Thursday, December 31, 2009

With 2010 right around the corner...

Ah, resolutions. I, like most people, make these lofty goals each year with the full knowledge that they'll be left by the wayside around early March.

However, this set of resolutions is different. My resolutions are more a celebration of the past year being behind me, with a new one right on the horizon. Of course, I still have those standard resolutions that most people have, because 2009 became a year of excess...eating, going out and drinking, other things...I want to hit the reset button on my life and enjoy the coming year as much as possible, because I can feel in my bones that it's going to be a darn good one.

* I resolve to cook more delicious meals--every time I make something delicious, I'm happier all-around. I love the process of cooking, I love tasting what I've made, and my wallet likes grocery stores more than restaurants. And I like showing off.

* I resolve to make my UK trip before the end of 2009. For being a self-proclaimed Anglophile, it's tragic that I've never been to the land of Jane Austen, Henry Cavill, and Radiohead.

* I resolve to replace Tuesday night trivia with Tuesday night yoga. This is also because yoga would have me back home in time for Lost and trivia wouldn't.

* I resolve to see my family more. Driving home on Christmas Eve, I realized I hadn't been back to old Matthews, NC in six months. Six months! I am an awful daughter. My parents supported me when I was neck-deep in self-pity and sniffling and then I pull a half-year disappearing act. Not going to happen again.

* I resolve to thoroughly embarrass my sister. She turns 16 this year, so all those boys who have been waiting in the wings to take her out may finally have their chance. And I resolve to be there with awkward questions and bad jokes. Who says my Dad should get to have all the fun?

Also on the resolutions list:

* Take more pictures.
* Make a Chicago trip.
* Finish the pile of books in my room before buying more.

What about you, my three readers in Internetland? Do you have any resolutions to share?

Edited to add a song for the New Year. This song gives me goosebumps and makes me dance:

The Very Best - Yalira by user2508181

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The one-week mark.

The eve of 2010 is tomorrow and my birthday is a week from brain is whirring with change. But more on that later. With t-minus 7 days until the godforsaken age of 25 is behind me, I'm still making wish lists...the birthday kind. I'd like:

a birthday girl headband, like--

this one from Jennifer Behr:

or this one from

or this one from Bambako:

a cool, short-sleeved dress, like--

this one from Topshop:

or the French Connection dress I've been lusting after:

or maybe this cool vintage-looking dress from Modcloth:

I could make a 100-page list just containing headbands and party dresses...sigh...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My favorite film of 2009.

I loved every single thing about An Education--the costumes (Rosamund Pike's character wears the exact leopard-print coat that I'm searching for), the soundtrack, the fact that Nick Hornby wrote the screenplay, and most of all Carey Mulligan's incredible portrayal of Jenny. Love, love, love, love, love.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Flying and flying by.

Christmastime has been crazy. I got home on Christmas Eve with just enough time to barely beat my parents, grandparents, and sister home from church. In the blink of an eye, we had food set up and were opening presents until the wee hours of Christmas morning.

I had barely gotten out of bed on Christmas day when family started coming over to nosh and chat until our big Christmas evening dinner. I think there were about 18 of us, which isn't even the biggest Christmas we've had here. Either way, it was fantastic to see family and gorge on delicious food.

As soon as it finally felt like Christmas, it seemed like it was all over. Next year I'm really, really going to try to get into the Christmas spirit. I brought the movie Joyeux Noël for the family to watch, and that sure helped. Everyone should watch it.

Excellent cast, amazing story. I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A song from yesteryear.

This song came on Pandora today and it made me feel like my lungs were full of butterflies. Like seeing an old crush for the first time in years. Welcome back, old favorite song! I tired of your repetitiveness and we grew apart. But now I'm glad you came back into my life, even if only for a moment.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On this day, I love... warm chai latte
...Rob Ryan's amazing Christmas message
...the knowledge that my family (including my Opa and Oma) are on their way to Charleston for a night
...knowing I have no Christmas shopping left
...these cool hooks, on sale!
..."Pa Pa Power" by Dead Man's Bones Matthew Goode is styled for GQ's 10 best looks for 2010.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Closed for Business.

