Things I Love: London Shop Fronts

Just found the London Shop Fronts site (via Design*Sponge) - it's just what it sounds like and it's beautiful!


Hook Up

Obviously I've been a neglectful blogger.... I guess that comes along with the move, new job, and, most importantly, the holiday season.  I do love the holidays.  This has been my first holiday season as a Miami resident, and I'm so excited that I get to have both the Florida experience and the family Oregon experience.  We head west on Monday and I'm so excited!  As usual, I think I've gone overboard with stocking stuffers (many of which I anticipate not fitting into stockings) but I can't help it!  Buying gifts for those I  love is one of my favorite activities.  OK, and I've bought a few things for my self as well....bad Shorty, bad!

I thought this was really interesting: Obama logo ideas that weren't chosen.

A friend of mine from OR (now another Boston resident!) is studying and working towards the goal of being the coolest high school librarian ever.  And this is her blog!  Reading it makes me miss all the favorite books  of my childhood and adolescent, and makes me jealous of all the kids that will benefit from having her around.  Check out Mad Snarky Librarian.

In looking for different perspectives on the "Miami experience" I came across Blogging Black Miami.  So far it's been a great source of news and info - I welcome any suggestions about other sources for learning about what's going on in Miami.

This article is getting a lot of discussion amongst both my friends and the news/blog media: The Demise of Dating.  I feel torn.  In some ways, I agree with the columnist that there isn't much dating (i.e. hanging out before becoming physically intimate with someone) going on, and that some things have been lost as a result - namely, monogamy.  I think more people are inclined to hook up with a variety of people at once before eventually - if ever - settling into a relationship with one of them.  This is in contrast to dating a few people without being physically intimate, and then choosing one of them to date seriously.  Also, I have heard absolute horror stories from my single friends - both female and male - about the lack of interest amongst potential partners in even having dinner or getting together one-on-one.  Everyone seems to want the safety of hanging out in a group, avoiding the word "date," and playing hard to get until neither person can even utter the words "Can I call you sometime?"

However, I also think this is the sort of article that gets written every 5 years, bemoaning "kids these days," and underestimating the emotional complexity of young people.  Also, while Mr. Blow's aim in looking at the gender iniquity is admirable, his conclusion is also overly simplistic.  He writes:
Girls get tired of hooking up because they want it to lead to a relationship (the guys don’t), and, as they get older, they start to realize that it’s not a good way to find a spouse. 
There are plenty of women who are happy with hooking up and are not looking for a relationship - we don't come out of the womb dreaming of a DeBeers ad-like proposal - and plenty of men who want to date as well.  This "women want a boyfriend, men want booty" is a pretty old paradigm and played out by now.   Also, there are plenty of people (and I'm sure there were in the 1960's and every other decade) who start dating via "hook up" and end up in a serious relationship with that person (disclaimer: one of them may be writing this blog).  It's not always so black and white as Mr. Blow suggests.  

Bottom line, dating is awkward, so is "hooking up," and relationships are always going to be complicated.  I think a better way to talk to young people about their sexual relationships would be to steer clear of sweeping generalizations that don't give them credit for emotional depth and be honest about the challenges and benefits of romantic relationships - regardless of what you call them. 

Final note: the best thing about The Sartorialist is that it allows me to people watch, from the comfort of my desk.  (See his Wikipedia entry!)  Worst part?  Then I look down at my own outfits and feel ashamed.  Seriously, who ARE these people?  Oh right, New Yorkers...

Note: what is a sartorialist?  Someone interested in sartorialism, of course.  Sartorialism = an interest in matters of or relating to the tailoring of clothing.  Now you know.



I am in love with the Acorn Toy Shop!  How can you resist?  I'd love to have their Orca wall hanging in my house or office (also I would love to have an office...):

And check out their awesome mobiles (I do love me a mobile):

These lux Rabbit bookends are gorgeous:

And this terrier pillow is great:

Also check out: Core 77 is pretty cool design site and their 77 Design Gifts Under $77 is a great introduction to their style.


