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