Thursday, April 29, 2010

sweets

I have a miserable headache-- and my tum is being mean to me too!-- that is prolonging the writing of any of the many blog entries that I have in mind, including the weekly playlist that has been in the works since Sunday. Not to fret, pets, it's soon to happen.

I also made some pretty cute clothing purchases while out and about on Melrose yesterday, so perhaps I'll let you in on those as well.

Oh, oh, my new old big obsession of late is baking. I used to do it all the time in high school. All the time. And I love it and I miss it and have recently been inspired to take it up again. First venture is going to be cupcakes!

(pics from marthastewart.com)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

i want to go to there

I'm loving the whole preppy resurgence for Spring/Summer. It's definitely true that fashion is cyclical. Things just get recycled and reinvented. Urban Outfitters has their current concept of "New Prep" which I think is a great mixing of vintage(esque) and preppy. Right up my alley. My favorite stores are JCrew (where I worked for longer than I care to say) and Anthropologie, both of which have always had a preppy vintage vibe, so I'm glad to see that aesthetic more accessible, possibly cheaper. Even American Apparel, my current place of employ, has been pushing the preppy look (calling it the New Standards), and I think the way they're going about it is super smart. The thing with bringing back old styles is that they have to be reinvented, and AA owner, Dov, is a smart man who knows all about reinvention. What makes an old style new and fresh is to pair it up with things that contrast with it, and boy, does the rest of American Apparel's inventory clash with the concept of preppy. But it works.

Also, I'd like to take pictures of myself in my cute outfits I have-- like all you other fashion bloggers do-- but I would feel silly and lame because I am not cute like you all (only my clothes are cute) and I don't have someone to take my pictures for me like you guys do. And I would feel mighty silly even if I did.

As far as what I'm hoping to add to my ever-growing collection right now, I'm big into brogues, stripes (which I already have a lot of), dresses (floral, denim, chambray-- I likes it all) and AND, the big one that I'm on the hunt for, is some slouchy tailored/tapered pants that I can roll up to the ankle. Click on this link to see a new pant from AA that I think is super cute, and another one here. It doesn't look good on the model at all but I tried it on at work and I heart them. And then, not necessarily denim, but along the lines of these pants here.

Yis, please.


I'm also still on the lookout for the perfect bike. I think I need to stop being so picky and particular and go for something practical. (How's that for alliteration?) This bike is cute and simple but hard to find on the cheap in the US. Darn you Europeans and your stylish everything. The girl in this picture, so lucky. Even her dress is adorable. (This is an oldschool shot from The Sartorialist. lovelovelove.)


I'm working on a new playlist for you all this week. It's gonna be a good'un. Here's a preview (and a hint as to the theme of the playlist, if you want to guess-- the original artist is not Sparklehorse):

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

. . .to prove we can all get along the lumpy, bumpy, long and dusty road.

I absolutely adore Audrey Tautou and I think she's darling in Amelie. It's actually pretty surprising that I don't own the dvd. I usually steal my sister's copy and don't return it for months and months until she complains repeatedly. In any case, this video is the theme "Comptine d´un Autre été: l´Après Midi". It's beautiful. And the video has all the great little clips from the movie that I love, especially her digging her hand into the beans. That's my favorite scene from the clips in this particular video because I would always do that, ever since I was little going to the supermarket with my mom, and even now.

Don't you think this would make a great song to walk down the aisle to?


So I started off with the not-so-brilliant idea of making a playlist of amazing songs/themes/scores from movies I love. Not brilliant because it's such a broad theme for a playlist. Do I only want instrumental themes? Great rock/indie songs? Performances in movies? It's too much. Maybe I should have made a series of them because I certainly couldn't fit all of them into one playlist. And I certainly wasn't going to take the time to make three separate ones. Maybe another time. Also, I had a hard time not picking songs from Wes Anderson films or ones scored/written by Jon Brion. Either way, here is a mishmashed jumbled playlist with no order to it because it's making me get cranky. Below it is the track info (what movie it's from, etc.). edit: I added "Wake Up" from the Where the Wild Things Are trailer and "If You Rescue Me" from Science of Sleep, so they're not included in the picture of the tracklisting.







