Monthly Archives: February 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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My mom sent me two of the greatest Valentine’s Day cards of all time. This one (which, sorry, has to be one of the funniest and most appropriate cards ever. She even signed it from Fitz and drew a little paw print!) and one with a little Eiffel Tower on the front, the inside of which read, “I love you an Eiffel lot.” Perfect, right?

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Are you pro or anti V-day? It’s a pretty polarizing holiday, especially among women, isn’t it? What are you doing to celebrate, if anything?

February 14, 2013 / life / dog / LEAVE A COMMENT / 12

Lenses and Forrest Gump Jokes

So I want to preface this by saying that I wasn’t supposed to be spending any money on myself for the month of February, per my 26 in 26 list. I figured since it was the shortest month it would be the easiest to avoid splurging on unnecessary purchases like blankets and candles or something. But I sort of broke that promise to myself on the first day of February (literally) when I went ahead and bought two tickets to see the New Kids On The Block live in June, or as I like to call it, “You’re Welcome, Seven Year Old Erin.” And then there was Red Dwarf Season 10 on DVD. A picture frame. A dog bed for Fitz. New legs for my IKEA ottoman.

I want to pause here and tell you a story about my hilarious friend Audrey (you know, the one who comments here under the name “Gary Oldman” occasionally). Audrey, Anna, and I went to IKEA for lunch last week and I finally decided to swap out the chunky, pale wood legs the IKEA Karlstsad sofa comes with for the sleek, angular brushed silver ones they sell for $20 a set (oh, yeah, I have to add in that IKEA purchase, too). They were super easy to assemble, and I sent Audrey a picture of my handiwork with the caption, “I have new legs!” She wrote back, “Lieutenant Dan!! They look so good!” I almost fell over laughing so hard. Sometimes that’s what you need in life.

So what were we up to so far after only 10 days of the month? Oh, right, not $0. And I only compounded the insult to my checking account over the weekend when I, admittedly after weeks of research, bought a new camera lens. Here’s the part where I bore you with the camera-geek details of why I needed this particular 28mm f/1.8 lens and why it was imperative, especially in light of my upcoming trip to Paris: my camera body is amazing, I love it so, so much, and I knew when I bought it that it was a APS-C (or crop) sensor camera, not full-frame. My camera, and most DSLRs with the exception of a few full-frame bodies (like this one) crops photographs at a 1.6 ratio. Not a huge deal, but it means that all the lenses I use are multiplied by that 1.6 ratio. Have I lost you yet? My trusty 50mm lens that Boyfriend got me for Christmas a few years ago actually reads more like 85mm once you multiplied it by 1.6, so a more zoomed in shot. To get a truer 50mm feel, I would need something more wide angle. The 28mm lens opens as wide as the 50mm lens I have (to a stunning 1.8 aperture) but reads more like 45mm on my camera.

Did that totally confuse the hell out of you? Here are some pictures to describe what I’m talking about:

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These were taken from the same position on my sofa, and I apologize for the less than fascinating subject matter. Obviously the 50mm shot is tighter, way more zoomed in, than the 28mm which is what I was going for when I bought the 28mm. It will be great for walking the streets of Paris and not having to be so far away from my subject to make sure everything fits in the frame. And when/if I upgrade to a full-frame body, both lenses will work on it without the crop factor (meaning 50mm will actually be 50mm, and 28 will be 28).

‘To long, didn’t read’ version: I wanted a new lens so I bought one. I have zero impulse control. My degree was in Photojournalism, so I justify this purchase that way.

Someone take away my credit card.

February 13, 2013 / art / photo / LEAVE A COMMENT / 28

Two Years

Two years ago today, a lonely, unemployed girl drunkenly decided to start a blog. That girl was me (thankfully, for my liver’s sake, I became employed just a month after) and that was this blog. I’ve now been blogging for two whole years, which is both crazy and surprising to me. It’s also my darling Annie’s birthday today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANNIE!), which I couldn’t have known when I started blogging, but that means we are inextricably linked forever in bloggy friendship.

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In the past two years, I’ve gotten a dog, been to Belgium, successfully stalked and met Gary Oldman, started writing a book, attempted a 365 project twice, shopped a lot, and met some wonderful people. This year is looking really bright for me, especially considering I’m leaving for Paris in less than a month OH MY GOD. I have some exciting things coming up, and I’m curious to see where the next year takes me. Of course, I’ll be blogging the entire time, filling your browsers with macarons and awkward Gary Oldman musings. I’m so grateful to each and every single one of you for stopping by and filling my day with joy, because really, that’s what you do.

