Friday, October 30, 2009

oh my guinness!

right now i'm plowing through to another deadline. but i'm pretty tired. all afternoon this ad has been taunting me. a super-cold guinness sounds perfect right about now. so if you're looking for me--i'm somewhere underneath the mounds of paper laid out across our living room floor, sneakily enjoying myself a pint!

{image via katherine elizabeth}

making waves

under their covers, these books contain the same intricate tapestry of sentences. and woolf, well, she's a maven of true heavy-weight-word proportion. so i honestly wouldn't care if there was a star-nosed-mole on the dust jacket. but oh, these vintage classic covers fill me to the brim. the entire set is worth framing (go check out the rest here--sadly, i was only able to post ones i could find larger images of elsewhere). i wish i could purchase them en masse. i admit, the hardest part of being so broke is not buying books. that said, i also heart the whole system of lending & libraries (especially when i imagine who borrowed the book last! sometimes i pipedream ways of contacting them so we can have a good chat).

england has really done wonders to outfit the classics in brilliant (and hip) ways. the anthropologie here is even carrying the new heirloom-worthy penguin clothbound editions (is this true outside of london?!). but seriously, come on stateside publishers--at least make the move to publish some poetry with the same achingly-cool matte covers as you offer the fictioneers! i mean seriously.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

halloween alternatives, or married clowns

even though the british don't really do halloween, i'm still daydreaming of costumes and cobwebbed parties. since we aren't going to do anything elaborate (it being just us) i am scouting around london for an old-school photobooth and plan to surprise Z with a mini-outing. i'll make us some masks and we can go take silly pictures saturday, a la amelie. we used to do this for fun in ithaca--just grab some ridiculous items and head to the mall or downtown (both of which miraculously had a photobooths). i think it will cheer Z immensely to be making faces in a squashed booth. just like old times. (though i hope i can find a real one, not just a digital).

(for the record: we are not flicking off the camera. these are the first post-wed photobooth shots--naturally we are psyched to be showing off the rings).

here a cowl, there a cowl, everywhere a

the weather is getting chilly here, and these cowls from yarnovermovement are just the thing i need. yes please! for the record, i could also use a hot little cropped jacket. i found the perfect one at H&M a few weeks ago and dragged myself (& Z) to about a hundred of them around the city looking for the right size. i never found it.

for those of you who are wondering--the movie last night was hilarious and not scary at all! union chapel was a showstopping space and the movie-set-effects were fantastic. overall, it was a cheap (free) and super-silly date night. seen as how it was my turn to plan, i thought i did quite well. i mean, it might not be the circus, but...

{yarnovermovement via lake jane}

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

(were)wolves around town tonight

through a stroke of luck i won tickets to see an american werewolf in london tonight, with free drinks beforehand, at islington's union chapel (a venue noted as a must-see before leaving london).

the event description: the chapel will be transformed into the misty moorland of the films opening scenes, you will be led up to the slaughtered lamb pub where locals will whisper warnings about dark things on the moors, before you are called to the screening itself. beware the howling and stay on the road.

even though i'm terrified of scary movies, i'm super excited. here's hoping it's not all eye-closing moments. at the very least, the original tagline for the movie cracks me up: from the director of animal house--a different kind of animal.

making violet & veruca jealous

speaking of chewy things, this past weekend we adventured down columbia road (where there is a famous flower market on sundays) to visit an old-fashioned candy store. Z & i are both sugar-teeth, so this trip had been planned for a bit (suck & chew is only open on weekends, and for rather short hours). they're slogan is fabulous and what they sell would make willy wonka proud. the shop is full out fifties-style-vintage with glass jars of sweets on shelves stacked to the ceiling, old comic-books, and fading paper valentines.

we came away (after an adorable incident involving a small girl working there offering us all our candy for one pound--the handlebar-hipster-dad apologized and explained that was her discount) with: baby-pink marshmallow shrimps, chewy cherry lips, rhubarb-creme striped hard candies, one chocolate moth, and two pins with circus-style letterblocked initials on them. delicious.

owl chews

my friend J is having a (giant) baby boy in just a few weeks time! much of her nursery is filled with crafty owl stuff and this natural wood teether would fit right in. of course, it's killing me not to be closer to her right now, to help build furniture and fold goldfish-size socks and enjoy the general belly-ness of it all, so in the meantime i'm contenting myself with scouting out fun things for the mini bun.

{via littlesaplingtoys}

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

sartorialist city

oh.hell.yes. i now live in a city where the sartorialist photographs peeps on street corners (looking mighty sharp!) with perfect double-decker backgrounds. i feel f-ing cooler already.

p.s. i scheduled this post to go up while i'm off at a sort of job-related meeting. wish me luck!

