Friday, March 26, 2010

Speaking of the Times...

Have you ever heard of Maira Kalman?  This last year, she wrote a column each month for The New York Times, mostly political stuff... but more like musings on politics and politicians and their lives, rather than political opinions or writings on current affairs.  She's also an artist and did illustrations for The Elements of Style by Strunk & White, which is a friend to all those who love grammar.

July of 2008, my husband and I took a trip to Las Vegas.  I bought her book, The Principles of Uncertainty, and saved it for the trip.  I had to ration it out (!!) because I knew if I let myself sit with it too long, I'd read it all in one sitting.  It's not particularly heavy reading; there's a lot of illustrations, which she does fabulously, and musings about life in general.  It's a delicious book with paintings, ideas, drawings and quirky ideas... and this could be weird to admit, but I love how much the book weighs--it's kind of heavy--and how it smells.  I guess that's how you know you're a true book lover.

An illustration of a room within the White House.  Image from here.

Anyway, like I said, none of the topics she writes about are heavy-handed or persuasive...  She just sort of IS, and writes about things as they come to her.  She has a book coming out about her "Pursuit of Happiness" blog, about which I am SO excited.  

I guess you could call her writing a folksy "slice of life."  Her work just makes me smile and feel happy, even when the subject about which she's writing isn't even very jubilous (I just made that word up) or maybe even sad.

AND her blog is connected to the NY Times website... big stuff, yes?  I love her illustrations, her handwriting, her ideas... it's thoughtful and a fun read.  You know, if you like that kind of stuff.

So, to recap:  The Times = Good.  Maira Kalman = Awesome.  The Times + Maira Kalman = Goodness that cannot be destroyed, even by robots.

Also:  I was going to share something with you, but I cannot find it on the Internets.  I've had this particular thing stuck in my mind for several days, so until I can find it, you'll just have to wait... which is a bummer.  Because it's totally great.  Trust me.


Aaron said...

This is where you and I are different, then. I read the Times everyday. And when I do, I read Paul Krugman, Gail Collins, et al. I don't think I've looked at anything in the Times (other than the big, old gray lady you can purchase on the news stand) aside from the News and Opinion sections. I simply do not have time for whimsy or leisure.

Amy said...

destroyed by robots! Now THAT I would like to see.

I don't read so I can't comment on the times or Maria whatever. !!!!!