As always, gimme recommendations to other soundtrack songs. There were plenty I didn't include that I wanted to due to lala's selectivity and other outside factors. The songs in Youtube form rather than included in the playlist are done that way because I couldn't find them and/or they had pretty videos to accompany them. :)



The awkward flirty looks are precious. (They're in a cramped tiny listening booth in a record store, for those who haven't seen the movie). This movie and Before Sunset are the reason I am not ashamed of my past love for greasy Ethan Hawke. Especially that cute little fake telephone call scene in the restaurant. Also makes me in love with Julie Delpy.




Sunday, April 18, 2010

yo la tengo + yo gabba gabba :)

I might just be the only one with a crush on Jason Sudeikis. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that he's the Jim Halpert of SNL. I guess I have a type (sometimes).


Record Store Day was kind of a bust this year because I really really wanted to see Yo La Tengo perform up close and personal (I'd seen them in SF last year, but at the Treasure Island Music Festival). I didn't make it in time because my coworker flaked out on me, very rudely only hours before :( I got to Rhino Records in Claremont in time to see them right after the performance though. They stuck around to sign albums and talk to the fans. So that's something. There was a really sweet lady I helped to pick out her first Yo La album, too. I was only a little bitter she got to see them play. Also I got two Prince records on the cheap. And this lithograph. Pretty good weekend all in all.


Oh, oh, so I know I am notorious for saying I hate the wind, but there's something to be said in its defense. Well, one word to be said, at least: KITES! I like me some kite action. Yesterday, we flew kites but the wind deserted us before we could take advantage of it. We got pretty winded-- pun!-- running up and down and around, before any real kiting could commence. I shoulda taken some pictures of the Yo Gabba Gabba kite. <3 I can't wait for next time, though. Kites and record-listening and, hopefully, bikes and picnics! Springtime, yah!


I love old antique-y mirrors, and I love that the thing reflected in this one set off by pretty antique-y wallpaper is a big stack of books!


Something I have been waiting for, cannot wait much longer for. . . Alexa Chung for Madewell. Alexa is great. I used to work for J.Crew and so I had a pretty sweet little discount that applied at Madewell as well. Gone are those days, though.


Yes, please.


I mostly want the bike in this one.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

who's gonna love you buried underground?

So here you have it; lately I've been listening to female artists--which is rare for me, so this playlist is a girl-powered one, but definitely not in a Spice Girl (grrrl-power) sort of way. In a cute sweet wallflowerish sort of way, for the most part (with the exception of Karen O). In a me way. Please give more suggestions for girl musicians; I'm pretty limited at the moment.

Chan Marshall


The third song on the list is cute, and I love Cat Power. Not really sure who the other girl is. I also wanted to put "Running Up that Hill" and something Joanna Newsom--most likely "Good Intentions Paving Company"--but lala didn't let me. Jerk. Oh, and J, Priscilla Ahn is the one I thought Erin reminded me of. If you look her up on lala it just reaffirms my comparison (I learned how to play "Dream" and "Wallflower" years ago. I don't really listen to her much these days though). :)

In other non-music-related news, I cannot wait for the Aimee Bender reading at school next month. Click on her name to go to her website. It's pretty neat and has some of her stories on there for you to read. I need to have her sign my copy of Willful Creatures!

Priscilla Ahn


Jenny Lewis


Zooey




Binki Shapiro from Little Joy


And this Pixies cover by Emmy the Great was on top of the list of girl music I've been listening to lately, but alas, not to be found on lala.


Emmy the Great


And ending with something non-girly, but very much lovely and wonderful.

breaking upwards

It's probably not a good idea to take a nap at 6pm and not wake up from it until 12:30am. Now I'm up and thinking about things, which is almost always, almost completely, dangerous.