Some Sort of Seasonal

Today's Daily Heller gave me a heads up to the White House's collection of holiday cards, now viewable online.  How can you not try to read into each card something about the President's administration, or the political climate at the time?  Unfortunately, most of them are pretty ugly, design-wise (except for maybe the retro appeal of the simpler designs):

Below: Bush Jr.  (2001)

Below: JFK (1961)

Below: Bush Sr. (1991)


Things I Love: Miami

After two weeks here, I think I can finally say I am starting to love Miami.  I know it's still the honeymoon period, but I HAVE been visiting sporadically for the last few years, so it's not totally out of the blue...Why?  Well, I guess it's a combination of things - could be the good food, the amazing weather, the multicultural/global presence, and especially the fact that there is SO much going on.  It's like a combination of the last two places I've lived in that it's a major city (Boston) but also people are outside and social (Old San Juan).  Unfortunately I left my digital camera in Boston and so I'm stranded down here with just my cell!

[Art Basel, South Beach, Miami, 2008]  Last night, thanks to the lovely Roxy, I went to a few Art Basel events - the people watching (one of my all time favorite activities) was incredible. Maybe the best people watching ever, seriously.  Models with old men, amazingly posh art scene people that looked like caricatures of themselves, wanna be rock stars, overly Botoxed socialites....it was great.  Today is the start of the actual festival so I think this weekend will be packed - but entertaining - on Miami Beach.

[Miami Art Museum Book Fair, Downtown Miami, 2008]  Today after work we went over to the Miami Art Museum (only a few blocks away from our offices) where they were having a huge book fair.  Because it's Miami (and Art Basel weekend) of course they had to combine the book fair with a bar, live music, and this amazing, huge Jeff Koons rabbit!   It's just there for Art Basel and apparently tomorrow they are doing a light installation on the side of my office building!

Don't get me wrong, there are things about Miami that drive me crazy (the conservative political climate, the car culture, the urban sprawl....) but for now, I'm just gonna enjoy the honeymoon.


Finally, Proof That I Live In Miami!

So, under the heading Things I [Hope To] Love is ART BASEL! The annual event is routinely described (in Miami at least...) as "the most important art show in the United States":

As the sister event of Switzerland's Art Basel, the most prestigious art show worldwide for the past 39 years, Art Basel Miami Beach combines an international selection of top galleries with an exciting program of special exhibitions, parties and crossover events featuring music, film, architecture and design. Exhibition sites are located in the city's beautiful Art Deco District, within walking distance of the beach and many hotels.
The week long party kicks off tonight...and yours truly (thanks to the kindness of friends) will be attending the event at the Miami Convention Center! As some have noted, this years craptastical (I believe that is a real business term) economy may lead the party to be slightly more subdued than in previous years, but if there is one thing I have learned so far in Miami, you should never count on subdued. I'll even try to take photos tonight, like a good blogger....


Misunderstanding and Racism Lead to Initiative's Failure in Florida

I know this isn't the most up-to-the minute news, but I am trying to get caught up on Florida politics and found this article to be indicative of race relations and the state of immigration in the United States. Can all those commentators talking about the "post-race" world post-Obama pipe down already? From the NYTimes, "In Florida, an Initiative Intended to End Bias Is Killed":

An obscure ballot initiative in Florida intended to end a legacy of bias against Asian-Americans was defeated Tuesday, apparently because voters incorrectly assumed it would prevent illegal immigrants from owning property.

Had it passed, the initiative, known as Amendment No. 1, would have removed from the state’s Constitution language adopted in 1926 allowing the Legislature to prohibit foreigners who were barred from citizenship — Asian-Americans at the time — from owning land.

No such legislation was ever enacted here, and every other state that had such laws has scrapped them on grounds of equal protection. But on Tuesday, Florida’s effort to delete the provision went down, with 52 percent voting “no” and 48 percent voting “yes.”

Immigrant advocates said they were stunned. “It’s terribly disappointing,” said Cheryl Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. “At a time when our country has turned away from a history of racism, we have left a racist and anti-immigrant provision in Florida’s Constitution.”

...[The Ballot] simply asked voters if they were willing to delete “provisions authorizing the Legislature to regulate or prohibit the ownership, inheritance, disposition and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship.”

Steve Geller, a former state senator who worked to get the initiative on the ballot, said Florida election rules only allowed a description of 75 words, and required that the language of the old provision — “aliens ineligible for citizenship” — be included. As a result, he said, “a lot of people thought it had to do with illegal aliens, and it had nothing to do with illegal aliens.”

