October 28, 2011

Proposal Graffiti

seen here

I guess today is Graffiti Day!

Proposal stories are great, because they are all so personal and unique. i've heard some really complicated & outlandish ones- my own proposal story spans an entire week, multiple people, places and mysterious green bags. i've also heard really simple & heartfelt ones, like my friend whose husband proposed to her in his favorite spot in his childhood home. and i love the ones with plans that went awry, which of course makes for a great story later- like my friend who submerged the engagement ring in a creek, and later totally freaked his then-girlfriend out when they "happened upon" the rope and he tried to pull it up (she was thinking something horrible would be on the end of it, like a dead body).

i would love to hear the story that goes with this piece of art, seen somewhere in Minneapolis. the little white box is a great touch- i'm guessing he spray-painted her answer right after she told him.

Sparkle Graffiti

seen here

sequin graffiti in Iceland.... i love this. it reminds me of the Peace House mural at Franklin & 5th Ave here in south Minneapolis. click here to see more and read an artist statement.

October 27, 2011

books i have read.

Reading is probably my greatest passion. my mom also loves to read and up until her retirement she was a children's librarian, so books were always around. i got my first library card when i was barely old enough to print my name, as evidenced above. (yes this means i still carry it around, to this very day. never mind that i don't live in that state anymore, or that the bar code is so worn out it doesn't even scan.) i remember going to the bookstore when i was younger and my mom giving me a pad of paper and pencil, and telling me to write down the names of the books i liked so we can get them at the library later. obviously, the librarian wasn't going to BUY books! to this day, buying books is not a habit of mine. i usually only buy a book after i have read it once or twice, and love it enough to know that i want to have it at my disposal to read whenever i want. Usually comfort books i can find at the thrift store.

*tangent- regarding buying vs. borrowing books, Richard Foster speaks to the idea of owning vs. appreciating in his book Freedom of Simplicity. for someone who has spent my life in American consumer culture, it was a breath of fresh air to hear someone say you don't need to own something in order to appreciate it. (Ironically, his book is one i did purchase.)

all that to say, books have always been a huge part of my life. i rarely went anywhere without one, and one of my mom's more successful punishment tactics was to confiscate them. my best friend and i were cut from the same cloth, so "playing together" often meant lounging in the same room, quietly reading Archie comics or Babysitters Club books. i think my mom was a little worried about a potential lack of socialization, but hey, we were happy. and look at how normal we are now!

for a while, i've thought about keeping a list of all the books i've read. i go through them quickly and sometimes forget the titles. but i never started, because what about all the books i've read in the last 20+ years? surely i can't remember them all. recently i decided to see just how many i could come up with. i looked at my bookshelves at home, checked college texts, high school required reading, list of fines on my online library account, anywhere there was a record of what i have read. and while it's obviously not comprehensive and totally out of order, it's a pretty good start. i elected to omit some of the embarrassing titles (anything by Mary Higgins Clark and John Eldridge, for example). it's right here and over there on the side bar, under Miscellany. i'll continue to update it with new titles at the top of the list, including the last two i read, A Visit from the Goon Squad and Happy Accidents.

i'm always looking for new titles, so if you have suggestions, do let me know. (i'm most excited for State of Wonder and The Marriage Plot, but i'm #512 and 523 on their library waiting lists, so it'll be a while yet. i guess there is a downside after all...)

October 25, 2011

Biker to the rescue!

so glad he was already recording on his helmet cam. (via dooce)

October 24, 2011


but at least we showed up for part of the second half, right? MPR posted these photos of yesterday's game... here are my 2 favorites.

love that Jared. also love the reaction shot of Aaron Rodgers.

Adrian! leaving Packers in his wake...

(don't worry, the humor is not lost on me that i'm getting my NFL coverage from public radio.)

October 22, 2011

You are a runner.

so, sometimes i'm not the most easygoing person. i don't naturally "roll with the punches," it's something i have to actively work towards. most of the time, i like my days to have a plan, and go according to plan. (i realize this sounds incredibly boring). my husband is the opposite. he is a spontaneous, shoot-from-the-hip kind of guy. if plans change last-minute, NBD for him. meanwhile, the left side of my brain is quietly seizing.

Thursday was one of those days that had a plan, and the day did not go according to plan. we took my car in to the mechanic for a few things that would take "an hour, hour and a half tops." well, it took about 6 hours before it was done. Matt had a gig that night about 2 hours away, and he had to pick up some of the guys and meet the other guy at his work. so in order to have a car, i ended up abandoning my plans and riding along on the Greycoats shuttle service, then taking the car after they were all where they needed to be. about an hour or so later, the garage calls to say they are done with my car. i weigh my options- i could take the bus over there, which would take a long time. or i could ride my bike... except my tire is flat. but i have a spare tube and I've been meaning to fix it anyway, so no problem, right? it wasn't until i get home that i realize my tire levers are... in my car, at the mechanic's. so i toil away for about 20 minutes trying to change my bike tube without any proper tools*. and then my brain stops and goes,

