Wednesday, March 31, 2010

back at it.

Maybe it's one too many of my Grandpa's slide shows, but it used to be really hard for me to listen to other people's travel stories (along with other people's live music experiences, other people's religious experiences, other people's dreams).
I think it's because these are such experiential, in-the-moment, personal events that are too hard to convey to others.

But once I read a magazine article on Reese Witherspoon, the type where everyone who has ever worked with her made some sort of statement about how awesome she is.
And I remember Selma Blair saying that she'd just gotten back from a trip with Outward Bound and was overly pumped about it. While other friends casually asked about her trip and cut her off after a few minutes, Reese sat down to look through all her pictures and was genuinely interested in the horrors and glories of the backpacking excursion.
This trivial anecdote made me put more time and effort into my relationships, especially regarding listening: when someone you love cares about something, when something's important to them - that's what makes it interesting, that's what makes it important to you.
(p.s. My celeb judgement is decidedly awful. Please see earlier post on Sandra Bullock).
(p.p.s. If your name is Meg and your rambling dreams require a half hour description, you are specifically excluded).

So I guess I'm asking you to bear with me as the numerous posts about my trip trickle out over time. And I'll try to channel my inner Anthony Bourdain.

Movies I watched over a span of 9 flights:
The Young Victoria
Bright Star
Up in the Air
Blind Side
Annie Hall
Driving Miss Daisy
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Yup, thank you Quantas Airlines for having a vast and awesome movie selection and for serving popsicles mid-flight.

Books I finished:
Pillars of the Earth
A Reliable Wife
Gourmet Rhapsody
The Elegance of the Hedgehog: a new favorite. so good.
In Defense of Food
The Worst Hard Time: whoa. puts a lot into perspective.

Kate travel essentials:
Pack light. I can't stress the importance of this enough.
Enough Qtips to make it to the moon. Seriously, I always run out no matter what.
When you spill coffee all over your white shirt on the way to the airport, a boyfriend with a replacement shirt featuring a screen print of Mr. T's head . Mr. T, now an international travel tradition.
Jewelry from my Grandma, my airplane superstition.

Everything in miniature.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

kookaburrah kangaroo.

I will be in Australia and New Zealand with my Aunt Barb until the 29th.
With a little pre-trip stop in L.A. to stay the night with my dear friend Katie and a femme date with my lovely cousins.
Pretty sure this is a once-in-a-lifetime type of deal so I plan to enjoy it with all of my heart.
Updates when I'm home. And gosh, it's such a nice life to come home to.
(Packing with a glass of wine in hand and a long list in the other).

Kangaroo, David Gray.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

creative directing.

It was being in the backyard and throwing your kid up in the air, and the kid is wearing a Halloween costume. I mean what's better than that? Being on a yacht is definitely not any better than that.
(Andy Spade on the Kate Spade ad campaign).

Partners & Spade. The company he started after he and his wife (Kate) walked away from their namesake purse company for some freedom and sanity.

p.s. They did the coolest J. Crew store in a restored NYC liquor store.

(this whole post is courtesy of the New York Magazine with Christina Hendricks on the cover, which was pawned off on me due to the fact that it's a fashion issue).

head full of doubt/road full of promise.

(past pictures from france and italy).
(and some current france updates from jenna).

the quirkiest church. beautiful, old stone and old style smack dab in the middle of a worn down, but still alive neighborhood of little houses. dusty floorboards. songs sung in rotating english and spanish. the guy orchestrating communion is legit crazy, lifting up banners and emblems at random and taking his duty beyond seriously. never knowing what was going to be yelled out in exaltation. who was going to meander across the room and bow before any given wall. i'm told at one time the large jesus statue had no hands. huge candles burning with drippy abandon on the alter. a little kid with a red mohawk.
and i was silently shocked by all of the people who came for the free meal beforehand and then noisily left in the middle of the service. all of the manners and etiquette and sense of decorum instilled in me over the years recoiling.
and then at the end the man giving the sermon said it doesn't bother him at all that people were eating and leaving. because they were hungry.
i left so humbled.

Eat at Joey's Pizza off of Classen. It's a hole in the wall and the lady who runs it is sweet, bossy and Russian and there's a hint of cinnamon in the sauce. Plus my heart will break if it closes.
Zumba with Cassie at the downtown YMCA during your lunch break - she is ahhhhmazing and it's so worth smelling up your office the rest of the day. (No, I don't have time to shower in between).
I've also decided that when I become a millionaire I will be the generous benefactor of both my local NPR station and the YMCA. Seriously, the effortless demographic makeup at the Y are what every single business, school, etc. should strive for.
After driving past Wayne Coyne's awesome house a couple of times Saturday night, I saw him and his wife and his dog at Starbucks the next morning. He was just hanging out, drinking his coffee and Naked juice, slapping high fives with his neighbors. Somehow this made him even cooler.
Watched Inglorious Bastards after delaying the experience because of an extreme aversion to blood, gore, Nazi brutality and the need to curl up in a corner and cry. However, it was so good.
Horchata, Vampire Weekend - yup, I'm digging it.
Whenever, Wherever, Shakira.
Avett Brothers live. So good it didn't even matter that they failed to play I and Love and You in front of a backdrop of the freaking Brooklyn Bridge.

while you were sleeping.