In fact, some organizations opposing illegal immigration latched onto the provision and advised people to vote no. On the Web site of one group, Americans for Legal Immigration, a member wrote that it should be left standing because “ ‘illegal aliens’ should not have ‘rights’ like U.S. citizens have. The only right they should have is deportation!”

...Ms. Tang, 47, who came to the United States from Macao in 1978, said that next time would be different. She said she hoped to put the initiative on the ballot again as soon as possible.

“We’ve learned,” she said. “From here on, we will have to get together to raise some funds to get information to the communities.”


Treats from the Southwest

Boyfriend recently made a trip out to the Southwest and raved about how much he loved Santa Fe and the area in general.  Mooching off of his enthusiasm and remembering my own love for the area, I poked around online and found a plethora of treats.

Working out of Albuquerque, artist Lex's Etsy shop, Gjurasic Park, is a great introduction to her work with Kokeshi, something I hadn't heard of before.  I love the bold colors and strong designs.  Check out her blog for more info and artwork.

I actually stumbled upon Design Warehouse without realizing it was yet another Southwest discovery (they're based in Santa Fe).   They have a great collection of everyday design, from the pricey to the affordable (also they are having a sale on lighting through the end of November!).   I like the Farmer's Market Calendar, the Magnetic Organs, and the Stuck Up Magnets, for example.  Push-Up Preston (above) was another winner.

Gridskipper relays the excellent news that getting to and from Santa Fe and Albuquerque has just gotten easier: "Come the fall, Santa Fe gets its first commercial jet service, not to mention Rail Runner Express will soon offer high-speed train service from Albuquerque. It’s good timing, considering Santa Fe currently houses a burgeoning art scene - epitomized by its 7th annual biennial and the Santa Fe Opera’s renowned summer festival (now in full swing) – and, as of August 1st, will welcome a new Auberge Resorts retreat, Encantado." (from Globarati).



As I think I've mentioned, I have a new found desire to refurbish some pieces of furniture. This is largely due to the fact that I am actually planning to be in one place for more than three months.  Anyways, here is my first project!  I found this little bedside table in a thrift store here on the beach and snapped it up for $10.  Now, I just have to decide how to paint it!  I want something bold (I'm sick of the pastels all over South Beach and the general blandness of most modern decors...I want bright and mismatched and lived in, more so than beige and linen and coordinated).  I think I've narrowed it down to three choices: hot pink, silver or gold....Thoughts?



Things I Love: Fitzsu

Just discovered Fitzsu and it's great!  Here are some of my favorite finds:

Hello from Miami!  Here's my web-surfing roundup for the day....

The AP reports "Miami judge rules against Fla. gay adoption ban." Finally, some good news out of Florida! In her ruling Miami Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman ruled Tuesday there was "no rational basis" for prohibiting gays from adopting children. Yay!

From the Washington Post, "A Hard Choice: A young medical student tries to decide if she has what it takes to join the diminishing ranks of abortion providers." As Jezebel highlights from the article, "'Abortion is one of the most common surgical procedures performed on women, yet nobody in medical school even talks about it.' — medical student Lesley Wojick, in a fascinating feature in the WaPo on the education of Ob/Gyns, and the issue of abortion providers, abortions, and the women who have them."

Just ordered some stocking stuffers from Black Ink, a great store in Cambridge.

This has been popping up on a lot of year end gift guides - and I can see why! The Bubble 2009 Calendar!

At left: from Oh Joy, a beautiful blend of wood and gold. I love the combination of natural and shiny....

Jaunted: The Pop Culture Travel Guide.

I like how colorful these pieces from Chromalab are - my goal is to refurbish some old pieces to look like this in the coming months, but we'll see if I'm up to the challenge!



As of Monday I am moving to Miami for three months - specifically, South Beach!  To get in the mood I was looking at vintage images of Miami and found this great collection of promotional materials from this past century.  Beautiful!

Things I Love: Sam Cooke

Today, as I wrap up the work on the semester, I've returned to one of my all-time favorite singers to get me through - Sam Cooke. One of the first tapes I ever remember (maybe the first) was the Best of Sam Cooke tape that my dad had in his car, with a yellow, black, and white cover. From "You Send Me" to "Wonderful World," every single song on that tape is absolutely perfect. It was hard as a child to learn about his death, and the circumstances surrounding it, and I think that's one of the first times I realized that an artist could make amazing and beautiful contributions to the world, and still lead a troubled and complicated life. Now, having read a few Sam Cooke books, I have more respect for him than ever, as I understand more fully the challenges he faced and how revolutionary his artistic choices were. 

