Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another update post with a terrible title (but pictures this time!)

For the quickie weekend recap: the wedding was a smash hit, I got to sit at a table full of old friends and their new friends and get back in touch with people who I never should have let get out of touch. One of them was the officiant (a.k.a. dude who did the marrying bit), one of them was in the bridal party (other than the bride) and I got to sit with the rest of them! The food/cake was all very nice but unmemorable (fine by me) and it was in her parents' beautiful backyard with a view out across the Santa Cruz mountains. The ceremony was adorable and the whole wedding party was incredibly photogenic so I need to do a lot of sorting through pictures. However, this rampant photogenicness (photogenicity?) meant I was in almost none of them. So here you can see me in the awesome teal dress while we're disco dancing (thanks Zack!). Bride and groom are at the front, I'm behind the officiant (linen suit man). Also, the wine was very good. Hence possibly why pictures exist of me disco dancing. Hmm. The dress was a qualified success, I want a chunky necklace for it (but what color?!) and it could probably use different underwear. However, it was like 100 degrees out there most of the time, so it gets mucho extra points for breathability (oh the things we never think of). Zack gets a million bonus points for driving, too. We took his little bro's Mini Cooper and it is such a fun little car! If I could guarantee nobody ever had to sit in the backseat, I would SO have one of those little guys!

We also had a little time to play with my new magnifying filter on my camera (much cheaper than a macro lens, but still, sigh). This was not at the wedding:

And these are from my very own garden, with my very own camera. Snazzy!

Aaaand... Monday was my band's first gig at the Marina - there is a bandstand and we set up there and played some classical, some showtunes and some popular stuff. We got a decent crowd for our first shot at it and totally sounded respectable despite the blustering wind (although it did slow us down a bit). We ended up having to put sheets of plexiglas on our music stands to keep the music from blowing away, duct tape the plexi to the stands, and then duct tape the stands to the ground. Did I mention it was windy? Next week we'll get the word out better so we've got a better crowd, but this was totally respectable for our first show in a new venue. And I'll work on getting pictures of that too!

P.S. click any/all pictures to embiggen.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Quickie Polyvore Meme

The Glamorous Grad Student just led me to this nifty polyvore challenge: "How do you add your personal stamp to your outfit? If I asked you to slip on a pair of jeans, a simple top, a pair of flat shoes, and any accessories you liked, what would you come up with?" And since I don't want to think about leaving for work in 5 minutes I am posting my response instead.

Basically, start with plain shirt and jeans. Add basic neutral-but-cute flats, big jewelry and some bright stuff (cardigan, bag). That's about as complex as I get.

Anybody want to play along? Or give me tips on how to make this outfit better (don't say a belt)?

Edit: for Wende, since she wasn't going to do it. Apparently my mental image of her is vaguely rock-star related for some reason.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Oh Crud.

I have found my kryptonite. It is called the Banana Republic Factory Store. I may never be allowed to go there again.

Although, I have to say, after having hit panic stations at "Wedding #1 is tomorrow and I hate everything I was going to wear" time, they may have totally saved my butt. On my lunch break. In the form of a bright teal dress and the perfect summer-weight jacket (a.k.a. Annie's shopping holy grail, as in, possibly mythical, never cheap), and therefore, pretty much the perfect wedding outfit. I just HAVE to wear it to all three weddings now. No more shopping.

Pictures may ensue if I can convince my date to wield his camera (or mine) for a noble cause.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kiddie Meme

What were you afraid of as a child?
The dark was a biggie. By the time I hit high school I could navigate basically any room in our large house in the dark, and I credit this partially to my sisters perpetually turning out the lights on me and running away while I yelled.

Another biggie was whatever was under my bed. There was a terrible movie with Fred Savage where he got dragged away to another world by the monsters that lived under his bed and it scarred me, I swear. I have never sought out that movie but a part of me wants to just to see how cheesy and awful it probably is. Still not gonna.

