Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy Friday! Hello Nostalgic Distraction



That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane -
Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn -
world serves its own needs, regardless of your own needs. Feed it up a knock,
speed, grunt no, strength no. Ladder structure clatter with fear of height,
down height. Wire in a fire, represent the seven games in a government for
hire and a combat site. Left her, wasn't coming in a hurry with the furies
breathing down your neck. Team by team reporters baffled, trump, tethered
crop. Look at that low plane! Fine then. Uh oh, overflow, population,
common group, but it'll do. Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its
own needs, listen to your heart bleed. Tell me with the rapture and the
reverent in the right - right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright
light, feeling pretty psyched.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign tower. Slash and burn,
return, listen to yourself churn. Lock him in uniform and book burning,
blood letting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate. Light a candle,
light a motive. Step down, step down. Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh,
this means no fear - cavalier. Renegade and steer clear! A tournament,
a tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives
and I decline.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

The other night I tripped a nice continental drift divide. Mount St. Edelite.
Leonard Bernstein. Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs.
Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom! You symbiotic, patriotic,
slam, but neck, right? Right.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine...fine...

(It's time I had some time alone)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Things to Make & Do, From Design*Sponge

{This idea, from Kate @ Design*Sponge, is so genius. The below text & above images are all courtesy of the lovely and talented Design*Sponge blog.
I love crafty people!}


What You’ll Need:
1.) fabrics (choose light to medium weight cotton fabrics)
2.) fabric stiffener (i found this at the craft store)
3.) paint brush
4.) rubber gloves (optional, but highly recommended)
5.) containers for molds (i used a tupperware box and a loaf pan)
6.) scissors
7. ) saran wrap

Instructions:
1.) Cut a square of fabric big enough to cover your container. make it bigger than you want the box to be in the end so you can cut the edges clean.

2.) Wrap your container tightly with saran wrap and place it upside down on a working surface.

3.) Put on your rubber gloves and pour some fabric stiffener onto the fabric swatch. Work it around in your hands so the fabric is completely coated with the stiffener on both sides. Squeeze off any extra stiffener, but make sure the swatch is completely saturated.

4.) Lay your swatch down over the mold and smooth down. Add some extra stiffener with the brush on the outside and fold the fabric around the corners like you are wrapping a present.
Brush on another thin layer of stiffener and smooth out any wrinkles, and check to see that the folds are flattened and that they stay put.

6.) Let dry overnight. when the fabric is completely dry, you will be able to easily pull it off the mold.7. Cut the edges of the fabric so you have a clean, even edge.

8.) If you feel the box is still a little wobbly, you can put it back on the mold and coat the entire box with another layer of stiffener and let it dry overnight again. The middle weight fabrics will feel sturdier than lighter weight fabrics.

VOILA!

Note: These trays are great for organizing loose objects and for carrying lightweight objects. They are not strong enough to carry heavier materials, and are not recommended for serving trays or for transporting around heavy things.

Spirituality in My Inbox

It is a good idea to take responsibility for the things in life that we can control or create. We work so we can feed, clothe, and shelter our loved ones and ourselves. We manifest our dreams and visions in physical form with hard work and forethought. But at a certain point, when have done all that we can, we must let go and allow the universe to take over. This requires trust. It requires a trust that runs deeper than just expecting things to turn out the way we want them to. Sometimes they will, and sometimes they won’t. We develop equanimity and grace as we learn to trust that, with the guiding hand of the universe, life will unfold exactly the way it should. We are engaged in an ongoing relationship with a universe that responds to our thoughts and actions.

{Text From Daily Om . One of a Kind Print by Shira Sela, for sale on Etsy.}

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lolcat's Motherland: ROL Cats.

{My living quarters are comprised of the bone meal of the bourgeois!}

{Where re-education has failed my comrade, the hangman’s noose will succeed…}

{Paned windows are prohibited in this sector, comrade Sergei. Will you kindly report to the Lubyanka, or will you force me to violence?…}
Thank you, ROLCats! Your cleverness is most pleasing.

