February 23, 2012

Rebecca Rebouché

i found her by way of the pioneer woman- she's got some wares for sale through Anthropologie. her original pieces are also really great. after browsing her site, this one is my current favorite. it reminds me of the murder of crows that occasionally invade the oak tree in our backyard.

February 18, 2012

Modern Slovakia Map

seen here

i've only been to Bratislava, but my husband has been to Slovakia several times, including a year-long stint teaching at a bilingual school and producing Slovak pop music. this little country is quite firmly nestled into his heart, and therefore mine as well.

fire-fighting kitty

in honor of Gordon, who won't stop yelling at me this morning:

seen here

February 17, 2012


seen on etsy, source long lost, sadly

February 15, 2012

The Marriage Plot

i've never read The Virgin Suicides, but Middlesex is one of my all-time favorite books, so i was thrilled to see a new title by Jeffrey Eugenides out on the shelves. after many months of waiting for my library copy, it was in my hands in time for my trip to South Carolina this week. the story centers around 3 college students and the year following their graduation from Brown in 1982. it begins with (a LOT of) literary theory and the premise that "the marriage plot" of the Victorian era cannot survive the current 80's culture of prenups, divorce, and greed. Eugenides himself says, "It is a book about other books, and a postmodern twist on the marriage plot of the Victorian novel." he then says, "But it is also an exploration of mental illness, failed romance and one man’s battle with religious faith." this was the stuff that drew me in and kept me reading all 400 pages. it does have an Ending- whether you consider it happy or sad depends on which of the 3 main characters you were rooting for. the whole feel of the narrative reminded me a lot of the dysfunctional relationships in Jonathan Franzen's books, and i felt a similar melancholy when i finished this one on the flight home last night. it's a sad story about complicated people, but it's beautifully written and worth going along for the ride, as bumpy as it may be.

February 9, 2012


photo from In Focus essay

my hometown at the end of the Civil War (she's looking much better these days). photo taken from the Capitol building, looking out at the Gervais & Main St intersection. see you tomorrow, Columbia!

February 6, 2012

the deceased of Facebook.

for a while now, i've been wondering what Facebook's plans are for the accounts of the deceased, especially since the new Timeline profiles have rolled out. it seems like Facebook's goal is to be an online scrapbook of your entire life, starting with birth at the very bottom of the page (with the creepy baby silhouette). so they must've taken into consideration what happens when the user passes away, right? (creepy coffin silhouette at the top of the Timeline?) i don't know anyone who's passed away since the Timeline feature rolled out, but i do know a few people who had Facebook accounts and have died in the last couple years. their wall becomes a public grieving place, with "RIP"s and final words and notes. and it continues for months and months. i just checked the page of a FB friend who died over a year and a half ago, and the most recent post on her wall was from 4 days ago. it seems like Facebook doesn't really do anything.

one of the blogs i follow is called the Death Reference Desk, and Sunday's post was on this very topic. first of all, they estimate that 19,000 FB users die every single day. whoa. second, turns out there is a plan for deceased users. a friend or relative can request that Facebook "memorialize" the deceased's account. this is what happens (from a FB blog post):

When an account is memorialized, we also set privacy so that only confirmed friends can see the profile or locate it in search. We try to protect the deceased’s privacy by removing sensitive information such as contact information and status updates. Memorializing an account also prevents anyone from logging into it in the future, while still enabling friends and family to leave posts on the profile Wall in remembrance.

fascinating. i would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the discussion at FB headquarters about all this. i wonder if Facebook will count those accounts as "active", adding to their 800 million and growing. if so,
Facebook could eventually have more accounts than people currently alive on the planet.

February 4, 2012

Now i know where Kristen Wiig gets all her dance moves.

especially the 3rd dancer, in white. pretty uncanny if you ask me.

(seen here)

February 2, 2012


2002 photo from The Washington Post

Groundhog Day is a fun memory for me. i went to college a few hours from Punxsutawney, and my senior year, one of my suite mates convinced us to go to Groundhog Day. PA is freezing in February, so we piled on as many thermals and clothes and outer gear as possible- someone was definitely wearing 3 pairs of pants- and piled into the car around midnight for the trip. once there, we were all herded onto a school bus for the jaunt up to Gobbler's Knob.

this was ten years ago, which if you noticed by the title, meant that the day was 02-02-02. for some, this was a HUGE deal. we talked to people who had traveled hundreds (thousands?) of miles to be there for this particular Groundhog Day. there were also the regulars who come every single year, and have been coming for decades. because of the huge deal, there were a record 38,000 revelers, heightened security and extra police. we were all searched for alcohol & other contraband and then herded onto the bus.

Punxsutawney, by the way, is very proud of its groundhog heritage. Houses are decorated for Groundhog Day, but even more telling are the permanent groundhog accoutrements, like murals on the side of auto shops. Phil the groundhog actually lives at the library the rest of the year, which i think is totally adorable.

once you're up on the Knob, you have about 5-ish hours of standing in the dark, bitter cold ahead of you. so, they try to keep you entertained. the year we were there, there were local radio DJ's, D-list celebrities (Survivor contestants or something like that) and a patriotic fireworks display (this was 5 months after 9/11). the fireworks display was choreographed to "America" songs, ending with Neil Diamond's "Coming to America" and a fireworks explosion directly in front of us, in the shape of 02-02-02. oh yes. 'Merica, indeed.

2002 photo from The Washington Post

so after we were all exhausted from dancing to keep warm, the sun finally creeps up and the "ceremony" starts. this was so weird. OK, these guys who call themselves "The Inner Circle" parade up to the stage. they're all dressed like Abraham Lincoln at a society wedding, but they all have these meteorological superhero names like "The Storm Chaser" or "The Tornado Lasso-er." they unfurl a scroll and read a proclamation, knock on Phil's fake wood stump- which they call his "lair"- someone bends down so Phil can "whisper" in his ear, dude stands up and proclaims Phil's prediction.... and we all turn around and go home. a bit anticlimactic, but overall it was a really fun adventure. we walked down the Knob back our car and drove back to campus. and now every February 2nd i think of those girls and smile at the memory.

February 1, 2012

Celebrity sloth breakdown

if an elephant came to my birthday party, i would probably do the same thing.