Monday, December 15, 2008

November Playlist

Belated - sorry, I got very distracted by the end of school! I'm short of 15, as well.

1. Jimmy Eat World "The Middle"
Jimmy Eat World - Jimmy Eat World - The Middle
I am in love with this song. If this song were a guy, I would make out with it. Especially in the car.

2. Pink "So What"
P!nk - So What - Single - So What
The guilty pleasure of the month. I also love that other song that's just like this song. If anyone knows what I'm talking about, tell me.

3. The Flobots "Handlebars"
Flobots - Fight With Tools - Handlebars
This is really a song of Summer 2008, leading into the DNC in Denver and Obama in November. But I wasn't doing playlists then, so I'm featuring it now. Great lyrics:

Look at me
Look at me
Just called to say that it's good to be
In such a small world
All curled up with a book to read
I can make money open up a thrift store
I can make a living off a magazine
I can design an engine sixty four
Miles to a gallon of gasoline
I can make new antibiotics
I can make computers survive aquatic conditions
I know how to run a business
And I can make you wanna buy a product
Movers shakers and producers
Me and my friends understand the future

4. The Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
The Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks 1964-1971 - You Can't Always Get What You Want
Always great. Always true. Always makes me see an overhead establishing shot of Princeton Plainsboro Hospital, but that's just because I have a deep and abiding affection for Hugh Laurie.

5. The Traveling Wilburys "Handle With Care"
The Traveling Wilburys - The Traveling Wilburys Collection - Handle With Care
97.3 KBCO keeps playing this, and I like it. Old, I know. I like old stuff. More than most new stuff. If it's still on the radio after all this time, it's got some value, right?

6. Jack Hylton and His Orchestra "Happy Feet (High Heels Remix)"
No iTunes link, sad. Got it off Something for Everybody
Thank you Baz Luhrmann. Although I hear Australia sucks. Anyone have a personal take on that?

7. The Who "Baba O'Riley"
The Who - Who's Next - Baba O'Riley
Aka, the best version of "Teenage Wasteland" EVER.

8. Jason Mraz "I'm Yours"
Jason Mraz - We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things - I'm Yours
I first heard this song getting off the plane in DIA when I flew home from Ecuador. Cheesy? Yes. Overplayed? Yes. The fact that I still like it, therefore, makes me think it has staying power. Also very fun to sing.

9. Alison Krauss "Down to the River to Pray"
Alison Krauss - O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) - Down to the River to Pray
I don't know where I heard this in November, because I definitely didn't watch O Brother, Where Art Thou.

10. Lenka "The Show"
Lenka - Lenka - The Show
Probably my favorite song of the month. Listen to it, love it.

11. Feist "1234"
Feist - The Reminder - 1234
Actually originally a song of two summers ago, but it's just so nice next to "The Show".

12. Matt Nathanson "Come On Get Higher"
Matt Nathanson - Some Mad Hope - Come On Get Higher
This is a hot song. I want to know who he's singing about.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ah, Research

Google Scholar
, combined with my ability to log into every journal know to man, is saving my ass. Thank you once again, Google. Also, I've been accepted to CU Denver's MPA program! Found out yesterday, on my birthday. Fun fun. Ok, back to work. Probably should study for my final too, hmm.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Poem for You

“Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Us Just Starting Out?"
~Ron Koertge

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

It's all right to carry a notebook but a cheap
one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

Avoid any enclosed space where more than
three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware
any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks
across the muffled tennis courts.

Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.

Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author's name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
it gets, the wider he grins.

You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, "Shhhh."

Then start again.

from Fever, 2006
Red Hen Press

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Twilight Review, or nom nom nom Rob Pattinson

You all asked for it, so here's my take on Twilight. Spoiler alert for any souls without the intelligence to have read the book yet. Poor dears.

First of all, 122 minutes of Robert Pattinson running around onscreen is always a-ok by me. He got even hotter than he was as Cedric Diggory, which, ok, I expected since older is often better for guys. But duuuuude. That smile. That's one complaint about Twilight - he should have smiled more. It's full on devastating whenever he does it, and I really don't think familiarity would breed contempt in this context. I vote Robert Pattinson for one of the 20 men we clone as representatives of the human race. Nom nom . . . ahem.

Right, the movie. I found it absolutely hilarious and lots and lots of fun. Now, a lot of the negative reviews seem to center around the fact that the movie was silly. Children, have you READ Twilight the novel? It is irrepressibly and delightfully silly. Goofy, even. Definitely illogical. It is a veritable primer on what every teenage girl should never ever ever do. And Bella and Edward are the textbook definition of an unhealthy codependent relationship.

