Wednesday, September 30, 2009

House Pictures--Dining Room

Here is our very open concept (for a house built in 1928 anyway) dining room, and here are the things I'd like to tweak in it:

1. To the left, in place of the floating shelving, I'd like to build a hutch with almost entirely open shelving that is very tall and very wide but not very deep. I like to have my china and crystal where I can keep an eye on them--not buried behind panini presses and Carter's extensive collection of beer quaffing receptacles. I do use my china, and I want to have it readily available. Plus, I like to look at sparkly things.

2. I don't want to offend anyone b/c I've had a few people compliment the light fixture that the previous owners installed... but I HATE IT. Blech. I want something like this or this or this. Hopefully, it'll be less expensive but with that general look.

3. I would really love a huge trestle table (I want room for 10 people!) with a long bench/banquette that backs up to the windows, so that I can pull my other chairs around on the left side and heads. Is that realistic for this space? I don't know. The floorplan for the dining room is my only real complaint about our house. Everything has to lean to the right, scooch over and arrange itself in this slightly cramped, uncomfortable, unsymetrical layout. Nothing I can do about that. That's why I want a shallow hutch and why I want a stationary bench or banquette so that I can push everything to the outside walls and still have room to walk through there.

Is that Scrabble on my tiny table? We both got testy while playing last night and abandoned it for another time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

House Pictures--Lu's Room

The Guest Room is tiny, barely big enough to squeeze a little pup's luxurious sleeping quarters into the corner. In here, I'd like to get a new desk. I'd like a huge one on which I'd be able to spread out any projects I might have. Unfortunately, this room isn't accomodating any expansive desks any time soon. At a minimum, I'd like to get one big enough to cover the fact that my curtain doesn't go all the way to the floor. (I thought I had gotten eight floor length curtains, but I only got seven and one that was about a foot shorter than all the rest. I was too lazy to make a stink about it, so now I have to find ways to hide it.)

I want a few new shams for in here so we can have an all neutral bedding scheme. Plus, most intensely, I want two little ivory boudoir pillows monogrammed for each side of the bed.

House Pictures--Living Room

OK, before we get started, I just want to say that I didn't not sweep or style or do anything besides turn on some lights before I took these pictures. I also want to say that there are MANY things that need to be adjusted, purchased, and renovated before my house is really ready to be photographed, but nevertheless, here it is anyway. Let's consider all these the "before" pictures. Please reserve judgement.
This is the library portion of the living room, behind the sofa and leading into the dining room. (I promise that I tried to figure out how to rotate the picture, but obviously, I wasn't successful.) I lined the back of the shelves with our former shower curtain. I just love that fabric and couldn't do away with it. Plus, it ties the living and dining room colors together.
I'm waiting to purchase at least a 10' x 14' seagrass rug for the living room. The walls are dove gray-- should the rug trim be black or taupe? I cannot decide. I would say taupe for nearly every other room in the world, but I kinda think black trim for this room... but I don't know. Maybe taupe would be better. I just don't know!

This is looking toward the "foyer" and guest room. I wish I had a real foyer, but what can you do? What I do is put a white pumpkin and some cattails out. Behind the black and white rocker is a big ol' iron scroll that still isn't hung after being here nearly three months. I'd like to have a six or seven foot leaning mirror where the hanging mirror and table are. Sometimes all the clutter and knick knacks drive me crazy, and I want to clean it all off. I think this area needs to be simplified.

Hypothetical Halloween Costumes

Hub and I aren't necessarily the type to dress up for Halloween, but a friend emailed a photo of Betty and Don Draper as a sublimely attractive suggestion for this year's costume theme. We haven't gotten into Mad Men, but her idea got me thinking about other couples that we watch on a regular basis...

We could go as cookie-snatching Jeffrey and chortling Ina...

We could go as Zoila and Jeff a la Flipping Out...

or these two love birds...

or I could scratch a scar on my arm, put on my highest heels, and take a razor to Carter's hair...

or he could put on a bathrobe and I could disguise myself as a giant White Russian.

I know this is overkill by now, but surely someone out there will dress as Taylor and Kanye.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's Like Pandora for Readers!

This website--What Should I Read Next?--will take a book and/or author you enjoy and make suggestions based on your preferences.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fallish Feelings

The Valley Green Inn

(I had Thanksgiving lunch here a few years ago when my bro-in-law was living in Philly. We ate juicy turkey on that porch. However, what you don't see in this shot is the stream babbling lazily along to the far right. And what else you don't see are the very New England-y colors of all the trees covering the hill that rises up out of said stream. It was almost laughable how picturesque the whole thing was--point for point a Thanksgiving stereotype plus really good macaroni and cheese.)

