Monday, August 31, 2009

15 Books

Don't take too long to think about it.
List 15 books you've read that will always stick with you.
They should be the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.
Tag 15 friends to continue on.

1. Harry Potter (Does this count for 7?!), by J.K. Rowling
2. The Hobbitt, by J.R.R. Tolkein
3. She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb
4. 100 Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
5. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë
6. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
7. The Stranger, by Albert Camus
8. In the Forests of the Night, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
9. Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser
10. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich (NOTE: This one will always stick with me, unfortunately, because it is a book I hate)
11. Night, by Elie Wiesel
12. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
13. Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss (This is the first book I ever read by myself!)
14. Walden, by Henry David Thoreau
15. Bhagavad Gita

Husband, Diosthocles, Missing Link, GeorgeDubyaSJC, Philboy, BlindIrishPirate (read hers, this is where the task came from!)
and anyone else reading and should feel so compelled, please leave a comment so that I can track you to your blog and read what comes to your mind in less than 15 minutes...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Fashion: Name Dropping

I'm not a designer name-dropper, in general. That's mostly because I'm terrible with names to begin with (that goes for you, too...uhm...friend). Plus, I just like what I like, usually not associating the creator with the created. But today I will make an exception. I'm sure I've featured the work of Orla Kiely in posts before, but today I will focus specifically on this designer who provides wonderful, colorful, graphic prints in every kind of household medium you can imagine!

I think I love Orla Kiely most because her things are ever so symmetrical. I love symmetrical things. She is delightful, delicious, AND de-lovely! Do enjoy!Etc Multi-Stem Mug for $16. Practical and pretty! This could almost turn me into a morning coffee drinker...almost...
She even designed a line for Target for all of us Dirty Normals! Like this Melamine 2-Tier Tray.
But what I really love, as I'm sure you could have guessed, is her bags and wallets. Take, for example, this Linear Stem Print Square Zip Wallet for $46.80. Orange you glad you saw this?

Oh, her gorgeous designs. This is Flower Blossom Wallpaper. You hang it on your walls. And then you never leave that room again.

Have a wonky, wacky, wonderful weekend, wee ones!

The last week in August

This week has been a difficult one, aside from regular old errands and general busy-ness. Yesterday we attended the funeral of one of Husband's first cousins. She and two other men were killed late last Saturday night in a car accident when their vehicle struck a tree. Loss of life is never a fathomable event, but the real tragedy is that she left four children behind, all under the age of eleven. Incomprehensible. An event that forces you to stop dead in your tracks and look around at your loved ones with fresh eyes, holding them a little tighter and cherishing their voices a little more.

After her funeral I was able to run to a care meeting with the nursing home staff for my father. They couldn't provide us with many answers, as everything depends on what happens in the coming weeks, but they were approving of how far his physical therapy has come. He cannot walk without the aid of a walker, and even then not terribly far or unassisted, but it is leagues from paralyzation just less than two months ago. While I celebrate his progress, I also selfishly grieve for what was and will never again be. Hopefully, however, something new can grow out of this situation. A new, more easily accessibly home for my parents. A new, easier to reach future vacation spot where they can relax. New memories for our little family because he is still here, still vibrant.

The world is so unfair. A young mother is killed; a good man suffers from a debilitating illness, but finds a level of recovery. At the same time, the world is also the most fair place. No one is immune or special or chosen. Everyone is subject to fate or God or luck, wherever you find solace or answers.

Today my Dad will find out if he can get his IV line finally removed and switch to oral antibiotics. This will help determine a timeline for returning home. His physical therapist will also visit my parents' home on Monday for an evaluation - checking for what Dad can work on while he is still under their care to make it possible for him to navigate at home. I daresay it will involve many, many stairs.

Today is also his 71st birthday. He has endured so much pain and fear and uncertainty since his last birthday. But there has also been laughter and jokes and good memories. This year's celebration won't take place in a noisy restaurant with a big meal and gin and tonics for Dad and Husband. Instead, the four of us will gather to mark the occasion in his room at the nursing home with carry-out from a local firestation fish fry. And it will be wonderful.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I promise a more text-based post someday soon on a concrete topic of worth with an overload of my amusing musings, but for now I just had to post about these rugs. Because I saw them, and they were so beautiful that I died. And then I came back to life.

These Amy Butler for Chandra rugs have resurrectional powers. I am in love with spun wool.

Chrysanthemum. Do the cats cost extra? This is off topic of textiles, but Husband and I recently watched Curse of the Golden Flower (which is a Chrysanthemum, hence, my thought transition). I highly recommend the movie (but beware of subtitles if you're not into reading and watching at the same time). It was a lot less Eastern Action and more Romance/Intrigue than I thought it would be, but it was kind of a nice change from the martial arts-centric movies of the same genre, like House of Flying Daggers or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, although all of these movies are visually stunning.

