Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Can't Resist a Sale

So today I continued my shopping spree.  I got such good deals I thought I should share them with y'all.   You already know I love Crate & Barrel but I adore it even more on sale.  Here are a few things I bought... Pillows, green lacquered boxes, an ottoman, wooden ornaments, box ornaments, spreaders, snowflake trivets, and Christmas dishtowels.

And there was still so much I didn't buy. I left it there for y'all. The Marimekko Tamburiini duvet looks even better in person. Also, right now they are holding the floor sample sale. If anyone needs a sofa, might I suggest the Petrie sofa. I would feel better about not buying it myself if I knew it were going to a good home.

Monday, December 29, 2008


During lunch today I caught part of Fresh Air on OPB.  Terry Gross was interviewing Seth Meyers from SNL.

Saturday Night Live and I have a long history. When I was about 5, I begged my parents to let me stay up and watch it.  I still remember being so tired and trying so hard to understand Mr Bill.  In high school, my prom was 2 nights. One was the traditional dance. The other was a dinner where the Junior class chose a theme and put on a play impersonating the Seniors and teachers. My Junior year, the class picked the theme I suggested, SNL. The principal = the church lady, the jocks = Hans and Franz. You get the idea.

So when Seth Meyers called this skit "one of the best performance moments in the history of SNL", I had to watch it again to see if I agreed. Plus I crush Jason Sudeikis, less so when he is Todd Palin, but still his cuteness shines through.  

Music Monday - 12/29/08

It's the last Music Monday post of the year. Actually, it may be the last Music Monday post ever. I'm sure I'll post about music at times, but I would rather post when I feel inspired and have something great to share, not just because it's Monday. But this week, it's Monday AND I have something great to share.

I think I could write a year of posts on NPRs programs, there are that many good ones. All Songs Considered is a great show for hearing old favorites or finding new artists. It's the end of the year, so naturally they have compiled a Listener's Pick of the Year's Best Music. Do you agree? What's missing?

1. White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes
2. Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend
3. For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver
4. Dear Science by TV on the Radio
5. Narrow Stairs by Death Cab for Cutie
6. Oracular Spectacular by MGMT
7. Flight of the Conchords by Flight of the Conchords
8. Evil Urges by My Morning Jacket
9. Viva la Vida by Coldplay
10. Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust by Sigur Rós
11. Volume One by She & Him
12. The Stand Ins by Okkervil River
13. Modern Guilt by Beck
14. Juno Soundtrack by Kimya Dawson and Antsy Pants
15. Consolers of the Lonely by The Raconteurs
16. Feed the Animals by Girl Talk
17. Attack & Release by The Black Keys
18. Only by the Night by Kings of Leon
19. Conor Oberst by Conor Oberst
20. Acid Tongue by Jenny Lewis
21. Stay Positive by The Hold Steady
22. Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs - Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006 by Bob Dylan
23. Furr by Blitzen Trapper
24. Third by Portishead
25. Everything That Happens Will Happen Today by David Byrne and Brian Eno

Saturday, December 27, 2008

One More Snow Picture

I just couldn't resist one more snow picture. Can you tell how steep my hill is in this one?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Music Monday - 12/22/08

I joined Twitter last week.  Since I can barely keep up with Facebook and this blog, why am I signing up for one more thing?  Well, did you know Amazon has a feed and they alert you to mp3 specials.  They have an album everyday that sells for somewhere around $4.  The deal is only for one day.

And, until Christmas, they have a free Christmas track every day.  And they're being extra-nice, these free songs are available all month.  

P.S. Did you know you can add a twitter feed to your google reader!  Maybe everyone already knows all of this but I can't be the most tech-unsavvy person out there. That title would belong to my parents.

The Snowy Day

A few pictures my roommate took around our neighborhood:

My car, you can barely see it...

My snowy sidewalk, it's steeper than it looks.

My stairs and doorway. I cleared them off so nicely last week and now look at them.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Credit Card is Melting!

I'm snowbound! It's freezing outside but I have been heating up my computer and credit card today. I just went a little crazy on etsy, puffluna to be exact. Look at my Christmas presents to myself.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Small Triumphs

I just got the last box of regular (not sugar-free) hot chocolate at Fred Meyer! If you need any food staples, I would suggest avoiding the Fred Meyer on Barbur; those cupboards are bare.

More Sweaters

Remember all those amazing sweaters from Lutz & Patmos? Gorgeous but way out of my price range. Well they have another line, Leroy & Perry at Barney's that less expensive and currently on sale. This pintuck cardigan has my name written all over it. And at only $59, it wouldn't take a Christmas miracle.


Yesterday I called in frozen to work and watched cars slide around from my comfy couch. One car across the street got hit twice by stray sliders.

Today, after trudging up my icy hill, unable to get my car out, and taking the over 2-hour bus ride to work, I wonder, why don't I live in South Carolina anymore?

Monday, December 15, 2008

When You Care Enough to Hit Send

You know all those IM abbreviations like lol and rotflmao. Well, ever since I found someecards, I have been csak. I can't guarantee these are sweet, endearing, or appropriate, but they are darn funny and free! Here are a few I have either sent or wish I had reason to send recently.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow Day!

