Wednesday, July 22, 2009

fine twined linens

My mother has given me many things, including:

these legs and good taste in textile design

also, these sweet Pumas and this gorgeous new duvet cover

which were exactly what I wanted for my birthday.

Plus, she threw in the matching shams and coordinating sheets, AND two surprises:

How adorable is that?

Not to mention a plethora of throw pillows (she made the black&white covers herself).

Thanks, Mom!

(Now it's about time for me to crawl into that stylish bed. 'Night!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

so california right now

So I'm at lunch today, devouring my delectable In-N-Out burger & fries on the sunny patio under the palm trees and hugging the freeway, and it strikes me just how very california this is.

You know what I mean?

Yeah. I'm still in love with this place.

photo credit: unsureshot (flickr)

stick-on pixels

So. My friend Emily (and I don't just mean one of my other personalities) alerted me to the existence of this little stop-motion gem, and I thought that you all needed to see it, too.

Seriously, neon post-its and Breakout and Röyksopp? Again I ask: can life get better?

Monday, July 13, 2009

sunday breakfast

Variations on a stone fruit theme. Both were first-time experiments. The one on the right is a recipe from Grandma* Bittman; the one on the left, which is the one that graduated to Sunday evening barbecue, came to me in a dream. Or so I say.

*not really my Grandma, but merely an affectionate term for Mark Bittman, author of the How to Cook Everything books. No malicious or derisive intent; only the result of a moment of stupidity/inventive listening when I confused Bittman with Joseph's grandmother. That didn't really clear it up, did it.

hold on just a second don't tell me this one you know i know this one i know this song i know this one i know this song

So. I'm currently floating on the aftereffects of one of the best weekends of my entire life. Seriously. It was like a non-stop party. And not the kind that makes me claustrophobic and sends me dissolving into a corner. It was, however, the kind with many much musics (not to be confused with many much moosen).

Friday night was populated with salsa, cumbia, bachata, and my personal favorite merengue. Lesson 1: always say yes to a night at the salsa club even though you went to bed at 4am the night before. Lesson 2: sometimes it may be best to keep your mouth shut and not let on that you speak Spanish. Lesson 3: eventually the inebriated Nicaraguan who wants your phone number will settle for your hotmail address, and everyone goes home safe and happy.

Saturday night saw epic performances by Ra Ra Riot, Andrew Bird, and Death Cab. As you can probably imagine, I went mostly for Andrew Bird. And he did not disappoint. Nothing short of phenomenal, in fact. Since none of the little video that I got is good enough (i.e., I was too impatient to hold up the camera for more than 30 seconds and/or the microphone picked up my neighbors' chatter better than the music) to bother uploading it, you'll just have to trust me on the amazingness factor. Or go see him for yourself. I highly recommend the latter.

Just say the word, Andrew, and I will run away with you and your sock monkey and your victrola.

We sang happy birthday to him. While he was on stage, we got a wee bit of rain. Then this happened:

And then there was Death Cab. And they were awesome. I've never listened to them particularly obsessively (as I have with many others), but I found myself singing along to most of the songs they played. Tons of fun. (There's a good deal of video from the show already up on youtube; just search for "death cab july 11 berkeley" or some such similar string, if you so desire.)

After the concert we watched this wonderful documentary called Young at Heart. Cackle-and-guffaw-out-loud funny, and beautiful in so many ways.

Here's a taste:

You should watch it, too.

Then there was Sunday, highlighted by barbecued goodness, a new friend, a special visit from an old friend, and a motorcycle ride. Not to mention the freakin' gorgeous Palo Alto weather.

Plus, I got to talk on the phone to Claire, Joseph, Mom, Dad, and Vanessa.

Can life get better? I submit that it cannot!

Friday, July 10, 2009

i've been dealing with extreme gravity

A few months ago a friend of mine who is really into techno music introduced me to a couple of artists that I liked immediately (as well as other flavors that didn't quite do it for me). Later, based on the likes of Sasha and Bluetech, Pandora turned me on to the Texas-born, Detroit-based Matthew Dear (yes, lift-up-your-weary-head Detroit).

Enough iterations of "Death to Feelers" and "Fleece on Brain" (dig those throaty vocals) and the sound had decidedly moved into its own cozy corner of my head. Once I began hearing it from the inside, it was time to buy the album. And proceed to listen to it obsessively, of course.

The Asa Breed Black Edition album includes this "Don and Sherri" video, which you can also watch over the internets courtesy of

Just try and tell me that's not sexy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

still life with bottles and mini-blinds

This is what happens when you go shopping at Whole Foods at 9:30pm with only a vague impression of what you are shopping for.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

two reasons why i love california in the summer

1. Outdoor yoga.

Once a week I end the work day with yoga class, on a shady spot of lawn outside tile-roofed, arcade-lined building with a Spanish name on a peaceful, idyllic campus. Bliss. Then when I come home I feel like dancing. And I usually do. Like an idiot. But you'll have to take my word for it, since there are as of yet no witnesses to this phenomenon.

2. Fresh apricots.

When I was growing up—wait. I'm still doing that. Let's try that again: when I was a kid in Maryland, we always had dried apricots in the pantry. Always. Many a school lunch included a little sandwich bag (or snack bag, once they became available—remember how great they were?) full of dried apricots. Though I never grew to flat-out dislike them, I often tired of them. Every once in a while I wondered why other kids seemed not to come from environments so heavily saturated with dried apricots.

At the time of year when fresh apricots became available in the stores, Mom would always bring some home. But she was never satisfied. They were never as good as her memories of the fresh apricots of her California youth. I never understood what the fuss was about. I mean, I've always loved fresh fruit. Even in the days (and they were many—sorry Mom&Dad) when my I-will-eat-this list contained about fifteen specific items, fruit was always acceptable. But fresh apricots never impressed me. The ones I tried at home in Maryland were for the most part bland, mealy, or worse: both. I didn't see the point, but Mom kept buying them, kept trying and hoping that they would live up to her expectations of the apricot in its most exalted form.

Well. Mom: my apologies. Now I understand.

PS: if in the course of your grocery shopping you happen to see angelcots, get them. They are called Saintly with good reason.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

we can still afford to not make sense at all

Fanfarlo: a British band with a Swedish frontman and a name that may well be Esperanto. Never heard of them? Neither had I.

On Monday, NPR began streaming Fanfarlo's new album, Reservoir, as part of the All Songs Considered "Exclusive First Listen" series.

I listened. I liked it. A lot. So I bought it. For a dollar. And it was totally legal.

The musicians, "in the spirit of 'why not,'" as they put it, are offering a download of their new album for US$1 until July 4th, after which the CD & vinyl will hit stores.

Check out this video of Fanfarlo playing "Finish Line" in an English garden (naturally). For more, hear the whole album over at NPR, and find more audio and video plus the $1 download at the band's website.

Guess which one I have a crush on.