Design New England via Elements of Style

(I want to smell a fire! And also, when is the last time I smelled someone burning leaves outside? Hub and I discussed burning leaves, and I guess city folk don't do that. I don't know. There's probably an ordinance or something. He thought the idea very provincial and Palestine-ish. To quote, "You country!")

The Noble Pig
(This is all I want to do for the month of September. This is it. Sip that coffee and give little bites of that cranberry apple crumb cake to Lu and myself and all our friends.)

This guy from The Sartorialist
(Um, he has on a bow tie with "hobo gloves." Is hobo a un-politically correct word? A friend used it the other day, and it seemed a little taboo, and we laughed at her (brief) lack of refinement.)

My Favorite and my Best

(Glowing fireplace? yes. Softly lighted kitchen? yes. Long family-oriented trestle table? yes. Well, ok then.)

Fly Through my Window
(Smell it. Smell it right now.)

Estate of Things
(Fall doesn't have to be just orange and yellow, you know.)

First, You Take the Mallow...

Please watch this video--The Marshmallow Test! It is hilarious.

Apparently, there's been quite a bit written about the original Marshmallow Test and it's value as a predictor future success as well as the nature of discipline and temptation.

The New Yorker article "Don't: The Secret of Self Control" discusses the original 1968 test.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I read this online this morning.

The Atlantic article titled "In the Basement of the Ivory Tower" ... because, yesterday, I was reading these admission requirements and procedures and these, too.

TCU doesn't have an English graduate degree, just a very wishy washy liberal arts somethingoranother. Besides, on my secretarial salary, I could not afford that anyway, but it certainly would be the easiest commute. Admittedly, UNT and UTA are not the vision I once held for my grad school career. Once upon a time, I dreamed a dream of this place, but they allegedly only accept 10% of their applicants, and I live on Pershing not on Guadalupe, so what are you going to do?

What I'm going to do is take my GRE... (Don't tell anyone, but I accidentally registered for it on the same morning that I'm hosting a baby shower in McKinney and slated to be in charge of the brunchy, ladies food stuffs everyone will consume. Oh no. But oh, yes. I'm rescheduling. Don't worry.) Like I was saying, I'm taking the GRE and taking my lumps and applying to the only viable options I have. Whatever happens, happens. At least I won't be as scared as I might have been otherwise.

In this same vein, have you seen previews for Joel McHale's new show? Here's a fairly positive review. Carter and I watched Joel in a Soup special last night with guest appearance by Seth Green, impersonating Daisy from dubious VH1 reality infamy. Seth can do no wrong in my book. Um, hello, it is no coincidence that Buffy went downhill when Willow and Oz broke up. Direct correlation. Also, I'm seeing Dawn around lately on Gossip Girl and someplace else I think. Just in passing.

I stole this photo from it's not like I actually own a signed photo of Seth circa 1997. I just came really close to putting a picture of Spike on here, too. Carter and I watched the first five seasons of Buffy together, but it does trail off there at the end. We're about to start The Wire. I'm preparing for a marathon this Sunday thanks to Netflix. woo... hoo. (That was done in the voice of Phoebe from the episode where Monica gets drunk and Phoebe tries to distract everyone at the party by causing a scene. And now that I think about it, also in the voice of Phoebe (not as Phoebe) as Michelle in Romi and Michelle's High School Reunion when they're about to leave on their road trip out to Tucson and the car keeps backfiring.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

5 weeks and 3 days

Not too long until we leave on vacation! One of my travel companions sent me the 2009 Vendy Awards Finalist List. It's a list of the top street food vendors in NYC. I'm drooling over The Falafel King and Rickshaw Dumplings the most. Gimme!
P.S. Anita Lo (of Top Chef Masters and victor in Iron Chef Battle Mushroom, Lo v. Batali) is associated with Rickshaw.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I dedicate this one to Hub.

"Squirrels are just rats with good PR," so sayeth Hub.

Check out an article for squirrel lovers and haters alike.

Half the Sky

I'm interested in reading this next.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I feel like everyone I know has recently birthed or any moment now will birth a little one. As I was researching ideas for an upcoming autumn-themed baby shower that I'll be hosting with several friends, I came across Pottery Barn Kids and their ridiculously cute Halloween costumes. So I'm just throwing these out there for you mom types.

For your goofy little boy who appreciates physical comedy...

For your cute girl who is sweet as sugar... or trying to rack up some brownie points... or wants to have her cake and eat it too. Sorry about the puns. I know they're a little... (wait for it)... half baked. Gotcha.