Holy Effing Hell! In St. Augustine?

The National, Devotchka, Broken Social Scene, Bad Brains, Lucero, Ra Ra Riot, Dave Dondero, and that's just the stuff I can read. Also for a good cause. Harvest of Hope Music Festival. In St. Augustine? Hell Yes!

I'm a Fan

This heartbreaking read, Comfort, of a mother's sudden, irretrievable loss of her amazing five-year-old daughter, Gracie Bell, was really, really, incredibly raw and gorgeous, and made me a stalwart fan of writer Ann Hood, whose most recent novel, I had heard of, but paid only passing attention to. Now I will read everything this woman has written, and I thank her for sharing her grief--ponderous, unscalable--with the world. This is the third book I've read in the last few months (Beautiful Boy by Mike Sheff and An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken) that punched my heart with the enormity of a parent's love for their children, such tenderness, such sweetness, such boundlessness. It's everything, isn't it? Everything at all. Book cover and photo courtesy of Ann Hood's site.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Like It or Not, There's Part of Me In You

If you've forgotten about Ida, why not revisit? In 1996, this album meant absolutely everything to me (and most of my girlfriends, much to the chagrin of our current or ex-boyfriends). Their harmonies still break me in half. Get I get a shout from the ladies?!

Obamicon Yourself!

Yeah. It's pretty cool. You can even make t-shirts and mugs and stuff. Visit it here.

25 Random Things


Tagged by the great Kitty Kat, these are very random, tmi elements of my personality:

1.) I've never had a driver's license. I've driven cars. I'v hit fences with cars. I've been screamed at by my own sweet mother while trying to drive. But I've never made it to the DMV for a driving test. I want to drive, but it's obviously become a huge issue at this point. HUGE.

2.) I love the sound of my own voice. I will read aloud whenever possible. Even to my cat.

3.) I love the shit out of cats. I talk to them in the street. And they talk back.

4.) I played a Timucuan Indian in Florida's official state play, Cross & Sword at the St. Augustine Ampitheater, while I was 13 and 14. I wore a pantyhose bikini, a long black wig, a moss skirt, and Texas dirt. I sang in Timucuan a song I can still recite...Iti i tini qua nu mona/arabo ne he me itihu..."

5.) I also played Mary Warren in The Crucible when I was 16. After that community theater production, I quit the game while I was ahead.

6.) Following puberty, I wore a bikini on the beach or anywhere else (besides onstage) only once. A black and white-striped bikini. Tim Toman, my pubescent nemesis (he had no idea), made all kinds of fun of me (I had a perfectly proportioned, thin, and appropriately developed 13-year-old body), and I've been wary of swimming attire ever since, I believe. What hell is junior high, I tell you.

7.) I will not write or call you back, for the most part, and I never mean for it to hurt anyone's feelings or anything. I've got this reactive paralysis. I am getting better at answering the phone. But e-mails, ooh lordy. Those are hard.

8.) I would happily bear Elvis Costello's children.

9.) I sometimes pretend I'm in a movie. It makes the surreal elements of my life more bearable.

10.) Ama means love. My middle name Livia, came from Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce. Literary hippie parents!

11.) I am INSANE for candy.

12.) I'm very impulsive.

13.) I've been told I'm hard to talk to.

14.) I sigh all the time.

15.) I have a crush on Barack Obama.

16.) I have a terrible temper.

17.) I'm not as innocent as I look and would like to have you believe.

18.) I used to steal the local museum/church donations around my historical hometown. Plus I'm a reformed shoplifter in general.

19.) I'm pretty good at karaoke.

20.) I know all the lyrics!

21.) I inherited a mouthful of bad teeth.

22.) I bust out my elevated vocab when trying to get what I want with customer service peeps.

