“So what are you going to do? This is the season when a clutch of successful women — who have it all — give speeches to women like you and say, to be perfectly honest, you can’t have it all. Maybe young women don’t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind.”

Joe and I watched The Last Waltz last night, the first time I’d seen it all the way through as an adult. I have no idea how many times I might have seen it as a kid, though—my dad had (still has, actually) a copy on VHS that he used to watch and re-watch fairly often. He’d put it on while paying bills or just sitting around the house. So I my awareness of it, and of The Band, has always just kind of been ambient, without any real discernable starting point or crystalizing moment. Watching it last night was surreal because of this, and also because I’ve listened to the soundtrack so much over the last few years—it somehow wound up on my iPod before much else did—so it was at once deeply, eerily familiar and totally new. And I realized that “The Weight” might actually be one of the earliest non-kiddie songs that I remember hearing and having thoughts about. It also might be one of the first songs I ever wrote much about in any kind of deliberate, public way—in my 10th grade “creative expressions” class I think I turned in something about being very tiny and listening to it and thinking that the chorus went “take a load off Annie,” and being relieved that someone was helping this Annie girl with her load. I imagined a tiny girl with a giant sack on her back and someone lifting it off of her. I was a tiny girl then myself so I guess I related. Anyway, RIP Levon and thanks for this and for other things.

Why do the best things always disappear?

RIP Levon.

“When I die, I want to be tickled to death, eat too much, or be shot by a jealous woman.”
— My girl-cousins’ grandmother—theirs not mine, not the one we share—passed away this week. I remember one of them, at some point, telling me she’d said this, but I forgot about it until my cousin Claire posted it on Facebook earlier today. In the end, not one of these three things were the culprit, of course, but I love it still.

I regret not knowing about the excruciatingly badass Marie Colvin until her death. RIP.

“We’re down at the old Hitchens place probably twice a month at least," said Sgt. Wilson Vernon, the first of three officers to arrive at the scene. "Once his blood’s up, old Hitch can get meaner than a three-legged coon hound. From what the neighbors told us about this latest incident, Noreen was all worked up, accusing him of drinking and womanizing. He was angry with her refusal to acknowledge that there is ample evidence to make a case for prosecuting Henry Kissinger as a war criminal. She just kept shouting, ‘No, there ain’t!’”
“It was later revealed that she knew before the election she might have cancer, but shielded her husband from the news during the campaign. She immediately underwent treatment, and the cancer was believed to be in remission.”

CNN | Elizabeth Edwards, 61, dies after long struggle with cancer

Man oh man. I mean, if you’re gonna lie to your spouse, better that than this.