What were your favorite books as a child? Do you ever reread any of them? If so, how do they hold up? Were there ever any that gave you nightmares, but you had to finish them anyway?
I'll also plug Edith Nesbit, I've just started buying her stuff for my nephew who I have deemed large and clever enough to enjoy them. Also they have dragons and pirates and relatively sensible female characters. Although it took me a long time to figure out one scene where one of the older children told a younger sibling not to drink rainwater even though she was thirsty because "there are Germans in the rainwater".
I went through Anne of Green Gables like a shot, I always was a little disappointed that L.M. Montgomery saw fit to kill off Anne's baby. But those also hold up well. She did several other books set in Canada and I have very fond memories of The Story Girl and Magic For Marigold. I have been accumulating these and they still hold up totally great.
I was always a junkie for folktales and mythology so I grew up on D'Aulaire's Greek Myths before graduating shortly to Bulfinch's Mythology and then Italo Calvino's Italian Folktales collection - my sister was in some lit class in college and I swiped it from her when she was home. This may have been slightly less than appropriate as I would have been about six and these were the old-school stories full of sex and mutilation. But it looks like I turned out ok... although it's still a bit jarring to see the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty when she doesn't wake up with twin children as beautiful as the sun and the moon, and the wicked stepmother never tries to boil her to death in a giant cauldron. I am still a sucker for a good folktale (I just found a book of Hungarian folktales and it's fun because it analyzes what I guess would be the equivalent of the etymology of the stories - there must be a better word for it than that, but it's basically things like "this is a combination of the standard #27 Golden Child and #41 The Faun" etc. etc. and I LOVE IT).
My mom also had her mother's Ten Ever'Lovin Blue-Eyed Years With Pogo, an anthology of Walt Kelly's stuff. I found it very early and liked it as cartoons before I realized it was supposed to be topical and political. I now have my own collection of Pogo books that is going strong...
Oh yeah, and the nightmare one? Return To Oz. Wheelers and electroshock therapy? No thank you very much. Weirdos.

As a child, how did you feel about other children? Were your friends mostly your age, mostly older, or mostly non-existent?

I tried to have imaginary friends but they usually got forgotten for those of a more geographic nature - there were kids my age in the neighborhood so they were default friends until about junior high. They were the ones I had to walk to school with or hang out with after school because somebody's mom was around or whatever the reason was, so it was pretty much enforced friendship. Or perhaps friendship due to parental convenience.

What was your favorite toy? Do you wish that you still had it? Do you still have it or have you bought another off eBay?

There is a very quiet corner in my closet with two stuffed toys, a duck and a rabbit (the rabbit is a puppet) and a small blanket. The blanket is yellow gingham on the back and the front is all patches that the kids in my mom's preschool class made with those stamps you make out of potatoes. These are sacred. And, cleverly enough, their respective names are Ducka, Bun-Bun and Starblankie. They came to college with me and they will always be around somewhere. That's just how it's gotta be.

P.S. Does anyone else remember From The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler? It always made me want to run away and live in a museum.

Monday, June 22, 2009

There is a bookmark folder on my computer called Misc. Awesome

And in it, as you might expect, are many little things that I love, and have no spot for. So here is a spot for some of them. Specifically,

A fascinating historic dinner from the Times Online,

The world's tastiest resignation letter:

A great New York scene from Marvelous Kiddo:

A hilarious Google Earth project: (see the street view here)

And... the Sad Trombone.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and I will get a post up with real content (generated by me, I mean, instead of random links), before I leave town again on Friday.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sailing away... (saleing away?)

I'm up early (too early) getting my tiny garage sale ready to go. And for proof that Reno residents really don't "get" Craigslist, I've already received an email offer for help and an email request to come take a look at my daybed. For one, who wants strangers helping at their garage sales? And for two, I listed some of the big stuff I'd be getting rid of, and nowhere on the list was there a daybed.