So, I'm sure that by now everyone in Charleston knows that Raval is now Closed for Business. As in, Raval no longer exists, and in its place is a 6-day-old cozy bar called Closed for Business, where they serve delicious things in a room with warm honey-colored wood walls and floors with small taxidermied animals and antlers as decor. It is absolutely my new favorite place in Charleston. We ate the mussels (several orders worth), the cheese plate, and the most delicious, cinnamony baked apple pocket with vanilla ice cream. And beer. Their selection is fantastic. We sat near the fireplace, which is a modern twist on the traditional:

Gotta love a junky camera phone shot.

Way to go Revolutionary Eating Ventures, for creating yet another place where I want to spend all my time (we were there for almost three hours!) and money. Plus, the soundtrack for the evening was filled with songs from the likes of Neko Case and Neil Diamond. What is there not to love?

Friday, December 18, 2009

On a blustery day.

Circa 2007.

Downtown is flooded, the rain has no plans to stop anytime soon, and it's supposed to be windy/snowing in NC tonight. If I can manage to fight the weather, I'll really be looking forward to reenacting the photo above this weekend. Does anyone want to be my driver?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Maya's Christmas List

And on the note of pups, in last week's episode of How I Met Your Mother one of the characters goes to this great exhibit--"Les Chiens Erotique." It turns out that it was the work of real-life pet photographer Grace Chon of Shine Pet Photos. I want someone to take a picture of Maya in her underpants! Here are some hilarious photos from "Les Chiens Erotique":

Visit Grace's blog to see more from the shoot, along with some that didn't make it on the show.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Christmas Tale

I watched A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël) last night and it might be my new favorite holiday movie. For someone with a degree in English and creative writing, I am woefully inept at describing books, movies, and music when they really affect me. I can never seem to adequately pinpoint why something speaks to me; only that it does. If you want an articulate review of the film, see what the New York Times said about it here. It definitely turns the notion of a family Christmas movie on its ear.

Also, handsome Melvil Poupaud, who charmed Parker Posey's character (and tons of female viewers) in Broken English, plays a DJ in the film who does a fun spin on Al Green's "Love and Happiness." Mr. President featuring Mr. Day is the real music-maker behind the song:

I love French pop/dance music.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wish List for Goodwill Finds

When I'm hunting around thrift stores, I try not to have anything specific in mind (a cardinal rule of thrifting, and perhaps life in general, is that if you're looking for something, you'll never find it. You've got to have no expectations--that's when you stumble upon great things...) but there are a few things that I can't stop hoping I come across.

a dress form:

vintage military/field watch:

old maps (specifically those of Charleston or European cities):
a leopard-print coat like the one Anne Bancroft wore as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate:

old books with funny covers:

On an unrelated note, here's my favorite Christmas song;

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I want and want and want.

My brain keeps wandering back to my ramshackle farmhouse dreams where I live with my man in a home surrounded by a wide expanse of green grass and blue sky and tall, old trees. We plant gardens and feed chickens and play all day and cook simple dinners and dance barefoot on wood floors and sit on the porch with a cold beer as the sun tucks itself down behind the trees. We tell stories and secrets--tall tales and fables. He sings me songs as I search out constellations that start to peek out of the inky sky. We wash dishes and steal forkfuls of apple pie out of the pan. We tuck each other in under warm blankets and listen to the quiet music of rain on roof and the other's breathing. We feel the pull of gravity and fingers interweave, then legs, and we fall together into the deep dark. We laugh through odd dreams. We laugh through blisters and cold nights and leftovers. We laugh and we love curiously, with a sense of wonder.

On another note, isn't it amazing how a heap of notes and chords, voices and instruments, and a pattern of beats can completely disarm you, break down all of your defenses and make you completely weak in the knees? The power of song will never cease to amaze me.

