Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Links I Love


Andrew Wyeth


Looking out, looking in: an exhibit on Andrew Wyeth's windows

Reading this book right now and feeling exactly what the title says

Coffee, books, rain. I'd add this to my Christmas list if I had one

Cailee Rae's voice is smoky and sweet just like Tennessee honey whiskey

19 all natural remedies for anxiety. Somehow this chocolate didn't make the cut?

Secret skincare tips from Scandinavian women (mine is coconut oil!)

I think I enjoy just about everything from Everlane's new arrivals

Free people shoes are music to my eyes. That's a Kandinsky reference. (:

My new favorite song right now (as I take a brief respite from T.Swift's 1989)

Just a dog. In a bear costume. Walking on a treadmill. Looks like an ewok, no?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Patience Has Tender Feet." - Austin O'Malley



"Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility; Patience governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues pride; she bridles the tongue, refrains the hand, tramples upon temptations, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom; Patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the State, harmony in families and societies; she comforts the poor and moderates the rich; she makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights the faithful, and invites the unbelieving; she adorns the woman, and approves the man; is loved in a child, praised in a young man, admired in an old man; she is beautiful in either sex and every age. Behold her appearance and her attire! Her countenance is calm and serene as the face of heaven unspotted by the shadow of a cloud; and no wrinkle of grief or anger is seen in her forehead. Her eyes are as the eyes of doves for meekness, and on her eyebrows sit cheerfulness and joy. Her mouth is lovely in silence; her complexion and color that of innocence and security; while, like the virgin, the daughter of Sion, she shakes her head at the adversary, despising, and laughing him to scorn. She is clothed in the robes of the martyrs, and in her hand she holds a sceptre in the form of a cross. She rides not in the whirlwind and stormy tempest of passion, but her throne is the humble and contrite heart, and her kingdom is the kingdom of peace." ― Bishop Horne

~~~

"I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." ― Rainer Maria Rilke

~~~

"Patience and Love agreed to meet at a set time and place; beneath the twenty-third tree in the olive orchard. Patience arrived promptly and waited. She checked her watch every so often but still, there was no sign of Love.

Was it the twenty-third tree or the fifty-sixth? She wondered and decided to check, just in case. As she made her way over to the fifty-sixth tree, Love arrived at twenty-three, where Patience was noticeably absent.

Love waited and waited before deciding he must have the wrong tree and perhaps it was another where they were supposed to meet.

Meanwhile, Patience had arrived at the fifty-sixth tree, where Love was still nowhere to be seen.

Both begin to drift aimlessly around the olive orchard, almost meeting but never do.

Finally, Patience, who was feeling lost and resigned, found herself beneath the same tree where she began. She stood there for barely a minute when there was a tap on her shoulder. It was Love.

..................................

“Where are you?” She asked. “I have been searching all my life.” “Stop looking for me,” Love replied, “and I will find you.” ― Lang Leav

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fall Running Playlist



"Geronimo" by Shepphard



"Further On" by Bronze Radio Return



"Bailando" (Spanish version) by Enrique Iglesias 



"Blank Space" by Taylor Swift



"Ce Jeu" by Yelle




"Heaven Sent" by Mr. Little Jeans



Friday, November 7, 2014

Links I'm Loving




Just another reason why I'd like to move to London

This song and basically all of Taylor Swift's 1989

Goop's most recent issue - foam rollers and 'womb' space

Letter from Kurt Vonnegut to the people of 2088

A lovely (and true!) quote that Joanna found

People who just made me feel better about life overall

So, I fell in love with Kayla and I'm pretty sure you will too

Dark chocolate homemade Twix bars - Hallelujah!

