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What is this? This year (2010), I wanted to work on a project that helped keep me in the moment.|
Each day (or so), while I read the NYTimes on-line, I'll select an article.
Next, I count to the 2010th character, and select a randomly number of characters that come next.
I take this result, and cut it down to a short passage (that may or may not have ANYTHING to do with the original story)
These passages are listed here, by date
'And yet her sense of wonder endures.'
WITH THREE EMMYS, three Oscar nominations and two Tony nominations to her credit, Laura Linney could have easily been forgiven for treating her third Tony nomination — for “Time Stands Still,” which ran from January to March of this year — with a bit of a shrug, especially since she was certain she wouldn’t win. The statuette for Best Actress in a Play was expected to go to Viola Davis, for “Fences.” (And indeed it did.)
But on the mid-June morning of the awards, over a chai latte in a Starbucks near her Manhattan apartment, Linney bubbled with anticipation for the big night. Just to participate in such a grand tradition and join her peers in the gilded splendor of Radio City Music Hall — that seemed to be excitement and validation enough for her. Without prompting, she ticked off highlights from Tony ceremonies she had watched over the years, special moments she replays in her head.
“Patti LuPone winning for ‘Evita,’ ” she said. “Jennifer Holliday singing from ‘Dreamgirls.’ ” She smiled a goofy smile, which brought out her deep dimples, so that she looked, at 46, like a bedazzled ingénue. Then she finished her drink and grabbed hold of the purse into which she had stuffed a pair of Louis Vuitton pumps, and off we went to a Tonys dress rehearsal. Linney was to be a presenter, and she wanted to test those high heels on the Radio City stage, where she had been before. “When you’re up there and you look out,” she said, “it’s fantastic.”
As we entered the auditorium, performers from the musical “American Idiot” were ripping through a spirited anthem. She stopped dead in her tracks. “It’s 10 in the morning,” she said. “They had two shows yesterday. And here they are. But are they phoning it in? No.”
She bumped into Antonio Banderas, then Cate Blanchett: hugs all around. Linney has done enough work in enough different media, toggling with unusual fluidity among plays and movies and TV, to have met almost everybody who’s anybody. If you need six degrees of Kevin Bacon to connect luminaries in the entertainment world, you need only three or four with Linney.
And yet her sense of wonder endures. Either that or she’s a more gifted actress than even her fiercest admirers realize. “You just have to see this!” she exclaimed at one point, tugging me backstage. “It’s just too much fun, all the different casts bumping into each other.” We wandered amid the chaos, squeezing past Sean Hayes and taking care not to step on the far-flung frontiers of Catherine Zeta-Jones’s gown. By the time we emerged back into the auditorium, dancers from the musical “Memphis” had begun a number, and Linney stood rapt while they whirled and tumbled for all they were worth.
“It makes me want to cry,” she said, watching them. “I just love it.”
PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED with Linney constantly remark on the earnestness of her enthusiasm, usually just before or after they gush about what a humble, decent person she is. The anecdotal evidence piles up high. There is the story of the time on the set of the TV miniseries “Tales of the City” when she washed and massaged the feet of its director, Alastair Reid, out of concern for his bunions. There is the story of the time on the set of the movie “Kinsey” when she rushed to the rescue of a crew member whose fingertip had been severed by a fan, helped staunch the flow of blood and applied cold compresses to his fevered brow.
To write about her is to succumb gradually to desperation and hopelessness — there just doesn’t seem to be any route around the fluffiest of the puffiest of articles — and to grovel for even a grain of dirt. Is it possible she doesn’t recycle? Files her taxes late? Chews her cuticles?
Linney herself isn’t any help. During one conversation I brought up Alicia Silverstone, one of her co-stars in “Time Stands Still,” figuring that a possible faintness of praise might establish a limit to her generosity of spirit. Linney, after all, came up through Juilliard, Silverstone through Aerosmith videos. “Oh, I love her,” Linney said, “I love her. Because she’s engaged in her life. She’s engaged in her life in a way that’s so admirable.” Then she added, unprompted: “And she’s a great actress. Being onstage with her — she’s a really great actress who’s not been respected.” I scoured those sentences for sarcasm. None present.
So Linney’s joyful, even beatific demeanor during the Tonys rehearsal was in large part just an extension of an upbeat personality seemingly bereft of cynicism or guile.
But the magnitude of her delight was informed by something else too. These days her thoughts turn frequently to how lucky she is — how lucky anyone is — simply to experience the pleasure of being alive. It’s a cliché, yes, but isn’t it true? And isn’t it often forgotten? Linney’s next big role, in a project as risky as any she has done, asks questions no less essential than these.
In “The Big C,” a new Showtime cable network series that makes its debut in August, she stars as a dutiful, repressed, 42-year-old teacher, mother and wife in suburban Minneapolis who has advanced, incurable cancer. She decides against treatment, which doesn’t offer much hope for her, anyway. More surprising, she waits a long while to tell anybody, though she makes a few bungled stabs at the start. So, as her priorities and behavior change, her tongue growing sharper and a rebelliousness taking hold, the people around her don’t know what to make of it, and both her transformation and their bafflement are played for laughs. Have I mentioned that “The Big C” is a half-hour comedy?
Linney considered the dicey tonal challenges of the material before signing on. She considered the commitment: if the show succeeds and is renewed beyond its initial season of 13 episodes, it will crowd out other opportunities. But she ultimately couldn’t turn her back on the part, because she couldn’t get away from the questions it raises. “The subject matter is important to me personally,” she explained over lunch one day. “The undertow of it deals with all of the stuff I’ve been obsessing about anyway: time. Living. Aging. Mostly, the privilege of aging.”
Her voice was suddenly quieter and darker, and that was the clue that these thoughts weren’t abstract — that they had a specific, intimate trigger. But she didn’t reveal it right away. It took a bit to get there.
SHOWTIME HAS DEVELOPED a reputation in recent years as a storehouse for twisted, damaged characters who are neither cleanly heroic nor flatly villainous, and its gallery of warped women is especially striking: the pot-peddling mom in “Weeds,” the fractured head case in “The United States of Tara,” the naughty “Nurse Jackie” and now, the good girl gone mad, in both senses of the word, in “The Big C.”
Is it any wonder, then, that Showtime has also become a haven for performers who crave both the complicated material that network television often avoids and the lead roles that Hollywood reserves for more instantly and internationally bankable (and, usually, younger) types? An actress doesn’t have to be able to “open” a cable series the way Angelina Jolie or Sandra Bullock opens a movie. For example, “Weeds,” which stars Mary-Louise Parker, and “Nurse Jackie,” which stars Edie Falco, each draws fewer than four million viewers weekly, and both are deemed hits.
“I don’t need marquee names,” Robert Greenblatt, who until recently was Showtime’s president of entertainment, told me. “For us, it’s more: who are the extraordinary actors whom the critics like and who will garner awards? All of that is good publicity for us. And our audiences respond to so-and-so with an Oscar nomination or an Emmy.”
Performers like Parker, Falco and Toni Collette, the star of “Tara,” fit that bill. Greenblatt kept a list of others who might, many of them actresses over 40, a category for whom Hollywood pickings are famously slim. Catherine Keener was on it. Frances McDormand, too. And so for a long time was Linney, who arguably comes closer to marquee-name status than any of Showtime’s roster so far. While she’s not quite a major star, she’s something only slightly shy of that, her face immediately recognizable to almost anyone with any fluency in popular entertainment over the last two decades and her name familiar to most regular moviegoers.
Her path to this privileged point has been an unusual and interesting one. Although an actress with her kind of blond, girl-next-door prettiness would seem best positioned for parts in her 20s and early 30s, Linney really started turning heads around 35, and her trajectory has been ever upward since then. In fact, she has done much of her highest-profile (and best) work since she turned 40.
And what fame she has achieved isn’t attributable, as is so often the case, to any one or two roles — or, for that matter, to any one medium. Although there have been pronounced growth spurts here and there in her career, Linney has for the most part bloomed in an incremental fashion, part by interesting part. The actor John Benjamin Hickey, a longtime friend who appeared on Broadway with her in “The Crucible” in 2002 and now plays her character’s kookily ascetic brother in “The Big C,” describes her as “a kind of journeyman who accidentally became a star.”
In 2007 alone she gave three movie performances that, in aggregate, suggested she was just beginning to explore the full breadth of her range. Only one of them, as a struggling, self-pitying playwright in “The Savages,” drew significant critical notice and accolades, including an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. But I would argue that the other two were just as fine. Watching Linney’s portrait of a brisk F.B.I. supervisor barking orders at an undercover operative in the thriller “Breach,” I found myself wondering if she should someday take over Bond-bossing chores from Judi Dench. And if “The Nanny Diaries” had been a better movie, her turn as the comically sadistic Mrs. X might well be talked about in the same breath as Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada.” They’re birds of a self-consumed feather, inhabiting the same amoral diorama of materialistic Manhattan life.