Tiniest of the Tiny

Look what my friend is raising! His (sorry T, I think that's evidence of his manhood on his belly and unfortunately not an umbilical cord) little tail hasn't puffed up yet. She put him right in my hand the other day despite my nervousness, and he wiggled around and, I think, tried to suckle on my finger. Holding something so small and perfect was pretty amazing for a Wednesday evening. Look at that pink belly and those sleepy, wide-set eyes.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What do you think?

Is it just me, or is this gross?

So Sexy

Look at this portfolio and tell me this isn't hot! (wink wink)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

There's this.

My sister and I went and saw Maya Angelou speak at UNT a few years ago... maybe more than a few now, and, well, what do you say about that woman other than she's greatness? I taught this poem every year to my juniors. And, yes, it's simple, but I love it.

I would be very careful about who I picked to read it to the class. Always a girl for this. Always a girl with a some sass, a girl who would perform it. Always a girl who could carry it even if the class reacted to certain parts of it (and they always had a reaction to one line in particular). And the kind of girl I wanted, this kind of girl at Everman, would know Maya Angelou already, even if she didn't know this poem in particular, and would own the idea of "Still I Rise."

Boo to the Baby Doll

I like things that are fitted around the ribs. A baby doll or empire style is quite the challenge for broad shouldered types like me. I scoured The Sartorialist to find examples of outfits that meshed with this aesthetic. (The last one is my favorite.)

Their accompanying (and somewhat disappointing) slideshow

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Also Sad

Another depressing thing today is the battle waging between me and the snap on my waistband. I'm wearing a pair of jeans that I bought from Ann Taylor Loft, knowing they were too small but I bought anyway b/c it was the only size they had left, and I really liked their dark wash and trouser styling. Anyway, I have a problem every time I wear them. I'm ok if I don't move, but if my belly pushes forward with a sigh or I lean over to put a stamp on an envelop or if I'm getting out of the car or basically making any movement at all, the snap comes undone with a soft and gentle and eternally aggravating pop. Then the real battle begins. I must very subtly and secretively find a way to snap it back so that my pants aren't flopping open for the office to see. That stupid pop taunts me and reminds me that I am not as small as I once hoped when I bought these ill-fitting jeans.

I Give Side Hugs

Let me say, I've been feeling a little sad and sentimental today. I'm not really sure if those are the words I want, but it's something close to that. I feel like I'm not what I used to be.

Maybe this just stems from the let down that comes after a three day weekend, you know, that depression of heading back to work when you're mystified where all the extra time went where you planned on shovelling in extra fun, but you realize that you just watched a little more TV than usual and didn't actually use your extra time for anything worthwhile. I feel guilt for not using my time wisely. I could have at least called the internet guy and washed Lu's blanket and hung the towel hooks...

Can I also say that I am a hateful person? I'm realizing it more and more. You know when somebody says that so-and-so is a people person--yeah, I think I'm the opposite of that. I'm ashamed of the way I sometimes just internally turn off and try to slowly back out of conversation, so I can lazily just listen and not have to engage. I am quick to judge and be annoyed. I'm jealous and insecure and uber-sensitive about everything. I'm too old for this attitude. Or maybe I'm too young for this attitude. How can you be a thirty-one year old cranky old woman?

How do those people do it? The people persons? Do they genuinely like everyone and want to talk to everyone all the time? Are they faking? Is it ok to fake it? I've watched them, and I am still mystified by this kind of person. I understand that they're generally liked, and I, too, want to be generally liked and be consistently loving to others and get excited about things.

I tried to be a camp counselor (three different camps and I disliked each one progressively more), and it's not who I am. I think for a long time this was my version of what it meant to be a good Christian, and I still sort of have this Camp Counselor Archetype as what I wish I could be. I was thinking about some of these things during my quiet time this morning and basically wondering where the line is between having just an introverted personality and being a selfish, unloving person. I don't know. And I'm not really wondering about the line so that I can scooch (I just looked up how to spell scooch.) right up next to it. I'd rather be far back from it, overflowing with love and words. I'm just asking to ask.

I wonder how I was ever a teacher with this dry, cold attitude, but I think I was a good teacher... even without the warm fuzzies. I mean I don't know, but I thought so. I did give side hugs to my students (and honestly to most people) and usually only when they initiated them, and I had to. This chilliness has been pointed out and duly made fun of on several occasions, but a full on hug seems very intimate to me, and I shy away from it (pun fully intended). And as an aside, I think full frontal hugs with teenage students are a very bad idea anyway... but really I don't want a full frontal hug (it's sounds worse when I say it like that) from anyone I don't know really well. I think a cheek kiss is much less intimate than the frontal hug.

