and go out tonight and hear some music but probably overly ambitious and would hate to be a drain on M. We'll see.


Shelly said...

How about The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight?

Sadie Stein Blog said...

Thank you! Ordering now!

Jaime said...

When I am down, for whatever reason Twin Peaks always cheers me.

If you haven't already heard it, the music of Jacques Dutronc is peppy, clever, (French) fun. And great for dance breaks!

In darker moods, if I don't choose to wallow (The Easter Parade, for example), I tend toward camp. Scott Thompson's Buddy Babylon is charmingly ridiculous, and comforting if you were a Kids in the Hall fan. Otherwise, the fallen celebrity autobiography is a classic. Marianne Faithful's is wonderful, as is Frances Farmer's posthumus Will There Ever Be A Morning.

Sadie Stein Blog said...

OMG, I love the Fran Farmer, so am getting Faithfull asap! And listening to Dutronc! Thank you!

amelia said...

Oh, winter! My favorite things this winter have been shearling moccaisins, disco mixtapes, Iris Owens' "After Claude" and "Hope Diamond Refuses", the letters of the Mitford sisters, and BBC miniseries, "Framing the Past" and "A very British Coup"

Vanessa said...

Just to add my tuppence worth: I love Jacques Dutronc but he can be a little shouty for me so I tend to go for Francois Hardy (who he wrote songs for) or Jeanne Moureau.

Have you ever read Bouvard et P├ęcuchet? It's hilariously funny and is keeping me almost cheerful in these horrible dreary months. Also good for fun are Nancy Mitford's novels: I loved Don't Tell Alfred and Love In A Cold Climate. I hear there's a writer called Elizabeth Taylor (no relation to the stellar actress) who's very very similar too!

Lauren said...

When the black dog shows up:

--T.H. White's The Once & Future King
--All of Eleanor Cameron's Julia Redfern books
--dancing to danceable soul

Really, it just has to slink away on its own, as you know, but it's always good to have talismans.

Sadie Stein Blog said...

THANK YOU! My coffers are full! This should get me through and all these lovely books will be here for the next bout, as I am counting on the dog slinking away by week's end!

bess said...

When I've got the mean blues some good, screwball comedy helps me cope. Think Preston Sturges! Palm Beach Story, The Lady Eve or Sullivan's Travels or Marx Brothers movies for pure ridiculousness (A Night at the Opera or Duck Soup).

In a very different vein, I was in a foul mood a couple of weeks ago and started to watch the BBC miniseries of North & South. I was so transfixed that I watched the whole thing straight through.

As for books, Banana Yoshimoto's "Kitchen" is a very quick read but lovely and about food. If you like the New Yorker's critic Anthony Lane, he has a great book of his reviews, profiles and essays called Nobody's Perfect. Some of the reviews of bad movies are bitingly hilarious. Also it's a good choice if you're having a hard time getting into something because you can flip around and pick & choose what you want to read.

Anonymous said...

"Holiday" with Katharine Hepburn and Georgette Heyer books are my go-to salve for melancholy.

The Budos Band's third album is a great dance fix. And Annie's "Chewing Gum" and the zydeco tunes of Cedric Watson are a lot of fun too.

Feel better!


Katie said...

Sadie, if you're a fan of Carson McCullers, her biography, The Lonely Hunter by Virginia Spencer Carr, is great. Totally engrossing, alternately quaint and lurid! I second the Faithfull rec as well, if only for the pictures of that incredible beauty.

As for tunes... there was a band called All Night Radio that put out one album a few years back, called Spirit Stereo Frequency. I believe it's what they call "criminally underrated" - beautiful, lush, fun, spacey and just a tad melancholy at times.

Hope your days look brighter soon!

Anonymous said...

Very seriously, read The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. It is my absolutely favorite book - totally absorbing and absolutely unforgettable. I can't think of anything I'd recommend more highly.

Lila said...

Surely not news to you, but vintage bossa nova, of the Getz/Gilberto variety, always does it for me. It's quite upbeat without being at all obnoxious. And portugese must be one of the most beautiful languages.