{via today's sartorialist}

just enough whimsy

i have no idea why, but i'm rather into these little hair clips (i mean outside of my normal obsession with bobbypins, which i seem to shed at an alarming rate). i think they would look fantastic together on the same side, sweeping back some curls/bangs. there's just enough whimsy for me without heading off the deep end into fairytale vomit. the twigs (check out the shop by clicking the pic) are also cool, though i can't help but laugh a bit at the idea of a fancy branch in your locks--i was the little girl with nettles in my hair at all times. maybe nothing changes?!

{via 4TheSparrow'sNest}

(re)using your caffeinated tendencies

i love the post here about recycling burlap coffee bags into home decor (even if i am not able to do any real decorating, i still can't help myself from browsing the design ideas). the textures of these pieces are earthy--a description i never thought i'd like--but the feeling of them in a room is the perfect mix of raw, vintage modern, & non-fussy. be sure to check out poppytalk for some other great burlapping ideas.

since keys are important to Z & i, we were psyched about the above etsy pillows. but these are pretty kicking also (though way pricey--along with, ahem, a few of the other pieces). in the end, what i dig about the re-use idea here is that with some research and direction, burlap-as-re-upholstery is something you could actually DIY. (hey, if Z and i can recover two 1950s chairs without previous furniture expertise, i think it's worth a shot!).

{images via littlefrenchgardenhouse, canadian house & home/jackandtill via poppytalk, & country living}

Monday, October 26, 2009

head aches

this morning/afternoon my brain feels like it is all bunched up inside my skull. if you are looking for me i apologize--i'm in or quite near my bed, trying to nurse the migraine out of its hiding space above my left eye.

{image via clumsy bird}

Sunday, October 25, 2009

cupcakes & yeats: a weekend in pictures

this afternoon was filled up with bright stuff--meeting a new friend, spooning-out chocolate orange cupcakes, and leaf-kicking along regent's canal. it was such a relief to meet someone in london, to talk about random things, and have a few future events to look forward to. while Z & i are still thrilled (& thrillered) to be married & living in a new country, it's been a bit lonely at moments. here's to new adventures (and to an invitation to a british-style guy fawkes party next week!).

this weekend we also: walked through regent's park, went to an old-fashioned candy store on columbia road, explored the first london anthropologie, wandered the national portrait gallery, drank screaming hudsons at a local speakeasy pub, and visited the once-flats of yeats and plath. i cannot tell you the rush to be in the streets below where such language was living (and yes, i mean the words themselves). while some of plath's best works were written in yeats' blue-plaqued-flat, hers actually resides around the corner from fitzroy road in chalcot sqaure. even though it's a bit author-tourtisty and silly, it was momentous for me to be in the same spaces as these two poets, seeing the streets and buildings and people. to know what life is like, in this city. and to be writing. writing. writing.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

you've got me running

this morning we are running off to the national portrait gallery for some more research. i thought i'd leave you with this little clip of ryan gosling's band, dead man's bones, doing a killer-creepy song. i love the children chorusing in their strange costumes/masks.

Friday, October 23, 2009

chocolate dresses

yesterday, after long hours of grueling over a piece that just wouldn't seem to settle itself into the right form, Z whisked me along the canal (just before dark) to a fancy chocolatier in islington. paul a. young is tucked away on an amazing little backstreet known as camden passage (also filled with fancy thrift stores, an incredible mexican restaurant, books, and everything we wanted for our wedding that was virtually impossible to find in ithaca). though young's shop is a bit of a matchbox, his delectables have won loads of awards from the academy of chocolate (um, anyone thinking cocoa dresses) and is filled with an array of small tongue-wonders. everything looked ridiculous & delicate & a few of the confections even had glitter in their centers! (when i asked if i could snap a few photos, the lady said sure, just no close-ups). we were disciplined and only came away with a tiny package of three dark chocolate-coated marzipans, complete with swirl-tops on the chocolate itself, and lovely purple ribbons to tie off the ends.

(see those chairs in front of the shop? they're for swooning in)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

levitating your self

i'm working on a poem that ties together some of the ideas in my manuscript about the domestic surreal, portraiture, and flashpoints. in the past couple of days, this has involved a lot of research into various representations of levitation. this morning i came across johan lorbeer's amazing still-life-performance pieces (which are actually installations of himself). lorbeer is a street artist who has been making headlines in the past few years for his clever high-floating acts in art galleries as well as random public spaces. imagine seeing a levitating man in the tube station on your morning commute! genius! go see more pictures here.

