Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Think It's a Good Omen

At least I hope it is!
Another set of egg twins!

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An Open Letter to Rachel Ray

Dear Rachel Ray,

I was at Bed, Bath, and Beyond yesterday and I noticed that you've created your own line of garbage bowls which are selling for $15. I'm not sure why anyone would buy a bowl specifically to put garbage in, especially for $15. It seems like the kind of thing best reserved for an old mixing bowl or something from the dollar store, don't you think? The bigger question, though, is...was there a reason you thought it should look like the inside of my toilet on new year's eve?


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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And In Case You Think Winter is as Lame as I do

About 4 years ago, I’d say I had a minor nervous breakdown. I was graduating from college and I didn’t know where I wanted to go or who I wanted to be at all. I was passionate about design, but I didn’t see how it was going to fit into my future. I was pretty freaked out about never setting foot in a classroom again. I no longer had the stability of knowing that 5 days a week I’d be taking notes, reading books, asking questions, and hearing lectures. It was cold and snow dusted the parking lot as I left on my last day, and even though I thought the glisten of the snow at dusk was actually really lovely, I truthfully find winter to be quite the bummer. I think it might be the worst around the coming end of February, when the end is so close but spring just won’t quite come fast enough. There’s usually at least one day where I end up wearing a dress and sandals in 60 degrees because I’m so desperate for some warm weather.

My professor, who taught no less than 3 of my classes at the small college I attended and was one of the most caring and attentive people I knew, gave me a ton of good advice when I left. What has stuck with me was his suggestion to appreciate the beauty of small things and to find good in everything, even when it all seems to be going wrong. I try every day to consciously appreciate something that is happening to me or around me to keep myself content through the boring winter days. I hardly have a problem doing that any other time of year, but right now it’s definitely the time of year to be making that conscious effort. In that spirit, here’s a list of some my little joys from this winter.

There are two places in my house where the sun shines directly into my windows during the day. One spot is in the kitchen, the other in the upstairs hallway between the bedrooms and bathroom. Pretty much every day at least one of my 3 dogs seeks it out and sits or sleeps contently in the warmth. It’s one of many precious things they do.

When I was out of town 2 weekends ago, the mr. took out our incredibly stupid shower door and replaced it with a shower curtain rod. You’d be surprised how much happier that little change makes every trip to the bathroom.

I was at one of my listings checking on it after a windstorm this fall (ok, so I cheated a little because it wasn't this winter) and I came across what looked like a horrific Barbie crime scene and it made me laugh out loud. Maybe that's twisted?

Clean bed sheets. They might be annoying to wash and have to put back on, but the payoff is always worth it.

They're not very good for you, but you cannot be bummed out while eating smiley fries.

Caffeine. Very little in the world makes me feel better than a can of sugar-free Rockstar in the morning.

Convincing friends to drink things out of ridiculous glassware. I.e. whiskey in a wine glass.

I hadn’t had a fruit roll-up since I was probably…I don’t know…11, until I had one last week. It’s so strange and comforting the way it makes me feel 6 years old again to eat one.

A friend of mine works at the tea house right around the corner. I’m not really a tea person at all, but on rare occasion a caramel apple tea cider is an awesome treat.

Listening to one of my favorite songs over and over again always makes me a little happier. I got stuck on The Killer's cover of "Romeo and Juliet" (originally a Dire Straits song) for a while this winter.

I'm fortunate to live near both the giant Jesus and this ridiculous car dealership and it always amuses me to drive by either one.

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Another Snow Day

Where I live, every time it snows the entire tri-state area is talking about it non-stop. The news is basically covering every flake live on the mean streets of the suburbs. Everyone is talking about how it snowed more or less than they expected, the incompetency of weathermen, the probability of further snow days or early dismissal, and a heck of a lot of people are talking about how amazed they are that it's 'just snow' and where they come from people drive in a lot worse conditions a lot more often. I guess because we're in a small group of people that usually only get one or two big snows a year we have a special freak-out niche.