The following year, Linney showed up in “John Adams” as Abigail Adams, a more saintly and soulful character, her words ever measured, her wisdom ever palpable, her accent that of a proper Bostonian. And she took home an Emmy for her efforts.
But she played second fiddle in most of those projects: to Paul Giamatti in “John Adams,” to Ryan Phillippe and Chris Cooper in “Breach” and to Scarlett Johansson in “Nanny.” Tellingly, her one true starring role was in “The Savages,” an independent movie made on a shoestring. She earned little for it.
So even for an actress held in the kind of esteem Linney is, something like “The Big C” is rare: a lead in a chewy project with a decent payday. And because Linney’s currency goes further in cable television than in movies, she was able, as part of her agreement to do “The Big C,” to be named an executive producer and was given a say in virtually all aspects of the production.
She was present for every audition of other principal cast members. She scouted locations around Stamford, Conn., where the series is being shot. She helped choose paint colors for the building that houses the show’s sets, dressing rooms and production offices. She even insisted on a cappuccino machine for the crew and on a vegan section in the cafeteria, just as an alternative. She herself isn’t vegan, but says that Silverstone’s meatless exhortations ping around her conscience.
What she hasn’t tinkered with much is the show’s story and writing, which are tricky matters above and beyond the search for just the right balance of levity and gravity. “The Big C” dares to ask viewers to become invested in a main character even as it pledges to snatch her away from them. The show’s very premise seems to be a promise that it can’t last too long, and that it will break viewers’ hearts.
“That was talked about a lot,” says Darlene Hunt, who created “The Big C” and sold it to Showtime, assuring network executives that they could count on more than, say, a two-year run. “We’re slowing down time,” she explains. “Every season is a season.” The first episode, for example, starts on what is very clearly flagged as the first day of summer. A second season of the show would take place in autumn, a third season in winter. By that rhythm, a six-year run of “The Big C” — long for a TV series — would equal only 18 months in the characters’ lives. It’s entirely plausible that a woman with Stage 4 melanoma, which is the diagnosis Linney’s character gets, could last that long; more questionable is whether cast members, especially the 15-year-old actor playing Linney’s son, will look as if they’re aging at the same rate as the story is progressing.
And the strategy for getting viewers to give themselves over to someone on an arc toward oblivion? Showtime is betting on Linney’s sheer likability as an actress. While she is being surrounded by appealing, quickly recognizable supporting players — Oliver Platt as her husband; Gabourey Sidibe, from the movie “Precious,” as a sassy student in Linney’s class; Cynthia Nixon, who shows up midway through the season as a former best friend — the show rises and falls with Linney, who is in almost every scene. She is carrying this project as she has carried nothing before it.
At times that petrifies her. The director Bill Condon, who took charge of the first episode of “The Big C” and directed Linney previously in the movie “Kinsey,” recalls a day in “The Big C” production offices when she caught sight of a “Weeds” poster, made for billboards, buses, subways and the like. It showed Mary-Louise Parker in a Garden of Eden tableau, complete with serpent, apple and exposed flesh.
“Suddenly, she had this mild panic attack,” he says, explaining that she was reminded of how much of the show’s promotion and image hinged on her. “Movies come and go,” he says, “no matter what they are. But TV — it’s such an intimate relationship you have with the audience, and it goes on for years and years.” He adds that audiences are being asked, “Do you want to spend this evening with Laura Linney?”
When I shared his observation with her, her eyes widened, and she emitted a sort of mewling sound that was probably meant as a parody of terror but played like the real thing. She was sitting in a little ball on the couch of her dressing room in Stamford, knees drawn in tight. She drew them in tighter still, the ball shrinking.
“I’m not someone who likes to have my picture taken, let alone see it plastered all over the place,” she said. “And I don’t know what the reaction will be.”
She went on to add, philosophically: “I just have to concentrate on doing what I do. I signed up for this.”
WHEN PEOPLE MEET Linney, they often peg her as a child of unfettered privilege. The patrician looks and genteel manner suggest as much, and so do the proper nouns: Romulus Linney, her father, a playwright; Upper East Side, where she grew up; Northfield Mount Hermon, the Massachusetts prep school where she boarded as a teenager; Brown University, where she got her undergraduate degree; Juilliard, where she did graduate work. But it wasn’t really like that.
“Her family life was — what’s the right word? — let’s say it’s deeply textured and leave it at that,” says the actor David Eigenberg, best known as Miranda’s husband, Steve, in “Sex and the City,” who worked with Linney in the early 1990s on the Broadway production of “Six Degrees of Separation,” in which he had a small part and she was an understudy. Linney’s father and mother, a transplanted Southerner, divorced when she was still in diapers, and her father went on to marry several more times. Linney, their only child, lived in a one-bedroom apartment with her mother, who worked long shifts as a cancer nurse at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and slept on a pullout in the living room.?“She busted her butt to provide,” Linney says, the uncharacteristically coarse language underscoring her desire to emphasize the point. “She worked really hard to make sure that I would have a good, solid life.” Even so, it took additional help from Linney’s relatives for her to be able to afford the fancy schools.
Although she was often left on her own in a city filled with temptations, she was careful not to misbehave. She says she didn’t want to add to her mother’s hardships. Besides, she was content just to wander through museums or accompany friends to plays, treating the city as a wonderland for the arts. She especially adored and revered the theater, which provided a bridge to her dad. She remembers: “I could call and say: ‘I don’t understand Shaw. What’s going on?’ And he could tell me. And he loved to tell me. It’s what connected us.”
“It’s not easy with divorce,” she adds.
Although she dreamed from an early age of being an actress, she was initially reluctant to articulate that. She didn’t want to get ahead of herself, didn’t want to denigrate the profession by implying that it required anything less than years of preparation. At Brown she majored in theater arts, then continued her studies at Juilliard.
“Her sole ambition was to be a member of a repertory company somewhere in the United States and to do roles in plays, one after the other,” according to the theater director Daisy Prince, the daughter of Harold Prince and a close friend of Linney’s since their time together at Brown. Hickey, her brother on “The Big C,” knew her at Juilliard, and remembers her as a tomboy, “not immediately glamorous,” whose only discernible vanity was her alabaster skin, which she carefully protected from the sun. It was so sensitive, he says, that whenever he kissed her on the cheek, “she’d literally almost be in hives.”
LINNEY SAYS SHE ENDED up doing screen work because a veteran stage actor she respected told her she should “always say yes to experience.” So when she was offered a small part in the 1992 movie “Lorenzo’s Oil,” she took it. A bigger role and bigger break came the next year, with “Tales of the City,” in which she played the central role of Mary Ann Singleton, a blushing Dorothy in the sybaritic Oz of 1970s San Francisco. The first images of her in that miniseries remain indelible: brand new in town and dressed in a red, white and blue outfit seemingly borrowed from a flight attendant, she wheels a periwinkle suitcase with flower decals on it across the street. When she goes to the supermarket and realizes that the cute guy chatting her up in the produce aisle belongs to an even cuter guy a few feet away, she’s dumbfounded.
Linney could have easily been typecast from then on as a naïf. She didn’t have the distinctive beauty of many a leading lady; she didn’t have the edge or flagrant sexiness to pull off a femme fatale. A surface reading of her said “vanilla” — or maybe, given the air of Southern graciousness passed down from her mother, “butter pecan” — but nothing more complicated than that.
And to some extent, at least on screen, she was indeed confined to a limited spectrum for a while. The archetypal Linney character had a Pollyanna patina, which made her welling glimmers of unease and her eventual outbursts all the more jolting. Linney played that kind of part in “The Truman Show,” opposite Jim Carrey; in “Primal Fear,” opposite Richard Gere; and in “You Can Count on Me,” opposite Mark Ruffalo, the 2000 movie that elevated her to a whole new level of regard. Several critics circles gave her their best-actress awards for “You Can Count on Me,” and she received her first Oscar nomination for it.
But it was an extremely difficult period of her life. The shooting of the movie, for which the director Kenneth Lonergan had only a minuscule budget, was a real slog, Ruffalo recalls. “We shared an old chicken coop that was our dressing room,” he says, referring to the shoot’s location in upstate New York. “We were staying in a musty, moldy hotel: a sort of summer bungalow kind of thing. It was hot, the crew was underpaid, people were underfed, there was always some problem with money going on.” And he says that Linney and Lonergan didn’t always agree on how she should play her part as the responsible and aggrieved sister of a beloved brother (Ruffalo) who just won’t grow up. “I could see her getting frustrated about it,” he says.