Once I finish the Divergent series, I'm adding these to my queue

I've made this crazy good tuna salad twice in the past week

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hero of this Story

Couple of the year: Ursula and Cruella DeVille!
A gruesome gang: Cruella, Khaleesi, Tink, Batman, Zombie, 90's gal
My costume, inspired by heroes who move in the dark.
"A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy's shoulders to let him know that the world hadn't ended." - Batman, The Dark Knight

Growing up, Halloween was always my favorite holiday. My mom tells me that when she asked me what I wanted to be, I would always reply with aplomb "something scary."

"Wouldn't you like to be a princess? Or a fairy? How about a ballerina?" she'd suggest.

"But Mom, that's the whole point of Halloween - to be spooky!" I'd say, rolling my eyes at her very tragic lack of awareness.

Halloween was always a time to be wildly creative, a time when I could create and not feel tethered by the assumptions that what I created need be "pretty" or "pleasing" to the eye in some way. My creations, and the creation of my costumed alter ego self, could be as dark and as loony as I wanted. I can still remember the thrill of creating my own costumes (Dracula painted in dripping blood and a drawn-on widow's peak, an Edward-Scissor-Hands-esque waitress who served up a tray of decapitated and dismembered Barbie and Ken dolls with ketchup blood oozing out) and setting up my own Willy Wonka candy factory on the windowsill of my bedroom after the neighborhood haul. After pouring our loot onto the floor, counting our pieces and sorting them into the appropriate piles of chocolates, sweets, sour things (my favorite), and the inedible amalgam of confusing candies reserved for my parents (i.e., O'Henry's, Good & Plenty's, Sugar Daddies, etc.), me, my sister and brother would take our bulging pillowcases filled with confections to our rooms to eat at our own discretion. (Note: the fact that my parents allowed us to take about 2 pounds worth of straight sugar to keep in our bedrooms seems both negligently ludicrous and deeply wise at the same time.)

Once in the confines of my room, I'd remove the wrappers from Starbursts and roll them together in my palms to create Starburst flavor-melange lollipops which I'd then place on toothpicks. I'd "glue" Twix bar sticks to the tops of Crunch bars with pieces of torn Tootsie Rolls, and slice mini Milky Ways into halves to stick (cut side down) onto the tops of 100 Grand bars and sprinkle with Nerds. As always, the reward for me was not so much in the trick-or-treating, or eating the candy but in the creation of my costume (and its accompanying shock value) and hybrid candy concoctions.

These days Halloween isn't so much about candy (though I'll never turn down a piece of black licorice or dark chocolate) or costume creations (every year I just want to be Hermione any way) as much as it is about admiring the irony of how the flora and fauna around me begins to wither, fade and die in such spectacularly brilliant displays of color, enjoying the delicious produce that begins to crop up in the stores for consumption (gem colored squash of all kinds and sweet and tart Pink Lady and Honey-crisp apples to name a few) and sensing the cooling temperatures that hold the promise of nights spent indoors with friends playing games and sipping spiced pumpkin soup. I find that the internal creative juice begins to flow more as the natural world begins to die; as if it is only without the distraction of nature's brushstrokes that we can begin to create our own work, as there is no competing with the work of this planet. The more I grow up, too, the more I realize the importance of observing the death and eternal renewal of nature, for, in nature, death, by its nature, holds the promise of birth (or rebirth). Awareness of death and acceptance of death (the "scary" stuff that as a little girl I always sensed Halloween opened the doors for) can be intensely healing, energizing and helpful for our creative selves. Since often times limitation spurs creativity, knowing our limitations as mortal human beings can allow us to be more creative, careful, intentional, perhaps even more kind. We might be more acutely aware that we are all made of and from the same stuff, and that we are the creators (and the heroes) of our own life stories.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Floors of Silent Seas

Photo by Carissa Gallo

The Japanese have twenty different words to describe rain.  Of course, as is in English, they have a word for downpour (‘niawaka-ame’) and sleet (‘mizore’) but unlike English they have three different words for varying degrees of a drizzle ('kirisame', 'biu' and 'kosame').  They have 'yudachi' which is rain that falls in the evening, 'kisame' (kiss-ah-me is how I like to think of it) drips from the ends of tree branches, and 'kaiu' is rain that falls mixed with dust and pollen. Seasonal rains also have their own words; there is 'samidare' that falls in the spring, and  'shigure', which is rain specific to autumn and winter.