"hey, you're a runner. why don't you RUN to the mechanic?"

i can't believe i didn't think of it sooner. i was already planning to run today, and according to Google Maps, the distance to the mechanic was the exact same distance i am running these days. so i suited up, headed out, and ran there. and it was awesome. i usually run loops on bike/pedestrian paths, so i wasn't used to the stoplight interruptions and uh, hills. but there was something about it that made me feel kinda bad-ass. need to get somewhere? no problem, i will just take myself there on my own two damn feet!

admittedly, it wasn't the fastest option. my bike would have been quicker. even the bus would have gotten me there sooner. but i felt a little dose of healthy pride when the sweet old man mechanic said, "oh, you got da sniffles?" and i replied, "well, i actually ran here, so i think the sniffles are from the cold outside." but the best part was right when i was about to leave, he glanced at the lines of scribble on my hand and joked, "hey, are those your directions to run here?" i smiled and said, "yep, they actually are!"

*for the record, i did get the bike tube changed, thankyouverymuch.

October 20, 2011

rescuing Blanca and meeting Sarah.

a few weeks ago, in the quick in-between of getting home from work and getting ready to head to a friend's house for our weekly Project Runway viewing, i glanced out our back window and saw what looked like a giant white fox loping through our backyard. it had a collar, so i did what i was genetically programmed to do: chase after it and entice it to come to me. little pup was more than happy to make a friend; she bounded over, tail wagging. on her collar was a tag with local phone numbers, a rabies tag from a vet in Georgia, and a "i have a microchip" tag with an 800 number. i ran in the house to grab my cell phone, and when i got back outside, the dog was in the neighbor's yard with about 851 of the Mexican children who live next door. they were very sweet to the puppy; the oldest girl held onto the collar while the others pet the dog and chattered very excitedly in Spanish. i left voicemails for both the local numbers and then tried the 800 number. the guy who answered looked up the chip # and then said, "...huh. um, you're not near a military base by any chance, are you? because this dog is registered to a base in Okinawa, Japan."

uh, no.

i'm having trouble hearing him because i'm still surrounded by a frantic cloud of Spanglish from the neighbor kids, so i thank him and hang up. so i've got quite the globetrotting puppy- someone stationed in JAPAN loved her enough to put a chip in her, then brought her back to Georgia where she got rabies shots, and then somehow got to Minneapolis...? just then i got an incoming call from one of the local numbers- turns out, she belongs to a little girl who lives three doors down. her uncle found the dog in Japan, brought it back to Georgia where he was stationed, and then recently gave the pup to his niece as a gift. the mom walked over to retrieve her, and turns out she is a neighbor we had been interested in meeting for a while. we had a really nice chat, which she ended by saying, "well i'll be here on the corner for the next 30 years or so, so if you need any sugar, butter, whatever...." happy to kill 2 birds with one stone- reunite a lost dog with her owner and finally meet a neighbor we had been curious about.

October 17, 2011

Star crossed.

from a styled
wedding photo shoot, seen here. i didn't like the clothes or styling, but i love this photo.

October 13, 2011

Nerd Games.

Kern Type. i scored a 100/100!

Cheese or Font? this one was a lot harder than i expected.

both found via Kottke, who also introduced me to Chain Factor, which is one of my favorites. i like games with numbers and counting.

October 11, 2011

steel bike tires.

seen here. would be interesting to take for a spin. no sharp turns, i guess...

October 10, 2011

sketch dress

this dress and necklace made me smile this morning. worn by the designer and seen here.

October 9, 2011


so, me and Pittsburgh go way back.

i first visited the city in 1996, when a friend moved there for seminary. the next summer, i met/re-met some of the kids in his youth group at Cornerstone and had a great time with them. then in 1997, one of my favorite families decided to move to Pittsburgh to become youth workers up there. somewhere along the way, i developed a crush on one of those youth group boys, and a nondescript pamphlet arrived at my house. the brochure was for a small college tucked away in Northeastern PA, an hour north of Pittsburgh. it was a really similar education/experience as other schools i was considering... at less than half the price. incoming freshman received their own laptop & printer upon matriculation that was theirs to keep. it was in "The North", which is where most urbane Southern kids planned to flee. it was close to people who were really important to me. and i didn't find this out until later, but the aforementioned boy had also decided to go there. so needless to say, it felt meant to be. :)

i did get a great education there, and developed some lifelong friendships along the way. i also developed a lifelong love of that great steel city, and for years after graduating i would venture back to visit Pittsburgh and see friends who had landed there. but after leaving the job that allowed for annual 3 week cross-country road trips, the PGH visits ended in 2006.

so it had been 5 years since i had last been there, which might explain the misty eyes that occured as we emerged from the Fort Pitt tunnel into the glory of downtown! rivers! bridges! it's such a great "poof here's the city" moment, and in that moment i had the moment where you don't realize how much you love/miss someplace until you're back there again. we were back to attend a wedding (the wedding of my original Pittsburgh crush who is a close friend of ours!) and had planned for 3 days in PGH, a drive to West Virginia to visit some Minnesota friends, and then a couple days in Washington, DC to see some sights and stay with more college friends of mine. for my own posterity, a quick re-cap.

