A Farewell to Two Thousand Eight

And what a personally non-descript (bar the traveling!) year it was. Much more is soon to come from these parts, just as soon as I'm somewhat readjusted to my return to real life post holiday. Boy did I find myself with time to turn my figurative wheels while the Saturn Vue (or "viewy" as my bro called it) turned its real wheels for, oh, NINETEEN hours down to N. Cackalack. Weather was not cooperative. Neither was Boone County, Indiana, which up and decided to close the bridge into Kentucky without informing anyone waiting in her car a mile down the road for, oh, THREE hours. I got a little more de-fogging and music listening time than I'd bargained for. And yet. I'm not exactly complaining. It's been awhile since I've had that kind of time to take pause, and it did me right. More on all that in a bit. 'Til then, a happy new year to all and to 2008 ... a goodnight.

pics c/o the guardian via the end via VSL


Sounds Like 1963....

"... but for now it sounds like heaven."

In anticipation of tomorrow's big trek, here's my hands down favorite roadtrippy song of all time. "Windfall" by Son Volt.

Head in a Fog

I'd say this accurately sums up my perpetual state of late. But tomorrow (after I've El'd to airport, bused to Alamo, and rental car'd it back home where I'll load up with dingo, luggage and gifts) I'll then begin the 12 hr drive down to N.C. for holiday visiting avec ma famille (et les chiens de ma famille). Solitary road trips usually prove to be a nice head clearing device for me, so the thought of it kinda makes me happy.

Plus it's a great time to listen (really listen) to some music. I'll mostly be rediscovering old favorites this year, barring a desperate highway-side detour to Best Buy. I'm musically unprepared and just hope to high heaven my rental car has an auxiliary input for the iPod. Otherwise I'll have to scramble pre-dozen-hour-drive (not ideal) to find a decent collection amidst the disarray that is my CD bureau. What was once a perfectly alphabetized source of wonder and ridicule (it's convenient, people, not anal) has been a musical mess heap since I moved in to the new place. In April. See, I'm so not anal.

Regardless, the 12 hour drive that might be seen as torture to some is actually something I look forward to each year. If only my stiff neck could say the same.

Happy (and de-fogging) holiday wishes to all!

photo c/o namiko kitaura

Blurred Lights, Big City

I've only had a moment to skim a few of the photos from the NYC Gallery, but I look forward to spending a little more time with T.M. Alleman's "Sunshine & Noir" over the holidays. These photos are right up my shadowy urban landscape alley.

thx exposure compensation

Creature Crush

The last few Christmases my brother and I have done the one-month-post-holiday-no-surprise-online-order-gift-exchange. Last year it was Yoshitomo Nara's Lullaby Supermarket for me, and I now know that this year's request will be another book ~ Creature by Andrew Zuckerman. I'm already looking forward to oooohing and ahhhhing (and plucking at the nerves of anyone in my proximity) as I carefully leaf through its pages.

thanks to

It Could Be Worse

It's creepy, sad and probably bad for your health. But I can relate to the person who choreographed this shot. I'm the kid who bawled when her poor dad hit an unknown creature on the highway and to this day can't remove the burnt image of a possum hit by someone else breathing its last few possum breaths. Even now when I spot a still lump of fur off in the distance I close my eyes or avert the gaze 'til it's good and gone. Yes, even when I'm driving. Still, for anyone concerned about the depths of my sympathies, you will never find me spooning roadkill.



...is death. But on a day like today (a day that forced me to step ankle-deep in gray-brown sludge approximately 20 times just to get from door to door -now I see what all the wellies fuss is about), I like to think of the day I rode a sky blue Vespa. In a skirt.

Whadup, Prez?

oh? via acupofjo.


Pretty as a Parapluie

Wow. These paper designs by Russian designer Yulia Brodskaya are incredible. As is the dandelion sketch on the first page of her site.


Telling Cute Animals What's What

For someone who can't stop with the "oh my god, it's so fucking cute-" and "holy shit I want to squish its furry adorableness-" and "for the love of god, just look at that tummy-" and "I heart paws-" I was in serious need of Fuck You, Penguin, the site that takes the piss out of cutepie animal obsessions.

Ok, fine, but still - how much would you like to nuzzle up in this kanga's nook? I mean, if he wouldn't pummel you first (or find himself otherwise distracted), the kanga nook looks like it's just made for nuzzling.