Around the time that Linney was working through this, a house she owned in rural Connecticut burned down, set ablaze when a clump of rags soaked in linseed oil caught fire. And “You Can Count on Me” was released as her first marriage, to the actor David Adkins, unraveled after five years. The acclaim the movie wound up bringing her was somewhat eclipsed by these and other hardships, including a stalker who for several years sent her photos, letters and gifts, always knowing where to find her. “He infiltrated every area of my life,” she says. “Everywhere I would show up, there would be flowers. I mean everywhere I showed up. I went to Alaska — I was teaching — and he found out, and there were flowers.”
He wrote to her publicist. He wrote to her mother, whose address he figured out. He wrote to the cartoonist Sandra Boynton, one of Linney’s close friends. Finally the situation turned threatening enough that the police had cause to intervene — and did. Since then, she hasn’t heard from him but assumes he’s still out there.
That’s a big reason that she is vague about certain personal details and guards her privacy, though her intrinsic nature is to keep many of her thoughts, relationships and joys to, and for, herself. She declared her husband and her family off-limits for interviews. Friends who talked with me about her worried aloud that they might be straying into areas she might not want them to. And while Linney never took offense or balked at any question I asked, she would dispense with some topics — like whether she ever wanted, or still wants, children — with just a few inconclusive, anodyne words. She clearly meant to be professional and polite, but she just as clearly had no intention of serving up a quivering, tremulous heart on a platter.
LINNEY DIDN’T SEEM to hatch or deploy any particular career strategy after the critical hosannas for “You Can Count on Me.” In fact, she mixed in more stage work, including “The Crucible,” in which she played Elizabeth Proctor to Liam Neeson’s John Proctor, than an actress seeking widespread exposure might have. Theater, she says, would be the medium she’d choose if she were forced to pick just one. Her intense love and regard for it are reflected in the story of her first Tony nomination, for “The Crucible.”
“I was so happy,” she remembers. “It really meant something to me.” So she walked with a spring in her step to the annual luncheon at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square, where nominees would receive their nomination certificates.
She arrived, she says, to find a grim-faced woman standing with a list of names beside a cardboard box that held the certificates. The woman more or less threw Linney’s at her, then directed her to a banquet room filled with reporters. “The lunch was a junket,” Linney says. “The lunch was a media junket. And there was somebody who literally passed around a plate with cheese on sticks on it.”
Immediately afterward, she told Tony administrators that while she understood their need to use the award to publicize and build interest in New York theater, there should be just one closed-door moment, before all the interviews and marketing hullabaloo, with real food and a real sense of occasion. And the administrators listened. In subsequent years, reporters weren’t allowed to attend the luncheon, which moved to the Rainbow Room, then to the Plaza. And each nominee got to hear his or her name called out individually, to applause from peers.
“Everyone looks forward to it,” says the set designer Scott Pask, a two-time Tony winner and frequent nominee who worked with Linney on a 2008 revival of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.” “And it was entirely her idea.”
Linney’s formal education and training in theater make her more comfortable onstage than most other actresses who spend as much time as she has in front of movie and TV cameras. Unlike many of them, she has the kind of ripe, cultured voice that suits theatrical work. She can project.
That voice, though, makes some screen characters a slightly awkward fit: would the small-town police officer in the supernatural thriller “The Mothman Prophecies,” a clunker that reunited Linney and Gere, really speak in such a sonorous, mellifluous way? But Linney is otherwise deft at communicating the sort of naturalness the camera likes. She doesn’t have the regal air and exaggerated manner that many stage-honed actresses never manage to shed. And she’s physically mutable, able to go from sparkling sweetheart to awkward wallflower with a mere brunette dye job or wig.
In part because of that flexibility, she worked feverishly in a hodgepodge of assignments in the years following “You Can Count on Me,” ranging from the movie “Mystic River” to the TV sitcom “Frasier,” in which she played the recurring guest role of the title character’s love interest.
But her personal life during that period was unsettled and unsatisfying. Armistead Maupin, the openly gay author who wrote the books on which “Tales” was based, was her date for the Oscars when she was nominated for “You Can Count on Me” and served as a sob sister for her during the early 2000s, when he, too, was between relationships. He remembers riding beside Linney in the 2003 gay-pride parade in San Francisco, where she remains an icon, thanks to Mary Ann, whose dippy flight-attendant dress Linney put back on for the occasion.
“We were smiling, waving,” Maupin recalls. But as they glided along, Linney broke into a sad, made-up song. “Under her breath,” he says, “Laura was singing: ‘We’re two lonely people in a car. We’re two lonely people wondering where our boyfriends are. We’re two lonely people in a car.’ ”
Soon after that, Maupin met the man who remains his partner. “She couldn’t have been happier for me,” he says, though at one point she noted the contrast between Maupin and her. He was newly in love. She was taking her mother with her as her date to the 2004 film festival in Telluride, Colo., where “Kinsey,” in which she appeared opposite Neeson (again), as the wife of the pioneering sexologist Alfred Kinsey, was being unveiled.
When she got there, she was introduced to Marc Schauer, a local real estate agent who helped out with the festival. “He was the guy who said, ‘Hi, welcome to Telluride,’ ” Linney says. “He was a V.I.P. host, a liaison between the town and the festival. He was assigned to me for the weekend.”
They got along well. “I remember looking at him at one point,” Linney says, “and going: ‘Am I attracted to this man? Am I attracted to my handler? What is going on? ’ ”
“It was so unlike me,” she adds, describing herself as shy in matters of romance. “It was a big surprise: ‘Oh, I’m feeling something. That’s nice. I’m feeling something. Just chill. Just chill. How nice to be feeling something. Something’s waking up. How great.’ ”
After the weekend, she e-mailed him a thank-you, and he wrote back. As the e-mail exchanges continued, he asked her what was happening between them and what, if anything, they should do about it.
She recalls telling him, “The only thing I know is that I don’t want to let it go.” She said they needed to find a way to spend time together.
“Well, where are you going to be?” he responded. She was on a promotional tour for “Kinsey” and gave him a rundown of the cities.
“I’ll meet you in Chicago,” he said.
Even as she agreed to that, she couldn’t believe it: she barely knew him. “But at that point I had nothing to lose,” she says. She remembers her nervousness as she rode the elevator from her room at the Four Seasons in Chicago to the lobby. Then, she says: “I got out of the elevator and I turned and I looked at him and every anxiety just vanished. And I thought, Oh, this is going to be fine. And we fell very hard for each other very quickly.”
They seem to be gaga still. When I fetched her at her Manhattan apartment for our lunch, their goodbye hugs went on so long that he reminded her that a reporter was watching. And Maupin says that when Showtime recently resurrected episodes of “More Tales of the City,” a 1998 miniseries sequel in which Linney also appeared, Schauer noted it on his Facebook page with this comment about his wife: “See why grown men get red-faced, cry and generally get apoplectic when they see her.”
But her world clearly takes some getting used to. On the afternoon when I shadowed Linney on the set of the “The Big C,” he showed up unexpectedly and, as she did several takes of a scene, watched on one of the many monitors in what’s known as “video village,” where I and many of the show’s crew members were sitting. The scene had Linney’s character huddling furtively in the kitchen with her love interest, played by the handsome, strapping actor Idris Elba. Like Elba, the character speaks in a British accent. Some of the women watching the scene remarked on how sexy it was.
“I hadn’t heard the accent before,” Schauer told them. “Now it’s even more emasculating.” He laughed, and added: “The worst I ever felt was at the Oscar luncheon, when Javier Bardem and George Clooney walked by. It was like: ‘I’m not even here.’ ”
LINNEY’S TRANSFORMATIONS from one role to another aren’t acrobatic in the manner of, say, Meryl Streep’s. She’s less shape-shifter than shape-tweaker. But she pours considerable research into each part, believing that an internalized knowledge of how her character would speak and move — and of what sort of milieu her character inhabits — will come through.
For “Kinsey,” she found and listened to tape recordings of Clara McMillen, the scientist’s wife and intellectual helpmate, who fields what must go down as one of the least romantic marriage proposals in movie history. (“You’re the one girl in a million who’s as interested in insects as I am,” says Kinsey, then an entomologist.)
For “John Adams,” she read history book after history book. One said that Abigail Adams was pigeon-toed, so Linney played her that way. The camera, she knew, might not pick up on that, but she hoped it would translate somehow. Walking in that fashion, she says: “you’re not very graceful. You don’t feel very elegant. It makes you focus on other things.”