Caracas. It might be a little pink for most people, but is that ever a beautiful, intricate pattern! I want to lie down curled in the middle of that flower and take a nap.

AND THIS IS MY FAVORITE. This rug is the reason I had to post. The others, yes, lovely. This one, ohmygosh. Bright Buds. I don't know why, but the pattern, it speaks to me (and you thought I'd pick the damask, didn't you?). I'm not sure my life will be complete without this rug...

Friday, August 21, 2009

In the name of all that is holy...

I am generally a discreet lady. I don't like to talk much about intimate lady issues for fear of upsetting the danglers or other discreets. But I simply must ask the question that has been haunting me since I stumbled upon this image earlier today (don't ask how I got there).

In the name of all that is holy...WHAT IN THE HELL?

Yes, they are what you think they are. I have no explanatory words (but many questions...mostly about why they were created in different colors and festive the mechanics of the feat...oh, dear lord, the mechanics). I'm all about going green and being environmentally friendly head is beginning to ache...I need to go lie down for awhile...

Friday Fashion: Where did summer go?

I woke up this morning and suddenly came to the realization that summer is almost over. I know it doesn't officially end until September 23, but for me, when Labor Day passes, summer is done. I have no idea where our summer even went. I know we went to a few weddings. We grilled out once or twice. I wore shorts on several of the hottest of days (and I despise shorts). We ate fresh garden corn and juicy tomatoes. But summer just shouldn't be over yet.

In my past, summer has always included swimming, which I have not been able to do at all, due to lack of time and opportunity (having been warned against the local community pool). Aside from being forced to bear my jiggly, fleshy parts, I really enjoy swimming. Slathering on sunscreen, picking out a brightly colored towel, and working up a real appetite (not that I needed any help with that in the first place). I miss it. Therefore, today's Friday Fashion is devoted to my beloved pastime, which really did become a "past" time this summer.

I know how to keep my male readers comin' back for more.

Normally I am more of a two-piece kind of girl (if you're going to let it all hang out, might as well let it all hang out, right?), but this Juicy Couture Beach Shirred Halter One-Piece for $173 is too adorable for words. The ruching and tiny skirt would help accentuate my incredible, athletically-toned lower half while simultaneously dazzling onlookers with my traffic-stopping cleavage. Right? That's what I look like to everyone else, right? Or is that only me in my head...? If this didn't work out on my blobulous figure, I could always go for the burlap sack look.

If one is going to lay about soaking up the sun (which I discourage because of cancerwrinklesuglyagespots, by the way), you might as well get a super graphic beach towel to match your suit. This Marimekko Beach Towel from sells for 48 pounds. I don't know what that is in American money, because I'm way too lazy to look it up, but I'm guessing it's a lot since our current exchange rate reduces our dollars to roughly the value of small rocks and bits of dirt.

If you choose to take my advice, in order to avoid the aforementioned cancerwrinklesuglyagespots, one must invest in eye and skin protection. Safety can be chic, too! Observe these Sweetheart Sunglasses for $8 from Lulu's. Come on, they match the suit and towel! I think you can sacrifice a little bit of dignity in the name of adorable.

Speaking of protection, you will get a sound tongue lashing from moi if you frolic in the rays without sunblock. Lobster-colored skin does not look good on anybody (take it from a genetically inferior blond-haired, blue-eyed gal who belongs somewhere in the Cold North as opposed to the Humid Midwest). Suck it up and apply a little of this beautifully designed Shelter sunblock from Philosophy. And finally, you will need a place to stash your towel and horde of sun-deflecting goodies! How about this Love-Tree Wooden Handle Tote for $84 from littleoddforest? There's even pink piping. I'm so matchy-matchy today.

But don't take it from me. These ladies are the height of beach fashion, dont'cha know?

Keep it pasty, everybody.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday picker upper

This morning on my way to work I followed a large, smoke belching semi truck with the following sentence hand painted on the back end in baby blue paint:


I think it's Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Today I love: green accessories

All accessories available on I love these simple shoes, elegant earrings, and most of all, this wonderful wallet.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Belated Friday Fashion: Even sick can be pretty

So guess who got all excited about having an Internet connection again last Friday and forgot to post her weekly fashion and design column?

*Shifty eyes*

I know the lack of Friday Fashion just plain ruined your entire weekend. For that I apologize. As a condolence, my weekend wasn't overly exciting either as I scampered around the house ferreting cups of ginger ale to my poor, coughing, feverish little Husband. He has bronchitis. I'm still waiting for my turn. In honor of being sick, here is a little belated Friday Fashion. Even sick can still look good.