delirious on little sleep- 3 hours for me, 1 hour for matt
hug from Amy in Pittsburgh airport, who was leaving for a weekend in FL
drive straight to Primanti's- good decision. that roast beef and Yuengling perked us up.
walking around strip district, surprised by amount of Steeler swag down there
Mt Washington- enjoying the view, chatting with Limo Rob, who drives THE original limo from the movie The Bodyguard, and a cute old Italian man who's lived there his whole life
emergency nap in Rite Aid parking lot
emergency coffee in Mt. Lebanon at Aldo Coffee
rehearsal dinner at Sesame Inn, reunion with old friends from college and church

breakfast and hanging out with Emily, Jack, and Noa before starting our day
Pamela's diner in Millvale- Pres. Obama was right, those pancakes are amazing.
The Mattress Factory, experimental art installation museum
Cathedral of Learning, to visit the nationality classrooms
meeting Kelly for beers at the Brillobox
enjoying the nighttime view on Mt Washington
bachelor party game night at Kris' house. we mostly played with the cat.

brunch at Dozen
walking along Butler St in Lawrenceville- antique stores, vintage stores, handmade crafty stores
back to get ready for wedding
wedding/reception at St. Paul's, Kris' church in Mt. Lebanon
after party at Kris' house

lazy morning with the Hardings
lunch at Franktuary's food truck at arts market
drive to WV to see Cadys
dinner and Candyland and hair do's with the Cady girls

breakfast with Cadys, drive to DC
stop in at National Zoo to see the elephants, who i used to visit annually
stop at my other favorite spot, the Washington National Cathedral, which was closed due to earthquake damage
memorials- Lincoln, Korean War, MLK, FDR, Washington Monument
*i knew one other person who was going to be in DC that day, and wouldn't you know, we ran into each other at the Lincoln Memorial!
drive to South Riding, dinner and hang out with Leeds, taste Sarah's flavored rums

more memorials- Vietnam, WW2
The White House
walking along the Mall
Smithsonian museums- Natural History, both Galleries of Art, Sculpture Garden
Old Town Alexandria for dinner- delicious brick oven pizza at Red Rocks
late night chatting with Sarah and Rich

Wednesday: drop off rental car, fly home

throughout the trip: many, many people talking about Matt's hair. i forget how forward East Coasters are... "DAAAAAMN" "holy shit dude" "how long you been growing those out?" i am going to make him a shirt that says SIXTEEN YEARS. and then next year i will make him another one that says SEVENTEEN YEARS, and so on.

October 7, 2011


seen here, original here

as soon as i saw this i knew it was Vienna. the look and feel of that city are unmistakable.

i can't decide if i would rather be curled up here with a book and a cup of coffee, or curled up with a book and a glass of wine...

October 6, 2011

Twenty Seven Names

seen here

Not particularly wild about the clothes or prints, but i do like these photographs. reminds me of one of the few moments i liked from the movie Garden State.

Steve Jobs.

i think it says something about the man- and the people he's inspired- that when he passes, the tributes are really clever and well-designed. my favorites so far:

so much sad

origin unknown, found via Mayor Rybak's facebook page

UPDATES: posts from some of my favorite Internet people: Jason Kottke's round-up of Jobs tributes, and Alan Taylor's photo compilation of Jobs, and mourners around the world.

Also, a great excerpt from President Obama's statement: "...there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented."

October 4, 2011

Globe age.

photo from apartment therapy

for a while, i had a globe problem. my husband owns a recording studio called the Library, due to the thousands and thousands of books lining his walls and other library-themed decor. he got a bunch of cool stuff from my recently-retired librarian mom and was pretty thrilled when i came home one day from the thrift store with an old-timey globe for the studio. i love groupings of globes (which can be seen via pretty much any interior decorating blog) so i started buying interesting ones for him whenever i came across them. thing is, you'll find a cool globe pretty much every time you walk into a thrift store. and they're usually only $5-7, so for a while i was globe-buying with abandon. it got a little out of hand, and last December i imposed a moratorium on globe acquisition.

so of course i would only now come across this- a great online guide for dating your globe (as in, "how old are you, globe?" and not "what are you doing later, globe?"). this was one of my favorite parts of globe hunting- finding the old, obsolete ones. i had a few countries i knew of for dating purposes: Eritrea, Czechoslovakia, East/West Germany, USSR. and of course now ALL our globes are obsolete, because none of them have South Sudan...

PS- this is a pretty cool idea. if i ever needed a reason to lift the globe-buying ban...

October 2, 2011

the cat videos continue.

Matt sent this video to me at work, with the following email:

There are three things that totally make this video!

the first is obvious, a cat traps another cat in a box
the second... there is another cat wandering around that has a haircut making him look just like a tiny lion!
thirdly, once the cat comes out of the box, the cat that trapped him pats him on the shoulder as if to say, "I'ze jus' kidd'n!"

we are officially cat people.