~

Often, I have thought of my own emotions like weather patterns. Specifically, sadness, which is most like rain. It helps to think of them in that way since the weather is always changing, always passing. A sudden storm cloud mushrooms – the color of a bruise – and causes a curtain of rain to fall, in between your toes, against your bare legs, soaking through your knit sweater causing your teeth to chatter. And then, almost as quickly as it began, it stops. The only sounds are that of the gutters digesting water, cars whooshing past – their tires slicing through puddles and gravel, dropping into manholes. And I remember:

In St. Paul we sat on the window ledge of the high-rise on the 37th floor. From there I could see snippets of the Mississippi winding through the city. Above it yet reflected in it, the clouds moved quickly in bulbous formations. I could see the patches of city where they blocked the sun, causing shadows here and there. I noticed the areas, too, where they were not, where the sun spooled onto rooftops, between buildings, and into streets . It struck me that the people standing in those places had no idea that, in that exact moment, just a few miles away were others in the shadows unaware that others stood in light.

~

In the fall the crisped and curled leaves skittering across the pavers in the wind reminds me of the part in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” when T.S. Eliot says:

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

If the leaves are sea-crawlers then the clouds are thoughts that cause the sadness. A use of the transitive property that my tenth grade math teacher might understand but ignore, wiping more chalk on her black trousers absent-mindedly as she gets lost in another x-y graph. “This,” she might think to herself “is a cleaner way to be.”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Currently

Loving this opulent, carrot-colored tree near my apartment


Watching... the Mockingjay trailer on repeat because once isn't enough, and

Listening... to this song and this song from the Mockingjay soundtrack

Craving... this sweet potato shepherd's pie (I might use Kabocha squash instead!)

Lusting over... this outfit (those boots!) and this sweatshirt from Madewell's Sézane line

Reading... this deeply moving article on the difference between a happy and meaningful life
(and this sweet how-to guide on loving someone)
(and this courageous speech by Brie Larson)

Wishing... I could go to this sleepover at the Academy of Natural Sciences in March

Contemplating... these ten simple ideas that can change the way you approach your life

Inspired... by this former video game designer who chose to dance to the beat of a new drum
(Literally.)





Friday, October 17, 2014

Cheaper Than Therapy


I'm not sure how "normal" it is, but I take a bath almost every night. After getting home from work it is usually the first thing I want to do besides raid the refrigerator for anything that resembles sugar, cheese or carbohydrates.  My love for "salt baths" began in college after an eccentric and wise homeopathic doctor once recommended that I soak my face in warmed salt water every evening. (Though it's significant to note that I also blame my angel mom who says she would stick me in the bathtub whenever I was upset because it was the only thing that would calm me down. Reason #5,467 which supports the theory that I was once a mermaid/sea lion/merman/fish/fisherman in a past life.) I followed his instructions and soon felt intuitively compelled to hop onto the bathroom sink and soak my feet as well. Because lifestyle clashes with roommates in the first year of college aren't awkward enough, I decided to compound the situation by being that roommate who was bizarrely perched on the bathroom sink every night soaking her feet next to a giant canister of sea salt. I am not sure though what annoyed them more - the fact that I was using our communal sink as a foot soak or that I was taking up the bathroom for an extra 10-15 minutes.

