February 27th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
Please meet the newest Brunstetter, and the first Grandkid: this beautiful and perfect little cabbage patch friend:
Her parents are tired and over the moon and filled with feeling and joy and purpose and gratitude and love and light. OH WAIT. That’s her grandparents, as they plot her kidnapping. Her actual parents, Pete and Mary, they are, you know, tired and hungry and overwhelmed, but also happy. CONGRATS TO ALL! OLIVIA I CAN’T WAIT TO START YOU AN INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT AND GET YOU AN INTERNSHIP AND ACCIDENTALLY SAY BAD WORDS AROUND YOU THEN HAVE TO EXPLAIN THEM AND JUST EXPAND YOUR WORLD, IN GENERAL!
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February 22nd, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
There are plays you read in undergrad and grad school and watch scenes from and do scenes from, to the point where watching the play actually staged feels like a very long, hazy moment of deja vu. O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night is definitely one of those plays, and I even though I spent a summer at the O’Neill conference, did a three-night long, all playwright reading of it, visited the very house in which the play was set — I did not actually see the play until last night, at the Geffen (staring Alfred Molina and Jane Kaczmarek, who were both magnificent.) Even though I’ve read it so many times, last night it revealed itself to me as something new — not a play about brothers, about fathers, about grudges you can’t let go of — but a play about a very poetic addiction. It’s really Mary Tyrone’s play, the mother’s play. It’s actually about her withdrawing from and indulging in morphine, hiding it from her family. When she’s on morphine, she just talks and talks and talks, and says the saddest and most beautiful things:
None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.
The past is the present. It’s the future, too.
Her addiction allows the playwright to speak through her. We have things we want our characters to say. They are the things that we want to say, but can’t. But you can’t just insert the things into the mouth of a character. You have to give them some profound reason to say them, a reason that ideally creates a story. This is something I already knew, but must be reminded of, every time I write a scene. A character is not a robot for your poetry. A character is a human being who must be cared for, who must be motivated, who is usually based on your mom (not really.) (but sometimes.) (HI MOM!)
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February 10th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
When you are born to your parents, you are helpless and small and cute. Then, tragically, you grow up into just another jerk with a blog, and suddenly, THEY are the cute ones. Namely mine. They’re becoming grandparents for the first time next month, so they went on one last hurrah (though surely there will be plenty more hurrahs) up to Vermont to snow-shoe and snow-mobile and other snow verbs that are NOT SKIING AS THEY ARE SOON TO BE GRANDPARENTS. And basically the pictures reveal that it has been the cutest thing. As they are not huge picture posters, it is up to me, the jerk with the blog, to share with the world. PRESENTING, CUTE!
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January 18th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
Sister Anne got us a gift certificate to Framebridge as a wedding present, and I must say, never driving to a frame store ever again. While in the past I’ve spent hundreds of dollars framing things because it seems to be what grown up humans do, with Framebridge, for a mere 100 bucks, I got this beauty framed AND shipped to me. What’s more, for no extra charge, an ACTUAL HUMAN DESIGNER PERSON looks at your picture and recommends a frame for you in the forest of choices. NEVER GET IN YOUR CAR OR TALK TO ANYONE AGAIN! HERE’S TO ROBOT PEOPLE WITH FRAMED PORTRAITS IN THEIR STEEL AND LED LIGHT HOUSES! (Sidetone, re: robots, were they ever to revolt, The Foster-Keddies and Brunstetters combined could clearly take them.)
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December 6th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter
I’ve been abandoning all extra-curricular creative responsibilities the last few days, and spending every waking non-work moment reading this dear lady’s book:
It’s part memoir, part cookbook, which is my new favorite kind of book. Vivian grew up in Deep Run, a one stoplight town in Eastern NC. Rejecting her country upbringing, she high-tailed it to NYC, started working in restaurants, and eventually moved back down south to open a restaurant (the now award-winning Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, NC / JULIEN AND I HAVE RESERVATIONS FOR JANUARY / OMG / oh PS also she has her own TV show A Chef’s Life, Peabody award winning, so maybe check that out too end of sentence no really, she’s great.) Once back home, she went through this beautiful transformation, embracing her and homeland and its foods. It’s a beautiful story that I hope it emulate with my own life and writing. You often don’t appreciate what formed you until you’re older. I just want to write NC plays and pair them with her regional bread puddings forever. Chapter by chapter, local food by local food (sweet corn, summer squash, butter beans, etc.) She takes us through her family’s rich history of farming, and shares family recipes. Here’s my favorite, Hoarded corn:
Hard to read, but the first ingredient is an afternoon. She recalls her family harvesting sweet corn together in their tiny kitchen, working together and quickly to get it off the stalk and into bags in the freezer before it spoiled, saving both the kernels and the sweet corn milk. This corn would them feed them throughout the year in a zillion different forms. She really hits this point home: families used to have to prepare their food together. They were forced to gather, to be together, out of necessity, but then, as Vivian also points out — this is the time when families used to talk to each other. Hands busy with activity, then talking, sharing to fill the air. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said 100 times before, but isn’t it sad that because our food became simpler, easier to access, we talk to each other less? That makes me sad. And Hungry. And sad. But flip side: because we spend less time preparing food, our hands and brains are free for innovations that save lives and expand the universe and invent customer care robots that will eventually dominate us A LA SPOILER ALERT SEASON FINALE OF WESTWORLD BUT NO EVERYTHING’S FINE OKAY BYE OFF TO PRETEND IT’S STILL 1943 / SHUCK SOME SWEET CORNS.