I don't yet know if I get a snow day tomorrow. Don't you think if the schools are closed, work should be too?!

Today Lizzy and I walked up to the corner market for essentials like diet Coke. We live on a steep hill and while it was OK for walking, cars were sliding all over the place. It was good to get out and the short walk was fun if somewhat treacherous. Once I got home, all I wanted to do was get cozy. Don't these look delightful!

Handknit bobble top from Lutz & Patmos

Cocoon cardigan from Lutz & Patmos, could anything sound cozier?

Are your feet always cold? Socks to brighten up a dreary day

I don't have a fireplace, I like to pretend a few candles warm up a room

This time of year, I definitely think having the oven on is great but just in case you can't get out from under your blankets, you can still have cookies from Whimsy & Spice. These pumpkin ginger sandwich cookies sound especially good.

Need something to dip those in? How about hot chocolate on a stick...

Stay warm!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oh My Darlin'

Are you like me this time of year? This is what my grocery budget looks like during clementine season.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Music Tuesday - 12/9/08

It's the most wonderful time of the year.  Here are a few songs for the season and a few pictures of my cute tree. See those snowflakes, they're my new favorite ornaments, so natural, just thin pieces of wood.  And they are only 99¢ at Target. Of course, my fingers are a bit sore from stringing all the popcorn and cranberries.

Christmas Mix
I'll Be Home For Christmas - Aimee Mann
What Are You Doing New Year's Eve - Ella Fitzgerald
Walking in a Winter Wonderland - Liz Phair
Silent Night - Ben Harper & The Blind Boys of Alabama
All I Want for Christmas Is You - Olivia Olson
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas - The Format
Last Christmas - Wham
Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) - U2

Friday, December 05, 2008

Not Quite What I Was Planning

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But can six words be worth more than six words? After reading this book, I absolutely think so. Not Quite What I Was Planning, written by all sorts of people and edited by Smith Magazine, contains hundreds of six-word memoirs. The intro says, "Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in six words. Papa came back swinging with, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." And the six-word story was born." Hemingway's story is heart-rending. This book contains some that are just as bleak, others that are full of happiness, humor, sarcasm, or hope. Here are a few of my favorites...

Seventy years, few tears, hairy ears. - Bill Querengesser

Saw the world, now where's home? - Hannah Silverstein

Quietly cultivating my inner Lynda Carter. - Joanna Sheehan

Many risky mistakes, very few regrets. - Richard Schnedl

Happy now that I know myself. - Anne Maiwald

Hope my obituary spells "debonair" correctly. - Gregg Easterbrook

Asked and answered, asshole, next question. - Joe Lockhart (funnier if you know he was the White House Press Secretary during the Clinton impeachment trials)

Five feet, but in your face. - Toby Berry (for my short mom who, when people meet her, has been told that she sounded taller on the phone)

Full life; impossible to summarize in - Matt Love

Underachieving... but willing to overcompensate halfheartedly. - Frank J. Lepiane

Well, I thought it was funny. - Stephen Colbert (If he said it, I'm pretty sure it was funny)

This imperfect life, perfect for perfectionist. - Sarah Gardner

Put whole self in, shook about. - Melissa Delzio (I just liked this one but turns out she's a graphic designer from Portland)

Fearlessness is the mother of reinvention. - Arianna Huffington (love her or hate her, reinvention is good)

I'm the fine print; read closely. - Kristina Grish

Must remember: people, gadgets. That order. - Brian Lam

I can resist everything except temptation. - Carolina Conte

Smart, humble, shy. Notice me, please? - Ryan Kucera (this one could be mine)

Share yours here

Monday, December 01, 2008

Music Monday - 12/1/08

Remember back when MTV had the slogan, "I want my MTV?"  Remember how you used to mean it?  Now the station is nothing but The Hills and Road Rules.  But if you're feeling nostalgic, go to their new video site, mtvmusic.com, for vintage videos by Billy Idol, Kraftwerk, Wham, REM, New Order, and Blondie.  

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm Thankful for Family and Friends

Just a short post today to say how thankful I am for phones and email that let me keep in touch with my far-away family. And for close-by friends who have become my second family.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Thankful for Water

Living in the Pacific Northwest, it's so easy to forget that there are places that don't spend 6 months practically drowning in rain. I can take warm showers for as long as I want. This weekend I washed a new red shirt with only one other piece of clothing for fear of the colors running. All I have to do to get clean, safe drinking water is walk to the kitchen and turn on the tap.

H2O Africa states, "Our objective is to increase awareness of the African situation, empower people to action, and create sustainable alliances between people who want to help, the best organizations in the field to make it happen, and some of the amazing communities of Africa that have no clean water." Matt Damon has partnered with this organization to help raise awareness. He became interested when he was in Africa and met a young girl who, when asked what she wanted to be, smiled and said she wanted to move to the city and become a nurse. He realized the only reason she could even have this dream was because she didn't have to spend her days walking long distances to provide water for her family. Her village has a well.