Whore No More

Despite loving Zooey Deschanel in just about every movie I've seen her in, I've not yet been able to get into her musical project, She & Him. It's otay, it just hasn't grabbed me. But this video of her singing "Sweet Ballad" in her new movie, Yes Man, is cracking me up.


Angels of Mercy

Sunday evening I learned that both Band of Horses and Iron and Wine are capable of providing something I never thought existed – the perfect musical accompaniment to a flight where the focus was keeping-calm-and-trying-not-to-vomm.

Despite residing with some familiarity in a place called The Thirties, there are still times I forget to keep count of how many drinks I’ve consumed in an evening. Thanks to downing one or two (or was it five) too many drinks Saturday night in honor of another year in this fourth decade, I found myself the next day in a miserable predicament of proudly holding my hurl through an eternal cab ride to the airport--only to shamefully lose it in a Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport loo. That was a long sentence, but the experience was even longer. A finer moment I do not recently recall.

Suffice it to say, she who gets motion sick at the mere mention of handheld movies, rickety roller coasters and the Mad Tea Party (damn cups spin in more directions than the laws of physics allow) was deeply terrified by the thought of boarding that flight. Still, there was hope. I felt better after my most recent “pour,” and history was on my side. I’d never puked on a plane before –but wait- did that then mean probability was stacked against me? It was anyone’s guess, so I started to pray.

To add insult to illness the pilot gave us an ominous warning at takeoff: “Gusty winds in Chicago tonight, folks. I’m gonna to do my best to land us smoothly, but –huhhuh- well, I dunno -huhhuh.” Forget that Beavis was flying the plane, a turbulent landing lay in wait. Putting prayer aside (no deity worth its salt would spare me my just deserts), I plugged my ears with sweet sounds. Bands of horsies, iron and… (ok, forget the wine) and hoped for the sake of myself and my jailbait plane-mate that he wouldn’t depart with a good story for his buddies.

When the plane made contact with the beloved land and I hadn’t reached for the barf bag or frantically lumbered over jailbait to claw my way to the toilet, I began to believe in the Angels of Nausea Mercy. You might say crying angel's overkill here, but you weren’t on that piece of tin as it violently swayed and bumped itself into the windy city. The plunge into Chicago was the single most turbulent descent I have ever experienced. The proof’s in the puddin', and the puddin' was a whole plane of passengers breaking into applause upon landing. Whole plane, save me. I was still too busy suppressing the urge to purge to celebrate life.

This is "Naked as We Came" by Iron and Wine.

Un Peu de Chaleur

Ahhhh, that's better. I'd swear I can almost feel the warmth of this Tord Boontje garland light through the screen. Almost.


Don't they say that if it's snowing out it's not all that cold? I call bullshit, because it's snowing out, and it's that cold. I'm kinda curious now what that equals, since 15 degrees apparently doesn't cut that in their eyes. Though the snow currently falling outside my window is no apparition, I'll embrace it a little with these cute snow ghosts that caught my eye on AT.

The Path of the Moon

In her Full Moon series, Jennifer Schlesinger captures one of my very favorite things to behold ~ the moon's reflection on a sprawling body of water. Magical.


Holy Whiskers!

As I recall, whiskers serve to help an animal determine when the body behind it can fit through a space that stands before it. For cats anyway. I'd say this guy's whiskers are telling him he can eat a whole lot more cheese. Lucky fellow. So long as the cheese isn't connected to something wire and/or spring-loaded. In which case, his luck's run out.

Your feelings on rodents aside, you can't tell me this creature isn't cute. Can you??

sorry, can't remember where this came from. it was recent, which tells you something about my recent memory.

"A Good Woman Will Pick You Apart"

"...a box full of suggestions for your possible heart."

This is Bright Eyes' "Landlocked Blues" with Emmylou Harris. I love the way their voices sound together. It works especially well on "We are Nowhere and It's Now."

"And if you swear there's no truth and who cares, how come you say it like you're right?"

Whatever your thoughts on Bright Eyes, since a surprisingly young age he's had a real talent for identifying a feverish ache and putting the words to it.


Christmas Time is Here

Holiday decorations, small apartment style. I found myself motivated last weekend to unload my Christmas decorations from the trunk of my car (I wasn't kidding about the size). A couple snowglobes perished (may they rest in peace), but everything else survived. I even carved out a spot in my closet where they can comfortably return in the off season. That means more available storage space in the trunk of the Nissan! I think I hear a few folding chairs calling... It's not much, and it's made of tinsel, but Charlie Brown Christmas tree always gets me feeling the spirit inklings.