Posted in a lot, books, family, food, history, hmmmmm, where i want to live | No Comments »
November 28th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter
Let it be known that Cracker, having been raised by a human who is allergic to forced moments, heard the words ‘family picture!!!’ and hid above the refrigator for hours until finally he had to come down for food and then I FORCED THE MOMENT UPON HIM. Him being both of them.
Posted in a lot, animals, boys, family, holidays | No Comments »
November 25th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter
Morrison’s aunt, uncle and cousins, the Klanns, live in San Diego and are basically the perfect people to escape to, which we did for Thanksgiving yesterday (and the previous Thanks, too.) It is so cool to accumulate kin. In just this one family alone: A historian! A yoga teacher! A biologist! A visual artist! A DJ! A jovial retired Oil tank manager! A child! A dog! An aunt mom after my own heart who sent me home with rosemary bread and cooking magazines! I HAS CALIFORNIA FAMILY!
Posted in MAWWAGE., a dream is a wish your heart makes, a lot, family, the future, things that I Have | No Comments »
October 27th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter
FACT: The Brunstetters are not great dancers, by nature or trade.
ALSO FACT: The Foster-Keddies, by contrast, are in fact VERY GOOD DANCERS.
MOST IMPORTANT FACT: Morrison took ballroom dancing in high school and is in fact a VERY VERY VERY GOOD DANCER. We practiced a bit at home, but mostly I just tried to trust that he would lead me, which he did (INSERT MARRIAGE METAPHOR.) For our first dance — Sam Cooke’s You Send Me — I just let him do his fancy knee and footwork things, and spin me around a bunch while I laughed gleefully and floated around on my own feelings.
ANOTHER DANCE RELATED FACT: My poor wonderful Dad took dance lessons and learned a special father / daughter dance, which I then also learned. But by the time I was done with my husband dance, I had no dance left in me. And so, I found the father / daughter dance — Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable — to be, in fact, VERY FORGETTABLE, by which I mean I just sort of forgot all of it, and I buried my face in my Dad and said something to the effect of, I can’t, and so we just laughed and swayed like amateurs who had never had lessons at all,
But most importantly, we laughed and we laughed and we laughed, and it was better than any dance that could have been planned, or you know, slaved over for the course of WEEKS. SORRY DAD!
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October 26th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter
Oh, did you want content UNRELATED to the beautiful weekend / life experience I just had? Feel free to check back in approximately one year once I’ve come back down. I have every intention of slowly trotting out memories and moments here so that I continue to fully remember every moment of it. It’s still kind of a blur, even though apparently, I’ve been informed that the moonshine at the reception in fact made me stomp around shouting to people, I FEEL SO PRESENT! And so today, on the Wedding, the train of my dress — pictured here with my Grandma’s mink:
It was long. Like epic long. When I got the dress I knew it was slightly impractical, being that the ceremony was in the grass under a tree, and that the reception was in a horse stable. But I loved its fairy queen-ness AND its impracticality. But after the I do’s and pictures, the best feeling ever was just LETTING THE THING GO AND DRAG THROUGH THE DIRT.
There is something amazing about getting very dressed up and then letting it all go. It felt so freeing. The release of tension, literal and figurative.
Posted in DRESSES!!!!!!!!!!!!, MAWWAGE., a lot, family, fancy, horn tooting, i am a grown up, love, memories | No Comments »
October 13th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter
Oh nothing, just Morrison’s nephew Morrison bringing the heat with the same at once loving and unsettling eyes that his Uncle has, or as his mom aptly put it, ‘casually staring into your soul.’
Posted in a lot, awesome, babies, boys, family, ha, hmmmmm, love | No Comments »