The rest of the day will be aimed at some more reverse consumerism: the return of an ambitious but overpriced lipstick, getting a price adjustment on my wear-to-the-weddings sweater which went on sale four days after I sucked it up and bought it, and an attempted trade-in (apparently Sierra Trading Post will actually let you trade in your old hiking boots for credit towards new ones if they have good tread left - mine have good tread but magically have stopped fitting after seven years. Go figure).

So we'll see if I end up ahead or behind at the end of the day. And at the end of the day, I can either go to a metal show (hmm) a hippie jam fest (lots of friends will be there, at least), or an unidentifiable musical event of some sort in appreciation of women (at which there will be champagne and roses). So far options 2 and 3 are winning, with option 1 falling off the bottom of the list. Go figure.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Movie Of Your Life?

Stolen shamelessly from Miss Sarah Von - if your life was a movie, who would you want to star?

Well, since it's a movie, the last actress I got compared to was Scarlett Johannson, and I liked her early stuff before she went all bombshell - so we'll go with her.

It's the adventures of a band geek who wants to be a jock, or possibly a jock who wants to be a band geek. Watch the undergraduate hijinks as she moves to Oregon and moonlights as a late-night indie DJ for a tiny radio station and ends every show with a track from this album - just because she can. Whether it gave her nightmares or not is not in the story.

Witness her move to Reno and attempt to break in on the local classical music scene (harder than it sounds). Smirk at her meet-cute with one of her sister's friends who thinks they should "play some duets sometime" and her total obliviousness to the pickup line, followed by her showing up at his house with a tuba...

Follow their travel adventures as she branches out from quiet suburban life to including sleeping on a lot of random floors and getting walked in on in the shower by an 87-year old British man not once but TWICE (a scene played for hearty laughs with an excellent body double). Watch as she attempts to channel both her inner Martha Stewart and Ina Garten while her husband tries to have band rehearsals in the living room and then has to reschedule around her band rehearsals in the living room. A quirky indie shot in saturated 60's color with a bumpin' soundtrack (that's another whole post right there).

And for my tall, dorky, scruffy love interest, I vote Clive Owen.
Would you watch? I promise it's a comedy... and possibly an adventure? We'll see.

Edit: forgot to pick a director, I'd have to go with John Schlesinger, mainly because I don't really know directors and he directed one of my favorite movies ever, in which style I would love my movie to be as well... also, he happened to direct one of the best thrillers I have ever seen (and I hate thrillers), Marathon Man. Watch it, and read the book. I highly recommend both (which is very unusual for me).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Things Annie Lives For

A really good pun. By which, of course, I mean a really bad pun.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Fun

This, as you may recall, was awesome.

Now apparently, it had enough success that Beaker won his very own Webby award.

And while his acceptance didn't go so well, he is a bit of an internet celebrity now and has a great red-carpet interview (with a very friendly interviewer).

Hope everyone has a good weekend, I'm off again...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another quick update (I gotta get better at these titles!)

Just got back last night from the middle of nowhere, Nevada where we got poured on. We did get a large amount of good work done at a very high rate of speed though, I have to say (I carry the sledgehammer). Now that we've hosed off and de-mudded most everything, I get to pack up again for a polar opposite trip: southwest instead of northeast, frivolous instead of productive, and probably even indoor instead of outdoor. Not as exciting but it will be a slightly shorter drive and nice to see my family for a bit.

And I hate to leave my garden again while it's looking so nice, but it is still rainy so I'm not too worried about it. I've got lots of green tomatoes and sprouting seeds and everything I transplanted last weekend is looking totally happy. Almost all of my beans have sprouted and hopefully will start to climb their teepees very soon... I think I need to go take some pictures!