(warning, don't scroll past the youtube clip if you don't want to know how lorbeer does what he does. i like to guess at the mechanism behind things that are beautiful because of their magical-impossible quality, but i hate actually knowing the answer. this is why, even though Z is a skilled magician, i never let him share his secrets!).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

wednesdays are for the words: lyrae

the ever-rocktastic lyrae van clief-stefanon is a finalist for the national book award! for real. she is a brilliant & f-ing gorgeous writer whose work carries its super-charged-darks with grace & attitude. she also happens to be someone i consider a life-long & life-saving friend.

in honor of lyrae's kick-ass amazingness and the fizz & bang of her poetry, i offer you a piece from her most recent book, open interval (which you should all run out and buy, not in the least because poets make no moneys):
Transit of Venus

The actors mill about the party saying rhubarb
because other words do not sound like conversation.
In the kitchen, always, one who's just discovered
beauty, his mouth full of whiskey and strawberries.
He practices the texture of her hair with his tongue;
in her, five billion electrons pop their atoms. Rhubarb
in electromagnetic loops, rhubarb, rhubarb, the din increases.

congrats, love! i wish i was in ithaca so we could head to felicia's
and have it out with some cocktails and dancing.

{image via BOMBLOG}

emroidered mail & epistolary impulses

yesterday was a big deadline for me. and it was close to not getting mailed that i find myself saying (once again) that the next round of manuscript send-offs will have to go out super super early. the need to post things so far in advance of the actual deadlines, due to distance & mail issues here, is really deflating me. i'm sort of f%*# mail at the moment.

however, i do have a bit of an obsession with the particular/peculiar amazingness of postcards--their confined square of public-personal space, their inexpensive-swiftness, their lack of return address. the way one's words are left out in the open for others to see along the way (how many people have read your little missive before it arrives?). who wouldn't love to receive an embroidered postcard?! i find something about the stitching on these to be both beautiful and un-nerving, almost bodily.

in honor of the public-space of the postcard, an open note to the city this morning--

dear london: i love your bustle & darks, your art & hot chocolate, your amazing underground & the unexpected quiet i feel when looking up at the ceilings of your train stations. i am also especially fond of how all of your old is slammed so hard (yet neatly) against your new & the deliciously thick not-quite-fizz of your dark beers. and then there's your free musuems! but i really wish (especially during this first year where i am mad with sending out my manuscript) that your post was a bit less messy (please read: impossible). no need to respond, c

{images via hmroberts1984}

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

bee dreams & honey flights

i seem to be having a slew of bee dreams. come fall, it turns out, the bees want inside my mind. strangely, ever since Z said the name-brand of the "syrup" we tried sunday (lyle's) i've been hearing lines of sylvia plath's poem "Wintering" in my head: "It is Tate and Lyle they live on, instead of flowers./ They take it. The cold sets in." previously, i read tate and lyle as something to feed bees specifically, not a brand. a little research later and it turns out that lyle's syrup is, in fact, made by the Tate and Lyle evoked in plath's poem. for the record--it isn't so delicious straight-up. apparently it is meant more for putting in flapjacks (thanks rachel!) or for feeding the wintering bees.

in the skulks and drizzle of another chilly london morning, i am thinking of bee poetry and aching to try one of these sun-filled honeyflights.

{images via newyorkmag (we saw berseth's new work last week, more soon!) & worldpantry via designsponge}

Monday, October 19, 2009

from peach to polypheme

this is fantastic.

anniversaries & electric guitars

this weekend marked three months of marriage! Z & i didn't even realize this until brunch-to-make-up-for-missing-your-ladies was almost underway. so we made a few quick changes, including buying some champagne for actual mimosas. then, overcome with giddiness, we put on our wedding mix and started to charleston like crazy people. when Z wasn't looking...i just might have cut the bread for our french toast into hearts. (yes, hearts from the girl who used to play in a riot grrrl band. yow! don't worry, the heavy-metal me is still in there slamming on her electric guitar).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

sunday brunch & extra side-plates

i woke up to two letters this morning from close friends detailing some news/stories they would have shared at our usual sunday brunch if were we in ithaca. these ladies happen to be rocktastic writers and also happen to have given the kind of incredible toasts at are our wedding that you fold and pocket-up as part of yourself, for a lifetime. i more-than-wish i was brunching with them right now, though at least one of them is most certainly fast asleep. (my sleep was filled with wasps/bees).

in the meantime, i am dream-drooling over french toast (eggs florentine, scrambled, for them), mimosas/bloody mary's/orange juice, gossip, shop-talk, and general catch-up on our lost weeks (ahem, eons). ladies, you are millions of miles from here (and from each other). but i'm raising my hot-cocoa to you this morning. and the f-ing amazing french toast we aren't having.

{images via myvintagevogue & bowhaus}

p.s. maple syrup is hard to find here. seriously. Z is apparently bringing home something called golden syrup. we'll see. but that sounds like it means something else to me. and yes, i am very lucky that my man offered a condolence brunch because he can see i'm a bit more than sad.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

spinning poems like plates

today i am balancing poems: revising/re-envisioning the manuscript into a somewhat different order; trying to figure out how to connect new pieces to old pieces and discover what holes (in the manuscript's intentions) might need to be filled.

i admit a bit of stress: deadlines come faster here with the mail strikes and recent parcel disappearances. i miss the cheerful postal peeps in ithaca. i miss super-fast postage.