At any rate, I continued with these foot soaks off and on throughout my college years and when I first moved out of my parent's house after college where I resumed the ritual at my apartment. Soon though, only soaking my feet wasn't enough and I needed a full body salt soak. The benefits of salt baths (and just warm baths in general) are profuse. (As is often the case, I find that it is usually the most prosaic and simple habits that can improve our health: i.e, getting adequate sunlight, taking baths, stretching, walking, sleeping, eating real food in moderate to small amounts, etc.) Because of its unique chemical compounds, Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) baths have been noted for their ability to both relax and calm the mind while soothing overworked muscles.
"Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. When dissolved in warm water, Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and replenishes the level of magnesium in the body. The magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Research shows that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells. Experts believe that bathing with Epsom salt at least three times a week helps you to look better, feel better and gain more energy. Magnesium ions also relax and reduce irritability by lowering the effects of adrenaline. They create a relaxed feeling, improve sleep and concentration, and help muscles and nerves to function properly." Source
I usually go through about a  bag of Epsom salt a week, which can be easily found in most pharmacies. If I am out of Epsom salt I will sometimes use plain sea salt from the kitchen which works just as well since sea salts contain many minerals and nutrients that are beneficial for the skin. To my baths I add about 2 cups of Epsom salt along with a ½ cup of baking soda. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is an excellent addition to baths because of its chemical properties which detoxify and alkalize the body by reducing acidity. Some other favorite additions to my baths include:
  • Essential oils (I use lavender, which smells heavenly, to unwind and black pepper to detox although I would not recommend mixing the two.) 
  • Aura Cacia Clearing Foam Bath (Ok, it’s for kids, so what? Stuff is amazing.)  
  • Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (the good acid which cleanses and clears the skin by regulating pH levels otherwise known as the acid/alkaline balance as aforementioned) 
  • Lush bath bombs! They are fun, colorful and smell incredible.
  • A great book which I do not literally add to my bath, obviously, but to my bath ritual along with a favorite candle or music. 
So, to answer Mindy's question as posed above, yes. Yes, everyone is probably hanging out without me as I linger lazily in the tub, losing gravity and examining my toes in the milky-oily liquid, but sometimes I am OK with that. Sometimes alone time is the best way to improve the most important relationship you will ever have in your life: your relationship with yourself.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Life Lately



Some cirrusly sublime clouds (well, cirrocumulus to be exact) 
A great cause to support, and a pretty cute top (on sale too)
Uniqlo finally came to Philadelphia, "normcore" hipsters rejoice!
The new Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk boasts magnificent skyline views
Très amigos looking angelic in front of some stainless steel wine drums
René posing in his chocolate shoppe, RIM Café in the Italian Market
(promise me you'll go and get the chocolate-covered cannoli made by Belle?)
Kreutz Creek Vineyard grapevines, in West Grove (tasted like muscadine grapes to me)
Just some of the group from the wine tour at Paradocx Vineyard



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Yellow Flicker Beat" by Lorde



My Best Kept Secret...


...is not so much a secret, as it is something that many athletes, yogis and people who are on their feet most of the day already know. The first time I learned about the stretch (and yoga pose) was in high school while attending a week-long lacrosse camp at the University of Pennsylvania where me and my teammates played lacrosse for over 8 hours a day (in addition to the 5 miles we would walk to get to and from the fields for each of the three sessions). Loopy from exhaustion, we were advised to put our legs up on the wall after our night games to reduce the lactic acid in our tired legs and to help us wind down for the evening. I had no idea what lactic acid was at the time but I knew that, after only a few minutes of doing the stretch, it felt great for my body.
Lactic acid begins to build in the muscles when oxygen becomes scarce. When aerobic activity induces a respiration that cannot bring oxygen fast enough into the body, the anaerobic system kicks in. This system helps to produce lactate, enabling your body to keep functioning at its peak. This commonly happens during strenuous periods of exercise, such as sprinting. After this period, lactate or lactic acid can stand still and cause muscles to become sore and stiff. Moving this lactate around is essential to an expedited recovery.- Judy Kilpatrick, Chron 
Elevating the legs creates a blood inversion which literally reverses the flow of blood back toward the heart to be re-oxygenated and to create more space for new blood to circulate. The benefits of the stretch are not exclusively reserved for those who exercise strenuously, but for anyone looking for a gentle and invigorating leg stretch.   Years later in a yoga class, I learned that this stretch was also a yoga pose known in Sanskrit as Viparita (turned around, reversed) Karani (doing, making, action). Like most inversions, or poses where more of your body mass is above your heart, it is generally regarded as a restorative pose because of its noted benefits of calming the waves of the mind and allowing soothing energy to move through the body in a different direction. Often in yoga classes, it is practiced before the final resting pose, Savasanna or corpse pose.