H2O Africa partners with numerous NGOs and features over a hundred projects. You can donate in general or to a specific project. Even better, thanks to their partnerships, every donation is matched. And if your office has a matching donation program, it could be tripled.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Thankful for Food

This Thursday I will sit down to a table so laden with food it's probably one casserole away from collapsing. That puts me in a very small minority.

Did you see the David Letterman interview with Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme? It was almost 2 months ago, but is still fresh on my mind.

The most alarming and yet hopeful thing she says it that it would cost $3 billion a year to say no kid goes hungry. And then David Letterman says that Wall Street bonuses were $36 billion.
  • WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency
  • In 2007, they provided 3.3 million tons of food for 86.1 million
  • people
  • This year they plan to feed around 90 million people in 80 countries
  • At any moment WFP has 30 ships at sea, 70 aircraft in the sky and 5,000 trucks on the ground
  • The agency relies entirely on voluntary contributions
  • More than 90 percent of funding goes on food or delivery costs

Right now money is tight for everyone, the economy is bad, it's the holidays. But if you can, please consider helping.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Music Monday - 11/24/08

Thanksgiving songs to celebrate the season

Download the mix

Pumpkin - The Starlight Mints
Thanksgiving Moon - DM Stith
Casserole - Jason Loewenstein
Thanksgiving (for Elliott Smith) - The Boy Bathing
Sweet Potato - Cracker
The Thanksgiving Song - Adam Sandler
Linger - The Cranberries
Turkey Gotta Gobble - Reverend Horton Heat

Monday, November 17, 2008

Music Monday - 11/17/08

You know how every so often you actually watch TV right as it's happening, not on tape or DVR. And just when you were bemoaning the fact you are stuck watching commercials, one comes on with a song you love, it gets stuck in your head, it must be yours, but you have no idea who sings it. Well SplendAd.com can help. Search alphabetically by brand and find the commercial. They even include links to iTunes and Amazon to buy the song or album.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bundles of Joy

I guess this is my week of self-referential posts. Remember those clothes yesterday from People Will Always Need Plates? Turns out, they are made in partnership with clothkits. Again, it's a UK site but if you pay them enough, they will ship to their fans in the US or other international locations. Clothkits sends you not only gorgeous fabric but also buttons, thread, zippers, instructions, and whatever else you need to finish the project, all in one cute bundle. And there are no patterns, the cutting lines are printed right on the fabric, so easy! Look at the kits for bags, dolls, and cute kids' clothes.

As if that wasn't enough, look at this! They have skirts that are silkscreened with an amazing papercut design by mister rob!

This site may just turn you into someone's favorite seamstress. If so, remember to ask for these coasters.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blue Plate Special

They say that People Will Always Need Plates. I say that's True True True! Remember those beautiful plates from yesterday? Well the people responsible for them have lots of other plate designs and things you will want. Trouble is, they only ship to the UK. They do have a list of stockists where you might be able to find more of their products. Because look at what else they have:

Architectural plates in gold and black



And my absolute favorite, clothes. Adorable frocks for kids and skirts for adults.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Eden & Eden - Almost Paradise

Eden & Eden is a self-proclaimed "cosy yet contemporary shop for people who appreciate unique design, excellent quality, and goodies that they love and want in their lives." They carry clothes, jewelry, and bags. But the goodies I want the most are in their home section.

Look at these architectural kitchen goodies! I'm not sure I could ever actually eat off of this plate or mug. I can't imagine drying dishes with that gorgeous towel. But I can definitely imagine hanging a few of these plates on a wall.

And wouldn't these coasters be the perfect gift for your favorite seamstress?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Dresses

I'm way behind the times and only a few weeks ago did I finally try footless leggings with a dress. I loved it and am now ready to try low-heeled knee high boots with a dress. So I'm still looking for the right dresses. What do you think of these?

Ruched Shift

T-shirt Sash Dress

Pocket Sweater Dress

Monday, November 10, 2008

Music Monday - 11/10/08

Since I'm trying to avoid sharing actual mp3 files right now, I thought I could share a great performance. Last week, David Letterman had Jenny Lewis on as the musical guest, and she had a guest too, Elvis Costello! So good!

And, just when I was thinking I might not really need cable, the short interview with Elvis Costello made me want to upgrade and get the Sundance channel. Maybe what I don't really need is a savings account...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Need Another Reason to Vote?

Choosing our next president is absolutely reason enough but just in case you need another reason, here you go.

If you vote in the morning, you could swing by Krispy Kreme for a free star shaped donut with patriotic sprinkles. Run by Ben & Jerry's for an afternoon free scoop. And Starbucks will help you stay up late to find out who won with a free cup of coffee.

And I bet they will give these to anyone who voted, even if you voted for the wrong person.