She instinctively understood the cancer part of “The Big C” on account of her mother’s work with terminally ill patients. But there was plenty else to delve into. Condon says that when he, Linney and others traveled to Minneapolis for a tour of the area, they picked up books about the history and demography of the city, and “on the plane on the way home, she was cross-referencing things in books we’d got with lines in the script.”
But something much less technical informs Linney’s “Big C” performance: the preoccupation with mortality that came up during our lunch.
As we sat in the new Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant ABC Kitchen, she worked her way through a curious pea-centric lineup of pea soup and pea salad and talked about aging, and about her mystification and frustration with so many people’s rebellion against it. She conceded that sagging skin, waning energy and creaky joints aren’t fun, but said that the early deaths of beloved friends had opened her eyes to the fact that growing old is the greatest of blessings. “A lot of people don’t get that privilege,” she said. “And there’s an extreme disrespect toward that that’s cuckoo.”
I asked her how many friends had died, and who, but she waved the question away: I’d crossed into one of those no-fly zones. “A lot of people,” she said. “And I miss them.” She added that whenever she realizes that she’s about to complain about aging, “I imagine them taking me by my shoulders and shaking me: ‘Snap out of it!’ ”
“It’s amazing to me how delicate we are and how strong we are,” she continued. “What people can survive and what they don’t survive is shocking to me. Someone can go to Iraq and be blown to bits and survive. Someone can trip and fall on the street and they die — that’s that.”
Trip. Fall. With those words I suddenly realized what, and whom, she might be talking about. Her connection to Neeson, a co-star in two movies in addition to “Kinsey” and “The Crucible,” no doubt meant that she’d known his wife, Natasha Richardson. Richardson died — at age 45, which is also how old Linney was then — in March 2009, after falling on a ski slope and hitting her head in a way that at first seemed innocuous. I asked Linney if the two of them had been close. She nodded. “It’s been a tough year — a huge loss for everybody,” she said. But she didn’t elaborate.
Only from others did I learn that Neeson and Richardson spent much of their time in the area of Connecticut where Linney, too, has a home, a replacement for the one she lost in the fire. In fact, Linney and Schauer were married in an outdoor ceremony on her property there, and Maupin, who was present, told me that Neeson was the one who gave her away. This was in May 2009, just two months after Richardson’s death.
“It was an astonishing moment, a celebration of love and loss, being given equal treatment,” Maupin said. He added that Linney was so shaken by the suddenness of what happened to Richardson that at one point she sent him a message ending with these words: “Please don’t die.”
Linney was approached about “The Big C” in the summer of 2009. The first episode — the pilot, really — was shot in November, long before all the others, and Condon remembers that when she asked him to direct it, “she talked about how she felt almost this kind of compulsion to do this, because Natasha’s death had really, really brought so much into focus for her about the fragility of life, and figuring out what to do with it.”
What her character on “The Big C” does with expressly numbered days is eat more desserts. Sneak cigarettes. Dig the backyard pool she has always wanted. Insist that her son spend time with her. And hammer certain life lessons into him before she loses the opportunity to.
And Linney? How has she adjusted to her keen awareness that time is limited?
She clings to those she cares about, and surrounds herself with them. In fact, there’s talk that Neeson will appear in an episode of “The Big C” late in the season.
Recently, she acted in two small independent movies, neither released yet, that didn’t give her especially significant roles or remotely big salaries but allowed her to support two close friends: Ruffalo, who was making his directorial debut, and the actress Jeanne Tripplehorn, whose husband was directing a movie of his own. Ruffalo says that his movie, “Sympathy for Delicious,” might not have been made without Linney’s presence and name. “I was probably going to lose financing,” he says. “She jumped right into the gap.”
It is largely at Linney’s insistence that “The Big C” is being shot in Stamford, which puts her within a relatively easy drive of her Connecticut house and allows her and Schauer to spend almost every weekend there, in a cocoon apart from work, from publicity — from all of it.
That’s vital to her, in part because the dual acting and production hats she wears on “The Big C” mean days that stretch to 14, even 16 hours. Her dressing room on the set is a bustling intersection, with people constantly dropping in.
“I crave a cone of silence every once in while,” she told me as we sat there, but it didn’t come across as a complaint. Her smiling expression telegraphed peace, contentment. I said as much.
“Yeah,” she agreed. “I’m lucky to be here.” Was she referring to her plum role? To production offices painted in a shade she likes? Or to the simple fact that she was on earth, among the living?
She didn’t specify. But my guess was that it was all of the above.
Frank Bruni is a staff writer for the magazine. His memoir, “Born Round,” has just been published in paperba.
|Date||Quote||See The Article|
|01/01/2010||Still, it is incredible||It will take some time before all the facts about ...|
|01/02/2010||a very critical audience, and I’m sure we will continue to hear from them||PBS’s “Nightly Business Report” is by some measure...|
|01/03/2010||a city famous for its materialism||MIAMI — Rosario and Igor Montoya used to buy, buy,...|
|01/04/2010||the Christian right and gay||KAMPALA, Uganda — Last March, three American evang...|
|01/05/2010||A study commissioned by the institute said||WASHINGTON Last fall, the American Law Institute, ...|
|01/06/2010||considered one of the most vulnerable||Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the embattled Connect...|
|01/07/2010||planting berries here since the 1880s||DOVER, Fla. — Icicles hang from the thermometer: 2...|
|01/08/2010||and kisses unicorns||“The Simpsons” has been on the air longer than “Gu...|
|01/09/2010||when voters will choose||LOS ANGELES — From San Diego to Mount Shasta, vote...|
|01/10/2010||an effort to keep||WASHINGTON — Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic ma...|
|01/11/2010||whose popularity exploded last year in Britain||LOS ANGELES — With all of the questions hanging ov...|
|01/12/2010||the growth of the information||A law adopting statewide high school exams for gra...|
|01/13/2010||their world is even more||LONDON — With this city all a-shiver from a crippl...|
|01/14/2010||an eight-page fashion feature||WHEN he met Crystal Renn for the first time last S...|
|01/15/2010||it was a similar story||PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — With chilling regularity, ...|
|01/16/2010||The group chafed at the holdups.||PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Herby Amel’s father dug th...|
|01/17/2010||Noting the rabid effort being made to restrict marriage||SAN FRANCISCO It has been quite a journey for Ted ...|
|01/18/2010||facing an unexpected||The CW network, with its interchangeable casts and...|
|01/19/2010||taken by Democrats, now that they control all||BOSTON — Scott Brown, a little-known Republican st...|
|01/20/2010||appeal to independents||BOSTON — Scott Brown, a little-known Republican st...|
|01/21/2010||rapidly ballooning||This article is by Adam Nagourney, Jeff Zeleny, Ka...|
|01/22/2010||reignited speculation||WASHINGTON — The tougher approach to financial reg...|
|01/23/2010||or even $13||Here’s a riddle: How do you make your book a best ...|
|01/24/2010||held by Edward M. Kennedy||WASHINGTON — President Obama is reconstituting the...|
|01/25/2010||Dr. Rubin said UnitedHealthcare’s approach is particularly aggressive||A front in the national health care battle has ope...|
|01/26/2010||save any school||The boos cascaded over the auditorium as a city ed...|
|01/27/2010||Let’s try common sense||With his legislative agenda stalled and unemploy...|
|01/28/2010||restore public confidence||WASHINGTON — President Obama vowed Wednesday night...|
|01/29/2010||These kinds of naming conflicts||SAN FRANCISCO — Apple has generated a lot of chatt...|
|01/30/2010||it lets its inventories shrink||The United States economy grew at its fastest pace...|
|01/31/2010||the sensitivity||WASHINGTON — For the past year, China has adopted ...|
|02/01/2010||to change the policy.||The Obama administration is proposing a sweeping o...|
|02/02/2010||“But I think our main job here is to help the country.”||WASHINGTON — Emboldened by the response to Preside...|
|02/03/2010||from the commander in chief, and we are moving out accordingly||WASHINGTON — The nation’s top two defense official...|
|02/04/2010||about binge drinking||COATBRIDGE, Scotland — What is it about Buckfast T...|