Just a refresher on the basic plotline: girl moves to really damp small town in Washington; meets crazy acting but very pretty boy who says lots of things that basically indicate that he's a psychopathic killer with a particular interest in her; she finds this endearing and sexy; she finds out that he is in fact a psychopathic killer AND has super powers AND wants to kill her by mauling her to death; she finds this EVEN SEXIER; she, at age 17, does not tell either of her parents or hightail it out of there; she doesn't even get any nooky out of him and still sticks it out; further hijinks ensue.

Now, I love Twilight the novel. Love love love. But I also love, you know, Wuthering Heights, which is at heart a story about how fortunate the human race is that these two awful people did not manage to reproduce, but has great lines and lots of stormy moors. Mmm, lovelorn people wearing capes and marching around moors. And I love Kill Bill I and II, a tale of a vengeful assassin slicing limbs off people and tearing eyes out of their sockets. While wearing cool clothes. Anyway, there is nothing wrong with being silly. But people were apparently shocked that the silly book they read somehow translated into a silly movie onscreen. I can only suggest that you reread the novel.

Personally, the first 30-45 minutes were pure joy. My cheeks hurt, I was laughing so hard. Bella falling on the ice, Mike trying to get her attention, Jessica's ill-concealed bitchiness, the cuteness and goodness of Taylor Lautner as Jake, the awkwardness of Charlie (although he didn't look right for Charlie to me), the Cullens entering the cafeteria the first time, Edward's brow furrowing as he can't read Bella, the HILARIOUS scene of the first meeting in the science classroom - I always saw the humor in that in the book, I mean it's dark, but it's also so silly. And let's not forget the delicious parallels Meyer draws between wanting to eat Bella and . . . um, eat Bella? And I thought his hot-then-cold "The bus is full" stuff was hysterical. I have personal experience with boys who can't make up their minds and appear to be of the opinion that I may be made of some sort of toxic corrosive substance OR strawberry syrup that never gets sticky. But which one??? Watching them bumble around trying to make up their minds is exactly the way Robert Pattinson played Edward.

The meadow scene sucked. Big time. Also, (this just in) moving really fast does not make the air shatter. I thought the sparkly skin was fine, though - it was much better than I expected and about as good as I think it gets. Ooooh, and I loved the actress who played Victoria. Apparently some people found the guy who played James hot, I just found him terrifying. Which was good, ugh. I liked Alice, especially her pitching the baseball game. I actually totally loved Rosalie, who I never related to much in the books. Shattering the salad bowl was perfect.

What else . . . oh I don't know, ask me questions and share your opinions and I'll tell you what I thought. Bottom line verdict is that I enjoyed it immensely.

WW - Black Water Jungle in Ecuador

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Current Desktop Wallpaper

Two of my favorite design blogs are decor8 and Creature Comforts. The creators of these two blogs have teamed up to create free desktop wallpapers! It's nice to have free art I can change around on my computer, especially during a recession. The project is called Kindred. I have the Samantha Hahn selection set as my current background, and I am loving it. Very wintry and very me. The other selections available this month are available through the Kindred link.

WW - Old Church in Santa Fe

Fun with Manzanita

In the last week I independently stumbled across two really fun items made from the Manzanita tree. Or branches of it. Possibly the Manzanita is a shrub. I don't know.

Anyway, they have this really fun organic feel, bringing the outdoors in but still elegant. In my mind, fairy tales castles are always decorated with things like this. The silver candelabra on the left here is from West Elm. They always have beautiful, classic, and modern stuff.

The second piece is a little Manzanita "tree" from RianRae. Here it's used to display jewelry, but it would be really beautiful with seasonal ornaments or little paper cutouts or . . . well, anything. Both pieces are priced right at $100, so neither will be coming home anytime soon, but I'm keeping them in mind for the long-term.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Giving Blood

1. blood cells 2, 2. red blood cell, 3. Red and white blood cell decorations, 4. White & Red Blood Cells

Today I donated blood for the first time. I've always wanted to, but throughout high school and college I weighed less that 110 pounds, so they wouldn't take me. I also have super low blood pressure, although it's never bothered me at all, and apparently that's an issue as well. Today the phlebotomist had to take my pressure twice to get a high enough reading. Next time I will chug a drink and run around outside first. It'll be fun.