Looking for more ideas of things to do tonight, after you vote of course? My roommate, Lizzy, has lots of ideas.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Music Monday - 11/3/08

I thought musicals were supposed to be happy. Well this Music Monday is more of a drama or maybe even a tragedy. Last week, after my post about The Pretenders, I got a email from Blogger saying that they had been notified of a copyright infringement and took down the post. I'm not sure exactly what will happen to Music Mondays in light of this. So I thought I would turn to the professionals, some college friends of mine who only share legal downloads. There really are a lot of them out there so maybe I can dig a bit deeper and find more to share with you, until then enjoy 3Hive.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Today was cloudy and I think the rain is about to start. But we did have a bit of a reprieve for the last few weeks. It has been so amazingly beautiful here in Portland. Usually, just about when the leaves start falling, so does the rain. I miss out on the crunch of leaves under my feet. But this year has been perfect. Blue blue skies, red and gold leaves. Everything seems extra colorful. Emily had this quote on her blog and it captures how I feel about fall.
Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower
-Albert Camus

The view from my porch Wednesday morning.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Super-Cute Commercial

Lately, with a DVR, I rarely see any commercials. Usually this is a very good thing. But every so often, a commercial is worth seeing. This one makes me laugh.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Top 5 Books to Read on Planes

Once you've completed the in-flight mag sudoku and played the trivia game on the screen in the headrest in front of you, deciding maybe you should sit out a few rounds and give the other passengers a chance to win, you need something to read.

I think a plane book is pretty close to a beach read, just a few differences. Plane books aren't just fluffy, they are funny. Sitting on the beach with or without a book is enjoyable, sitting in a plane for a cross-country flight is not. So the book has to be a bit more fun to make the flight tolerable. Also, the book should be somewhat respected, people might see you. This doesn't mean it has to be Middlemarch or As I Lay Dying, but maybe it also shouldn't be a Harlequin romance (careful if you're at work, and did you know there was a Harlequin NASCAR category!).

1) Bridget Jones's Diary - The first time I it read was on a plane. I wished I had it on my most recent plane trip. It's funny, I relate to it, perhaps a bit too much, and it's more respected than most of the other rom-coms.

2) I'm a Stranger Here Myself - Bill Bryson is the consummate travel writer. Maybe not as a guide book, but as a companion to travel or a friend to help you reminisce after you get home. I have loved every book of his I have read. This one was so funny I was embarrassed on the plane. And then I read several parts out loud to my dad on the ride home from the airport.

3) Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris is always funny and I can't wait till this Friday for his lecture. And this book is my favorite. Maybe it's because I grew up in SC, he in NC, and we have both lived in France, feeling so lost in a foreign language and culture, and yet loving it at the same time.

4) The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing - One of my all-time favorite books. I think I have read it twice, both during travel. There is one weird, out-of-the-blue chapter in the middle but keep with it and it will make sense in the end.

5) To Kill A Mockingbird - While it may not be funny or especially light, it is the book I have re-read more than any other and my favorite book of all time. I like to read it on a train, or on a plane, in a box, or with a fox. I like to read it here or there. I like to read it anywhere!

The holiday season is almost here and that means lots of travel... Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Life's Work

I like to check the PostSecret site but some weeks they don't leave me feeling happy, some of the secrets are so dark. Recently, I found this site, Before I Die I Want To... The "about" section says this:
"The Before I die I want to... project was inspired by a combination of factors: (1) the “death” of the Polaroid, (2) a psychologist’s tool called safety contracts, and (3) a passion to get people to think about (and act upon) what is really important in their lives through this simple, very straight-forward question."
I love the peek into people's hopes, dreams, and goals. And it reminds me to set and reach some of my own. Here are a few favorites:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Music Monday - 10/27/08

My favorite local station has a segment called the artist timeline each morning. Every week they tell the history of a band and play songs from their different albums. 2 weeks ago, the band was The Pretenders. Hearing so many of their songs made me remember how much I like them. Plus it sounds like Chrissie Hynde had (and I'm sure still is having) such a rocker life. She had a baby with Ray Davies. And they shared quotes from friends of hers talking about her and the band, including her "close friend, Elvis Costello." Wow!

Here are the radio segments and a few of their songs (mp3 links removed).

Brass in Pocket
Back on the Chain Gang
Middle of the Road
I'll Stand by You

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rise and Shine

For as much as I like working normal hours instead of nights, I do miss waking up without an alarm clock.  And it's getting more and more difficult as the days get shorter and my room gets darker each morning.  I love this Kate Spade clock.  It's so sunny I think it would help me wake up happy.  

Thursday, October 23, 2008

12 Days to Go or Will I Have to Move to Denmark?

I usually try to post happy things, funny things, pretty things, silly things. In fact, I had a very happy post ready to go today. However, today is my day off and I decided to watch a few DVRed episodes of The Daily Show. And there went the happy post.

Every day I am more and more convinced that Sarah Palin is such a bad choice for VP. I try to think that, although I don't like John McCain's politics, he is (or was) a good person who believes he is doing the right thing but the more I see of Sarah Palin, the more I can't even say that anymore. And this isn't just because I question her intelligence, doubt her experience level, can't stand the way she talks, and am sick of her hypocrisy. It's because I honestly think that she is bad for the country. Her recent comments about "real Americans", "pro-America people" and other things like that are exactly what this country does not need. We don't need it ever but especially not right now. We are facing economic and environmental crises. We need to work together.

