Tuesday, June 29, 2010


This is for you, roommate for whom I just broke my long silence of being secretive and embarrassed about having a blog. You're not old, or anything, it's just funny.

Sleigh Bells

The concert I saw last night reminded me of this song that my friend sent me the other day, if only because it's a little more "noise" than most of the music I listen to. Listen to the rest of their album, especially Rill Rill (I like it so much I've provided you a link); it's fun fun fun.

Concerts in the Park

Last night I went to see Huntsville and On Fillmore perform downtown. I'd never heard of them, because I'm not very cool, but my friend's musician boyfriend was pretty excited about it. On Fillmore is Wilco's percussionist Glenn Kotche playing with bassist Darin Gray. This time Wilco guitarist Nels Cline was also with them, and it was full of bird and wild animal sounds. To me, it felt at times like a soundtrack to a creepy movie, and other times I just wanted to lie on my back, stare at the darkening blue sky, and turn the sounds into colors and shapes in my mind. Huntsville is Norwegian, and literally describe themselves as "abstract drone Americana and yoga country." What that means, I have no idea, but I think I might have enjoyed it more had it not gotten rather unseasonably cold and had I not been sitting on damp ground for hours. Anyway, seriously photoshopped image by Sky Noir on flickr, captures the rather surreal feeling of being there, in this Frank Gehry designed shiny pile of oyster shells, listening to music you don't understand for free, looking at the sparkling skyline, and feeling so lucky to live in Chicago.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

South Carolina is Magic

Look at this cool photo my dad took on his morning walk, with his cell phone! I love the way the puddle looks like a little light-filled window. This is the park across the street from our house. I have tickets for a 2-week trip home coming up, and I'm so excited!

In other news, I finally got Project Runway to stream, hallelujah, where have you been all day when I needed you?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Real Pictures I Really Took

These are from the disposable camera that I promised. Some turned out cool, some less cool. There are also some fun ones of friends but in the interest of privacy I'll retain them, but they include The Hideout, Lincoln Kareoke, E's birthday party at the Webster apartment, and a couple crappy ones from Mississippi.
In order: peonies, a strawberry-rhubarb pie, finals week, our kitty, mobile & line-drying.


Summer Goals:
  1. Get my hair as long as it is in this picture
  2. Wear a cowboy hat more & be braver about wearing tiny dresses
  3. Go home to SC and eat too much seafood in Charleston and hide from rainstorms on church porches and explore old graveyards and go to the beach and chill with my friends.

Summer Dresses

A few nights ago I went to North Pond, a fancy restaurant I'd been wanting to experience for a long time, which has a "dressy" dress code. I had some fun debating what to wear for a hot night, a dressy place, and some walking in grass and possible bus-taking. Turns out we didn't have to take the bus, but that would have almost ruled out heels.

I have a few actually nice dresses, but mostly kinda frumpy shirt-dresses which I absolutely love, or overly-sexy yet too-casual jersey dresses. I have a bridesmaids dress which I guess I could wear, but it has short sleeves and is therefore a little too warm, and a really great vintage lime green & pink paisley dress. I bought it at the Gage Park Unique (best thrift store in Chicago) and it still had tags on it that said 100% silk, but then when I wore it my friends were convinced it was polyester, but it was remarkably cool and breathable, so I think the tags might be right. Anyway I hand washed it and tried to iron it, but I'm bad at ironing, and it still looks super wrinkly. I'm at a loss.

I've also got a pink dress with one strap that was my go-to fancy dress until I suddenly realized it's kinda stained and the sheer polyester chiffon-like layer has somehow shrunk so that when it's on, the top sheer layer is shorter than the underlayer of silk. It's extra-bizarre because when it's on the hanger, the sheer layer is a good couple inches longer than the silk, but then as soon as it gets on me, it shrinks up. I tried to stretch it out by clipping a pants hanger to the bottom and keeping it in the bathroom to relax in the humidity, which did nothing. (I now realize that this was a strange and overly-involved solution, which I continued rather than admitting to myself my unwillingness to learn to iron.) I finally realized I could iron it, which only partially worked and now the length of the sheer layer is uneven. I refuse to admit defeat. I have a picture of this dress from first year of college, but I hesitate to post it because it has two close friends in it, neither of whom have given me permission to put pictures of their 18-year-old dressed up selves on the internet.