Tomorrow, a new playlist for you.

Breaking Upwards Movie Trailer from Breaking Upwards on Vimeo.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Writer's Conference Recap



Experiencing AWP for the first time-- and quite possibly the second, third, fifth-- is equal parts comforting and terrifying, unifying and alienating. Comforting because you realize that you've found a safe haven, somewhere where you can shed restraint and let fly comments like "Etgar Keret has such a unique voice" or go to panels on manipulating alternative POVs and not be met with mystified stares, but blanketed in recognition and acceptance. Terrifying because of the overwhelming magnitude of which you are-- of varying degrees-- a tiny insignificant member of. Unifying in the way that George Saunders suggested we form our own literate nation ("until the in-fighting starts"). And alienating because, like any nation, we lowly scribes are obviously in a different class from the Saunderses of this hypothetical nation.



Conference vets will tell you it takes a few years under your belt before you stop feeling like an impostor. I definitely did get the small-fish feeling this time around; I couldn't help but wonder if anyone else felt like a hack in the presence of real greatness, of established writers and professors. But I'm looking forward to future appearances contributing to the deconstruction of my internal, debatably imagined poseur.

Conversely, I learned that a lot of writers have the same insecurities as I do. We should all be congratulated for our acting skills. Apparently, we are all neurotic, insecure, and terribly afraid of public speaking. It comes with the territory, however, so there you have it. I can't escape it. I'm now also fully aware that writers are all lushes and (mildly) scarily adept of some hardcore boozin'. Not surprisingly. There was free alcohol everywhere.

In the end, the conference left me intimidated, motivated, pressured, and exhilarated all at once. It was like a jump start to my stalled fingertips. I want it to keep going. The next one is all too far off. Washington, D.C. in February. Can't wait. Can we please just start our own writerly nation, already?

I need to get writing, right away.



I heart (free) pool! And beating Kevin!


Our booth at AWP.


Wine and beer!


Monday, April 5, 2010

the lullaby of spring

So I'm leaving for Denver this Thursday morning for the AWP Writer's conference, and I decided to charge up the old iPod tonight. And now my dilemma is that I'm trying to come up with a plane ride mix. Care to help, anyone? With a theme, a name, songs to put on there? Please? Feel free to think up lots, because I'm gonna want enough for the plane ride there and back, hopefully.


This is what I want to do in terms of my window treatments; have the diner/cafe curtains halfway up, and then normal curtains on the side so I can sometimes have natural light coming in up high, but not have it glare on my tv. Perfect, no?




And, I'd been meaning to do this after Kristine did this on her blog.
101 simple pleasures courtesy of Yahoo! I bolded what I liked most.

coloring
crisp cotton sheets
soft skin
old family recipes
the first daffodils of spring
sleeping in
an exercise endorphin high
window boxes
a perfect cup of coffee
a genuine compliment (giving or receiving)
the way babies smell
a handwritten letter
waking up in a good mood...for no real reason
singing in the shower
finding a couple forgotten dollars in your pocket
doing something nice for your neighbor
a home cooked meal

laughing
movie theater popcorn
playing hookey
a bubble bath
swimming
an afternoon nap
street musicians
your favorite song
saying thank you
helping someone in need
old fashioned photo booths

fresh whipped cream
inspiring blogs
a glass of wine
rainy afternoons
the funny things kids say
a novel you can get lost in

finding the perfect piece of clothing...on sale
clean laundry

Yis, please. (first picture is from Anthropologie, the second from Urban Outfitters Spring 2010)


the wind in your hair
treating the person behind you at the drive-thru -- wow that's a neat idea
sharing an umbrella
the smell of lavender
a long walk that clears your head
a bear hug