Cute on a Stick

Foo's snout. And lower lip. And whiskers. And jowls.

Two Plus Two Past the Square Root of 121

Andy Rooney would surely not approve of the Fortis IQ watch, but I sure do!

Coffee: An Illustration

I got a kick out of the tale of Christoph Niemann's lifelong love affair with coffee (and bagels, assorted).


Pretty as a Parapluie

c.o lost soul

I Dot Dust

This reminds me of being a kid and reaching dizzying heights of confusion and wonder thinking about the universe and beyond and beyond and beyond and... how on earth (no pun intended) can it just go on and on and on? Even when something stops something else starts. It sent me spinning. I still don't get it, but I try not to think about it so much anymore lest I short circuit.

quote c/o ateotl


She's Crafty

This is a fun idea c/o AT. I think you could also use double-sided tape to stick yarn to the bottle (in addition to the glue recommended in the directions). Either way, they're going to be a bit delicate and perhaps best at a distance, but I like the look of the bottle shapes with added texture. I think this project is going to cut in queue before a few other (more daunting) ones I've got on the horizon. Did I mention I finally finished my origami project? The batmobile flies! One of my next tasks involves reupholstering (insert scared clueless face), and the other requires painting (insert confused indecisive face).

I Second That

I don't know, I like it. I confess to being able to burp on command. I can say entire phrases while burping. I could probably sing a song in burp. But I wouldn't. I have limits. Still, it's a skill that's proven quite helpful during bouts of motion sickness and the like. Therefore, I must give burps credit where credit is due by way of this here blue burp monster. Ok, someone needs to go to bed.

"Why Not Try It All?"

"I'll Try Anything Once" by The Strokes.

I Spy with My Blue Eye... Something Utterly Pointless

I consider myself a pretty observant individual. Oftentimes to my own detriment. Perhaps due, in part, to the sheer irrelevance of many of my observations. On that subject, here's a little time waster to test your observance of some everyday affairs. No cheating! (it's a little tempting). If I'm to believe that the average joe gets a score of 7 out of 25, then this test hasn't humbled me in the observation department. I don't mean to brag, but I missed two. Ok, so I'm not so sure it's something to brag about. Not because it's necessarily easy (though maybe it is), but because that's a lot of wasted brainspace. You'll see what I mean if you take the test.

thx to lenscratch

Cute on a Stick

I know not why this kitten is drinking out of a bottle (that's just weird), but -hey- it resulted in this cuteness. Look at those paws and that belly. I wish I could get a cat, but history tells me Foo would never stop sniffing its butt. Not even to refuel or relieve himself. He'd let himself expire before letting that cat butt get away. Talk about weird. photo c/o cuteoverload. Speaking of cute overloads, I also happened upon this funny vid today and am sharing for anyone else out there who's easily entertained. Foo does a pretty mean head tilt, but watching these 3 pugs head tilt all at the same time takes the cake. Thx to fourfour via pajiba.


While Our Hearts Were Young

The Traveling Wilburys do Del Shannon's "Runaway." I love it. Almost as much as Jeff Lynne's fro.

Birthday Booty

My beloved ones were ridiculously giving this 32nd birthday. A thank-you post is most certainly in order for all of the delightful goodies they were way too generous to give little ole me (with an emphasis on old).

I'm not the camping type, but these North Face tent mules c/o mum and diddy are going to do wonders for Constantine Balanchine's last pee outing of the night. Knowing my feet will be warm with little effort makes the final frigid endeavour a little less dreaded.

A certain someone couldn't help but give me these noise reducing Sennheiser earbuds one week early, and I'm oh-so grateful for it. They've already vastly improved my commute, since I can now actually hear the music over the roar of the el without everyone else hearing it too. I kinda feel like I'm in my own movie (dark comedy of late), and they genuinely curb the commuter-angst that's been getting a tad outta control.

Speaking of pricklies, D gave me this cute hedgehog pencil case, which I'll be using for sunglasses.

Along with some amazing jewelry (including origami earrings!) from The Mexican Shop in Evanston, I finally own a pair of earrings made by one of my most favorite local jewelers, Leaves of Glass (cool name, huh?). They're called "Voice of the Beehive," and they're gorgeous and so versatile. Thank you gg thank you!