I want something like this, by Mina Stone at Steven Alan.Or this, from Calypso St. Barth a long time ago.
Somewhat relatedly, I went to an antique market (it's like a flea market but way classier & more pricey) the other day and they had some Calypso stuff. They had a lot of incredible stuff, almost none of which I could afford. As I was telling my friend afterwards, my price range is: under $10. I did end up buying a great 50s full-skirt floral dress for $5. I have to take it in a little, and after that I'll be ready to take pictures.

Oh, and for North Pond, I ended up wearing a sleeveless navy blue velvet dress from Gap, which I bought at a yard sale in an alley a few weeks while waiting in line for Hot Doug's. I was unsure about velvet in the summer, but there ended up being a huge storm that cooled it down a lot, and it was cold in the restaurant. I also wore yellow heels (also from Unique) and a green floral silk bag (also from Unique) and a white pashmina that my boyfriend bought in Kenya and thought was a men's scarf, which I bet he could pull off but is definitely not the case. And a raincoat.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Color Fun

Check out some more color fun:
  • Flickr images sorted by color at Multicolor Search Lab
  • This article from Design*Sponge about Color Theory
  • Favela Project from Kitsune Noir, painting a run-down neighborhood in brights
  • Similarly, the Let's Colour Project, which attempts to the do same thing, world-wide (video above)
  • Since I have a compulsive need to cross-reference, Black*Eiffle also has a post about the Let's Colour Project (we're being international here, so there's a "u")
While in the video the project looks awesome, beautiful, uplifting, etc, I wonder, is it sponsored by a paint company? Also, I can't help but feel disquieted by the scene painting the havelis (I think. I saw some courtyards and balconies and almost mashrabiya-like carvings that looked to me to be Rajasthani, but I really don't know). Sometimes bleached-out old stone and wood is what is most beautiful. Some things are built to NOT look technicolor, but to be peaceful in their uniformity of color. See the photos below, which I took in Cairo (first one in 2007 from my apartment window, second in 2005 from Al-Azhar park), for example. Cairo can be awfully bland (from far-off only) because it has so many thousands of plain grey-tan concrete Soviet-looking apartment blocks, all covered in reddish desert/pollution dust, but it has a special monochrome austerity that I love.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Today I watched the US-Slovenia World Cup game, which I would have enjoyed more had the ref not totally sucked. I wore my new summer uniform of cut-off jean shorts and Mexican blouse. It is wildly similar to these from Loja de Estar. I got it from a roommate who studied abroad in Oaxaca.
In other news from Mexico, they totally beat France. Yay el Tri! T & I root for teams based on 1) national pride, therefore, US/Mexico/our other combined countries of familial origin did not make it to the World Cup 2)hotness of the players. Mexico & Slovenia were good-looking, but national pride edged it out for our loyalty.

In other less frivolous news from Mexico, I had no idea this was going on. Well, I guess some. When I passed 5 souped-up SUVs with Michoacan in Old English font on their tinted windows, I knew that was probably something to avoid. And I knew of the "disappearances" in Juarez. But hmfs, this is terrifying. I need to pay better attention to the news.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Apartment Search

The yearly (ugh) hunt for a new apartment is on in full force. I've moved 5 times in the past 6 years, not counting short-term sublets and such. It sucks, moving, especially since I've accumulated SO MUCH STUFF, but at least I know what I like.

I like it small. I grew up in a pretty small house: you could always hear when other people were home, never had to deal with stairs, absolutely packed closets. Now, living in a big house, it freaks me out that I never know if I'm home alone or not. I've noticed that other people, like my future roommates, like space to spread out, but not me!

I like light, lots of light. Ideally, I could just nap in a sunbeam. Living in the basement has been tolerable mostly because I do get morning sunshine for a couple hours, filtered through trees, which is actually very nice. (not that I've been awake for it since school ended!) Light is especially important in a kitchen, which is a rarity in apartments around here.

I like quirk. Unlike my love for small living spaces, I think this comes from the fact that the house I grew up in was a subdivision developer's cookie-cutter model, the same as every other house in the neighborhood (I mean this almost literally). We looked at an apartment in an old Victorian without a right angle in the place, and I was in love. It has a loft with a ladder, exposed brick chimney, attic-like ceilings, a theater curtain to keep the heat in, a stained glass window with built-in-bookshelves, a falling-down balcony, bizarre raised closet floors, a rather hideous black tub, loads of bay windows. But it also was a bit pricey, had a possibly too-strange landlord (he lives in the back, accessible only by ladder), and no space for bikes or a dining room table. Well, I think there was space, but I digress. Anyway, I'm a total sucker for "vintage."