The blood pressure thing is actually highly entertaining - whenever nurses who don't know me take it, they tend to leap to their feet the next time I stand up and eye me warily in case I'm about to topple over. I eye them warily right back, because it is mildly frightening to have people act like I might suddenly go into freefall. I have fainted once, but it involved being up at 6 AM after about five hours of sleep, an extremely hot shower, and then blowing my hair with my head upside down for about seven minutes and then cleverly flipping my head back up really fast! Note: do not try this at home. Predictable results ensue.

I also had a fun time talking about Mexico because I was diving in Cozumel this past January and managed to get DCI (For all the divers out there, it was undeserved. Look up "undeserved" before we segue into the conversation about whether I did anything odd. The DCI conversation is tiresome enough at this point that I may just write it up into a blog entry as some future date and redirect all questions there.) Due to the DCI, I took a day trip over to Chichen Itza and if you go to the mainland they like to ask all sorts of questions to try to screen for malaria. Pretty sure that if I had little plasmodium running around in my bloodstream I would have been tipped off by now due to, oh I don't know, the chills and the sweats. Seeing as how I would most likely have felt like shit 6-14 days after being infected.

Another confusing thing was that the nurse told me there was no test for malaria in the blood supply - don't you just do a smear and look at it??? Someone with a medical background talk me through this one, please.

Anyway, we went through some charts of Mexico and concluded that I was not going to kill anyone by trying to help them, and then I got to actually give blood! Despite my teensiness, I have good veins, so she got me right away and then I squeezed a red foam sports car for about ten minutes and then I stood up and felt fine. I grabbed some water and goldfish and drove home. No big deal, and I plan to keep giving blood from here on out! Unless my weight drops too much, but judging by how much ice cream I just polished off, I think I'm safe. I'd like to encourage everyone to look up their local options for giving blood. In Colorado you should use the Bonfils site to find a convenient location for you. I gave at a location on the West side of 28th street and North of Valmont. It's in the same shopping center that has Glacier, Rags, and the Bookworm, but further south. I swear it was really easy and no big deal! Sign up today! Next up: donating plasma and getting on the bone marrow donor registry.

Courtesy of Sophia

Apparently my friend Sophia knows the guy in this video. He lives in the Boulder. If you know anything about kayaking or rafting, this is hysterical. Essentially, everyone thinks he's going to get himself killed on Gore Creek (I think that must be Gore). Ahhh, funny. Props for the opening sequence, some variation of which has been used for every outdoor documentary in the history of the genre.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Whenever it is a damp drizzly November in my soul . . .

1. On the beach - Virgin Gorda - BVI, 2. Spiegel Grove - barracuda, 3. PA262767.jpg, 4. PA272978.jpg, 5. bvi-sara-05-343, 6. bvi-sara-05-066, 7. bvi-sara-05-408, 8. bvi-sara-05-107, 9. bvi-sara-05-274, 10. bvi-sara-05-375, 11. School of Creole Wrass, 12. Virgin Gorda, 13. the Baths, Virgin Gorda, 14. Snorkeling at "The Baths" Virgin Gorda, 15. The Baths in Virgin Gorda 1, 16. the baths, virgin gorda, british virgin islands, 17. Virgin Gorda, 18. rock formations - the baths at virgin gorda, 19. LITTLE DIX BAY, VIRGIN GORDA, 20. THE BATHS, VIRGIN GORDA, CARIBBEAN, 21. VIRGIN GORDA, B.V.I, CARIBBEAN, 22. Virgin Gorda 022, 23. Virgin Gorda - British Virgin Islands, 24. Virgin Gorda - The Baths, 25. US Virgin Islands

I want to bail out and go to the British Virgin Islands. Specifically The Bitter End Yacht Club or Little Dix Bay. This is entirely my mother's fault. My dad is perfectly happy on a sailboat eating who knows what or in a bird blind counting cranes. My mom likes resorts that used to belong to the Rockefellers. As a result of early and frequent exposure, I also like these sorts of places. Add in warm, still, tropical waters, sea turtles, barracudas, colorful fish, giant boulders - well, I am in love with the BVIs. Oh, and everyone runs around speaking with British accents and high tea is served every afternoon at four. Mmm, scones and Earl Grey. And there is a pristine reef in about five feet of water right off the crescent white sand beach at Little Dix. And the BEYC has a whale skeleton on their beach. And I adore barracudas - they're pretty much the kitty cats of the sea. Really curious and fun. I follow them around when I go snorkeling or diving, and they wander close to see what on earth I am and whether I have anything edible about my person, such as a hardboiled egg.