23.) I hold grudges for a long time. Another issue.

24.) I know my correct bra size. It's crazy.

25.) I could sleep all day long if you'd let me.


I now tag Dana!

Birds of Sorrow

"You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair. --Chinese Proverb

Image courtesy of Caryn Drexl on flickr. The talented photographer also has has her own site as well as an Etsy shop. Absolutely beautiful and narrative and lush and smart.
Also, Happy Chinese New Year! Here's to keeping those birds of sorrow up in the air where they belong! Long life and prosperous days to you all.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Friday

I have been very into prettying up my home and the inside of my brain, as well as my heart and soul, too, I guess. To that and other ends, the below's all about what I've been looking at on the magical interwebs this week (while at work):

Inspiring inspiration wall by Diane Bergeron.

This beautiful entryway is quite inspiring. I have no hallway, but I love the shelf and the mirror and the basket and the little cushions. Found this on Decor8.

This beautiful chair, especially the collage colors plus it looks flannel or wool or felt...very cozy. Via Apartment Therapy.

I love the window, that mirror, the bedspread, the light, the lamp, the wood floor, the chandelier, the shelves, the intimately gorgeous cozy-ness of it all. I bet it smells great in there, too. Via Apartment Therapy.
I love these beautiful little girls, their ruddy red cheeks and dewy skin, the sweet little unidentifiable creatures they hold warm in their adorable arms. I've just spent an hour trying to find out who this wonderful artist is. I know it's on Etsy, but I can't find it yet. Will continue searching. If you know, please tell me.

How sad and solemn and cold and sweet. I call it Fox In the Snow...You know the song..."Fox in the snow, where do you go/To find something you can eat?/Cause the word out on the street/ is you are starving/Dont let yourself grow hungry now/Dont let yourself grow cold/Fox in the snow..." from the Belle & Sebastion. Haunting picture Via Flickr.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ama Loves Obama

{I actually had a dream about him last night. One of those dreams where you're shocked and so happy to find that someone like Barack Obama really likes you and wants to be your best friend. Anyway, just wanted to share some links to beautiful, inspiring words, images, and sounds, oh my lord. I've been a crying fool these last few days, inspired like never before to live, to do my best, to GIVE IT ALL BACK.}

What Have I Been Looking At?

NYT's transcript of Elizabeth Alexander's beautiful inaugural poem, Praise Song for the Day. Indeed:

Praise song for the day.

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."

We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day.

Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day.

Praise song for every hand-lettered sign;
The figuring it out at kitchen tables.
Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."
Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light.
Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.


The overwhelming We Are One concert, complete with the previously deleted invocation, and a Jon Bon Jovi who can actually pull off A Change Gonna Come. And Pete Seeger doing This Land Is Your Land With Springsteen? Beyonce doing America The Beautiful? Forget about it. I was Niagara Falls All Over the Place.

Barack Obama's
Inaugural Address (Excerpts Below):

In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by nine campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:


"Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it."

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words; with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come; let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations. Thank you. God bless you. And God Bless America.

  • The gorgeous cupcake pic from the beautiful blog Heart of Light
  • The precious pic of a little girl all dressed up for the big day, by Michael Appleton for the New York Times.
  • The rest of the pics, also from the NYT.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We Are All Responsible

Be brave, and mighty forces will come to your aid. --Goethe

I don't know if I can even express the welling hope in my heart on this day. Tears fill my human eyes. I love the inspiring humanity of the Obama family. He's a god-sent man, I think, just like MLK, Jr., Lincoln, FDR, JFK, and Bobby Kennedy. And my heart soars, beats out of my chest with love. The plate is full, Bush's legacy dire, but look, people in frigid temperatures in DC feel nothing but warmth in their hearts. These are not ordinary times. This is not an ordinary day. I look at the throngs of humanity beaming with joy, ready to become a part of their country again, and I am speechless. Speechless. But full of, overwhelmed by JOY, soberly certain of my responsibility, my part. As a whole, we can do it. Yes. We. Can.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Am So Going to Make These

{Images and recipe via the wonderful and beautiful blog Design Sponge via Eat Feed, a really cool online cooking video programme site thing, with Anne Bramley and others}.