I didn't see Blind Side. There's a good chance I wont.
However, I will eternally love Sandra Bullock no matter how many movies like The Lake House she stars in, because of her part in my favorite movie of all time: While You Were Sleeping.
Not only can my family quote it verbatim (these mashed potatoes are so creamy), and I had such a crush on Bill Pullman - but there is something about her in that movie that is so heart breaking and honest and lonely to me, despite it being just another romantic comedy.

Plus, she just seems like one of those people you can truly be happy for.

And the way Jesse James looks at her when she accepts awards makes me swoon.
That's truly my favorite part of the Oscars really, the ways people thank their loved ones.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Something I keep internally reprimanding myself for are my elevator manners.

Despite telling myself to smile, say good morning, look people in the face - I somehow always manage to avert my eyes to the blackberry, mumble the floor I need and do the awkward dance of who gets off first.
I am on an elevator (of dubious safety conditions) at least 6 times a day if not more, so this is getting pretty tired.

That's why when I got on with a woman who warmly asked me what perfume I was wearing and gushed about Jo Malone with me all the way up 21 floors, it made my day.

I've been strictly a Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue girl for a long time (see blog title).
But recently I purchased Jo Malone's Honeysuckle & Jasmine, partly due to my love of that pure honeysuckle scent stuck in a summer breeze and partly due to the simplistic, straight forward Jo Malone design concept.
With it I got two samples: Grapefruit and Pomegranate Noir.

The Pomegranate Noir is what the woman in the elevator noticed and I am obsessed. I probably sniff my own wrists about a hundred times throughout the day when I put it on. I really hope I'm not becoming the walking, talking, Jo Malone equivalent of an Abercrombie & Fitch store.

I'm also in love with Burt's Bees body oil because it smells exactly like lemon, my #2 favorite scent (again, see blog title).

Other great smells:

Movie Theatre Popcorn.
Pinon Wood that instantly recalls Snowmass, Colorado.
Bacon - a smell my roommates know all to well, because right now I average 1-2 BLTs served on an english muffin per day.
Old Spice.
The sugar cookie smell of Michelle Worden's house growing up.
Aqua Velva.
Clean, warm laundry.
The Elizabeth Arden/Erin Lauder scent that clings to everything from my Grandmother's house.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

girl crush: elizabeth warren.

Saw her on Bill Maher and decided she is the coolest.
I love that her style showcases what she values: classic, basic, no fuss.
Oh, and she's hella smart and absolutely committed to getting real things done for real people.

"Obviously, it's difficult to stay a credible nation when raising children, staying healthy, and/or buying a roof to put over one's head are pushing most of the populace over the abyss—a rather scary reality that our lenders, who are already beginning to sound like debt collectors, seem to realize. When I tell Warren that everything seems to go back to her original research, she is too modest to agree, throwing out a truism instead: "We can't have a modern economy without solvent banks, but we can't have solvent banks or a functioning economy without solvent families." That such a notion remains controversial is almost mind-numbing.
Before the crisis, Warren used to confront members of Congress and ask for the endgame plan for all the debt piling up in the economy. She was inevitably greeted with blank stares and empty smiles. She used to write letters to Alan Greenspan. They went unanswered. Now, as one of the most important people in D.C., she is writing letters to Tim Geithner that sometimes suffer the same fate. "We do not seem to be a priority for the Treasury Department," Warren observed during her most recent testimony, explaining why her panel has not received any explanation for the
Treasury's $80 billion overpayment for the first round of toxic assets.
Geithner may believe that when wishful thinking is the linchpin of economic policy, transparency is irrelevant. If so, he will find a formidable opponent in Warren, who understands that the bailouts are about much more than cleaning up balance sheets. "Aligning the interests of Americans and the financial services industry is critical," she tells me. "We can't perpetuate the notion of secrecy on Wall Street any more than we can tolerate the secrecy of how a credit card works or the underlying setup of the home mortgage. American families must be at the decision-making table, both for their own economic survival and for the survival of the country." Amen.

(James Scurlock).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

email from my dad entitled, "you don't have to have an insta-career."

My chronology:

1970 Begin College: 18

1974 Finish College: 22

1975 Kibbutz: 23

1976 Seminary: 24

1977 VZD

1977-1980 Law School: 28


okay, i really am obsessed with The West Wing.

Education is everything. We don't need little changes, we need gigantic, monumental changes. Schools should be palaces. The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be making six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense. That's my position. I just haven't figured out how to do it yet.
(Sam Seaborn).