It should be noted, according to an article I read once, that practicing the pose for at least 15 minutes has a similar effect on the body as 4 hours of sleep.  I'm not sure whether or not that statement is scientifically accurate, however, based on my current sleeping patterns these days, anything that hints at 4 hours of sleep for a fraction of the time is worth a try. A lot of times I will flip up into the pose on my bed (as seen in the photo above) for a quick refreshing boost of energy, as ironically, the pose seems to both relax and energize me at the same time. The pose is often recommended for those who are seeking relief from headaches, insomnia, digestive issues, backaches and even depression. Usually, I try to stay in the pose for the prescribed 15 minutes, sometimes with a pillow behind my head, lightly resting my hands on my stomach feeling the breath steady itself, rising and falling into its own natural cadence. More than usually though that 15 minutes slips indulgently into a delightful hour.

For a demonstration of how to get into and out of the pose by Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman, see below.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'm Starting a New Blog...



Called, "Lemurs are People Too." Will you read it? Here's a sneak preview... 





"Ugh, shoot. Why does it always go to FaceTime?"





"I am the King... of this rope." Prince Joffrey the Lemur





"No, please, go on. The story behind your wedding invitations is riveting."






"just me. in a tree! #nofilter #selfiesunday"





"Orange you glad my eyes are so cool? #selfiesunday" 





"Trust me. I saw this on Dancing with the Stars once."





"Just sitting here, watching my breath and contemplating my existence."





"OMG. Monday. FML"





"MOM! STOP! DON'T LOOK AT MY FACEBOOK!"






"This is how much I care about your racquet club membership - this much percent." 






"I'm on this all green salad diet now. Like Gwyneth Paltrow."







"Did you seriously just call me 'sweetheart'? I am like 2 years younger than you."







"Yoga makes me feel at one with my body. Look at these hands. THESE HANDS!"







"Wait. Did I just 'reply all' to that?"


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Links I'm Loving!

Photo courtesy elle.com

Sound career advice from smart women as well as a quick interview with Robbie Myers

Is it just me or does this new show on Fox look adorable? Starring Octavia Spencer!

Love this quilted striped skirt set from goodnight macaroon. Nothing better than a two for one.

Jewelry designer Bario Neal (based in Philly!) makes exquisitely crafted pieces from ethical sources

I know it's early, but I already have these Goldie Box engineering toys for girls on my xmas list...

Hanging on to summer style by a thread or, rather, a few threads...

22 habits of happy people from the Hungry for Change blog

Kimchi quesadillas? Yes. Yes, Please! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Another Day, Another Picture in a Door


LEFT: Joe Purdy t-shirt (here), Men's gold watch (similar), Line and dot black skirt (here), Black boots (similar)
MIDDLE: Sheinside dress (here), Leather tie belt (similar), Aldo shoes (similar)
RIGHT: Zara top (here); Zara jeans (here); Steve Madden wedges (here)

Monday, September 15, 2014

End of Summer Running Playlist





"Jai Ho" by A R Rahman



"Black and Yellow" by violinist Josh Vietti



"You are My Summer" by La+ch



"Lionhearted" by Porter Robinson ft, Urban Cone



"Beating Heart" by Ellie Goulding 



"Take Me to Church" by Sinead O'Connor





"As the Crow Flies"  Timothy Vajda - Bootstrap Physics 




"From Eden" Hozier

Wednesday, September 3, 2014



"Daisy" by Kate Miss, Print available for purchase, $12


You are tired,
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.