Which is why I had to put the other post on hold and share these clips of Palin's recent interviews which are so disturbing and disgusting, so truly UN-AMERICAN that I am worried about what may happen on Nov 4, but even more terrified of what might happen for the next 4 years if she has any say in it. To quote one of the comments from the video site, "I thought the U in USA stood for United, does it now stand for Unequal."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Barn House Sale

I finally made it!  For months I have been wanting to go to a Barn House sale.  August was way too hot, I was busy in September.  But Saturday was the last one for the year so nothing could keep me away.  I'm sure it is wonderful in the summer with the green grass and fields.  But it was so beautiful in October.  The barn is in the countryside near Battle Ground, WA.  I love Portland and all the evergreens but when you get a bit outside of town, the leaves are all changing and the colors are amazing!  And since it's almost Halloween, there was a gothic theme.  Lots of people in black clothes, top hats, and eyeliners.  So fun!  Plus I bought a brooch. I had been thinking I would like some sort of pin for my scarf.  I love it!
And before we got there, Elizabeth and I decided to go out for breakfast. We were on our way to grab something quick at Ken's Artisan Bakery when we passed 50 Plates. I've mentioned them before and can now also recommend their breakfasts! Not a huge selection but what they do have is excellent I had the sipping chocolate (steamed milk with a chunk of chocolate on a stick you swirl around to mix plus homemade marshmallows) and french toast skewers. Delish!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Purses Galore

Anya Hindmarch has a line of purses for Target. They came out about a week ago so get there fast or they'll be gone before you can get one of your very own. But hands off this one, it's mine.
P.S. Did you see the recent Domino article about her home and family. I loved the idea of an old kitchen table you can carve into and draw on.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Music Monday - 10/20/08

I'm in another music club and I just got the music for the first month. I really like all 19 songs I got so I have high hopes for the rest of the year. Thought I would share a few of the songs.

After All (mp3) - Sondre Lerche
Somebody Loved (mp3) - The Weepies
We Are Okay (mp3) - Joshua Radin
Piano Song (mp3) - Meiko

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ginger Snap Cookies

A few weeks ago we had people over for dinner. Elizabeth made enchiladas, but not just any enchiladas, they were quite possibly the best enchiladas I have ever had. And even after everyone ate lots of them, they still found room for my ginger snaps, all of the ginger snaps.  I hadn't made these in years, probably since high school, and I had forgotten how yummy they are.  They get crispy on the edges but still a little chewy in the middle. Perfect for fall!

Ginger Snaps

2 C flour
1 T ground ginger
2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
3/4 C butter
1 C sugar (plus a little extra for later)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C molasses

Sift together all dry ingredients

Beat butter. Add sugar and mix. Add egg and molasses and mix well.

Add flour mixture and blend well.

Make 1" balls of dough. Roll in sugar. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.
It's hard to say how long to bake them, the recipe says 12-15 min but in my oven it only takes about 9 min.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Music Monday - 10/13/08

Just got back from the trip to SC. I have lots of unpacking and laundry to do. So this one will be quick.

This post from a blog called Hits in the Car has lots and lots of links to great songs for your downloading delight. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My New Shoes

My dad is getting married this weekend so I am about to fly home to SC. I don't love my dress so no pictures of that. It's hard to find a dress for an early-October Southern wedding by shopping in the NW. Everything was black or dark grey. It's supposed to be about 85 degrees there. And I think it's still inappropriate to wear black to a wedding if you are kind of in the wedding party. But if I could have worn black, here's the dress I fell in love with at first site.

While I was unsuccessfully looking for a dress, I did find 2 new pairs of shoes. And since one pair was $40 and the other was $25, I bought both!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Music Tuesday - 10/7/08

Last weekend I saw Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. I loved this movie. It was so simple and happy. It wasn't an over-the-top story that could never happen in real life. It seemed like something I could have lived in high school if I had lived in the New York area and been vastly cooler. I only went to one concert in high school and that was the Indigo Girls. I did buy tickets to REM and INXS but my mom wouldn't let me go. I liked the main actors...Who doesn't like George-Michael Bluth? And Kat Dennings was just as good if not better than she was in Charlie Bartlett. The movie was all about a love of music and mix tapes. Here are a few songs from the movie:

Ottoman (mp3) - Vampire Weekend
Middle Management (mp3) - Bishop Allen
Very Loud (mp3) - Shout Out Louds
After Hours (mp3) - We Are Scientists
Xavia (mp3) - The Submarines
Riot Radio (mp3) - The Dead 60's

Thursday, October 02, 2008

VP Debates

I'm a nerd but I am so excited to watch the debates tonight. I won't be home but my roommate and I are DVRing them. A local news channel ran an ad about their debate coverage and asked the viewers if they were planning to watch the debates for information or entertainment. I have to admit it's a little of both.

Monday, September 29, 2008

5 Weeks To Go

There are plenty of things to be annoyed by during the last few weeks before an election.  Here are a few things that make me almost wish the election wasn't so soon.

The SNL version of the Couric/Palin interview.