From Saturday.

Things that are highly recommended....roommate photo shoots post tequila shot(s).

P.S. Thank you, Walmart, for making $4 flouncy, flowery, fluttery headbands:

And, yes, I've been depending entirely on Photo Booth for blogging purposes this weekend.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

A December weekend to-do list:

  • hunt for an appropriate costume for Kevin's birthday party
  • gesticulate wildly with my faux nails and eyelashes
  • fail at games like beer pong and flip cup

  • fully appreciate my down comforter by staying in bed far too long and listening to my newly-made "Music for Lounging Around" mix and snuggling under the covers
  • venture to the post office to mail off pretty things, including a bright pink surprise for a lovely friend in Seattle
  • check out the Winter Craft Bazaar on Meeting St.
  • go to the farmers market in search of warm and tasty treats--also buy eggplant
  • play dress up in my closet
  • once roomie gets home, make plans for fun and games which may or may not include going dancing

  • recreate Saturday's first to-do item and snuggle under down comforter while listening to lovely music
  • test out Midtown's brunch menu and build the perfect Bloody Mary, since they do custom ones
  • sit for an hour or ten at Kudu
  • watch a Christmas movie: either Love Actually, A Christmas Tale, or both
  • make a good dinner and cinnamony hot chocolate for dessert

I have so much to do...I hope I manage to accomplish everything on my list...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Paper Heart

I didn't want to like this movie. Charlyne Yi gets on my nerves. However, I believe in love so whole-heartedly that any movie about falling in love and staying in love and the complications of love is right up my alley. Plus, Michael Cera's in it. <3!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Things that make me happy today.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Because I am a tremendous Jane Austen nerd.

Want to watch Mansfield Park for free? OK!:

Thank you, Hulu!

I'm no Jane Austen purist--to me, anything Jane is a-OK--so all of the deviations from the novel don't bother me a bit. Make yourself a cup of tea, snuggle down on the couch and watch this. Then tell me your favorite part. Mine is the surprise gift. I won't ruin it for you.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy Holly Days!

As I lounge around listening to Christmas music and fighting yet another Hominy Grill-induced food coma, I've been running over the events of the past few Friday night office Christmas party that makes me continue to adore the people I work with (karaoke duets, dance circles, a capella "Happy Birthday" photos yet) and a Saturday night tacky sweater party with my favorite blonde and redhead combo:

Redhead + Brunette + Blonde = Dangerous.

She doesn't think she's funny, but she makes me snort with laughter.

The inevitable post-outing snack fest. Saturday night's was "cheesy toast." Plus, anything else in the cupboards we could reach.

All of this makes me feel so much more in the holiday spirit. Spangles and sparkles and red chenille and holiday cheer are EVERYWHERE.

On that note, here are more things I'd add to my 2009 Christmas Wish List:
Hunter wellingtons

J. Crew cashmere cardigan in golden chartreuse

a black clutch, like this one from Banana Republic

The Darjeeling Limited on DVD

A black shoulder bag, like the Linea Pelle "Dylan"

And I could keep going and going and going...I love stuff. What's on everyone else's Christmas wish list(s)?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Artful Holidays.

Yesterday's Very Short List highlighted some unique Christmas cards homemade by artists. Here are my favorites:

Kay Sage, 1959

Frederick Hammersley, Undated

Alexandra Darrow, 1957

Abril Lamarque, 1930

See the rest of the collection here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Wish List 2009- Part One of a Million

Now that it's December, I feel like I can talk about Christmas things. Here's my greedy list:
Penguin's hardcover, cloth-bound classics designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, sets one and two:

Name in the Stars ring stack (with an "S" obviously):

Stainless steel compost pail:

Hansel from Basel kneepad thigh-highs (and other cute tights and socks):

The cotton check shirt that's on stinkin' backorder:

New slipper booties:

And, of course, a ton of intangible things. Christmas miracles and whatnot.