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.