In fact, I think they will look lovely with the modish Dunderdon dress D should not have been so kind as to get me (though I admit I'm so glad he did). Particularly when he'd already given me the cool new camera that's working far better than the Lumix I dropped a year or so ago (oh the endless shame). I shall proudly tote her cameraness around in this perfect Lesportsac camera case c/o gg. I already took the above photo of the birds nest coral that gg was also so very sweet to get me. It channels birds and the sea and is just so darn pretty I can't stop looking at it. I'm pretty much in love.

On top of all that, there was the fun... Friday brought Bouillabaisse at Duchamp, ginger drinks and yummy treats at Hot Chocolate, and Steely Dan got the bird at Bluebird. Come Saturday, I was introduced to the awesome yet affordable crablegs served by The Half Shell. Holy gem! It looks like a basement dive bar. And yet it serves first rate seafood. You don't get much more up my alley. Unless you're... well... Anyhow, what.a.find. I will be back. Later this week.

Believe it or not, there was even more, but I'll end the virtual thank you here. I felt deeply unworthy, and yet so lucky and loved, truly. So thankyouthankyouthankyouohsoveryverymuch and thank you again and again. You are the bestest of the bestest. And so are you. And you too. Really, you are.


B-Day Breather

Heading out of work early today to partake in a liquid lunch in honor of the day I emerged from the womb, which was 32 years ago tomorrow. In light of that pseudo specialness, I intend on avoiding my 'pooter 'til at least Sunday. This is me convincing myself, because I've become a bit of a sick addict. Just last night I couldn't remove the thing from my lap, not even when someone buzzed me at the door. It was 9:30, and I figured it couldn't possibly be anything that concerned me... probably an error. I finally had to excavate myself when I realized Constantine Balanchine was about to pass out from the fumes of his frantic barking and pawing at an unanswered door.

I looked out the window, and what to my wondering eyes did appear but three cops and a k9. Ruh.Roh. I immediately scoured my brain for what terribly wrong thing I'd done to deserve it, but nothing floated to surface. Nothing criminal at least. After steamrolling their way in (with my hands already placed behind my back resigned to the bracelets), they told me my neighbor three floors up, the one with the rock star hair, was getting served with a protective order. You've!been!served! Dayum.

And he seemed so harmless and... girly. And way more concerned about himself and his hair than stalking anybody. I knew the "model" gf moved out about one month after she'd moved in (that lasted), but I didn't realize just how much they don't like each other anymore. The cop serving the papers was such a cheese, winking at me and shit. Apparently that's his tactic for getting info from reluctant neighbors who try to get in the way of his serve. Meanwhile I'm all "Uh, wink's not necessary chubs. Not my first time at the service of process rodeo. "Hair" lives 2 floors up. Glad to be of assistance. Later taters. Back to my laptop."

I wouldn't normally roll over so easily, but I was busy being relieved it wasn't me the three men and a dog were carting off to the clink. And... I had a laptop to tend to.

So it's a "happy 'pooter free weekend" from here to all, and to all a good day.

photo c/o lesmoking

Cute on a Stick

I love when sleeping animals' various body parts get all dented, mooshed and smooshed by whatever it is they're sleeping on. This cat, for example, with its fluffy leg jutting out and pink ear poking through the slats. What can I say, it's one of my simple pleasures.

This photo will have to do until I can capture a good one of Foo, whose current nom de plume happens to be "Constantine Balanchine." For, well, obvious reasons. Puts "Monsieur Quincampoix" to shame, no? It never fails to crack me up when he wakes from a nap, looks at me with great seriousness and (in British accent) seems to say "Oh, hello. I see you're still here. Very well then. I suppose I shall resume my napping. Cheerio. Wait-whoht? What's so god-damn funny all of a sudden?"

What he doesn't know is that his sophistication has been utterly compromised by one jowl mooshed up like a cinnamon bun into the side of his face and half-an-upper-lip that's tucked up under itself to reveal four to five of his upper toofs. Those not in the mooshface know are missing out... It's seriously the cutest thing.

photo from flicker via unruly things

Holy Steal!

I've admired DWR's cubitec shelving for ages, mostly drooling over it in shops and cafes and the like. They're euro casual, sturdy, and I just love the foggy appearance. Well, right now you can buy a set (6 cubes) in white or orange for 60% off with free shipping. Originally $250, now... (drumroll pls)... $100 all told! I reckon you best order speedy gonzalez style b/c these babies will fly right off their own shelves.


