Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just Because: Blair

I've never seen Gossip Girl, and have little interest in actually watching it, but dude. Blair's wardrobe! I was looking at Blair promo shots, and these stood out.

Rather 1930's, the colors are beautiful.

The hat is both ridiculous and marvelous.

The color is beautiful, and I love the sleeves, or lack thereof.

This whole thing is so deliciously yellow! I love the jacket.

This one is my favorite! The detail on the bodice and bottom of the skirt are amazing.

Envy much? *drool* Anyway. I had dumplings for lunch. You gotta enjoy the little things in life.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Michaelmas, according to modern Americans.

Happy Michaelmas everyone! For us, Michaelmas is just another way to celebrate the fall season, cause our family can never get enough of that! If you don't know what Michaelmas is:

Roast chicken russet potatoes. It's supposed to be duck, but chicken tasted better.

Blackberry apple oat crumble. Oats are important on Michaelmas, because the oat harvest is in September, and Michaelmas is your last chance to eat blackberries, because after today, the devil spits on them, and they're not safe to eat.

Pride and prejudice. The first time we ever celebrated Michaelmas, about six years ago maybe, we watched the A&E Pride and Prejudice, because Bingley moves into Netherfeild at Michaelmas, and the tradition just stuck.

Lots of tea, coffee and hot cocoa... It's finally cold enough to drink it!

Michaelmas Daisies. Mom couldn't find the right ones this year, but we still have purple daisies on the table.

Every year it gets a little more involved. Sometimes we even dress-up at dinner in Medieval costumes. This year though I am saving my costume for the fair, and might not wear it today. So read St. George and the Dragon... or have some oatmeal. There! You're celebrating an old Medieval Catholic holiday too!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ice cream sundaes

I was watching Life with Derek yesterday... and Derek was eating this sundae. So, I've been really really craving one! Sadly my lactose intolerance forbids it.

Cookies and Cream Sundae

Chocolate-Caramel Sundae

Big Ol' Traditional Sundae

This Is Why You're Fat Sundae

Espresso Ice Cream Sundae

Muahaha... I'm hungry now. Hopefully so are you.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Erte... in the Future!

I found these spectacular Erte-style pseudo-Steampunk illustrations on io9! (they didn't have a link to the artist, but here's a link to the io9 post) I just had to share!

The lion and the mechanic girl...

Mechanical fish among old ruins.

I was staring intently at this picture for a couple of minutes, trying to figure out what made it futuristic... when I noticed the little glasses.

This one makes me feel Hermioney.

Annnyway, I went to a Harry and the Potters free concert at the Brooklyn Library today! It was magical, and Harry Potter fans are so nice and lovely and giving... Le sigh. I bought The Power of Love cd and a button and six postcard. Support the independent fandom rock bands of the world!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Bitter Sarah Connor Post

Alright, I've been wanting to do a bitter Sarah Connor post for a while now, but today has relevance, so I'll do it today. Today is Dollhouse's second season premiere, while it really should have been Sarah Connor airing tonight. *gripe* At least there's a campaign going for a tv movie. It'll never happen, but we need to make Fox feel guilty. Because I lost 3 tv shows last year I have learned my lesson. This year, I'm not watching anything new. Sure Flash Forward looks cool, as does V and Glee looks funny, but I couldn't stand desperately checking the Renew/Cancel Index at TVbtn, signing endless petitions and hoping for a miracle. Television executives need to realize that people care about these character... leaving us hanging is agony! Ahem. Anyway. Sarah Connor.

This is Sarah, who is like a role model for anyone who ever dreamed of beating people up. But she's a very bad mother. She burns pancakes and gets people killed. She is the queen of straight faces.

This is John, who I just love. I wanna hug him and squish him and say everything's gonna be okay! (Even though it won't be.) Also, Christian Bale in the role of my bb John is blasphemy. I'll never watch T:4. Ever.

This is Cameron, who is amazing of course. She's broken, so I she's starting to feel, and also dying at the same time. We'll never know what happens to her. She kills butterflies, wears kick-ass boots and walks around in a bra.

This is Catherine Weaver. If I could pick anyone as a body guard, it might be her. She tries SO HARD to be human, but she fails miserably.

This is Savanna Weaver. She sings old Scottish songs and her best friend is a robot.

This is Ellison, an FBI agent. He tries very hard to understand what's going on, but Sarah lies to him and Catherine lies to him. So he doesn't know anything. One of the coolest things about him is that he was a Christian. And not a weird one, just a regular Christian.

This is Cromartie. He's actually three characters, all of which are amazing. John Henry is like one of the best tv characters ever. He plays with toys and doesn't understand God.

This is Derek Reese and Jesse. Derek is John's uncle and Sarah's unofficial brother-in-law. He dies. Oh well. And Jesse is Derek's girlfriend. She came from the future, had a miscarriage and dies. Oh well.