Come with me, then,
And we'll leave it far and far away—
(Only you and I, understand!)

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and—
Just tired.
So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,
And knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart—
Open to me!
For I will show you the places Nobody knows,
And, if you like,
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah, come with me!
I'll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,
That floats forever and a day;
I'll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,
Until I find the Only Flower,
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.

e.e. cummings


And, because I truly love his poems so much, below is an imaginary transcript of an interview between cummings and "an interviewer," however, both parts are written by cummings himself...


Tell me, doesn't your painting interfere with your writing?
Quite the contrary: they love each other dearly. 
They're very different.
Very: one is painting and one is writing.
But your poems are rather hard to understand, whereas your paintings are so easy.
Easy?
Of course--you paint flowers and girls and sunsets; things that everybody understands.
I never met him.
Who?
Everybody.
Did you ever hear of nonrepresentational painting?
I am.
Pardon me?
I am a painter, and painting is nonrepresentational.
Not all painting.
No: housepainting is representation.
And what does a housepainter represent.
Ten dollars an hour.
In other words, you don't want to be serious--
It takes two to be serious--
Well, let me see...oh yes, one more question: where will you live after this war is over?
In China; as usual.
China?
Of course.
Whereabouts in China?

Where a painter is a poet.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Currently...

Loving these flowers (in height order) that I pass by on my walks around the neighborhood


Craving: every flavor from the Coolhaus icecream truck menu. Balsamic fig and mascarpone? 

Reading: this article on rethinking sleep and, of course, goop for days... (GP, you rock)

Lusting over: the Marais arc wedge in black (that gingham interior, though, shoot)

Listening to: Take Me to Church by Hozier, Gospel singin' Irish native

Learning: about the universe and the history of the Earth as a living organism  

Inspired by: this place, the families who stay there, and the people who make it possible




On the Conflicting and Confounding Information We Receive about Food...


This excerpt from "The Fever Pitch of Obesity" written by Rachel Combe made me laugh... 

In the beginning, there was the low-fat dictum, which was revised to: cut out saturated fats but encourage vegetable fats—unless your vegetable fats are trans fats, in which case they’re killing you. Oh, but while you’re eliminating butter, make sure you don’t add in too many ­refined carbs—toss out those Snackwell’s! Sugar will kill you. Actually, maybe all carbs are the problem—including fruit. Double up on your breakfast sausage, but drop the Wheaties. After all, ­humans were never designed to eat agricultural products. We’re hunter-gatherers: We should be eating wild game and greens. Nothing processed! What would possess you to eat sausage?!??! Fill up your plate with dandelion greens and elk. But wait! Actually, scratch the elk. Cut out meat. Meat will kill you. Except for fish. No, wait, fish is too high in mercury, and the seas are overfished. Okay, okay, you can eat small, stinky fish like anchovies and maybe a little chicken and eggs (as long as they’re humanely raised by a ­local ­farmer with whom you are on a first-name basis), but you’d ­better chuck dairy. It’s full of growth hormones that are giving seven-year-olds pubic hair. Unless you get organic, grass-fed, raw milk. But just know that raw milk can kill you. Actually, you know what? Go vegan. Go raw vegan. Go on a detox fast. Juice all your food. No, wait—juice is too high in sugar. Get a Vitamix and make a breakfast smoothie out of avocados, foraged mushrooms, and kale. Gwyneth Paltrow’s kids love it! Wait! Stop! Put that down! Liquid calories are causing the diabetes epidemic. So just eat vegetables, fruits, beans, olive oil, anchovies, chicken, eggs, plain yogurt, sea vegetables, and whole grains. Except brown rice. There’s arsenic in it. Arsenic will kill you. And, obviously, don’t eat ­gluten. Have a little wine with dinner, unless you care about getting breast cancer—in which case, stop boozing and become vegan (you know, we already told you to go vegan—pay ­attention!). But go easy on the soy. Because it can kill you. Got that?