|02/05/2010||loans last year to help pay||WASHINGTON — Four months ago, it appeared all but...|
|02/06/2010||crazy over today’s number||The unemployment rate unexpectedly dipped to 9.7 p...|
|02/07/2010||“Just in case there’s any confusion out there, I am not going to walk away from health care reform,”||WASHINGTON — President Obama said Saturday that th...|
|02/08/2010||the model is spreading in California, New York, Texas and elsewhere||Correction Appended RAEFORD, N.C. — Precious Holt,...|
|02/09/2010||Wing sails, as they are called||VALENCIA, Spain — USA-17, the challenger for the A...|
|02/10/2010||that language be inserted||LAST MONTH, A WEEK before the Senate seat of the l...|
|02/11/2010||an expert on circumpolar populations||The genome of a man who lived on the western coast...|
|02/12/2010||which forbids openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces.||WASHINGTON — In a sign that the “ don’t ask, don’t...|
|02/13/2010||sports federations for allowing access||VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Vancouver Olympi...|
|02/14/2010||not to make changes to the course that would limit the record speeds — in excess of 90 miles per hour||WHISTLER, British Columbia — The crash that killed...|
|02/15/2010||Their status for the Olympics is uncertain; Rahlves said||WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Four at a time,...|
|02/16/2010||poor performance at an international, multisport games||VANCOUVER, British Columbia — At the Winter Olympi...|
|02/17/2010||many times lower than that of Hurricane Katrina||PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The devastating earthquake...|
|02/18/2010||and the men’s competition on Wednesday||WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The halfpipe is...|
|02/19/2010||Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the notion of terrorists using small airplanes to crash into buildings||AUSTIN, Tex. — Leaving behind a rant against the g...|
|02/20/2010||All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks.||“Family Guy,” the Fox animated comedy series, is e...|
|02/21/2010||But Ms. Streep is also, unmistakably, a movie star.||FROM the moment it was announced on Feb. 2, Meryl ...|
|02/22/2010||a small crane that swoops in||VANCOUVER, British Columbia — For sheer spectacle,...|
|02/23/2010||attracting straight and gay audience members with||A new breed of plays and musicals this season is p...|
|02/24/2010||able amount of time||The Bloomberg administration has made getting rid ...|
|02/25/2010||death rates among high-seniority male workers jumped by 50 percent to 100 percent||The first to have a heart attack was George Kull J...|
|02/26/2010||impressive even to some Republicans||WASHINGTON — If there was any question about how d...|
|02/27/2010||event linked to the magnitude 7.0 quake that occurred in Haiti||The magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck off the c...|
|02/28/2010||before moving across the Pacific.||RIO DE JANEIRO — A strong aftershock struck Chile ...|
|03/01/2010||a higher slice of the gross revenue||In the emerging world of e-books, many consumers a...|
|03/02/2010||score political points by scapegoating teachers||WASHINGTON — President Obama said Monday that he f...|
|03/03/2010||for public education||Diane Ravitch, the education historian who built h...|
|03/04/2010||Ham, the commander||WASHINGTON — Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independ...|
|03/05/2010||a Republican in his last year||SACRAMENTO — Angered by increases in tuition and c...|
|03/06/2010||debating a student||ON A WINTER DAY five years ago, Doug Lemov realize...|
|03/07/2010||took the president’s great strength||WASHINGTON — David Axelrod was sitting at his desk...|
|03/08/2010||driven by grass-roots and the Internet||For years, being able to carry a concealed handgun...|
|03/09/2010||The majority’s treatment is a disgrace||WASHINGTON A few times a year, Supreme Court justi...|
|03/10/2010||better equipped to understand||I was tempted to turn my abaya into a black masque...|
|03/11/2010||was the principal goal||Two research teams have independently decoded the ...|
|03/12/2010||a searing experience||WASHINGTON — Long before the State Dinner party cr...|
|03/13/2010||it included many provisions||The Obama administration on Saturday called for a ...|
|03/14/2010||relied on assurances||It's becoming increasingly clear that Al Gore came...|
|03/15/2010||difficult to locate doctors and dentists||FLINT, Mich. — Carol Y. Vliet’s cancer returned wi...|
|03/16/2010||guns and secrets and senses of humor||“Justified” opens with a clever piece of misdirect...|
|03/17/2010||our gorges are beautiful||ITHACA, N.Y. — All weekend, Cornell University’s r...|
|03/18/2010||pointing out||ALBANY — A governor’s race that seemed all but set...|
|03/19/2010||openings and closings||In February 2001,a Brown University graduate with ...|
|03/20/2010||a math teacher at the school||They were too old to be high school students, but ...|
|03/21/2010||commitments of a significant majority||WASHINGTON — President Obama and House Democratic ...|
|03/22/2010||experts and professionals being challenged||In his deliberately provocative — and deeply nihil...|
|03/23/2010||steps long recommended||LANCASTER, Calif. — The California budget crisis h...|
|03/24/2010||The benefits, meanwhile, flow||For all the political and economic uncertainties a...|
|03/25/2010||The Republican National Committee put out||I admit it: I had fun watching right-wingers go wi...|
|03/26/2010||Those people that have been around||SALT LAKE CITY — When Syracuse took its place alon...|
|03/27/2010||Pacific Northwest is overdue for another mega-quake||AS an engineer who advises companies on how to mak...|
|03/28/2010||nominees had been waiting||WASHINGTON — President Obama, making a muscular sh...|
|03/29/2010||don’t make the new law bullet-proof||No sooner had President Obama signed comprehensive...|
|03/30/2010||found that 56 percent of Americans trusted||The debate over global warming has created predict...|
|03/31/2010||then they pick up the book||Bindu Wiles was on a Q train in Brooklyn this mont...|
|04/01/2010||abuses of surveillance authority||WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that ...|
|04/02/2010||a calculated insult||The great man was moving with what seemed like gre...|
|04/03/2010||his signature bow tie in chambers floodlit by April sunshine||WASHINGTON — “There are still pros and cons to be ...|
|04/04/2010||they were stronger than she had thought||By the time she was 38, Dr. Desiree Pardi had beco...|
|04/05/2010||help ordinary readers||It is one of the paradoxes of the Internet. Along ...|
|04/06/2010||financial nuisance for a league that recorded $8.5 billion in revenue||VAN NUYS, Calif. — The five paper-clipped sheets t...|
|04/07/2010||We’ve never spoken of it aloud||A team of Russian and American scientists has disc...|
|04/08/2010||Big deal. Let it wait.||When you thought about it, while mopping the dripp...|
|04/09/2010||slow to pick up any momentum||The American economy appears to be in a cyclical r...|
|04/10/2010||outside the Presidential Palace, laying flowers||This article was reported by Nicholas Kulish, El...|
|04/11/2010||avoid provoking Republicans||WASHINGTON — The retirement of Justice John Paul S...|
|04/12/2010||deliberately not on the agenda||WASHINGTON — Three months ago, American intelligen...|
|04/13/2010||Instead, distant landfills remain||HORSHOLM, Denmark — The lawyers and engineers who ...|
|04/14/2010||in a holding pattern this spring||DURHAM, N.C. — Ashley Koski, ranked third in the s...|
|04/15/2010||supporters say Mr. Obama does not share||Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-e...|
|04/16/2010||pronounced EYE-a-fyat-la-jo-kutl||PARIS — A dark and spectacular volcanic cloud shro...|
|04/17/2010||Britain belongs to indigenous white Britons||LONDON — Few people in the working-class neighborh...|
|04/18/2010||retired Air Force officer and teacher||The latest New York Times/CBS News poll looks at t...|
|04/19/2010||Mr. Duncan highlighted some “shining examples”||Not long ago education schools had a virtual monop...|
|04/20/2010||an uncanny knack to capitalize||PHOENIX — The Arizona Senate passed one of the mos...|
|04/21/2010||layoff numbers only at the margins.||School districts around the country, forced to res...|
|04/22/2010||tenure for Florida public school teachers||COCOA BEACH, Fla. — Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida ...|
|04/23/2010||their regulation bill||President Obama took his rhetoric of reform on Thu...|
|04/24/2010||pondering changing magnets||A $1.5 billion seven-ton cosmic-ray experiment sch...|
|04/25/2010||an accurate way to determine who those teachers are||Peter Borock, 23, is in his second year teaching h...|
|04/26/2010||the busiest stretch of illegal crossings along the Mexican border||MESA, Ariz. — They stood a few miles from each oth...|
|04/27/2010||thoughtful decision-making||WASHINGTON — Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the leade...|
|04/28/2010||is owned by a bankrupt stable||LEXINGTON, Ky. — The for-sale signs on horse farms...|
|04/29/2010||law, the measure mirrors the 1994 battle||PHOENIX — Arizona is well accustomed to the derisi...|