I now present to you, the top 12 things to do on a snow day:

12. Spend a ton of money that you don't have online. Might I suggest checking out Modcloth or 80s Purple?

11. Do something crafty, like knit a scarf for the next snow day. Extra hipster points for you, too.

10. Get yourself over to an empty parking lot and slide around in your car for a while. This activity is better with a bunch of friends. Particularly if one of those friends is attached to a rope and standing on a sled behind the car.

9. Search your house for whatever liquor is available. You'll probably end up with glasses of grape schnapps and kool-aid or something, but, hey, drinking is drinking. Make a game out of the news casts. Every time they go live to someplace where absolutely nothing is happening, take a drink. Every time they cut back to the weatherman, take a drink. Make up your own rules...whatever happens it's going to be pretty easy to get drunk.

8. Go sledding with a bunch of your friends in your bathing suits. It will be more hilarious for everyone involved and you won't feel like such a jerk when you're ready to go inside after 1 or 2 trips down the hill.

7. Grab a gigantic pillow, take it on a trip down some carpeted stairs. This game is more fun after #9

6. Make inappropriate snow men in a neighbor's yard. Complete with carrot wieners!

5. Spend the entire day in your pajamas. You were going to do it anyway. I'm giving you permission.

4. Watch one of those documentaries you may be skipping by on HBO or Showtime. I highly recommend Cat Dancers. It's SO weird/amazing.

3. Make a fort. Office and dining table chairs, blankets, couch pillows, and broom sticks are all excellent supplies. After you make it, eat a meal inside it. Preferably something that goes well with fruit roll-ups.

2. Watch the tv shows that you don't get to see while you're at work. Plan to do it in morning or late afternoon though, because the news/soap opera time is pretty brutal.

1. Order a pizza and make some jerk deliver your food. (Since all you have is condiments and side dishes anyway)

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Your Feet are on Fire

I spent my Friday night at a bar I sometimes go to, a self-proclaimed dive. When I arrived, a bunch of my friends were on the dance floor already, hanging out. Before I even got a ‘hello’ out to everyone, one of them immediately said “WHITE IS LAVA!” and I jumped onto a black tile and followed them over to the other end of the group to talk. I didn’t think much of it and didn’t say much about it, at first, and continued on as normal with the group of 5 or 6 people, all standing on the black tiles alternately talking and dancing. For a bit we marveled as other friends came and went through the dance floor and all played along. Nothing was needed other than those 3 simple words and every one of them would instantly jump to a black tile. It’s kind of amazing the way some things are so universal and go unquestioned. I also think it’s kind of neat what experiences we don’t all share, like when F.E. brought up ‘the old wax paper and comb harmonica’ and no one else seemed to know what the hell that was about. So, one of you needs to start a new band called White is Lava and tell me how it goes.

Here’s your first album cover, aaaaand you’re welcome.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Rules of Hipsterdom Part 2

If you’re a lady, get involved in something artsy or craftsy. Whether it’s making plush, drawing, sewing things you end up never wearing, or knitting. You always get extra indie cred if you’re doing one of the aforementioned while taking advantage of public transportation. Nothing is hipper than a cute girl with a hand-made cap covering her choppy haircut, knitting a scarf on the subway.

Complain every now and again about how Urban Outfitters…makes their own versions of designs from freelance artists and complain just as much that you HAVE to shop there because there is nowhere else to get any clothes you like in this stupid city. All the thrift stores that used to be good totally suck now. At least we finally got an American Apparel.

Support local businesses as much as possible and try working it into conversation. If you don’t have a lot of cool local businesses nearby, there’s always a coffee shop you can patronize instead of Starbucks. Even if it’s more expensive and their coffee sucks, at least you’re keeping the money in your cool urban neighborhood. The same applies for tea houses. There’s something so hip and refined about a quiet tea house with its walls lined with tins of fancy tea and it’s friendly and almost overly gentle staff in their horizontally striped sweaters with the sleeves pushed up. They always have some soft lovely music playing, such as Daniel Martin Moore, and it's a great place to refine your recently aquired hobby of drawing or whatever.

Daniel Martin Moore - Stray Age from Soft City Lights on Vimeo.