Friday, October 16, 2009

rock on

uh, hellz yeah. our photographer, brion hopkins, was just featured on a kick-ass blog. rock on! and then go check it out here.

i have to admit, this really doesn't help my impatience to see our pics. (but honestly, since we did sort of win our photography for pretty-much-free, can we really complain?)

anthro revelations

those of you who know me, know i love anthropologie's window displays (though i'm pretty sure everyone does). as Z & i crafted our wedding, we tried to use anthro's inventiveness as a standard for our paper/craft aesthetics. the point? keep it classy but also innovative & unexpected. or, as my friend doug would say, surprise and delight your audience (he's a fiction writer). in the end, we used a lot of coffee filters and old books and it turned out incredible (or at least we think, we're still waiting for our photos!).

but our wedding is not the purpose for this post. instead, see the above display for a recent anthro window in chicago (yes, i save pics of displays i find). it's clearly using some of the same aesthetics as the beirut video i posted earlier. same paper-plastered walls, but with a twist: the maps are in the form of globes. maybe i'm crazy. but it would be cool to think they are getting their inspiration via beautiful-wild videos.

{image via blackeiffel}

wanted: something like this

this morning is grey & chilly. and we have no hot water...again. what i need? an instant cheer up.
so can i please attend something like this today? (the video is a few years old, so i clearly can't attend this particular moment).

for the record, i mean something with good crazy accordion-ish music and weird masks and modern dance and confetti. less with some of the sex-rolling. though, hey, to each her own. i can't help but feel happy watching this. so please, feel free to get with the happy also.

(for the record, i already have the emotio-sensitive-looking husband with wild hair. but he plays piano. hmm. maybe i'll convince him to branch out and we'll throw this party. obviously the other key ingredients are to have a fabulous couch and a large quantity of maps to use as wallpaper).

Thursday, October 15, 2009


paris pictures are in the scanning process because...
i'm supposed to be packaging up manuscripts

{image via thelastdisco}

the poetics of unfolding birds

though just a prototype, this design concept is beautiful. the tea bags are made using the principles of origami and slowly unfold into birds as they steep.

{designed by Nathalia Ponomareva from Russia, found here}

fall trend: plaid about you

pocket of your dad's bad leisure suit from the seventies?! nope.
pocket of your strange professor in college obsessed with elbow patches? nope.
beautiful computer case with padding and pockets for your earphones, eyeglasses, books about prague?! ding ding!
another swoon-worthy and nerd-chic carrying case for the technological love of your life. see more here. (and don't worry, there are non-plaid versions if you are a non-plaid person, i really like this one)

{images via blytheking}

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


the art show was even better than my imagined version. it was truly a spectacular spectacle. like taking a trip to a museum of oddities (which i love to do) but then finding upon arrival that everything inside was a piece of art rather than a preserved object. except, they were also preserved objects. oh. oh. oh.
above is just a sneak preview. more on all of it later. but this was exactly the inspiration i needed.

p.s. they thought Z & i were part of the press, so we ended up with a great packet of information. and we felt very cool while we walked around snapping photos, enjoying the beautiful creep.

swings & dresses for breakfast

this is a strange little ad for victoria beckham's new autumn/winter line of dresses, shot along a row of georgian townhouses in notting hill (west london). i love the swings in doorways (i dig the almost-creepy rope sounds and the over-cheerful birds). but what am i really mesmerized by as i am watching this? the swings at the bus stops! we spend a boatload of time waiting for those double-deckers to pick us up and take us across the city (i felt quite accomplished when i realized how to hail one properly). swinging while waiting would be much more thrilling! as i was posting this i remembered reading about an artist who had done some sort of instillation involving swings at public transportation stops. so i did some research. and low and behold! posh seems to be stealing someone else's art! link here. (and it was in london! for shame!)

i have to admit that while we also live in a row of georgian conversions/townhouses, they are not nearly as fancy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

speaking of

speaking of weddings, can someone please snap up this beautiful 60s dress from dear golden vintage?! it would be perfect for cityhall or for someone going for the two-dress wedding (one long for the ceremony and one shorter dance-til-you-drop-dress). what an amazing dress for a boogie-down. it's a bit sweet, but played up with some edgier shoes? killer. for the wild bride not wearing white (yes, it is sadly still wild to wear a different color) this could even be a bridesmaid affair. but let's face it--i'd like to wear this to the supermarket. or anywhere.

and no, it's not that i am thinking of weddings specifically today--it's that i have a vintage dress problem. read: addiction. and i'm not buying any. for real.

{image via dear golden vintage}
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