So, as we transition into that in-between season where the leaves have transitioned from gold and orange to brown, the wind howls, the sun sets at 4:30, and yet impossibly it has yet to snow and the resorts only have two lifts apiece open - I miss the Caribbean. The swift approach of the due dates for papers and projects in school is not helping my mental state. Nor did sitting in the DMV for an hour today to get a replacement license. Don't lose your wallet.

And here's the full text of the quotation. What author and which novel, my dears?

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”

Desire of the Day

West Elm pin-tuck duvet in natural. Mmmmm, want.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Design and Hot Men

First Row: Pink Tree from a.t. whim, Cobalt Blue Pillow from joom, Dear John Series - No. 3 from lottiefrank. Middle Row: Open Me from ara133photography, 5x7 Letterpress Print from elisejoy, I am Ignoring You from meowstro. Last Row: Honesty Print from theblackapple, Doorways from fineartimages, So True from dazeychic.

I have recently become very addicted to reading design blogs and subsequently have extended fantasies about decorating my room and the entire house. Although I'd need help with those whole house designs from my roommates, Tina and Shannon. Shannon has an artist's eye, because she is one - she just like up and paints things! Things she could sell! Crazy. And Tina has that sort of natural aptitude for combining unlikely things than I normally associate with the French.

Let me tell you, reading design blogs and window shopping at Etsy is a great way to remind yourself of how you have NO MONEY. I'm like "hmm, $13, well that will be an option . . . someday . . ." Yargh. I've also been having these freakouts where whenever something reminds me forcibly of Rome or Paris or Vienna, I tear up. Yep. As soon as it happens I am mortified by the prospect of explaining why a gilt mirror or fresh basil or a bowing man holding a door is making me cry, and I shut that feeling down real fast. Still, I think my body wants me to go to Europe. It is a A Sign. Of course, even with the Euro weakening nicely as we spiral into a financial meltdown, I still do not have enough money to go anywhere, possibly including North Boulder. Sad state of affairs.

Quick aside: Why are the carpenters on HGTV always so hot??? Is this how they cast them? Can I go to an HGTV carpenters' Happy Hour? Dude. Duuuuude.

And speaking of terribly attractive men, I've been perusing the website for Southern Weddings Magazine, which must be managed by a whole bunch of people who are my design clones. I highly recommend this site for color palette inspiration, floral design, etc. Every picture on this thing is spectacular. I found this shot of two guys playing Ultimate in their formal attire, and discovered that this image punches just about every button I've got. Yummy.

This is from a collage entitled Details: Anna + Nathan, Part III.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

End-of-the-month Playlist

So I got this idea from Tom Fuller, an old friend from high school. My friends Nate and Natty were heading over to a party at his place early in the month, and I joined them. Almost everyone was partaking of an 80s-song themed Power Hour, but I stuck with drinking a few bottles of one of the yummier beers since my middle name might as well be "Lightweight". I also got very sad whenever a particularly fabulous 80s tune got cutoff at 60 seconds. Here's a shot of the fridge after some major inroads were made on what I lovingly refer to as "piss beer" (sorry Coors and Bud. And anything people south of San Diego call "beer". Look, I'm from Colorado, went to college in Oregon, and studied abroad in Austria. I know what beer is!):

I should add that drinking anything but a really light beer while doing a Power Hour is probably grounds for immediate sterilization so that inferior genes are not inflicted on future generations. So I am in no way criticizing the purchasers or drinkers or said light beer. I'm just saying it can't touch my chocolate stouts.

Anyway, Tom told me that night about a cool thing he does on his blog every month where he lists the songs he's listened to the most. Seeing as it's October 31st, here's my first annotated playlist:

1. Estelle's "American Boy" with Kanye West.
Estelle - Shine - American Boy (feat. Kanye West)
Totally addictive. I get to sing along with it in an English accent.

2. 3Oh!3's "Don't Trust Me"
3OH!3 - Want - Dont Trust Me
First heard it on 93.3 and then was sad that my local music showed up on a Hills episode, not to mention as a 10 year old's ringtone in my parents' neighborhood. Not so sure I'd find these particular lyrics appropriate for my kids, but ok. Points for the band name being my area code and for the fact that a Fairview kid and Boulder high kid are in it together. Additional props for the "Tell your boyfriend if he's got beef that I'm a vegetarian and I ain't fuckin' scared of him" line. Very nice.

3. Brandi Carlile's "The Story"
Brandi Carlile - The Story - The Story
I have this thing where I think love stories aren't real unless people fight and go gray together. Thus The Notebook totally does it for me. Also "The Story" is fun to sing very loud. From here on out I depart a bit from the pop scene.