It ends on such a cliff-hanger I don't like even thinking about it. And you know,
it was also probably the least colorful show ever. I took place mostly in offices and back alleys and the Connor's very grey house and their clothes was always neutral tone. It was a sad, drab little show. But it was a good show. *weep*

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Coffee Shop and whaaatnot

Nothing like a coffee shop. Nothing like dropping $8.50 on a small cappuccino and a cookie. Nothing like those apathetic coffee shop girls with thick-rimmed glasses, aqua highlights and strategically placed wrist tattoos which are so nicely showcased while serving iced coffee beverages. Nothing like wasting an hour drinking tea, staring at other people who are wasting hours and drinking tea. Oh yes, nothing like a coffee shop.

This is Ozzie's in Park Slope. There are two of them actually, and they have really good stuff. Not that expensive either... considering. And they had a tiny used bookstore in the back.

Connecticut Muffin, also in Park Slope. There are five Connecticut Muffins, three of which I've been to. My favorite is the one on Prospect Park West, right near the Pavilion theater, but I usually end up at the one on 7th. Sure it's called Connecticut "Muffin," but try their ginger cookies.

This is Mr. Bean's, in Honsdale PA. I went there while visiting a friend. It was oddly "hip" considering it was in a small town in the middle of nowhere. And the Americano was really good. They had the nicest outdoor seating too.

Starbucks. Nothing like a commercialized coffee shop. There are like... 5,000,000 of them in NYC. I don't think I have a favorite. Most recently I've discovered the wonders of green tea frapps and grapefruit Izzies.

Bouchon Bakery. It's more of a place to get lunch then really a coffee shop, but I love it too much to leave out... even though I've only been their once. But, um, their coffee? Probably the best I've ever had. Ever.

So, Bagel Boy in Sheapshead Bay isn't exactly a Mecca for Hipsters, but their coffee is good, their bagels are great and it's so happy.

It was going to pour today, so we canceled our plans of going to Long Island. Now it's not raining. Stupid weather man. Fringe tonight.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Couches: with no words.

To make up for ALL THE WORDS in my last post, this one is just pictures. Of couches. Because. I do not necessarily condone all these. I just thought they were cool looking.

I'd say something here, but I won't.

My Favorite Books (a epic long post)

I have 3 books which are my absolute and undeniable favorites. After that I have 7 books which I love very, very, very much. Then there are 3 series which I adore but they all have lots of books, and I can't pick just one as a favorite, so they're separate. Then everything else falls into place. In my bedroom, my sister and I even have a Favorite Book Shelf, where we put the best books in a place of great honor. So, here are my 10 Favorites.
Warning: I like my books. I go into much detail. If you do not like much gushing, run away!

Absolute and Undeniable Favorite #1: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Why this is my favorite book in the world is beyond me. I'm nothing like the main character, I can't really relate to her. Nothing in the book is very relatable to me. I don't really like Gothic romances, they're so dramatic. But there you are. Something about it spoke to me, something I can't qualify, but it's there. I can truthfully say this is my Most Absolute and Undeniable Favorite. The main character who I've dubbed Lydia for convenience sake, is lovely, and her mind is just such a glorious place. And Maxim is like the epitome of Dark and Brooding (move over Cullen and Rochester!), and all the side characters are memorable... and maybe I just love it because she talks about toast and coffee and tea cakes a lot. Who knows.

Absolute and Undeniable Favorite #2: The House of Mirth by Edith Warton. I didn't really think I'd like this book much, I read it because I was bored and my mom said it was good. I took me a week to read, not because it wasn't good, but because I wanted to savor it. When I finished it I couldn't read anything else new for almost a month, because I was still digesting it's awesomeness. I'm not one to gravitate towards things with depressing endings, but despite it being one of the more depressing pieces of literature I ever read, it's an Absolute and Undeniable Favorite. Maybe because I want to be rich too much, and this book sort of brings Being Rich and Having Money down from it's pedestal, in a very Fitzgerald-ish manner. Also Lily and Selden forever! Despite their utter stupidity...

Absolute and Undeniable Favorite #3: Downright Dencey/Beckoning Road by Caroline Dale Snedeker. I almost never read it, I came so close. Now I can't imagine my life without it. So really these are two books. But they are rather small books, and about the same people, and the second one starts right where the first one ends, so they count as one. These books are beautifully written, are filled with glorious descriptions of historical Nantucket and Indiana. They have two of the best romances I've ever read in a book (Dencey/Jestsam le sigh), and are just filled with love and hope and happiness. I guess they are religious books, but the way Snedeker seamlessly incorporated Christianity and salvation and sacrificial love into a seemingly simple story about a Quaker girl is amazing.

Book I Love Very Much #1: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I read Pride and Prejudice, and I liked it. I read Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion and thought they were okay. I wasn't an Austen fan. She wasn't funny. Her wit was so dry. Her characters were so good. Then, back in winter 2008, PBS aired all these costume dramas, and we watched the 2007 Northanger Abby for the first time. I loved it. I bought the book, I loved it even more. Why, Jane Austen? Northanger was so charming! What happened? It's clever, lighthearted, horribly romantic. Not depressing and jaded. It's a clear favorite.