The Daily Show's footage of Palin's visit to the UN

I love these posters. Vote for your favorite then print some for yourself. Found via d.sharp. I was lucky enough to meet the lovely and very talented Denise this weekend.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Your Right To Read

I love reading. I got my new Multnomah library card this weekend. I thought it was a good way to celebrate Banned Books Week. Here's a little more info:
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW's 27th anniversary. BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.
Wondering what to read? Here's a list including my favorite book of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird

Wondering what you can do? Here are some ideas.

And if you live in Portland, you can go to this event.
Saturday, October 4, 1–2:30 p.m. - Central Library, U.S. Bank Room
Please join us for Banned Books Week, an annual celebration that highlights the importance of intellectual freedom and reminds us to cherish this precious democratic right. Lawyer Steven T. Wax will be our guest speaker. As head of the Oregon Federal Public Defenders' Office, Mr. Wax was responsible for representing inmates at Guantánamo. He also represented Brandon Mayfield, an Oregon lawyer who was falsely linked to the Madrid train station bombing. His book, Kafka Comes to America: Fighting for Justice in the War on Terror — A Public Defender's Inside Account, examines this and other cases and the erosion of civil liberties in the wake of 9/11.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Early Christmas Ideas

Crate and Barrel calls these "corporate gifts" because they are under $20, If I remember correctly from my corporate days, that means they don't have to be reported on taxes. I love all of these ideas. I would be very merry indeed to receive them from a business associate or anyone else, especially this plate and bowl.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Music Monday - 9/22/08

No music to share this week.  Partly because I'm fairly busy and partly because I've been feeling very unbloggish lately.  But don't worry, this is still a good Music Monday.

Look at The Black Cab Sessions for some amazing music performed in the back of a cab. There are almost 60 artists so far including everyone from Brian Wilson to Langhorne Slim.

Here's what the site says:
The sessions are all about great music and the venue strips that to its essence. We aren't picky about genre and will happily open the cab door to anyone who blows us away.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oregon Food Bank Cans Film Festival

Since I've moved back to Portland and gotten on a more normal work schedule, I have started doing things I like to do such as volunteering.  I have volunteered at the Oregon Food Bank a few times and think it is such a worthwhile, well-run organization.  They always accept donations and you would be amazed how much they can buy with your monetary donation.  But next week there's a special event - The Cans Film Festival.  On Thursday September 25, you can see a movie and get popcorn for free by simply donating 3 cans or boxes of food at Regal cinemas in the Portland area.  Check out the site for more details.  

Yearbook Yourself

Remember when yearbook day was the best day of the school year? Or how much fun it was to flip through your parents' old yearbooks?  Yearbook Yourself lets you upload your own photo and see how it would looks from the 1950s through 2000.  I grew up in a very preppy Southern town and have very straight hair that no amount of perming or aqua net could tease big so I missed some of the most cringe-inducing styles.  But this site lets me see what I might have looked like.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Music Monday - 9/15/08

I've been trying to get back to the gym. My new job is about 2 blocks away from a branch of my gym and so I really have no excuse. But of course I like to try to come up with one. My most recent excuse was a lack of good workout music. Most of mine is kind of old (and somewhat embarrassing). What songs get you moving?

Work That (mp3) - Mary J Blige
Please Don't Stop the Music (mp3) - Rihanna
Clumsy (mp3) - Fergie
Gimme More (mp3) - Britney Spears
L.E.S. Artistes (mp3) - Santogold

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I have been hesitating all day to even write anything. I almost feel like I have no right. I wasn't personally affected by September 11, 2001 and as far as I know, no one I am close to was either. I was living about as far away from NYC, DC, and PA as possible, way over on the West coast. I had been laid off and was asleep when I got a call from a friend. I didn't have a job to go to so I watched the footage all day, and cried.

The day became more meaningful to me a few months later when I visited a friend in DC. The Smithsonian had an exhibit about 9/11. It included pieces of the buildings, photographs, video, and stories. The one I remember the most was the handle of a window washer squeegee. Believe it or not, I just found an article online that explains it so much better than I could:
Window washer Jan Demczur was on a break when the first hijacked plane slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, trapping him and five other men in an elevator on the 50th floor.  When they managed to pry open the elevator doors, instead of an exit they found a wall. Demczur used the blade of his squeegee to carve a hole through which they could crawl. It took 45 minutes, then the men raced down a stairwell to safety before the tower collapsed.
And then there was the room at the exhibit I couldn't go in; I was already in tears. I could hear it from the rest of the exhibit but tried to block it out. Bits of it still haunt me. The room I skipped contained voicemail recordings from people who knew they weren't going to make it out, calling their loved ones from any phone they could find. It is still heartrending to think about.

I'm not sure how to end this, these are just my thoughts today. I guess I should go call the people I love and tell them I love them and then give thanks I was lucky enough to be so untouched by a national tragedy.

Pilates Suggestions?

I had a Pilates video I liked but now haven't done in forever.  I'm looking to join this century and get a DVD. I could just buy the same one but wanted to try something new.  Do any of you have one you love? Preferably not to tough, I'm basically starting over and it would also be great if it lasted about 15-20 minutes so I can have time to do other cardio stuff too.  Doesn't have to be Pilates, just something for core-strengthening. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Oui ou Non? Mais Wii!