These cashmere water bottle covers are from Restoration Hardware. No, I didn't stutter. You read that right. Cashmere. Unfortunately, they are currently out of stock. Perhaps you can knit your own. Don't forget to include the adorable little pockets!

One can't be without a soft, warm, comfortable blanket when feeling under the weather. Crocheted throws abound on sites like Etsy where mycraftycorner sells this beautiful teal blanket for $42. I've tried crocheting and soon discovered I am not a crocheter. In the least. But I am so glad that others are.

A hot cup of tea (or toddy) will warm up any chilled body. This skase teacup set from Steve Watson is so incredibly lovely and sweet. I want to go put on the kettle right now!

Go forth into the world with solid design principles and good health, my children.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Blogger, Interrupted

Greetings, my lovelies. My week-long silence has not been intentional, I assure you. Monday my office began moving from our home in the campus ghetto to a slightly more respectable building situated much more centrally. Although I now have to walk up 40 steps to reach my office, I'm hopeful the daily trek will greatly minimize the size of my hips. However, our move has also brought us far closer in proximity to the snack shop, so the effect of the newfound physical exertion (80 steps both ways, but to retrieve a Snickers bar) is still undetermined.

Meanwhile, in spite of my lack of connectivity, somehow life continued on.

I didn't post about it last week, but Dad had to be admitted to the hospital again for six blood clots in his legs that were causing his feet to swell and his right foot to feel cold. He was released last Saturday back to the nursing home and was allowed to begin physical therapy again yesterday, so another down once again turns back up. He has a CAT scan scheduled for Monday and a determination will be made about the removal of his pick line on his birthday, August 28. Hope swells cautiously.

Husband and I also purchased a new washer and dryer this week, ultimately choosing to forgo the creepy crawlies from washing our clothing with the former owners' pet hair, and who knows what else. We got the front loading washer and dryer at an exceptionally good deal and were able to rationalize the purchase a bit more easily because of the final price tag. Yesterday the beauties were delivered, and the movers also brought in our new refrigerator and stove that had been stored in the garage while the flooring and cabinets were installed. However, it was revealed that our fridge doesn't fit. It doesn't fit. It's been sitting in our garage for several months now, just waiting for installation, and it doesn't fit. The drywall in our house was apparently hung by retarded monkeys because the walls are not flat, therefore, the fridge doesn't fit.

Have I told you about this refrigerator? It's beautiful. It looks like a spaceship. I'm pretty sure I could comfortably stand inside, close the door, and fly to Mars in this fridge. I would arrive cool and crisp.

And it doesn't fit.

I don't know what we're going to do yet. Really, I can't talk about it. It's all too horrifying.

On a happier note, the outside of our home no longer looks like an unkempt forest. Husband's grandfather has spent the last few days removing the shrubbery, unwanted trees, and questionable, overgrown landscaping. Yes, you heard that right: we are forcing a man in his seventies to do our landscaping for us in the August heat. And did I mention he is legally blind? We are ruthless, I tell you.

Perhaps the too-large fridge is our karmic retribution. Food for thought.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A mid-Friday afternoon pick-me-up

This is an Emperor Tamarin. He can be found in Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru, or in a zoo in Devon, England.

He makes me laugh.
Who do you think he's emulating?The monk from Kill Bill Vol. 2?Or Mr. Monopoly?

Friday Fashion: Vayse or Vahse?

"Vase" is one word I have never known how to pronounce correctly (like the word "applicable"...APP-licable or ap-LICK-able?!). According to the omnipotent Wikipedia, it is customary for Americans to pronounce it like "face" while the Brits prefer a stodgier sounding "vahse, dahling."

As a side note, I can't stand when people mispronounce "Realtor." Real. Tor. It is NOT REE-LA-TOR!

There, I feel better now.

Whether pronounced "vayse" or "vahse," I think these lovely vessels are a perfectly appropriate topic for this Friday Fashion. Especially since, for Husband's birthday this week, I got him this:

It's a Peace Lily. They are exceptionally good at purifying the air in one's home.
Husband named his Peace Lily "Butterman." Butterman is "For the greater good." Name that movie (one of our Top 10).

I realize Butterman won't actually need a vase himself, but perhaps a few of his blooms will find their way into one. If so, I'd better be ready with something fabulous. I can't let Butterman down.