|04/30/2010||s a Classical inscription, was the Anthora’s very soul||It was for decades the most enduring piece of ephe...|
|05/01/2010||could not save it from the reality||CHICAGO — Fashion and politics are seasonal and un...|
|05/02/2010||was oddly angled in the street||A crude car bomb of propane, gasoline and firework...|
|05/03/2010||they’re incredibly effective||For years it has been a weapon of choice in hot sp...|
|05/04/2010||discuss a continuing investigation||This article is by William K. Rashbaum, Mark Mazze...|
|05/05/2010||mostly police officers||ASHBURN, Va. — For generations, the prototypical s...|
|05/06/2010||avert a shutdown or restart the school||CORNWALL-On-HUDSON, N.Y. The names, if they’re rem...|
|05/07/2010||endless war||The late-afternoon sun was beginning a slow retrea...|
|05/08/2010||it was a trading mistake||A day after a harrowing plunge in the stock market...|
|05/09/2010||or we go over||David Levin, 40, co-founder of the celebrated KIPP...|
|05/10/2010||and counter what the president sees||WASHINGTON — President Obama nominated Solicitor G...|
|05/11/2010||not to mention its richest member||Like the giant financial bailout announced by the ...|
|05/12/2010||less than a 50 percent chance of actually having a food allergy||Many who think they have food allergies actually d...|
|05/13/2010||a byproduct of flooding high-crime areas||Blacks and Latinos were nine times as likely as wh...|
|05/14/2010||gang violence here is usually gang on gang||SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A wooden cross nailed to a...|
|05/15/2010||with new estimates||WASHINGTON — President Obama on Friday angrily ass...|
|05/16/2010||a review of the program by The New York Times||WASHINGTON — Top military officials have continued...|
|05/17/2010||In the procedure, called a top kill||NEW ORLEANS — After more than three weeks of effor...|
|05/18/2010||supported the court||WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled tha...|
|05/19/2010||The primary elections on Tuesday||WASHINGTON — Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania...|
|05/20/2010||Which is a problem, because||PELHAM, N.Y. — In the month since Pelham Memorial ...|
|05/21/2010||described in an interview||WASHINGTON — Rand Paul, the Tea Party candidate wh...|
|05/22/2010||The man he has spent three years trying to save from a long incarceration||In his 43-year career as a federal judge, Jack B. ...|
|05/23/2010||teaches photography, and he is deeply pessimistic about his pension||PARIS — Across Western Europe, the “lifestyle supe...|
|05/24/2010||agreed to comply with the extradition request||SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, Mexico — The Jamaican gover...|
|05/25/2010||More than 80 drivers reported being spat upon in the last year||It could be the cutbacks to the city’s transportat...|
|05/26/2010||while testifying in a 2007 police||Kwame M. Kilpatrick, who resigned as mayor of Detr...|
|05/27/2010||methodical march toward repeal||WASHINGTON — The chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air For...|
|05/28/2010||women who viewed sonograms||BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — “It’s going to be cold, and som...|
|05/29/2010||strongly objects to the addition||WASHINGTON — The House on Friday adopted an annual...|
|05/30/2010||not without risk and has never been attempted||NEW ORLEANS — In another serious setback in the ef...|
|05/31/2010||anything more sinister||WASHINGTON — As President Obama and his top aides ...|
|06/01/2010||both Democrats, would create||After a towing company hauled Justin Kurtz’s car f...|
|06/02/2010||new math standards, eighth graders would be expected||The nation’s governors and state school chiefs rel...|
|06/03/2010||not known about, in hopes of using it||More than six years before the biggest sex discrim...|
|06/04/2010||had undermined potential||ALAMOSA, Colo. — The nightmare in the Gulf of Mexi...|
|06/05/2010||scheduled to be retired after two more flights and Mr. Obama||The first flight of a privately developed rocket t...|
|06/06/2010||allows snakes||COLUMBIA, Mo. — When Allison Frisch goes shopping ...|
|06/07/2010||cut the riser pipe||HOUSTON — The Coast Guard commander in charge of t...|
|06/08/2010||more than 70 percent of the country’s models||RESTINGA SÊCA, Brazil — Before setting out in a pi...|
|06/09/2010||wary of outsiders and of the government in particular||LANCASTER, Pa. — With simplicity as their credo, A...|
|06/10/2010||high unemployment, record foreclosures||SAN FRANCISCO — The time for tinkering is done. Th...|
|06/11/2010||When a woman says it, it would be viewed as catty.||You can parse a voting record. Flip-flops — politi...|
|06/12/2010||they liked to play Ping-Pong||This article is by Kareem Fahim, Richard Pérez-Peñ...|
|06/13/2010||more complex than anticipated||Ten years after President Bill Clinton announced t...|
|06/14/2010||at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan||WASHINGTON — The United States has discovered near...|
|06/15/2010||payments ultimately benefit a state||LOS ANGELES — When Andrew van den Houten got a let...|
|06/16/2010||international university halls||WASHINGTON — President Obama summoned Americans on...|
|06/17/2010||a reference book for psychiatrists and insurers||Ever since Viagra met blockbuster success in 1998,...|
|06/18/2010||being in this country illegally||FREMONT, Neb. — In this city of 25,000, far from a...|
|06/19/2010||not everyone is big in the same way||Corseted into a size 18 white denim dress, wearing...|
|06/20/2010||if the MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann was upset||WASHINGTON — The reviews of President Obama’s firs...|
|06/21/2010||designed to cost consumers even less, and is worthy||To anyone watching the oil spew into the Gulf of M...|
|06/22/2010||Federal law does not recognize same-sex relationships||WASHINGTON — President Obama will soon expand the ...|
|06/23/2010||the most mercurial and bookish of the Bushes||CORAL GABLES, Fla. — For months now, Jeb Bush has ...|
|06/24/2010||For-profit colleges have an obligation to maximize shareholder profits||WASHINGTON — The battle lines on the future of for...|
|06/25/2010||a teacher who read newspapers in class instead of teaching.||LOS ANGELES — As recently as 2008, Locke High Scho...|
|06/26/2010||they said he was making a moral argument||After two months in which an oil gusher seemed to ...|
|06/27/2010||nine co-valedictorians by lottery and printing speeches||There will be no valedictory speech at Jericho Hig...|
|06/28/2010||I’ve spent my lifetime doing right by working men||TRENTON — Stephen M. Sweeney, the president of the...|
|06/29/2010||and that Social Security should be “transitioned out,”||RENO — There is a game in Nevada called “Where’s S...|
|06/30/2010||Worldwide, it will equal a little more||The world’s rich countries are now conducting a da...|
|07/01/2010||In many states, there is a sense of reverting to the 1980s||FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The weak economy is crippl...|
|07/02/2010||President Obama is on the wrong side of the American||WASHINGTON — President Obama pressed Congress on T...|
|07/03/2010||win control of the House||CINCINNATI — The congressman was dripping with swe...|
|07/04/2010||trying to block the bill||ALL men may be created equal, but slavery, America...|
|07/05/2010||smile at its own jokes and recognize familiar faces||Nothing Eileen Oldaker tried could calm her mother...|
|07/06/2010||Such are the sorts of assessments diplomats go to great lengths to keep private||BAGHDAD, Iraq – An Army soldier in Iraq who was ar...|
|07/07/2010||which all rose||Wall Street indexes closed higher for a second day...|
|07/08/2010||answer as many questions about yourself as you feel comfortable sharing||Last month, the standards editor at The New York T...|
|07/09/2010||same-sex marriages performed in other states||BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts found Th...|
|07/10/2010||if I ever need something right away, I can see if he has it||Cory Vaughn, a slugging outfielder and son of the ...|
|07/11/2010||a loss of trust between voters and elected officials||WASHINGTON — The vote in 2008 to bail out Wall Str...|
|07/12/2010||snap up a platoon of top Democratic||At first blush, the 19 pages of financial disclosu...|
|07/13/2010||It now has freer rein to leave its mark||WASHINGTON — Fresh off a string of victories in th...|
|07/14/2010||demonize it and thus inspire litigation against museums||LOS ANGELES — Empirically speaking, geologists are...|
|07/15/2010||I started drawing the sun and radiating light||Amagansett, N.Y. DRIFTWOOD ON THE OCEAN isn’t the ...|
|07/16/2010||to grow, to prosper||WASHINGTON — Congress approved a sweeping expansio...|
|07/17/2010||t which prompted a new crackdown against televised “indecency”||FOR Fourth of July weekend fireworks, even Macy’s ...|
|07/18/2010||but she received donations from all 50 states||LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — The latest candidate to win t...|
|07/19/2010||“Nobody’s moving.”||CHAUVIN, La. — Stanley Sevin knew it was time to h...|
|07/20/2010||they found the results||VULINDLELA, South Africa — With an AIDS vaccine st...|