At one point, is it possible, that eating may have been a form gustatory enjoyment rather than a tension-filled research project?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Poem for your Monday




The Darkling Thrush   
by Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
    When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate

    The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
    Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
    Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
    The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
    The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
    Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
    Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
    The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
    Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
    In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
    Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
    Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
    Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
    His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
    And I was unaware.    

Friday, March 7, 2014

Currently...


Pink ranunculus from Trader Joe's on my kitchen table


Craving: savory yogurts from Blue Hill ...especially the beet flavor!

Reading: basically every single article on npr's blog "the salt"

Lusting over: this vegan leather top that would look cool with white jeans

Listening to: this remix by Tom Odell - Another Love (Zwette edit)

Learning: how to change what you find attractive in 60 seconds

Inspired by: this dude who sees possibility where others might see limits

...and by this (local!) self-published children's storybook writer

...and by Lupita Nyong'o's Oscar speech, specifically these words:

"It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is due to so much pain in someone else's."



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I know what violets look like now




I wrote this poem the other day and, at the urging of a friend whose own pellucid honesty I deeply respect, I will share it here along with the explanation behind it.


I know what violets look like now. 
Josephine, to keep her Napoleon, wore the scent of  violets, which once inhaled were soon forgotten and never to be recalled until the wearer pressed again the little petals to her skin. He must come back for he could not rest in the limbic grey where most sense is kept.  
I know what violets look like now for I have seen them sleep in winter snow;
I have seen the purple whir beneath the soil, heard them speak of yellow toil. 

A long time ago I read a small anecdote that Josephine (Napoleon Bonaparte's wife) only wore the scent of violets because it is the only scent the brain cannot "remember" until one smells it again. I am not sure how true that fact is but nevertheless it piqued my interest enough to stay with me all of these years. The romantic in me wondered  if Josephine did it as a way to always bring him back from war and from conquering distant lands. I am also fascinated by the connection between memory and scent as the two are intimately tied together perhaps since they happen to "live" next to each other in neighboring sections of the human brain. 

The memory of this little story came back to me as I was googling wedding bouquets (because, why not?) and I wondered what a bouquet of violets would look like. The verdict? They are so tiny! More research revealed that they are one of the first spring flowers to bloom thus making them essentially winter-steady flowers. To me, the flowers that survive winter and bloom first in spring are the most steadfast, just like the love needed between Josephine and Napoleon to keep their often long-distance relationship alive.

The "limbic grey where most sense is kept" is a play on words since sense (and scent) are located in the "limbic" part of the brain otherwise known colloquially as "grey matter." The word sense is a homonym for "scents" (and cents! ha!) The reference to the limbic grey area of sense can also be a nod to the limbo of traveling for work or the limbo grey area of logic. We cannot just stay in the logical, "sensible" grey area of life all of the time. Sometimes we have to rely on something deeper than our minds, something more intuitive and emotional in order to find our ways back to what (and who) we truly love. 

And so, there it is. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014



Lake house resort in California? With a smores night? Ah, oui, bien sur!

A heartfelt look at our societal perplexity and lack of understanding about "addiction"

Would you like to know the secret to health? Try to make stress your friend...

Sachin and babi dresses give me the butterflies: classy cool with a feminine flare

Think you'd ever try naked yoga? Me, I am not so sure (unless Daniel Craig was there)

Delicious hybrid of a puttanesca and a niçoise: Gwyneth Paltrow's tuna tomato bowl

Jo's 10 ways to beat the winter blues. My favorite? Going for a walk around town!

And, (who doesn't love another numbered list?) the 19 hard things you need to do for success


Sunday, February 2, 2014

For Your Ears







"Song for Zula" Phosphorescent 
"Ethio Invention no. 1" Andrew Bird
"Retrograde" James Blake