Why am I talking about this? Oh, yes, to illustrate my natural awkwardness and repulsion of people. But I'm still wondering why this is and where the line is between personality, which I think is acceptable, and sinful human nature, which is not something I want to necessarily embrace. (Apparently, I don't want to embrace much. I am so funny when I'm feeling guilty.)

At least I'm here in the office, where I can luxuriously wallow in my sleepy anti-social shameful mood, instead of teaching, where I'd have to pull it together and ... what would I be teaching about now?... Oh, Lord, The Canterbury Tales again. Well, there's certainly one thing to celebrate.

Friday, September 4, 2009

But If I did...

I don't want a nursery right now, but if I did, I'd want it to look something like this...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Obama Money and Dream Shopping Sprees

We got our homebuyers' tax refund in the mail, and as I was dancing around the house, yelling yeah! yeah for socialism! and waving it above my head a la Charlie and "I've Got a Golden Ticket," I began to dream, not a grand, important dream, mind you, a fall shopping dream. I dreamt of what it would be like to spend all Obama's money on clothes and purses and fluffy things of that ilk, instead of on responsible, necessary, no-fun items. Can you picture the cloudy dream bubble spreading above my head as my bare feet shuffled to and fro on the kitchen floor?

Would you like a slideshow of what I'd buy if I had my selfish and vain druthers? Well, it just so happens I've been collecting images for that very purpose.

If I'm doing this, I might as well start with Marc Jacobs in plum.

Just so you know, I have strong feelings about the positive impact of scarves on all aspects of life.

I like to sleep in pretty things. Sometimes I get distracted by ratty T-shirts, but who doesn't?

Polka dots on a dress! with black tights!

I'm still debating about booties.

but I do know I cannot have enough ballet flats in my world.

Thick, voluptuous beads.

I told you about the flats.

This color is so soft and nice, and when carried by its strap, the top flaps over
Ta. Da.

I have long admired driving mocs from a distance.

Victorian booties... but still debating the idea of them.

A sleek bootie option. I guess my issue with the trend is the stumpy leg factor that can come along with a booty. I want to jump on the bandwagon, but it's dangerous. Please admit that sometimes they are very ugly and unflattering. I think this will certainly be one of those items that everyone really regrets in say three years or so. We'll say, "Oy, what were we thinking?" I want to be careful in my selection. As far as flattery goes, I think these are the safest bet.

But these dip in the front, too, plus they have a big wooden button!
What dream shopping spree is complete without some baubles? Could this be my so-called statement necklace?

This dress. (Back.)


In my imaginary world, I'd wear that dress with these tights.

Or these tights.

I'd wear this belt with everything.
And this one with everything else.

If I were actually going to buy anything, it would probably be these cords. How Audrey of J.Crew... Not Audrey in Roman Holiday or Tiffany's or Sabrina or My Fair Lady, but in that one with Fred Astair, where she tries to become a beatnik in in a smokey cafe in France. She wears pants just like this with little black flats and a beret.

This is a corduroy skirt! a corduroy pencil skirt!

I would also take a wool mini for wearing with crazy tights... and maybe booties.

How feminine can a blazer possibly look? Um, velvet in shell and the back is gathered for a pretty ruffle. I can't take any more. I would have to put kittens in those two tiny little pockets.

I have a confession. This is my favorite J.Crew model. Is that weird? I know. It is weird. Awkwardly changing the subject... isn't that shawl neck sweater perfect? And I'm obviously a little stuck on that color.

Yes, that's her again, but don't you like the trim on that blazer?

I have mentioned ruffles before. I like them. But sometimes I think of that Seinfeld episode. You know... the Puffy shirt. And then I get nervous that'll three years down the road it'll be the same regret as with the booties.

This sweater just got an attitude with me.

I want to wear this over long-sleeved things.

Everyone would notice this shirt. Is it too much? Yellow is risky. Especially that close to my face. Especially my pastey face during the winter.

Smokey teal. Puff sleeves. Stand up collar.

Some people wasn't likin chambray, but I'm heartily on board with this one. I have rocked a chambray shirt in the past. I like that it's supposedly back. (When did it leave?) Plus, Ina Garden loves denim shirts. She always pops her collar, too. How bad could that be?

I would wear this shirt exactly in this manner. Tight bun at the nape of my neck and everything.

Just nice. I've been leaning toward navy lately.

And last, this clean and neat jacket.

The end. All my money's been spent. (Actually, I've done no calculations, but I'm guessing it would take a few more handbags. And, Carter, if you're reading this, don't worry. It was all virtual window shopping. No spending here.)