Guess what my awesome parents got me for my birthday last month...  A Wii!  I love it! Before getting my very own wii I had only played once before and was NOT good.  I'm getting better and loving the practice.  I've made a mii for me and my roommate.  I like all the games but by far my favorite is boxing.  I love working up a sweat and getting a bit violent.  And then I start yelling at the TV telling my opponent, "You stay down when I knock you down!"  I might even swear a bit.  

So far I only have the free wii sports.  I definitely need to get more controllers and of course, guitar hero.  Any other suggestions?  What are your favorites?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Music Monday - 9/8/08

Want to know a quick and guaranteed way to feel old? Try to survive 4 nights of Musicfest NW. Here's what I have come to realize, I have no idea how musicians go on tour. I felt exhausted after 4 nights of watching an average of 4 to 7 hours of music each night. How do they put on a show each night? I guess the drugs help.

Sunday consisted mostly of sleeping, relaxing, movies, and cooking dinner for friends (zucchini risotto, yum!) I have now recovered enough to tell you about the shows.

Wednesday 9/3 @ Berbati's Pan
The 1900s were first. The Portland Mercury summed them up pretty well as, "unironically cheerful and fully energized, with frighteningly catchy melodies." One of those bands with at least 7 people including a violinst, a cowbell-ist, and 3 singers, 2 of which had tambourines. Very fun and a great way to start off the fest.

Norfolk & Western One of many local bands that we planned to see. They were a smaller group than normal but still great. And the bass player further cemented my theory that all bass players are hot. I had to work at 7am the next day so I had to miss Langhorne Slim and The Old 97s (Rhett, don't hate me).

Thursday 9/4 @ The Crystal Ballroom
Eskimo and Sons They were a surprise last minute addtion, not even mentioned on my schedule. And what a nice surprise they were. I had never heard of them. I chalk that up to the 2 years I didn't live in Portland. And that's my loss since this was their second to last show.

Calvin Johnson I had never heard of him either but a quick Wikipedia search showed me that I am stupid. He's worked with so many amazing musicians like Modest Mouse, Beck, and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. I may not have really liked his set but I sure do like his work as a producer.

M. Ward This guy is all over the place, he's worked with pretty much everyone. And guess who was on drums, Rachel Blumberg from Norfolk & Western and formerly of The Decemberists. And his guitarist, Mike Coykendall, is the same guy I saw at SXSW who still looks like Philip Seymour Hoffman.  M. Ward was the perfect end to the night. He played with his band, solo, and in duet. His voice sounds like a less-cigarette-gruff-Tom Waits. And he totally won me over when he played Paul's Song.

Friday 9/5 @ The Wonder Ballroom and the Crystal Ballroom
This is the day that almost did me in. I had already been to shows for 2 nights, gotten up early for work, and now I was in line at 4:15 to get into the Wonder Ballroom. Around 5pm I realized I would still be at a show at midnight. Thank heavens for comfortable shoes and earplugs!

Britt Daniel The short version: This was the highlight of MFNW for me. The longer version: I love Spoon, I liked Britt Daniel's solo stuff too. And he brought out Janet Weiss to play drums. He was adorable and personable. He restarted one song when he realized he needed to run through his chords one more time. And at the end of another song, he looked down a bit and when he stood back up, he bumped his head on the mic. I'm not sure why these little mistakes were my favorite parts but they were, he seemed so at ease and just there to put on a great show. And in case that wasn't enough, he said, "I've lived in Portland for 3 years now, I love it, it still seems magical to me." I've lived here for a total of 8 years and it still feels that way to me too.

Built to Spill They were performing their 1997 album, Perfect from Now On. I only got to hear about 5 songs because I had to leave early to meet up with Lizzy for the rest of the night. But Built to Spill holds a special place in my heart, not just because they are Built to Spill but because their drummer was also in The Spinanes, the first band I ever reviewed in a college paper.

Lackthereof Eh. Had never heard them before, had heard Menomena, a side project of the main guy. Didn't love it, didn't want to rip my ears off.

John Vanderslice Meh. Had heard him before and had already deleted all his stuff from my iTunes. Not horrific, I just don't like it.

Vampire Weekend Finally, the reason the night was sold out! They were on the schedule for 90 minutes and I was kind of concerned, do they even have that many songs? They only did one encore, Walcott, and said it was the only song of theirs they hadn't played, that's about what I thought. I might have felt old and tired earlier but this transported me back to my college days, in my plaid skirt and Docs, listening to The Special Beat at the Armory. Delightful!

Saturday 9/6 @ The Crystal Ballroom
Mimicking Birds We had bought wristbands and were so excited at the start of MFNW. But by the last night we were tempted to order in pizza and watch a movie. This mellow band was just what I needed, I didn't even wear my earplugs. Go see them if you get the chance.

Blitzen Trapper I saw them at SXSW and they didn't sound at all like their songs that I know and love. But this time they did and I loved it.  I'm from the South, these guys remind me of so much great southern rock. Love the harmonizing.

Fleet Foxes And speaking of harmonizing, this band is the king! What beautiful voices and guitars. I liked them enough to listen to them before the show, during their show (duh) and a bit when I got home. And we got home early since we decided we had tipped the scales in favor of getting our money's worth and skipped Menomena and The Helio Sequence.