I like radiators, especially accompanied by the magic words "heat included." I'm from the south, I get cold, and they are much better to snuggle up to than a vent that never seems to put out enough heat anyway.

I like not going to the laundromat. It was ok when I lived basically above it, but I don't anymore, so there.

And finally, I like cheap. Boy do I like cheap. I like cheap so much. Have I mentioned how much I like cheap?

Well, that's enough of my boring post about apartments.
picture via Bliss. I think I picked it for the sheepskin rug, the rest of it is meh.


A slideshow of "The Disposable Camera Project" on Flickr: "See if it's the camera or it really is you."

I've been trying to take some decent pictures for an etsy page with a borrowed digital point-and-shoot, but it is not easy. I've got a rhinestone-encrusted disposable camera though, ready to be developed! I think I'll try to take the film out, following internet instructions, so I can keep the impossible-to-lose shell and start taking some grainy/awesome photos. Since my mom's nice camera got stolen back when I was 5 or something, we've been rather dependent on disposables, so I feel like my childhood is best pictured in their particular unflattering resolution.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Color Palettes

Uh oh. I just stumbled down an internet rabbit hole into a world of color!

It started by a memory of this Camp Comfort post about Wear Palettes, a blog of color palettes taken from street style (and other) photographs. Like this one, cute, right?
While I was looking for that, I found this cool website Color Hunter that creates custom color palettes from your images for you. Unfortunately, it doesn't catch smaller patches of colors, even if they're a big deal in the outfit. For example, in this one below, where's the red from the shorts? What about the bright blue in the towel?
This next one is from a painting by Egon Schiele, called The Artist's Wife. Where's her green shirt? And the red hair came out kinda brown.Anyway, this post from Style Bubble clued me in to using Paint to pull out the colors. I guess everything isn't automatic. It also has some nice examples from Wear Palettes, I particularly like the dark rich plaid palettes. Plus, it sent me to Colour Lovers, a community of palettes, color trends, interactive graphs (!!!), and other joyous color fun. I'm definitely going to check it out further.
I made this on Paint just now. See how much better my color palette is than the automatically generated one? So much better.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Listening, Watching, Reading, Wearing, Wanting

Listening: Besides the dance music of the previous post, I've been listening to some mixtapes online: Kitsune Noir has a recent one with my lover Josh Ritter, Deb Oh's got a good set of them, and a girl in my class has one (at least I think it's hers) on Mixtapes from my Ex. I also like the electro mixtapes from The Music Ninja, like this one.
Watching: This video is of a little boy who got a hearing aid. His parents videotaped his reactions as he hears their voices and his own for the first time. Incredible, made me cry.
Reading: I just finished Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami. I've read most of his books. I'm halfway through Edisto by Padgett Powell which I picked up in the free bin outside Powell's on Friday, only because it's about South Carolina lowcountry and I was going to the Point. On my reading list for the summer: Somerset Maugham, Edith Wharton, and Arcadia by Tom Stoppard which I used read while cat-sitting and never finished. I also never finished Demons by Dostoevsky, but it's been so long since I put it down that I might not finish. I'm so excited to have time to read this summer, hit me with suggestions!
Wearing: today, reversible skirt from Old Navy I think, magenta side out, and white three-quarter sleeve wrap top with black lace. Pakistani flats. BUT, last night I sewed some chain onto a white "wife-beater" tank top that I actually found in the trash can in the laundry room of my old apartment building (it wasn't IN the trash, exactly, it was kinda draped over the edge) and I think it looks pretty cool.
Wanting: mostly a letter or email from Africa. But other than that, I want to sell some stuff I don't want to take with my when I move, and for that I need access to a good camera. These pictures from my computer's camera are no good, and won't woo the etsy buyers.

Friday, June 11, 2010

D.A.N.C.E. by Justice

Seems like a good time to get your dance on.
Sweet video too.
I listen to hours and hours of this stuff at work.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


On Today's Big Thing. I got this from a friend who says "I do this every morning." Not a bad idea, really. Also I'd kinda like her jammies.