|07/21/2010||involved in drafting, evaluating and winning support for the standards||Less than two months after the nation’s governors ...|
|07/22/2010||previously been undetectable and been subject to abuse||Blood testing for human growth hormone will begin ...|
|07/23/2010||European officials issued 16 pages||BRUSSELS — The way Martin Kastler sees it, there o...|
|07/24/2010||called on food companies to do more||Lucky Charms. Froot Loops. Cocoa Pebbles. A ConAgr...|
|07/25/2010||those favoring criminal defendants and people||WASHINGTON — When Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr...|
|07/26/2010||shed light||This article was written and reported by C. J. Chi...|
|07/27/2010||documents, Der Spiegel, the newsmagazine||BERLIN — As the blame for a fatal stampede at an o...|
|07/28/2010||for every percentile they had moved up||How much do your kindergarten teacher and classmat...|
|07/29/2010||saying the response||BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm ex...|
|07/30/2010||one of the protesters||PHOENIX — As the Arizona governor on Thursday form...|
|07/31/2010||an expert on child abuse investigation and prevention||FORT A.P. HILL, Va. — Her crown glinting in the mo...|
|08/01/2010||her new trick||In this economy, even counterfeiters are trading d...|
|08/02/2010||at worst an act of aggression||An influential Jewish organization on Friday annou...|
|08/03/2010||And yet her sense of wonder endures.||WITH THREE EMMYS, three Oscar nominations and two ...|
|08/04/2010||opted to hear it||Filed at 5:02 p.m. ET SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A ...|
|08/05/2010||set off cheers of “We won!”||SAN FRANCISCO — Saying that it discriminates again...|
|08/06/2010||making it hard to tell which way he is leaning||Judge Vaughn R. Walker has ruled on cases involvin...|
|08/07/2010||an architect of||It was not enough, it seems, for Alan Greenspan, t...|
|08/08/2010||fly back to the United States||Filed at 9:12 a.m. ET PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain (AP...|
|08/09/2010||The Pentagon has denounced the leaks||CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — He spent part of his childhood ...|
|08/10/2010||a retired flight attendant||It has been a long time since flight attendant was...|
|08/11/2010||complaints of sudden acceleration||DETROIT — The government’s investigation into comp...|
|08/12/2010||At least we’ll have a little more time to prepare and dress up.||SAN FRANCISCO ? Same sex marriage is legal again i...|
|08/13/2010||is part of the research project||In 2003, a group of scientists and executives from...|
|08/14/2010||she also worked full time at the college's hospital||It is a defining image of the American century, on...|
|08/15/2010||track down Dixie cups and paper plates||When Emily Cooper headed off to first grade in Moo...|
|08/16/2010||That attempt was successful||SAN FRANCISCO — In all of the legal maneuvering su...|
|08/17/2010||Perhaps most worrisome were signs of support||KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban on Sunday ordered...|
|08/18/2010||This is something that needs to be paid attention to.||In the 71 years since the Yankees slugger Lou Gehr...|
|08/19/2010||two dozen younger service members||John Loosen has worn a prosthetic leg long enough ...|
|08/20/2010||people who have the disease cannot smile||The human genome is riddled with dead genes, fossi...|
|08/21/2010||even by accommodating them||LOS ANGELES — At the New York Film Festival next m...|
|08/22/2010||used in medicine||TEHRAN — Thirty-six years after construction began...|
|08/23/2010||lampooned for his frequent golfing||VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. — It is a paradox of America...|
|08/24/2010||A lot of schools are well ahead of the game||SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Secretary of Education Ar...|
|08/25/2010||submitting a letter revealing her lesbianism||WEST POINT, N.Y. — Code words, secret societies, c...|
|08/26/2010||revealed his sexual orientation to him||Ken Mehlman, President George W. Bush’s campaign m...|
|08/27/2010||An ambulance came moments later||SAN DIEGO — Fire departments around the nation are...|
|08/28/2010||kept him on a strict pitch count and intended to have him stop||No baseball player has generated as much interest ...|
|08/29/2010||he talks in public about the wars only sporadically||WASHINGTON — President Obama rushed to the Oval Of...|
|08/30/2010||pay out the benefits||Vickie Castro’s only child was killed six years ag...|
|08/31/2010||in a statement||LAVEEN, Ariz. — Don’t tread on Andy C. McDonel. Th...|
|09/01/2010||he had never released||How good is one teacher compared with another? A g...|
|09/02/2010||they were expanding||PARIS — The Swedish authorities announced Wednesda...|
|09/03/2010||enrollment from within||FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The college vote is up for g...|
|09/04/2010||to solicit contracts||WASHINGTON — Blackwater Worldwide created a web of...|
|09/05/2010||things really are being built on the spot where something actually happened||THIS article about the new World Trade Center is a...|
|09/06/2010||firearm advertising||SAN FRANCISCO — A recent Supreme Court decision co...|
|09/07/2010||a tarot card reader||TEMPE, Ariz. — Benjamin Pearcy, a candidate for st...|
|09/08/2010||strenuously avoided labeling||WASHINGTON — President Obama on Wednesday will mak...|
|09/09/2010||The cartoon ignited huge protests||WASHINGTON— The pastor planning a burning of the K...|
|09/10/2010||leaders and residents||For nearly every New Yorker who has received a sum...|
|09/11/2010||camouflage holding an American flag||GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Stephanie George used to see m...|
|09/12/2010||because White would have had an advantage||Top players have healthy egos, but it takes a lot ...|
|09/13/2010||The situation has steadily grown||PRATO, Italy — Over the years, Italy learned the d...|
|09/14/2010||doing away with manual labor||SAN FRANCISCO — Businesses in the South Park distr...|
|09/15/2010||The survey also found a growing acceptance that genetics, rather than parenting, peers or God’s will, was responsible for sexual orientation||A majority of Americans now say their definition o...|
|09/16/2010||An authorization bill written by the House Science||Boeing said Wednesday that it was entering the spa...|
|09/17/2010||But others have signed up for welfare or drifted into begging and petty thievery||BUCHAREST, Romania — This city is full of stark, S...|
|09/18/2010||on the day of the anniversary||Timing is everything. I had originally planned to ...|
|09/19/2010||about the tip of a dog’s tail||ST. LOUIS — When judges here sentence convicted cr...|
|09/20/2010||like shutting down the government to get their way||WASHINGTON — President Obama’s political advisers,...|
|09/21/2010||even those who emphasize alternative approaches||Despite rising tuition and student-loan debt level...|
|09/22/2010||create a path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrants||WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday voted against t...|
|09/23/2010||The Republican strategy||Sometimes lost in the partisan clamor about the ne...|
|09/24/2010||American voters and lawmakers have only recently seized||UNITED NATIONS — President Obama increased pressur...|
|09/25/2010||farcical local politics and occasional corruption||NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. Will you do the right thing...|
|09/26/2010||opponent into responding||WASHINGTON — Democratic candidates across the coun...|
|09/27/2010||The council members say||SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — A private company in Maryl...|
|09/28/2010||whose booming voice||BROCKTON, Mass. — A decade ago, Brockton High Scho...|
|09/29/2010||to provide continuity||Rahm Emanuel is just about gone. In an interview M...|
|09/30/2010||day before the suicide||It started with a Twitter message on Sept. 19: “Ro...|
|10/01/2010||visual and hands-on aids like blocks, cards and bar charts||FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — By the time they get to kin...|
|10/02/2010||also have apps showing off their collections. Such assistance is surely welcome||Walk into a crowded museum, and what do you see? P...|
|10/03/2010||will not back down from the mob rule mentality that has taken over this country||WASHINGTON — The new Supreme Court term, which beg...|
|10/04/2010||who lost in the primary||LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Rand Paul, the Tea Party-backed ...|
|10/05/2010||o Democratic strategists who point to improving poll numbers and fund-raising. But the fact that Mr. Obama needs to make such a concerted eff||WASHINGTON — With four weeks until Congressional e...|
|10/06/2010||learning how to mash dead bees for analysis||DENVER — It has been one of the great murder myste...|
|10/07/2010||But only a few of those are believed to be involved||TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — Later this month, camouflag...|
|10/08/2010||Publishers praise the picture book||Picture books are so unpopular these days at the C...|
|10/09/2010||which revealed them as predators whose crimes were as cowardly as they were despicable||He was told there was a party at a brick house on ...|