Anne Bramley’s Triple Chocolate Stuffed Mocha Cupcakes

Cupcakes
3/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Ganache
10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup cocoa nibs (optional)

To make the cupcakes: In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the espresso and stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and beat for an additional minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and beat for another minute. With mixer running, slowly pour in 1/2 of the espresso mixture and mix until completely blended; repeat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat briefly to ensure everything is homogenized.

Using a 1/3-cup measure, scoop the batter into the muffin cups, dividing equally. Bake 18 to 23 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan. If necessary, run a thin-blade knife around the edges to release the cupcakes from the pan; cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the ganache: While the cupcakes cool, coarsely chop the chocolate and place in a medium mixing bowl. Heat the whipping cream in a small saucepan until just beginning to bubble around the edges. Whisk the warm cream into the chopped chocolate and continue whisking until completely smooth. Cool slowly at room temperature, whisking occasionally to maintain smoothness. (Don’t be tempted to rush by putting the ganache in the fridge or it will harden around the outer edges and you’ll have to reheat it again to whisk the chocolate lumps back in. If you absolutely can’t resist the temptation or the clock is working against you and you must resort to the fridge, just make sure to stir every 5 minutes or so.) When it reaches a spreading consistency, transfer 1/2 of the ganache to the bowl of an electric mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip until light and fluffy.

To fill the cupcakes, transfer the whipped ganache to a pastry bag with a plain or star metal tip. Plunge the tip into the top of each cupcake and squeeze in the filling gently.After filling, frost the cupcakes with the unwhipped ganache, making sure to cover the hole in the top from the pastry bag. If desired, sprinkle with the cocoa nibs. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Paraphernalia

This is all incredibly beautiful jewelry from the British Paraphernalia shop. Necklaces, brooches, bracelets, all in incredible collections. Wearing this jewelry, I imagine, is like living in the greatest children's story ever told, the kind that's really for adults.

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

Cutiemus

If I had a store, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to call it CUTIEMUS. Luckily, somebody else already did it for me, stocking it full of cuddleh, sassy, affordable, wittily monikered apparel, as in: 1.0 Black Snuggle Sweater. 2.0 Rainbow Bright Sweater. 3.0 Playdate Parka (Neon Yellow) 4.0 Homeslice Hoody. 5.0 Folk Revival Tunic Dress and the bestest 6.0 The Golightly Jacket.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Srsly

From www.ICanHasCheezburger.com

Use Your Gifts

No man is born into the world whose work is not born with him.
--James Russell Lowell


Our Wise Creator has provided each of us, at birth, with the necessary talents and gifts to make a worthwhile contribution to the world. What we make of those gifts and talents is entirely up to us. We can choose to ignore, and thereby destroy, our innate interests and abilities - or we can choose to pursue them, despite our doubts and fears, and enjoy life to the fullest.

If we wish to use our talents and gifts, we must become aware of those activities and interests we enjoy. Then we must make the effort to explore the opportunities and alternatives available to us.

If we do not find a place for our interests and abilities in the world around us, we needn't be discouraged. We can create one. Dedication and perseverance have opened many seemingly closed doors.

TODAY - Am I doing the best with what I've been given? Am I using my capabilities well? If I am not, am I willing to take the necessary action to achieve inner satisfaction?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Earth. Sun. Moon.

Released in 1987 and stolen from my older brother Joshu's amazing casette collection, this is the album that changed everything for me.

I Got Nothin'

But I'm tired of looking at that New Year's Eve Cake. No words, but above, please find a visual compendium of my recent media diet. Much love for the Wire, Beautiful Boy, Lush Life, and The Taste of Tea.

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