Go to indie dance nights at the hipster bars and either get crazy-drunk or dance like a fool or stand in the back and watch (if you’re not the dancing type). Either way, it’s a good place to take notes on what everyone is wearing and who they’re hooking up with.

At some point, it’s a good idea to start making your own music. Even if you’re not very good or you’re already in a band, it will be nice to get it out there anyway. All you really need to do is start a myspace. The pictures should generally be of anything other than you. A field, children holding hands, your feet, a stick of gum, someone’s puppy, whatever, it should just be vaguely anonymous, even though everyone already knows that it’s you. Under no circumstances should your solo music have your name anywhere in the title of it. It might confuse people at first, i.e. they may comment you “Is this Rex or is this Dinosaur Push Wagon? I’m confused.” Don’t respond. People will explain to the confused others that, duh, Rex and Dinosaur Push Wagon are one in the same.

Like my friend Jacob, who also refers to himself as Caves.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Rules of Hipsterdom Part 1

Don’t be held down by other’s conventions of time, space, and blogging. If you want to blog once in the year of 2009 then blog 3 times every day in the last month of the year to make up for the rest of it, go for it. When writing, for example, a guide to hipsterdom, don’t worry about how many points you make or if you include everything. Write stuff as it comes to you, keep it ongoing, and you can change your mind. Clearly that’s the approach I’ve taken here. Sort of…let’s call it ¾-assed. So, in no particular order.

Wear unflattering glasses. Not the kind you had when you were a kid in elementary school and they had gold frames and just looked dumpy, but something SUPREMELY unflattering. Outrageously unflattering. Almost comical.

Even if you don't actually need prescription glasses, they make them with clear lenses. If you're really committed to the cause.

Embrace novelty pants. You don’t necessarily have to wear them, although you get more points if you do. But complement other’s novelty pants and tell them you wish you had the balls to wear them. Novelty pants include, but are not limited to, colored jeans, stonewashed, animal print, and anything that makes you go “Whoooa…those are actually sort of awesome”.

Never ever wear stuff like this, though. You just can't wear it ironically because it’s too true to be ironic. But definitely laugh at it amongst peers.

You can never ever admit to being a hipster, and if you're doing it right you probably don't want to. So even as you read this and identify with it, you still have to think “Yeah, but I’m not a hipster. I mean, I really like The Killers! No hipster loves The Killers!” …don’t they?

Love, unconditionally, just about everything Obama does. Talk about it occasionally on Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr or something.

This fantastic shirt available at and I totally want one.

Drinking 40s will always be ironic and timelessly hilarious. Though some will tell you that PBR is the official brand of hipsters, when it comes to 40s, they’re all amazing.

You can always wear a white belt, chuck taylors, and bandannas even though the ‘normal kids’ are doing it, as long as you scoff at them while they’re doing it. (Silently or overtly, it only matters what’s in your heart)

When choosing between the options “why the hell not?” and “that would be weird” always chose “why the hell not”.

For example, rollerskating in full costume.

Do not ever type or say ‘huzzah!’. Ew.

If you don’t have your own band, at least be friends with a bunch of local indie bands. It’s the least you can do.

Perhaps there will be more to come later!

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Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 Feels The Same!

I hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve. I spent it with almost every one of my best friends, watching a great band and dancing. I spread my love for 2009 off the edge of the fire escape, out the window of my car, and finally snuggled up next to my toilet. So much for moderation! The first day of the new year was spent on the couch and in bed watching the mr. play Bioshock on Xbox, avoiding work I should have done, and drinking lots of water.

I'm feeling quite better today and doing my best to maintain a positive attitude and this new year. I started it off right with using my Olive Garden gift certificate....yeah, it's like a 15-20 minute drive to the nearest one, it's pretty much the cheesiest restaurant of all time, and there's only like 2 things on the menu I'll eat (other than those mysteriously delicious bread sticks and salad) but I didn't even consider complaining and ate my free mediocre food with a smile.

But when you can't find any fun at Olive Garden, you've gotta make your own.

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