Thursday, July 29, 2010


Hey kids, I went and did something really annoying: I moved to wordpress. It's the same exact blog, just with its own URL and all that jazz. If you'd like to continue following along, please update your readers to this:

Thanks and I hope you make the switch!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

doors of orange

I was going through my honeymoon pictures again tonight and noticed a recurring theme in entrances of hotels in Palm Springs.



Why hello, glossy orange! I think it means something.

P.S. I want all of that hardware.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

just in time: orange

A coral-neon-orange is my proposed accent color for the living room and apparently, I'm so very on trend. It's nice when the world manages to recognize my creative genius.

Also, that chrome stool is awesome.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

charade color board

I'm a pretty lousy blogger -- I don't plan out my posts like I should, so when I promise something like showing pictures of my living room and then we go and buy a car and get fined a boatload of money for having an illegal cat in our apartment, I can't actually provide said pictures of my living room.

So instead I have a color board based on the movie Charade. We watched last night as part of date night and I couldn't help but be completely in love with Audrey Hepburn and her Givenchy wardrobe. All of her jewel tone coats were amazing, as were the elbow length gloves and that impossible chignon of hers.

Clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

le pretenders

Ever since creating a wedding registry, I have had an inexplicable and impulsive desire for Le Creuset products. I don't really cook - my husband does that - but I'm so taken in by the brightly colored enamel, the divine promises of cast iron, and admittedly the cache of owning one of those dutch ovens.


Apparently I'm not alone. A friend sent me an Amazon listing for Le Creuset replacement knobs. Let's take a closer look at it:


We've found the culinary equivalent of putting a Mercedes badge on your Honda Civic.

Monday, July 12, 2010

can I please have


It's a little soon to be thinking about these in the middle of sandal season, but I just. can't. help. myself. Just in case we're scoffing, they'd replace my old leopard flats that I've worn for THREE YEARS.


I rest my case.

does not compute

I just saw these Faber poetry covers (via Design*Sponge) and I have one question.
How do you write in something so pretty? Based on my own experience (which could be unusual), people don't casually consume poetry like the latest in the Sookie Stackhouse series -- they scrawl all over the page, making indecipherable marks and notations. This would be my Sylvia Plath Everyman edition all over again: I'd think it was far too lovely to write in and would buy a cheap paper back version for actual reading, with the pretty book sitting on the shelf forever. Being pretty.

When your books are too perfect to actually read, they stop being awesome.

Edit: I've decided that if you take notes in Edwardian script, you are allowed to buy fancy poetry books. Otherwise, still not allowed.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

preview: living room mini make-over

Over the next few months, we'll be redecorating our living room. It won't be a MOVE THAT BUS moment at the end, but the room will look a bit more unified, I hope.

Part of my first step was identifying a common theme in some of the stuff I already have. It's funny, I love the Jonathan Adler oh-my-god-bright-colors! aesthetic, but really, I'm from the Midwest. I can't take myself seriously like that, as much as I wish I could.

So here's some of what I have, some of what I'd like, and where I think I'm going.

Clockwise from top left: Trey Speegle mixed media, Pier 1 mirror, ABC Carpet rug, CB2 couch.

It'll all make sense eventually. This week I'll show you what I'm working with and it will be painful.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

fake housewife: miele vacuum

I bought a new vacuum last weekend. It wasn't a Dyson.

Gasp. Horror.

I had two beefs with Dysons: upright and bagless. We have zero carpeting in our apartment. Without carpeting, the heavy duty beater bars on an upright become dead weight and at that point, there's no reason to have an upright. So I'm on team canister. As for the bagless thing, well, it was a request of my husband's. He's the one that always empties out the little dust collector bin on our old vacuum, and he despises it. So being a dear, I looked for a canister with bags.