|10/10/2010||The program is also a departure from the mainstream of innovation||MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Anyone driving the twists ...|
|10/11/2010||But adjusted for inflation, they rose only 3 percent||Here’s the narrative you hear everywhere: Presiden...|
|10/12/2010||equal to the output of five large nuclear reactors||WASHINGTON — Google and a New York financial firm ...|
|10/13/2010||to appeal the injunction to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to try to keep it from taking effect pending an appeal||A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the United Stat...|
|10/14/2010||at least part of the week to care for her daughters||MILWAUKEE — Michelle Obama burst back onto the cam...|
|10/15/2010||gay men and lesbians as too slow and insufficient||WASHINGTON — Saying it would appeal a ruling strik...|
|10/16/2010||even in mortal jeopardy||In “Waiting for Superman,” the new education docum...|
|10/17/2010||Where I come from, we call that bait.||ANAHEIM, Calif. — What if you held a voter turnout...|
|10/18/2010||Culture is back on the poverty research||For more than 40 years, social scientists investig...|
|10/19/2010||we had to come out under fire||“Middle school was the worst,” Calvin Stowell says...|
|10/20/2010||who has ads showing him metaphorically shooting a bullet into the heart of the cap-and-trade bill||Rage is not working out. In Delaware, the Republ...|
|10/21/2010||a gang of homeless street boys||“Inhale,” a shrill, feverish melodrama about illic...|
|10/22/2010||the law should be overturned||WASHINGTON — In the growing legal confusion at the...|
|10/23/2010||the crash rate is three times higher||BOULDER CITY, Nev. — It is an engineering marvel a...|
|10/24/2010||the straight-ahead hope and possibility||SEATTLE — President Obama walked the campaign stag...|
|10/25/2010||That’s how you build respect||WASHINGTON — It took President Obama 18 months to ...|
|10/26/2010||Harassment does not have to include intent to harm||In a 10-page letter to be sent on Tuesday to thous...|
|10/27/2010||Maybe it’s hard to come to an agreement now, in front of an audience||LONG BEACH, Calif. — With less than a week until E...|
|10/28/2010||a psychotherapist and Hickenlooper||IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. — In his appearances around t...|
|10/29/2010||and has offered little description of what is planned||Jon Stewart insists that his “Rally to Restore San...|
|10/30/2010||to root out violent extremism in all its forms||WASHINGTON — Officials searched for suspicious pac...|
|10/31/2010||and fears about packages yet to be discovered||WASHINGTON — The powerful bombs concealed inside c...|
|11/01/2010||In nondescript towns||MIAMI — Two years ago, the University of Miami cou...|
|11/02/2010||Sarah Palin, who has stumped||BECKLEY, W. Va. — Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama,...|
|11/03/2010||bombs might be on cargo flights||WASHINGTON — American intelligence officials in Se...|
|11/04/2010||month with contentious issues||WASHINGTON — President Obama and newly empowered R...|
|11/05/2010||inherent conflicts||WASHINGTON — The incoming leadership of the new Ho...|
|11/06/2010||have harsher side effects||WARWICK, R.I. — “They’ve been telling me since age...|
|11/07/2010||nation-building in Afghanistan and education reform at home||W. never sweated the small stuff. Unfortunately,...|
|11/08/2010||International concerns||LONDON — When interest rates soared last week on I...|
|11/09/2010||equated the move to currency manipulation||NEW DELHI — By endorsing India for a permanent sea...|
|11/10/2010||Rents drop||SANTA ANA, Calif. — A temporary wall slices the An...|
|11/11/2010||It lays out options||WASHINGTON — The chairmen of President Obama’s bip...|
|11/12/2010||are increasingly uncertain||WASHINGTON — By putting deep spending cuts and sub...|
|11/13/2010||the right to life, liberty and security||WINNIPEG, Manitoba — As waves of immigrants from t...|
|11/14/2010||much faster erosion||TASIILAQ, Greenland — With a tense pilot gripping ...|
|11/15/2010||resembled the contrails||Gil Leyvas has been a photojournalist on board a t...|
|11/16/2010||started to cover their own turf||When Sam Keller, a former quarterback at Arizona S...|
|11/17/2010||proved crucial to the function||After 16 years and $1.5 billion of other people’s ...|
|11/18/2010||the effect of increasing||LOS ANGELES — Five weeks after the Legislature pas...|
|11/19/2010||just like any other run-of-the-mill stray||FLORENCE, Ariz. — When a suicide bomber entered an...|
|11/20/2010||removing the glare from eyeglasses||Oliver Tracy showed up for his first-grade portrai...|
|11/21/2010||dismantled as part of an agreement||WASHINGTON — North Korea showed a visiting America...|
|11/22/2010||accelerated their use||Caught between complaints that airport screening h...|
|11/23/2010||the war is still to be fought||DUBLIN — Ireland has formally applied for a rescue...|
|11/24/2010||will accelerate the prevention revolution||Healthy gay men who took an anti-AIDS pill every d...|
|11/25/2010||three-week trial||AUSTIN, Tex. — Tom DeLay, one of the most powerful...|
|11/26/2010||amid the city’s fervent embrace of the automobile||LOS ANGELES — This auto-obsessed city — a place wh...|
|11/27/2010||a tighter stitch and results in a smaller scar||WASHINGTON — President Obama had to get 12 stitche...|
|11/28/2010||I thought he was lying||Devon Armstrong and Winifred Oldham do not hear th...|
|11/29/2010||Pentagon, which is the nation’s single largest employer||WASHINGTON — Francis Brady enjoys a six-figure sal...|
|11/30/2010||ce, it feels like a betrayal to our sense of how nature should work. Shouldn’t they know better? Or, perha||Cerise Mayo expected better of her bees. She had r...|
|12/01/2010||try to develop profiles of possible terrorists||WASHINGTON — Nearly a decade after the 2001 terror...|
|12/02/2010||recasting weight-loss procedures||Weight-loss surgery, once a last resort for extrem...|
|12/03/2010||more competition from emerging rivals||LISBON — Sara Vale Lima, sales manager at Eical, a...|
|12/04/2010||boiling down all they do||PRINCETON, N.J. — In most American schools, teache...|
|12/05/2010||stumbling through an evolving etiquette||Ninth grade was supposed to be a fresh start for M...|
|12/06/2010||highest unemployment rates in the state||SAN FRANCISCO — It has been more than two years si...|
|12/07/2010||getting security clearances or promotions||The government warns Americans to closely guard th...|
|12/08/2010||used the lunch meeting to emphasize provisions||WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday strongly d...|
|12/09/2010||raising fears that they and other sources would become more reticent||LONDON — In a campaign that had some declaring the...|
|12/10/2010||hoping for a little less caution||Christmas will no longer be on credit for many sho...|
|12/11/2010||if||LONDON — The British police promised an investigat...|
|12/12/2010||seeking assets for victims of the scheme||Mark Madoff, the older of Bernard L. Madoff’s two ...|
|12/13/2010||departments as unconstitutional||WASHINGTON — As virtually all of Washington was de...|
|12/14/2010||30 million people who are uninsured||A federal judge in Virginia ruled on Monday that t...|
|12/15/2010||tried in vain||The Dodgers and the Giants did it. Johnny Carson d...|
|12/16/2010||Some Democrats said they had concluded||WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday approved the ...|
|12/17/2010||to reconvene after the holiday||WASHINGTON — Embattled and left for near dead last...|
|12/18/2010||The fact that Bob hated Christmas||BOB liked to say how much he hated Christmas. This...|
|12/19/2010||well with my little daughter||The sun had barely committed to its Saturday morni...|
|12/20/2010||Modern medicine has produced new diagnostic tools||Marjie Popkin thought she had chemo brain, that fu...|
|12/21/2010||Such visits peaked in November 2009 and have since slid||SAN FRANCISCO — Signs you’re an old fogey: You sti...|
|12/22/2010||noting her use of a single name||KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Christmas hasn’t come yet but H...|
|12/23/2010||The show had more than two months of technical rehearsals||The Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dar...|
|12/24/2010||she’s here, you just feel it||CHAMPION, Wis. — In France, the shrine at Lourdes ...|
|12/25/2010||“You leapfrog over the need for fixed lines,”||KIPTUSURI, Kenya — For Sara Ruto, the desperate ye...|
|12/26/2010||to the need to protect expensive items like new cellphones||The citizens of Lincolnshire, England, were so fed...|
|12/27/2010||“They say, ‘We were only playing with you last time,’ ”||HARARE, Zimbabwe — The warning signs are prolifera...|
|12/28/2010||director of state affairs for the Michigan Municipal League||HAMTRAMCK, Mich. — Leaders of this city met for mo...|
|12/29/2010||who had not previously been homeless||FORT PIERCE, Fla. — For the three generations of t...|
|12/30/2010||Paul Simon sang in his 1973 hit “Kodachrome,”||PARSONS, Kan. — An unlikely pilgrimage is under wa...|
|12/31/2010||Officials are not seeking a major confrontation||WASHINGTON — With the federal government set to re...|
|(c) 2013 Dan Nelson|