The Beatles
smiling at a stranger
eating with chopsticks (Chinese food optional)
butterflies
staying in your pj's all day
singing along to the radio and knowing all the words
fresh herbs
ordering in pizza
happy endings...even if they're fictional
flying a kite
puppies
root beer floats

holding open the door...
...or having someone hold the door for you
fountain soda
white, fluffy towels
sunshine
spending an afternoon at a museum
really great advice
green lights all the way home
the sound of rain hitting the windows
sitting in a booth
holding hands
a great hair day with no effort

building a fort with your kids
when someone falls asleep with their head on your shoulder
fireflies

the perfect taco
geraniums on a windowsill
slow dancing
the smell of fresh-baked bread
cheesy, uplifting musicals
great stories

the smell of gasoline
the cold side of the pillow!!!!!
love letters
old friends...
...new friends
a pull-through parking space
a baguette -- crisp on the outside, airy on the inside
when a dog licks your hand

sitting at the counter at an old-fashioned diner
using your favorite dishes
reading your child a bedtime story
Girl Scout Cookies
flossing
kissing someone you love
the smell of onions and garlic cooking
hot chocolate
jumping in puddles
old photographs
birds hopping on the sidewalk

Ella Fitzgerald
a spoonful of peanut butter straight from the jar
your softest t-shirt
a new magazine in the mail
fireplaces
having exact change
bacon and pancakes cooking on Saturday morning. I miss this one.


My singular yum food item over spring break: candied walnuts. I had them in a wonderful spinach salad at the Gypsy Den (Santa Ana, not the Lab... har, har) and then the next day-- also in a salad-- at the Blue Bayou at Disneyland; not to mention caramel corn, surf 'n turf, and chocolate covered honeycomb. Blurg. (the sound of fat clogging my arteries) <3

bowerbirds

I found them off a blog I follow. This song is real nice. French-y. Makes me want to eat yum pastries at a cafe. Dust off my tambourine. Hasn't been used since Christmastime. I wish it was (last) Christmas today-ay.



The candle's light dances across the table
And will burn at the tip of my pen
And lures all the moths into the kitchen
To spin tales and bend truths through the evening
And scribe for them their stories.



That bunny is sniffing deer-butt :).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

still getting carded at the movies.

"Don't you put your hands on me, young lady!"
(I like how they use an '80's-sounding announcer for the trailer too.)

"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life."


Somebody buy me Cadbury creme eggs, please. They're on sale now that it's already Easter. Le yum.
. . . . .
I had a conversation concerning whether or not you can call a book your favorite book if you've only read parts of it. And I have to say that at first I turned up my nose-- or crinkled it distastefully, at least-- at the thought that you could say something was your favorite anything if you hadn't even experienced the whole thing. Like, say, a movie. Can you have a favorite movie that you hadn't seen all the way through? What if the end had some horribly offensive plot twist that had nothing to do with the rest of the story or it just didn't make any sense or something? I don't know. I might just be biased in the case of books. Just about every word is carefully chosen, carefully arranged, so every word counts. :) But there's something to be said for liking something for just certain isolated reasons. We do it all the time.

Anyway, the book in question was On the Road, by Jack Kerouac. I guess there could possibly be some room for debate concerning this book because of the way it's written (and it wasn't even really edited). It's the defining tome of the beat generation, after all, and they were all about unconventionality and such, so of course there's really not supposed to be any structure. I mean, the guy was on one or more mind-altering substances, just writing away, stream of consciousness, la di da. And it's poetic and grand and free flowing at times. . . and confusing and disjointed, and non-cohesive in terms of narrative and plot at most points. In the end, yeah, I think it is something that can be loved for its parts, if not the sum of its parts.

[[At the same time I feel like my own writing has got some of that sort of un-fulfillment to it in a sense. Because it's beautiful and lyrical and it's a "joy to read" (I've been told) but in the end it doesn't seem to mean anything, to add up to anything. Purposeful purposelessness. I guess the M.F.A. can be the place I learn to harness it in and make something of it. And I'm not even jacked up or on heroin.]]

The conversation did make me go home later and thumb through my copy of On the Road that I hadn't touched in years, where I'd previously folded down some page corners to mark certain passages with pencil. So it made it easy to go back and find those lines that probably made so many decide to make it one of their favorite books-- as a whole or not. Debatably, you might not have to read it in its entirety after reading these.