Working off of some consumer guides and reports, I bought the Miele Neptune. Originally I was all about the Polaris, but at the store I found out that it didn't come with the turbo attachment for rugs and it didn't come with a fancy attachment for hardwood floors. The Neptune was $100 more but to buy those attachments would cost more than that, so I plunked down the 500 bucks.

A month ago, I would have never considered spending $500 on a vacuum. But then I had this conversation with my mom, who likes to not spend money, and she admitted to spending $800 back in the '80s on a Kirby vacuum. Dude. I decided I shouldn't feel guilty about replacing my $40 vacuum with something that does more than make a loud, high-pitched wail.

So back to the Miele. I love it. I need to name it something, because it follows me around like a dog. Its little wheels rotate all the way, so it doesn't get stuck or behave awkwardly. It has a telescopic wand, so no need to be all hunched over. You can adjust the suction power, which is incredible to me.

It's also a really pretty color! That's important for vacuums, indeed.

We haven't filled up a bag yet, so I can't speak to how frequently they will need to be changed. But our apartment is 650 square feet, so we're probably not very representative there.

So far so good.

i'm just saying...

Left image via SMP, Right image: my save the dates, designed in january!

Just saying!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

writing binge #2

Well, this is certainly my comeuppance for not following through with the Great Stay Awake All Night and Write of 2010.

We watched Supersize Me this afternoon, a fairly meh documentary when preceded by Food, Inc. The only action it called me to was sending my husband out to McDonald's for nuggets and fries. This is where things went horribly wrong.

You see, Kirk orders meals, which results in a drink for each of us. Except he doesn't drink his pop, he prefers to pair his nuggets with a frosty alcoholic beverage. He is very refined. So we are left with one spare fizzy beverage, always, that I feel inclined to drink.

I put the spare Diet Coke in the fridge for safe keeping, as per usual. But at about 8 p.m. I was a little thirsty and I knew from past experience the extra soda never gets consumed -- it just gets watered down in the fridge, I attempt to drink it in some wild stupor in the morning, spit it out in disgust, and pour the remaining contents down the drain.

Today, I wanted to do things differently. I wanted to actually drink the spare soda, not just let it languish in the fridge under false pretenses, a promise of drinkability later. So at 8, knowing full well I have to get up at 6 tomorrow morning, I set off on an ill-advised Diet Coke drinking journey.

It started off well enough: I finished the first book of Lord of the Rings. I wrote some thank you notes. Then I tried to go to bed and... nada.

Here I am now at 12:30, with the promise of a decent night's sleep desperately slipping away. But I am tallying one point in my favor: I'm writing. My mind is churning. Foggy ideas are being distilled. There's a combined urgency of needing to sleep and needing to wake; the longer I stay up, the more I can read and say.

I wrote an appropriate poem for this situation two years ago. I'm fairly certain the literary mag world will consider this self-publishing and therefore make the poem ineligible for submission, but apparently I'm feeling generous.


Your mourning coo
reminds me of unsleeping
nights, when so suddenly light
seeps in with your song.
You accompany the dew
and with damp feet
I search for the sadness
in the trees.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

no-cook recipes for an (indoor) potluck

Tomorrow is the 4th of July which officially means it's potluck season. If you get a last minute invite to a party and the food will be served in a relatively cool place, I have two no-cook recipes that you can throw together in minutes. And they're seriously tasty.

Stupid Easy Crab Dip

1 block of cream cheese
1 package of fake crab meat (you can be fancy I guess and get real crab)
1 container of cocktail sauce or make your own with horseradish and ketchup

Put the cream cheese on your desired serving dish. Cut the crab into bite-sized pieces and arrange them on top of and around the cream cheese. Finally, pour the cocktail sauce on top. Serve with crackers.

Stupid Easy Brie with Caramel

1 block of brie
5 granny smith apples
1 jar of caramel
chopped nuts if desired

Place the brie on your serving dish. Pour caramel on top. Heat in microwave briefly if desired. Serve with sliced apples.