4. Grateful Dead's "Truckin"
Grateful Dead - American Beauty - Truckin'
This song stalked me all month. I'm not joking. It showed up in Patagonia while I tried on a "Vote the Environment" t-shirt and was on 97.3 as I drove home from class, not to mention showing up way mores times than is statistically likely in my iTunes lists. It's ok though, 'cause I like it lots.

5. John Mellencamp's "My Sweet Love"
John Mellencamp - Life, Death, Love and Freedom - My Sweet Love
I love songs about women who bushwhack their way through life, leaving oozing sap and awed faces behind. "You're the woman who knows exactly what she's doin', you're the girl who ate the apple off the tree." I also like apples. And if anyone ever imprisons me naked in a garden and tells me not to eat fruit off a certain tree, I will immediately take a big bite. And then chuck it at their head.

6. The Dixie Chicks "Wide Open Spaces"
Dixie Chicks - Wide Open Spaces - Wide Open Spaces
Now see, this is how I know I'm not cut out to live in a city or a cloudy state for too long. I'm a big sky kind of girl, and while I don't make a habit of tromping into the wilderness all the time, I like having it close enough to escape into. This country gets too built up, I'm buying me a cabin in Montana. It's also about growing up, which I think we're all still trying to do.

7. Paul Simon's "Late in the Evening"
Paul Simon - Negotiations and Love Songs 1971-1986 - Late in the Evening
A quintessential song of summer. We've had these long, warm, sunny Indian Summer days this month, and this came on the radio as I was cleaning out my car with the speakers blasting and the breeze blowing my hair. Perfection.

8. Steely Dan's "Reelin' in the Years"
Steely Dan - Can't Buy a Thrill - Reelin' in the Years
Actually a pretty sad song, but very catchy. Reminds me not to dwell on the negative, whether thoughts or people. Life's short, only got a hundred years at the outside. Spend it being happy, making others happy, and having fun!

9. Os Mutante's "A Minha Menina"
Os Mutantes - Everything is Possible! The Best of Os Mutantes - A Minha Menina
I first heard this song on an NPR bit about how the band sold out by allowing the song to be used for this McDonald's commercial. It's a cute commercial though, good job McDonald's advertising people! Portugese is cool, if trippy.

10. Robert Plant and Allison Krauss's "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)"
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand - Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)
Whenever I listen to "My Sweet Love" I want to hear this song next, and vice versa. There are way too few awesome duets. I vote for more.

11. Head for the Hills' "Harvest Moon"
Head For The Hills - Robbers Roost - Harvest Moon
More local music - started in Golden and now based out of Fort Collins. A little topical bluegrass as the seasons change.

12. KT Tunstall's "Other Side of the World"
KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope - Other Side of the World
I got to see Tunstall live at the Folks Fest this summer, and I loved this song. iTunes Genius spit it back at me this month, and I love it even more. It has a beautiful melody and a nice version of the breakup story - just two people on opposite sides of the world whether literally or figuratively, and a girl wanting to grow.

13. Belle & Sebastian's "Judy and the Dream of Horses"
Belle & Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister - Judy and the Dream of Horses
I looked this song up because of this Etsy piece by Emily Martin. I was already curious about Belle & Sebastian though, because there's a Gilmore Girls episode where Lorelai asks Rory where her Belle & Sebastian shirt is. As usual, GG was way ahead of the curve - B&S are all over the soundtracks for Juno and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Anyway, I'm pretty sure this song was written about me. The lyrics are eerie in their accuracy.

14. Dan Craig's "Goodnight Darlin' "
Dan Craig - Skin Grows Thin - Goodnight Darlin
Local singer/songwriter I heard at the Folks Fest. He's pretty cute, too. Here are some choice lyrics: "Goodnight darlin' and dream about New York tonight, the subways and the midtown lights, the way to call you home"; " Rest your mind you know, Phillie's the best friend you'll find, you can lay your head between her rivers like a mother's open arms/ And if you're tired well Boston knows the way you're wired, you can ask the cops in Cambridge how they keep their horses warm"; "Or take flight up over the mountains Utah's out of sight, there's miles and miles of space out there for you to make your mark." Good writing.

15. Debussy's "Clair De Lune"
Claude Debussy - This Is Classical - the Universe's Best Easy Listening Album of All Time - Clair de Lune
What can I say, Edward played it for Bella. Listening to the notes is like floating in salt water or slipping between fresh white hotel sheets after a day of playing in the mountains. Or walking into my clean and waiting room after being gone for weeks or months. Mmmmm.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008