(from my hotel room in San Francisco)


Enjoy:
(the obvious one first)
"I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"

"The one thing that we yearn for in our living days, that makes us sigh and groan and undergo sweet nauseas of all kinds, is the remembrance of some lost bliss that was probably experienced in the womb and can only be reproduced (though we hate to admit it) in death.

"We fumed and screamed in our mountain nook, mad drunken Americans in the mighty land. We were on the roof of America and all we could do was yell, I guess—across the night, eastward over the Plains, where somewhere an old man with white hair was probably walking toward us with the Word, and would arrive any minute and make us silent."

"A pain stabbed my heart, as it did every time I saw a girl I loved who was going the opposite direction in this too-big world."

"She spoke of evenings in the country making popcorn on the porch. Once this would have gladdened my heart but because her heart was not glad when she said it I knew there was nothing in it but the idea of what one should do."

"And for just a moment I had reached the point of ecstasy that I always wanted to reach, which was the complete step across chronological time into timeless shadows, and wonderment in the bleakness of the mortal realm, and the sensation of death kicking at my heels to move on, with a phantom dogging its own heels, and myself hurrying to a plank where all the angels dove off and flew into the holy void of uncreated emptiness, the potent and inconceivable radiancies shining in bright Mind Essence, innumerable lotus-lands falling open in the magic mothswarm of heaven. I could hear an indescribable seething roar which wasn't in my ear but everywhere and had nothing to do with sounds. I realized that I had died and been reborn numberless times but just didn't remember because the transitions from life to death and back are so ghostly easy, a magical action for naught, like falling asleep and waking up again a million times, the utter casualness and deep ignorance of it."

"They were like the man with the dungeon stone and gloom, rising from the underground, the sordid hipsters of America, a new beat generation that I was slowly joining."



And then a random inspirational quote by Mr. Kerouac:
"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

Friday, April 2, 2010

come with me to the sea

(Laura Marling has a new album out, "I Speak Because I Can"! It's good. :) Thanks, Christian, for introducing her to me. He gave me her first cd for my birthday two years ago.)

It's tough for me to let go when I can't remember something. I have to have to have to figure it out. Turns out I never really knew the name of the musician who originally sang the song "Sea of Love" due to the fact that the name of most 50s R&B singers escapes me, and the fact that there are so many covers of the song. In any event, it's Phil Phillips (parents with a sense of humor, or no sense).



It's hard to find a non-cheesy shot of the beach, so here you go. The only unconventional one I could find.


And here are some notable covers. Cat Power's ethereal one, and Tom Waits' gravelly one.



Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is two fool things after each other.”

Here is my hip little prepster halfie chid I've been hiding from the world. But who would want to hide someone so cute and adorable? (Nat says she's a mini me). lovelovelove.



April Fools! (I only wish she were my child).

Another little idiot::


. . . . .

Sometimes it'd kind of be nice to have the insensitivity of Facebook. My friend, Nolan, wanted to play an April Fools joke and be engaged on Facebook. So he tried to send the approval to me, but was like, "It says you're in a relationship!"; something I didn't change because I didn't think to. And so I said I would remove that-- finally-- and when I went to edit my status, the link I had to click read: Cancel Relationship. Blurg. So I thought about it, somehow irrationally holding on to this final vestige of something that doesn't exist, and then I clicked on it, and it turned into "Don't Cancel Relationship" in case I was having second thoughts. So I guess it is kind of sensitive. In any case, I'm engaged.

And..

Your weekly playlist. I don't need to tell you the theme. Call it "Little Idiot" :)
(I apologize in advance for the lame Cardigans cover, but I couldn't add the real version. Stupid Cardigans. Also, two of the songs only have "fool" in the lyrics. Suck it.)

A poet once said, "Only a fool laughs when nothing's funny"--Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Happy April!

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