So simple. So elegant. Bamboo Vase by Teori. *Dramatic sigh*

It's okay. It only looks like tanned cowhide. These Leather Vases are $299 each and are actually made out of porcelain, so you don't have to feel bad about murdering innocent cows in the name of good design. Although they are delicious. Cows, not design. Moo.
Metallic, shiny, and sleek? Be still, my heart. This Orbit Vase, Helix Vase, and Wing Vase from Azcast is suspiciously without a price tag, which is always frightening. However, made from 100% recycled aluminum, they are environmentally friendly and so luxurious-looking.
This one is my favorite, and particularly swoon-worthy, although the gorgeous calla lillies could be clouding my judgment.
Here is a Three Guns Table Vase costing $58.98. For the murderous designer in all of us. Who knew decor could be so manly and threatening?
Finally, for the green-living, earth-loving hippie in all of us, I bring you the Chesta Vase Made from Egg Cartons. Not only can one recycle a common product like egg cartons in a unique and exciting way, but it can be done in a beautiful, quietly industrial-looking manner!I wasn't able to include vases from this Web site because of the way they display their images (and make them impossible to steal, can you imagine?!), but I highly suggest you visit. It will do your soul good.

Have a wonderful, fashionable weekend my darlings! (Or should it be "dahlings"?)

Prelude to an early morning

We are at work extra early today so we will have plenty of time this evening to run our many errands. My eyes are heavy and I can't stop yawning, and this video definitely is counter-productive to my goal of just staying awake, but it is ever so peaceful.

Do enjoy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Year 26

Today marks Husband's 26th year, 312th month, and 113,880th day (give or take a few). Today also marks my 200th blog post. Which is more important? I'm not sure, you decide.

Only kidding, of course. Blog trumps all.

No, no, not really. I love you more than you will ever know, My One and Only. Happy birthday!

Monday, August 3, 2009


"Alumna sues college because she hasn't found a job."

Seriously? I mean, seriously?

The best line in the whole article: "As Thompson sees it, any reasonable employer would pounce on an applicant with her academic credentials, which include a 2.7 grade-point average and a solid attendance record."

2.7? 2.7?!

Not to brag (but I'm going to anyway), I graduated on an accelerated schedule with only one A- to ruin my perfect 4.0 (curses class participation!) and started out, like everyone, working for beans. And I was lucky to work for those beans so soon, but three months is nothing in the fresh-faced college job hunt! I have no words for this woman. I am utterly speechless.

The start of something wonderful...

Saturday heralded the fourth wedding of the summer for Husband and me. Thankfully, it was held in the Biggest City Within 50 Miles, so we didn't have far to travel. This was another Catholic Lite wedding, which was most appreciated. I will allow one of the Apostles (Peter? Paul? Mary? Just kidding on that last one. I don't think Mary had male pattern baldness...) to illustrate my excitement over the ceremony length and the church's air conditioning:

"Raise da roof."

But, really, the church was just lovely. Who wouldn't want to get married under an azure sky?

And the marriage was sealed with fire, of course. Fire and cake.

I've got a thing for cake toppers. This one is especially lovely!

The groom's cake was simply fabulous. Not only did the day celebrate the love he has for his beautiful wife, it also exemplified the love he has for his electronic equipment. Eleanor is his computer. She was delicious in traditional red velvet.

I couldn't get away without the obligatory couple picture, proving our attendance. Now new and improved with aviators. Still no boat, though.

Congratulations, you two. You have the humor, the kindness, and the love to get you through a lifetime together.

Vestigial...what a great word

My Dinky College did have one thing going for it: a unique, comprehensive CORE program that aimed to foster critical thinking and create a well-rounded worldview. Each of the four years (or three years, in my case) was taken up by a series of CORE classes that every single student was required to take. I really did enjoy the CORE classes and credit the program with opening my mind to new areas of the world and interesting concepts that I would not have otherwise encountered during my incredibly taxing creative writing/journalism/French studies (sarcasm, I assure you).

One of the most interesting pieces of information I remember from my science-based CORE class was that, thanks to evolutionary offal, whales have hipbones. This struck me as terribly odd, since whales apparently have no reason to stand on their hind legs and walk out of the ocean and down the street to the 7-Eleven for a Big Gulp. However, this probably doesn't shock you, because I'm sure you already knew this fact, since I recognize the vast intelligence of my readers (you are at least partially literate, after all). I, however, was blissfully unaware of that fact about whales. These hipbones, like our own seemingly useless appendices, are called "vestigial," just hanging around and taking up space in our body cavities. Lazy vestigial organs...go get a job!

However, today I ran across a very interesting article chronicling the possible actual purpose that some vestigial organs serve. It's from and is entitled "Vestigial Organs Not So Useless After All, Studies Find."

Perhaps I should have hung on to my wisdom teeth...