Happy 2 Years, like/want/need. I love this little blog so, so much.

PS. My most viewed post.

PPS. This is also my 410th post. WHOA.

February 12, 2013 / life / dog / LEAVE A COMMENT / 28

Happy Town in France

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You may remember my total adoration of artist Matte Stephens’ work (see here) so it will please you to know I am now the proud owner of one of his fabulous prints. I’m doubly excited because this particular one is called “Happy Town in France.” I mean, come on. The colors are so much more vibrant and cheery than this picture suggests. The print arrived wonderfully packed with a sweet handwritten note from Matte last week, and this weekend I finally found the perfect frame for it. Now I just have to find the perfect spot to hang it, but I can’t stop snuggling it long enough. I love how whimsical and sweet his work is, and I’m afraid this print is kind of like a gateway drug; I need more of them, now.

Valentine’s Day is swiftly approaching, so if you’re looking for the perfect, original gift for someone special (or yourself!), definitely check out Matte’s shop. This one would make such a romantic present.

February 11, 2013 / art / photo / LEAVE A COMMENT / 26

Happy Weekend

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Boyfriend returns home from India tonight, though with the impending snowstorm we’re being threatened with, I’m hoping his flight from London isn’t delayed. Not least because he’s bringing home Monster Munch and Aero bars, ahem. What? A girl can’t get a British snack-food fix? I have absolutely no plans on the agenda, which makes me incredibly happy. I might write some more, I might vacuum (I lead such a stimulating existence), but more than likely, I’ll be watching this.

I hope you have a quiet and wonderful weekend, kiddos.

February 8, 2013 / art / photo / LEAVE A COMMENT / 11

Confession

This will surprise absolutely no one, I’m sure (especially because I’ve written about it before) but, and I hope you’re sitting down: I’m a humongous dork. And not just because I won a spelling bee in 6th grade or used to read an etymological dictionary for fun at dinner or had pet sea monkeys as recently as last year or that I stay home on Friday nights and watch documentaries hosted by Jeremy Irons about Henry IV and V investigating the discrepancies between Shakespeare’s plays and history or that I’ve never met a book on grammar I didn’t love (Boyfriend is a lucky guy!)(where was I going with this? oh, right!) but because I absolutely adore a particular British 90s sci-fi cult comedy show entitled “Red Dwarf.”

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Hear me out.

Sure, the premise sounds dorky: lone human being (Dave Lister) living on a marooned space ship 3 million years in the future with the hologram simulation (Arnold J. Rimmer was the original Tupac) of his old bunk-mate and nemesis, a life form who evolved from Lister’s cat (called Cat), the ship’s computer (Holly) with an alleged IQ of 6000, and a service robot they pick up along the way (Kryten). There are tons of campy, cheesy jokes, tons of awful CGI effects (hey, the show aired from ’88-’99), and lots of improbable scenarios that you can only encounter in deep space (time travel, aliens, evil droids, your basic science fiction shenanigans). The show is, in a word, AMAZING.

I could blame it on my dad, who was my enabler through our early introduction to this show on late night public broadcast somewhere in 1997, and who funded my habit by buying me all of the VHS tapes of the series, but let’s be honest, this was all me. Don’t get me wrong, he loved the show, too. We had a solid few years at one point where our conversations together were conducted solely in quotes from the main characters, and we might have (MIGHT HAVE) belonged to the Red Dwarf Fan Club, a membership that provided us with quarterly magazines and our own, fabulous keychains. I even bought a t-shirt that was 5 sizes too large for me when my mom and I went to London in 2001 simply because it had Holly’s head on it with the show’s logo. I still have it. I REGRET NOTHING.

I never really got over the show; it was always there, lurking under the surface, waiting to strike again. It’d been a few years since I’d watched the whole series (all 8 seasons) straight through, so over the weekend I started over. And I come to find out, THEY MADE A WHOLE NEW SEASON LAST YEAR. Proof that cult classics never get old, the creators brought back the entire original cast for a mini-series of 4 episodes in 2009, and a full run of 10 episodes last year. How I’m just finding out about this NOW is beyond me, but don’t worry, I’ve ordered the DVD.

If you’re still following, thank you, and I’d like you to watch something. It’s a 10 minute compilation of some of the funniest moments in the show’s history. Now, I realize that none of you will understand a single joke in this clip without knowing the ridiculous premise of the show, or the character dynamics, but if it even elicits a single laugh, you’re on to something. The entire show is available through Amazon streaming, and yeah, it’s pretty much what I’ve been doing the last 5 days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9pFwYVn_QM

Okay, so what’s your nerdiest tv show confession? Bonus points if you top mine.