And we end on a song, one that always reminds me of one of my favorite movies - The Matchmaker. Weird weird song, but Sinead O'Connor has such a gorgeous voice and it kind of works for me as the dialogue between her and the Pogues guy.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weekend Update

We took a little mini-vacation this weekend! Unfortunately, I forgot my camera. Friday night we drove down to Grass Valley to visit friends. It is so beautiful down there right now with all the dogwood trees in bloom along Highway 49! Unfortunately it was very rainy and there was some nasty roadwork on 80 on the way home. But we had a great time visiting friends and going to the Nevada County Farmer's Market - I came home with green beans, artichokes, cherries, olive oil, bread, and kale. Since our Farmer's Market hasn't started yet, this was a real treat!

Last night after we got back, I cooked dinner for the Lucchesi family as it was my father-in-law's birthday. I cooked up the green beans and tossed them with some chopped tomato, red onion and the awesome olive oil. I made a salad that included radishes from my very own yard :) and I cooked up a beautiful piece of halibut that we picked up on the way home. How gourmet am I?! With homemade berry cobbler and homemade coffee ice cream for dessert, no less! Farmer's Market was apparently inspiring...

Today I did some projects in the yard that may or may not bite me in the ass... it has been pouring rain for a week straight so my garden has gotten HUGE. I ended up transplanting two decent-sized Russian sages and two gaillardias from the backyard into the front yard as they were getting too big for their britches.

Then I also transplanted some sage, a firecracker penstemon, several strawberries and a paprika yarrow. They were in kind of random spots and needed more space so I spread them out and clumped them with more of their own kind so I'll eventually get some more swaths of color instead of random pockets of stuff all mixed up. It has been so wet that everything is super happy and I think they will adjust well to their new spots. Hopefully.

And finally, dress #3 came and I am happy enough with it - the large was clingy and the XL is a tiny bit loose but I think it looks much better. I have a great strappy pair of red sandals and a gorgeous berry-colored clutch so all I need to decide on is jewelry and something to keep me warm. These are the current candidates:

Sundance Karine cardigan in ivory

and Miss Marianne's beautiful vine earrings
that I have been coveting for months.

The upshot is ideally something in this neighborhood, I just hope it's not too boring:

P.S. this is the actual bag, etsy and polyvore just don't speak the same language yet. I figure with T-minus three weeks to the actual wedding, I am doing comparatively well!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Weirdness

A little early weekend insanity. Super catchy and strange but not exactly for the squeamish. Robbie Williams did have a brief moment where I liked him. It's mostly over, but this video is still particularly well done and unusual. And weird weird weird. Also, not quite what it looks like it is from the preview (it's basically safe for work and worth watching to the end). I kind of love it and think it's hilarious, and it won a MTV Video Music Award for Best Special Effects. Apparently controversial at the time of its release, the original ended with text stating "No Robbies were Harmed During the Making of this Video". And it always cracks me up.

It has been continuing to rain buckets so tonight we are getting the hell out of Dodge and going to visit friends in the Nevada City area. Where it is probably also raining buckets, but still. Road trip! Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

And sorry if the video either a. creeped you out or b. got that song stuck in your head.

Edit: be prepared, the final stupid wedding frivolity post may be this weekend, dresses 1/2 were both failures but dress 3 comes today...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I got nothin'

It has been raining for a good four days now. While I love love love the rain and so does my garden, it does cramp my gardening style. And beyond not gardening, I haven't been doing much. Low energy has led to naps and some quality time with netflix.

Blake Edwards may be more well known for A Shot in the Dark and The Pink Panther, but The Great Race is one of my favorites - a historic race from New York to Paris with stops in the wild West, old Bavaria and a melting iceberg, among other places. Tony Curtis is our hero, the Great Leslie, Natalie Wood is the ardent feminist and Jack Lemmon is the villain and the prince who happens to look just like Jack Lemmon - this scene is the pie fight after the failed coup with the Jack Lemmon characters.

If you can spot him, that's a very young Peter Falk as the bad guy's sidekick (who keeps yelling Hey Professor). And I don't know how they shot it so Tony Curtis is so pristine for almost the whole pie fight.

And Henry Mancini did the music. How could it get any better?