There you have it. Ridiculously fast and easy recipes for a last-minute party.

Friday, July 2, 2010

writing binge #1

Once upon a time, I wanted to go back to grad school for my MFA in creative writing poetry. In college I had a concentration in creative writing (and a certificate in journalism!) and always felt that teaching creative writing classes would be neat. The instructors assigned their favorite collections, made up cool prompts, and were basically awesome.

But talking with my mentor, he really discouraged getting the MFA just to teach. MFAs were for people who desperately needed the extra time to be creative and just write, he said; it wasn't a guarantee of any job at all. Beyond what I wrote for my thesis, I haven't been able to reproduce that zest for writing since. I can't tell if that's a reason to go back (as in, I'm so deadened by my routine that I have no inspiration), or if it's a reason to stay away (...because I have no consistency).

My writing was fueled by insomnia. I wrote late at night and rarely revised. In the twilight hours I'd sit outside, smoking of course (I quit and fear it's another reason I can't write anymore...), and watch the sky and birds. There were many things to see in those hours that weren't apparent to me usually. During the day even, trudging around campus on a few hours of sleep, I'd experience those deliciously delirious senses, when little things are perceived. Moments felt longer, stretched even, so that I could pick out the brilliant parts of living. It was excruciating and lonely, but I was writing.

I was reminded recently of the moments of brilliance that can happen from this sort of crazed exhaustion. I was reading excerpts from a liveblogger's entries of the Isner-Mahut game at Wimbledon. Take this, for example:

"4.05pm: The Isner-Mahut battle is a bizarre mix of the gripping and the deadly dull. It's tennis's equivalent of Waiting For Godot, in which two lowly journeymen comedians are forced to remain on an outside court until hell freezes over and the sun falls from the sky. Isner and Mahut are dying a thousand deaths out there on Court 18 and yet nobody cares, because they're watching the football.
Soon they will sprout beards and their hair will grow down their backs, and their tennis whites will yellow and then rot off their bodies. And still they will stand out there on Court 18, belting aces and listening as the umpire calls the score. Finally, I suppose, one of them will die." - Xan Brooks via Deadspin

There's desperation in the exhaustion, maybe even bewilderment, and yet in these moments I can pluck from my distant and obscure memories, lucid declarations, and above all, vividness, a vividness that only comes from an extreme state of being, be it lack of sleep or mind-altering drugs.

I prefer the lack of sleep method.

So I am deciding what to do. I think an experiment is in order. I should stay up one day this weekend and see if the method lives on -- can I write while sleepy? It sounds like a dangerous game for teenagers.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

to market, to market

Since the wedding I've tried to do more of the things I neglected while planning, like being among people. So to help fix this, I've promised myself to ride my little bike over to Eastern Market once a weekend, instead of sending my husband to buy me donuts from Union Station.

We bought some fresh cilantro for a tortilla soup and a few peaches to snack on. Quite pleasant.


After the wedding planning blog, there comes the lifestyle blog.

Married now with nesting syndrome, this is my blogging equivalent of redecorating a closet. I'll share the things I love, be it a vacuum or a nail polish color, and you can nod along with me. It will be grand.

The blog title comes from a Wallace Stevens poem, entitled "The Well Dressed Man." I'm not positive I know what it's really about, but it's a fine poem.

The Well Dressed Man

After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
No was the night. Yes is this present sun.
If the rejected things, the things denied,
Slid over the western cataract, yet one,
One only, one thing that was firm, even
No greater than a cricket's horn, no more
Than a thought to be rehearsed all day, a speech
Of the self that must sustain itself on speech,
One thing remaining, infallible, would be
Enough. Ah! douce campagna of that thing!
Ah! douce campagna, honey in the heart,
Green in the body, out of a petty phrase,
Out of a thing believed, a thing affirmed:
The form on the pillow humming while one sleeps,
The aureole above the humming house...
It can never be satisfied, the mind, never.