February 7, 2013 / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 22

Pack Your Bags

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This 2500sq ft apartment in the 16eme of Paris has 4 bedrooms, a maid’s room, and, magically, a cellar, even though it’s on the 4th floor. I would keep it exactly as it is (aside from those curtains and that horrid bulbous light fixture) and I’d gladly sleep on a mattress with tons of fluffy white blankets, smack dab in the middle of the living room. There would be no cursing, no smoking, and we’d eat nothing but macarons and tea. Fitz wouldn’t shed even a single hair.

Now, which of you is going to give me $3.3m?

February 6, 2013 / design / Travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 10

Tuesday Tunes

My favorite thing about being home alone is all the time I get to spend with my favorite classical music station playing through the house. It’s not like Boyfriend has banned it when he’s around, but it’s really something I prefer to do alone, in private. It’s one of those meditative, singular pursuits like examining your pores in a magnifying mirror or busting out the complete choreography to the Spice Girls’ “Spice Up Your Life.” Sitting quietly on the sofa with a mug of tea and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 filling the room…well, it’s pretty reverential to me. I take after my dad in that respect. It reminds me of the quiet mornings we had at his house, with the same station playing on the same radio I have now.

The morning host interviewed Canadian violinist Angele Dubeau and featured her string ensemble’s performance of famous movie soundtracks. I was in the shower, when suddenly, the theme from “Cinema Paradiso” started playing. It stopped me in my tracks, literally froze me in place. My dad adored that movie and made it a point to show it to me at a young age. It was one of those moments that was so perfect, so many things that meant so much to me all coming together unexpectedly. If you haven’t seen it, you need to, immediately, and if you have, I don’t need to tell you how beautiful and touching and heartbreaking it is, and why I was moved to tears listening to the song in the shower.

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It’s an Italian masterpiece, following the friendship of Toto and Alfredo, set in a movie theater that bears the name of the film. The movie won both an Oscar and a Golden Globe in 1989 for “Best Foreign Film,” along with a slew of BAFTAs and the Grand Prix at Cannes the same year. The soundtrack is stunning; composer Ennio Morricone seriously knows how to tug at your heartstrings. Today’s Tuesday Tunes had to be this performance:

Have you seen it? Have I convinced you to?

February 5, 2013 / read / watch / Tuesday Tunes / LEAVE A COMMENT / 20

The Only Bowl I Care About

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Puppy Bowl! Kitten Halftime! Six hours of puppies being adorable. We need to make a bigger deal out of this, instead of overpaid roid-heads who contribute nothing to the world except bravado and concussions. The cuteness of Puppy Bowl is almost unbearable.

February 4, 2013 / life / dog / LEAVE A COMMENT / 12

Friday Five

I am so, so happy January is over, I can’t even begin to describe it. The relief is palpable. January was a shitty month, and I know it wasn’t its fault entirely, but I’m ready to move on from this month and leave it behind. 2013 can only go up from here, right? Right.

February was supposed to be the month I didn’t spend any money, per my 26 in 26 list, but I’m thinking that’s going to have to wait until later in the year. Not only because it’s the last few weeks leading up to my Paris trip, but also because, and you might have heard me shrieking about this all the way where you are, but the New Kids on the Block are going back on tour and tickets go on sale tomorrow. I AM SO PUMPED. You might remember previous references to them, but rest assured that my obsession has only spiraled wildly out of control in the intervening months, doubling in insanity the past few weeks after I found out about this new tour.

So yeah, not buying anything? Not gonna work. Especially since this week’s Friday Five kicks off the month of February, and I want everything in it:

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1. Pillowcases / 2. Towels / 3. Agate Trivet / 4. Shelf / 5. Ring

This might be one of my favorite round-ups ever. Everything is so bright and colorful and do we need to talk about those pillowcases? Non, we do not. I’m thinking about buying a set of those towels and that little metal shelf for the powder room, only both are too cute to actually use. And I know agate is having a comeback, but that beautiful blue coaster needs to make an appearance in my house soon. Both the coaster and the (gorgeous) ring are from the delightful Leif Shop.

What are you up to this weekend? I’m spending Sunday morning with my nieces and am really looking forward to it. Tomorrow I have a hot date with my sweatpants and that book I’m writing. Remember that? Me neither, it’s been so long since I’ve devoted any real stretch of time to it. Have a great one, kiddos!

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February 1, 2013 / design / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / LEAVE A COMMENT / 8