A Thing for Chairs

I've got one. My taste runs the gamut, though lately my thing seems to focus on mid-century and colorful contemporary designs. I thought of said obsession after resting eyes on this beaut by William Emmerson. Ever.so.lovely. Animalistic. Yet graceful. It sort of looks like a giraffe to me, with its long narrow top, hyperextended legs and gorgeous stable paws. Not that I could ever afford a two thousand dollar chair, but it's a good thing there's no room to walk in my place let alone place another chair. I'm resigned to window shopping and mental noting for when I win that lotto. Goooooooo TEAM!

c/o notcot

"I Miss You Even When You're Around"

A sweet little song called "I Sing I Swim" by Seabear, with a nice little video to match.


Tutu Too

Having spent years 3 through 13 of my life in ballet classes, I adore ballet and everything about it. Including the tutus. Put me in the audience at a ballet performance, and part of me is lost while another part suddenly finds the urge to mooove. To sway, to point, to bend, to extend my limbs to the classical rhythm ("no spaghetti arms!"). Did I just say "extend my limbs to the classical rhythm?" I'm kind of embarrassed, but it's that organic. The sensation is a little odd seeing as I've long since lost most of the grace ballet welled out of me. But the love lives strong.

Guess that's why I immediately went to the "ballet" section of Life's new Google photo archive. These lovely photos show ballerinas at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet back in the day (that ballerinas weren't starving themselves). I've only just scraped the tip of the archive iceberg, but I'm guessing it's filled with many gems.

thx to VSL yet again.

Cute on a Stick

Seriously, now. This is getting ridiculous. Cute on a stick, indeed. Cute on a branch. Cute on a twig. So cute I don't know what to do. Could it be real? Are they napping all huddled up on their twiggy boat nest or what? I want in on that.

thx lolita

Falling Stars Will Come Back in Fashion Again

Cheery. Pretty. Poppy. I'm finding myself really into this band, Sambassadeur. Leave it to the Swedes for straight-up loveable pop goodness. If you likey too, here s'more ~ That Town, Final Say, New Moon, and something live.

Takin' a Dive

"...'cause you can't halt the slide, floating downstream."

beautiful painting by insanellamagirl via VV.

Judging a Book by Its Cover

Thanks to ASWOBA, I was reminded this morning of the covers chosen for the 2008 Book Design Review. Take a look for some very creative book cover art. And speaking of cover art, I'll take this opportunity to refer anyone not familiar with Storm Thorgerson to his work, much of which has ended up on album cover art through the decades. I could look at his stuff for hours. So unique and creative it almost hurts.


Earworm du Jour

On my way home tonight my iPod played me "The One You Really Love," by Magnetic Fields. I was going to post that, but then I thought of this song (off the same album, 69 Love Songs) and thought I'd post it instead. This is for a certain friend who stops round these parts and might kinda relate at the moment. It's "I Don't Want to Get Over You."

A Thing For This Room

I've got one. Can you blame me? So simple. So cozy. So vaulted. So nooked. So paneled. So textured. So sky blue. So splashed with red. Oh, to have a little guest room like this in my nonexistent house. Is it weird that I can't stop looking and pretending I'm in it?

My only request: kindly remove those paper scraps out from under the bedside table. Pronto. You're messing with perfection, people.

Vintage Veneration III

Random but cool retro trees found on ffffound.

Cute on a Stick

To me, anyway. It's a pregnant pigmy seahorse. What's not to love?

found at aquasphere via notcot.

Impulse Buy

The only thing stopping me from buying one of these is that I'm saving up for family Christmas presents, and this doesn't suit anyone in my family... except for me. Darnit. CottonBirdDesigns also sells more of these adorable birds made out of music paper, crossword puzzles, book pages, and more. Maybe one of them will suit your gift-giving needs....

found via ms. french.

Oxymoronic Cool

I am so wowed by these "urban quilts" by Amy Ahlstrom. Who knew quilts could be so cool? Not me.

nod to AT.


Funny idea for a website. It's hard not to look at it without adding to the list.

This is my favorite from the site. GTA and I have often discussed how very annoyed we get at the gratuitous use of exclamation points and smileys and ...

thanks to a cup of joe for the link.