Monday, April 29, 2013

That Time I Met Lemony Snicket

New York is full of famous people. I've seen Adam Scott (I freaked him out with my intense eye contact), Sarah Jessica Parker (flanked by paparazzi), Alec Baldwin (walking a tiny dog), Amy Sedaris (looking like Jerri Blank), Hoda Kotb (very tall), Martha Stewart (also very tall), Rashida Jones (gorgeous obviously) and Ryan Gosling (I was rendered speechless), among others. But those are just celebrity sightings, but I rarely actually meet celebrities. However, I recently met my hero, Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler). As in, I had a conversation with him.

You may be saying, "Kirsten, authors aren't actually celebrities." To which I say, I DON'T CARE GO AWAY THIS IS MY BLOG. Reading Daniel Handler's (which is Lemony Snicket's real name and the name under which he writes adult and YA novels) The Basic Eight at age 14 or 15 was one of the first "adult" (i.e. non-YA) books I ever read, and I was enchanted with Mr. Handler's prose. I realized that people could do really cool things with words, and I wanted in. It was reading his tightly constructed, weird, clever prose that made me want to become a writer. I've been wanting to meet him for ages, but every time he's been in New York, I've either not known about it, or I've been in the wrong place. It was like I was cursed. Until a fateful day a couple of weeks ago.

My good friend Megan forwarded an e-mail from PowerHouse Arena (a weirdly-named bookstore in Brooklyn; doesn't it sound like it should be a venue for wrestling?) and said, "Just wanted to make sure you knew Lemony Snicket was in town." She knows me all too well. They were having a reading that day for his new children's book, The Dark. So I rearranged my plans and went to meet my hero.

He read from his book, did lots of funny things with the illustrator Jon Klassen, and delighted me to no end. It was the most surreal experience to be in the same room as the man who I have idolized for so long.

And then I met him. I was too nervous to get a picture with him, but we did have a nice exchange:
Me: Hi, it's so nice to meet you.
Lemony Snicket: (pointing to a mermaid keychain on my backpack) Have you killed a tiny mermaid and affixed her to your bag?
Me: (giggling nervously) Oh, uh, no. I do have a 13 Words pin though! (13 Words is another of his children's books)
LS: (pointing to my Lego Hagrid keychain) And who is this, Moses?
Me: (still giggling) It's Hagrid.
LS: (laughs) Oh, right.
Me: I just wanted to say that your books are the reason I want to become a writer.
LS: Oh, I'm so sorry. You could have been an investment banker or something.
Me: (laughing) Oh, well, I guess it's all your fault then.
LS: Well, that is very kind of you to say.
Me: Thank you! (I run away and immediately vomit. just kidding, I didn't vomit, but I kind of felt like it)

A very embarrassing photo I took of my face right after I saw Lemony Snicket enter the building
The man himself. (Not Lemony Snicket, of course, but his handler, Daniel Handler, as he says)

So there you have it. I met my hero (even though they say not to) and it was pretty great.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In Which I Try to Be Cultured

Long time, no see, little bitties! Sorry about that. I've been very busy! I'm taking advantage of my time left in New York, which is lovely, but the time is positively flying by. Today, on the way home from my weekly 12:00 yoga class with my dear friend Hanna, I got really sad about leaving NYU and New York in about a month! But then I dealt with it like I usually do (i.e. immediately refusing to think about it any more and gobbling up as much chocolate as I could find. [And I went shopping.]).

So I'm a little behind on my posts! However, a while back, I went to the Rubin Museum and decided to document it. I have been trying to see all the NYC museums I haven't already seen before I graduate. And I live closer to the Rubin Museum than I do Trader Joe's, so I figured somewhere close to home was a good place to start.

The Rubin Museum specializes in art from the Himalayas and the surrounding area. There is tons of really old Buddhist art, which was really neat to learn about! I took a Philosophy of Religion class last semester, and we spent part of the course studying Buddhism, so I was excited to put my knowledge to use. It's disrespectful to take photos of the religious imagery, but I did get some pictures of the contemporary art.

So I found myself quite inspired by the Lukhang Murals, which are from a secret temple of Dalai Lamas in Tibet. The actual murals themselves aren't at the Rubin Museum, but they have a room with photographic representations. The colors are so beautiful and the murals so detailed. So I plopped down in the corner of the room and did some ekphrastic writing.
Here is the room I was in. Like I said, it's disrespectful to take photos, but I found this picture online. I was particularly enraptured with the mural on the right side of the photo and underneath it is where I was sitting. 

This was one of my favorite pieces at the Rubin Museum! This artist also has another series of these paintings at the Brooklyn Museum

Love this staircase in the middle of the museum.

Another cool piece from a contemporary artist.
Big gleaming lobby
This shows the date I actually went to the museum. I told you this post was long overdue.

Awkwardly trying to take a picture of myself with my admittance sticker while a security guard lurks nearby, glancing at me with a paradoxical mix of suspicion and apathy
So yeah, that's it for this edition of Kirsten Tries to Get Cultured. I love quiet gray days at museums by myself.