Book I Love Very Much #2: Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer. I read this book when I was 12, on the subway, going to Queens for a concert in the park. To get to Queens from Brooklyn on the subway is complicated. You have to backtrack and go through Manhattan. Anyway, it was a long ride. So I read Hope was Here. I felt so grown-up. I was modern fiction, about teenagers, about self discovery. I was beautifully written. It's about a girl and her aunt who work at diners around the country. It's filled with glorious food, it's filled with the magnificence that is middle-America. It's delicious.

Book I Love Very Much #3: The Odyssey by Homer. First of all, I only read this book translated by Robert Fitzgerald. Second of all, I'm a sucker for anything with the Greek gods. Third of all, I'm a sucker for epic romance like Penelope and Odysseus. I don't read The Odyssey like it was some great piece of historical literature. I read it like a beautiful, romantic adventure at sea filled with angry gods and weird creatures. I read it like I'd read any modern fantasy. Maybe I don't get as much out of it as I should, but I love it, and to me, that's all that matters. Also Athena is soo my patron goddess.

Book I Love Very Much #4: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Hilarity. Sci-fi themed Hilarity. That is this book. It's crazy, funny, weird. It's so serious (they blow up Earth, kay?) and it's taken all so lightly, it looses any sort of anything it could have beyond Hilarity. It just never stops with the weird, it just hurtles along, dragging you behind, leaving you confused and in awe. This is the best sort of sci-fi. It's almost Farscapey, or maybe Farscape is a little Hitchhickersy. I read it last year, and it was one of those books that shot right to the top of my favorites list out of no where.

Book I Love Very Much #5: Beauty by Robin McKinley. This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The only one I've ever read. Sure there are other, probably very good ones. McKinley herself wrote another one, Rose Daughter, which is supposedly magnificent, but I don't want to spoil this one by reading another. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairytale, and this book just captures it perfectly. It's lush and dark and so jeweled toned. The book is told from Beauty's point of view, it's personal and intimate. It's like getting the once-in-a-life-time peak at someone else's world.

Book I Love Very Much #6: Songs from Home by Joan Goodman. It's a tiny book, you could read it in an hour if you wanted to. The plot is told simply and directly, but it's heartbreaking- a young American girl and her father, who live like beggars in Italy, and she doesn't know why, because he won't tell her anything about her past. I don't remember the first time I read this book, which is rare, since the first time makes the biggest impression. I remember the time I read it for the fifth or sixth time, and it was that time when it became a favorite. Out of nowhere, it's brilliance hit me.

Book I Love Very Much #7: Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes. Oh, Johnny. First of all it must be said, I am in love with Johnny. I am. There is no hiding it. I happen to believe that this might be the best piece of historical fiction written about our country, and I've read a LOT of historical fiction. (It's a homeschool thing. We eat it up.) It's got this magnificent balance of hilarious romance, edge-of-your-seat action, bloody war, tension and fear, old-fashioned politics, delicious food and lengthy descriptions of colonial life. I've loved this book since I was eight. Some things never change.

Series I Adore #1: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. You knew I was going to get to this. But come on, it's HARRY POTTER. The Chosen One! Undesirable No. 1! The Boy Who Lived! It's got Chocolate Frogs and action and romance and terror till it comes out of your ears, but in the end, it's still just a school story. It's just some teenagers who go to school, have finals and stay up till 2am studying. Just with, you know, dragons and stuff. I read all seven Harry Potter books in six days one summer. Basically I did nothing else. It was love at first sight, I read the first paragraph of the first book, and knew that they would be marvelous. Harry Potter can sweep you away from mundane life and bring you fully somewhere else where real people reside in real places. It's not great literature. It's genius escapism.

Series I Adore #2: Betsy-Tacy by Maude Hart Lovelace. I read these books slowly over the course of my life, one or two more every few years till I had read all thirteen of them. Betsy-Tacy is the definition of complete. You follow her and her friends from her fifth birthday party through her first years of marriage. The books are semi-autobiographical, which adds a sense of reality to them, and they are so encouraging and hopeful. The focus through out the series remains of the positive, on the happy little things in life. All the characters are freakishly real, naturally because they were real, but the series manages retains the magical aura of fiction despite the truth they are based on. It's never been a question as to whether these books were favorites of mine. They've always been there.

Series I Adore #3: The Casson Series by Hilary McKay. I read Saffy's Angel first of course. Then I heard a squeal was coming out. Then another one came, and another, and one last one. With each book they got better and funnier, but it doesn't really even feel like a series. It's just one long hilarious story about one big hilarious family in modern day England. There's Caddy, the oldest, and her on-and-off driving instructor Micheal. There's Saffy, the adopted cousin/half-sister, Indigo, the only boy, who wants to visit the Arctic. Then there's Rose, the youngest, and the driving force. Each book is written differently, sometimes it's first person, sometimes not, but it works. They are the sort of book I want to force everyone to read, they're the sort of books that will make your life better.

(Other books that should be mentioned, even though they are not Total and Complete Favorites are: The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson, The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and the Prydain Series by Lloyd Alexander.)
I need coffee. And a nap. It's raining again.