When I Say Go (mp3) - The 1900s
We Were All Saints (mp3) - Norfolk & Western
The Blizzard (mp3) - Eskimo & Sons
Paul's Song (mp3) - M. Ward
Writing to You in Reverse (mp3) - Britt Daniel/Spoon
I Would Hurt a Fly (mp3) - Built to Spill
Oxford Comma (mp3) - Vampire Weekend
Remnants and Pictures (mp3) - Mimicking Birds
Country Caravan (mp3) - Blitzen Trapper
Mykonos (mp3) - Fleet Foxes

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Music Tuesday - 9/2/08

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!

Last week I shared the CD I made for my music club and noticed that several of the songs were covers. I think covers are fun. A cover can either be a new, good interpretation of a song or completely cheesy like when Marilyn McCoo or Rick Dees would sing with the weekly guest on Solid Gold.

Here are a few of the former variety...

Bring It On Home To Me (mp3) - Spoon - Sam Cooke cover
Modern Girl (mp3) - Camera Obscura - Sheena Easton cover
Sick of Myself (mp3) - Ben Gibbard - Matthew Sweet Cover
The Gambler (mp3) - Mike Doughty - Kenny Rogers cover
Always On My Mind (mp3) - Iron & Wine - Willie Nelson cover
I Summon You (mp3) - The Watson Twins - Spoon cover
Sweet Child O' Mine (mp3) - Taken By Trees - Guns 'n Roses cover
Everywhere (mp3) - Vampire Weekend - Fleetwood Mac cover

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Need Your Help, Again - Part 2

Remember months ago when I bought this chair? Well, my life is less frantic again and I'm ready to finish it. I need to pick a stain and pick a fabric. For stain, I'm thinking medium brown, like a chestnut or walnut. I think that's more traditional for mid-century modern. I am open to other stains but I want the fabric and stain to work well together. I usually go for solid fabrics for upholstery so I can use patterns in the throw pillows and then change them and not have to reupholster an entire chair. But this chair will be fairly easy to redo so I'm more willing to use a pattern. So here are some fabrics I've found.

1) I love this fabric! It's hard to tell in this small swatch but it's heavy, upholstery-grade. The horizontal lines you see are kind of like pin-tucks. Then towards the left end, by the point, you can see a small flat area. That's a vertical band that holds the pin-tucks in place. Those vertical bands are spaced about 3 inches apart. I love the color, I love the texture. I'm not sure about this color with a medium brown wood. Also, I like piping on the edges of cushions. I'm pretty sure I couldn't make piping out of this cushion and finding the exact same color would be hard. I could do a contrast piping in black? brown? tan?

2) I also love Amy Butler fabrics. Like I said, I usually choose solids so this is a big leap for me. I want to be brave but I'm scared and also unsure of what size pattern is OK. Some of these are really big patterns and the pillows are only about 20x20.
Here are a few photos from the Amy Butler site. I think I do like the solid upholstery with the patterned pillows better.
What do you think? This chair is NOT going in my bedroom so it doesn't have to work with the colors in there. Wondering what the bedroom is like, help me figure that out too.

I Need Your Help, Again - Part 1

So I've painted the walls and picked out some furniture for my room. Now I need help with the other colors and fabrics. The walls are pale blue with a hint of turquoise. The floors are hardwoods and at some point I want to get a rug, I've been thinking of something geometric in black and tan. I need new bedding, a few pillows, and curtains. I had been thinking of pale turquoise with dark turquoise and orange or dark pink. Then I looked through my stack of pages ripped out of magazines and found this article about how a designer redid his backyard. I love it. I must have remembered it while I was planning because it's the same blues I mentioned, and the paint on the floor is a geometric black and white pattern! He used bright yellow as an accent which is nice too. The small picture in the middle shows a woman in a dark pink dress to give an idea of that being the accent color.
Yesterday I went to Fabric Depot. I forgot how much I love that store and how big it is. I went in with every intention of buying fabric. I went out with empty hands, sore feet, and lots of ideas. So that's why I need your help, I got a little overwhelmed.

Originally I had planned on a white duvet cover, maybe with black or some other color piping like this: And a few pillows with dark turquoise and dark pink, maybe a little tan. But now that seems too boring. I love all white but this time, I want more color, more fun. Plus it's hard to find many fabrics with white in them, most are colors with beige or tan.

Next idea: A tan/linen colored duvet cover, maybe with white piping. Then some colored fabrics for accents.

Here a few idea boards (click on them to make them bigger and to read my notes). I think most of the fabrics would look better with a tan duvet rather than a white one. Like in the Domino article above about the backyard, the cushions are really beige. But beige bedding seems too much like dirty old white bedding so I'm leaning towards tan. It's more obvious that it's supposed to be that color.
I also like this darker brown with the darker blue. Not quite what I had originally thought, but I really do like it.
What do you think? Any ideas, opinions, pearls of wisdom from your own experiences?
And if you're feeling especially helpful, please read the post about fabrics for my chair.