In Obama's acceptance speech, he borrowed a line from A Change Is Gonna Come and the song has taken on yet another layer of meaning for me. Sam Cooke's career was full of pop hits, powerful spirituals, and politically tinged observations - and it's a career that will live on, I hope, for many generations to come.

I was born by the river in a little tent
And just like that river I've been running ever since
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will

It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die
'Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will

I go to the movies and I go downtown
Somebody keep telling me, don't hang around
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

Then I go to my brother
And I say, brother, help me please
And he winds up knockin' me
Back down on my knees

There been times when I thought I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will...

See also:

Sam Cooke - Twistin' The Night Away
Sam Cooke - You Send Me


Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance.  From Jezebel, "Death Of Memphis Woman Is Shrouded In Mystery":
Thursday is the GLAAD-promoted Transgender Day of Remembrance, which commemorates those who have died because of violence against transgender Americans. Sadly, Duanna Johnson is probably among those killed due to bigotry and ignorance. Here are the facts: Johnson, 43, was shot to death on November 9th in Memphis. Though three men were seen near the crime scene, no one has been arrested and there are no suspects.

Why is this more fishy than any other unsolved murder? Because earlier this year Johnson, while getting arrested on prostitution charges, was beaten by her arresting officer, a man named Bridges McRae. He also peppered her with anti-gay slurs, which eventually resulted in the firing of McRae and fellow officer James Swain, who held Johnson down. The entire incident was caught on tape and splashed across the internet.

Johnson was in the process of settling with the city of Memphis for $1.3 million when she was murdered. There is no evidence linking McRae or Swain to Johnson's death at this time, but the circumstances of her death remain suspicious. Jonathan Cole, the Shelby County chairman of the Tennessee Equality Project, tells the International Herald Tribune, "For the most part, I think people in the South treat each other well. But there are prejudices that people have, and those prejudices come out in ways that are often violent when no one is looking." However, the cruelty and hatred hurled towards Thomas "The Pregnant Man" Beatie shows that it's not just the South, but the entire country, that needs a lesson in transgender tolerance.

Mixed Bag

The end of finals are in sight....for now, here's a round-up of what's caught my eye:

NUSL News: Northeastern Law Dean Named to Obama Transition Team.

Wine bottle candle holders (left), a sleek step up from the wax covered wine bottles around my room in college...from the always reliable Design*Sponge.

NPR.com: When Money Was A Dirty Word.

From The Blog of Legal Times and Law.com: "Calif. High Court to Rule on Gay Marriage Ban": "The California Supreme Court has ordered opposing parties to file briefs in support of their position on Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban, The Recorder reports via Law.com. decide whether the ballot measure was an improper revision of the state constitution, rather than just an amendment, and whether it violates the separation of powers. The court also asked how the nearly 20,000 marriages performed before the proposition was passed on election day would be affected."

"Amy Poehler's "Smart Girls" Has All The Write Stuff"!

Really handy! I hate when I get stuck in airports with no internet (or obscenely priced service): "Find Out Which Airports Offer Free WiFi For Holiday Travels" from GeekSugar.


Review: DRINK

As promised, here is our (Shorty and Lipstick Lobbyist's) joint review of Drink, where we ended the work week last Friday. Enjoy!


LL's impression: It's definitely the newest hot spot in town. The trend-setting crowd was there to be see and be seen. It's in the basement of what looks to be an office building on Congress Street in the Fort Point area. But the vibe wasn't overly cold or sterile like some of bars in Boston. This felt very cozy on a cool autumn night. This could be, of course, because of the packed room. But the lighting, exposed brick walls, and the clean lines of the bar and chairs, made me want to stay.

And in general, the acoustics were pretty decent. I didn't leave with a hoarse voice or my ears ringing. I could enjoy my conversations with my friends without having to shout. (I realize this is a sign of me getting old, but this does, in fact, matter to me.)

Shorty's take: First off, they have an unmarked entrance which totally makes me feel like they are trying too hard. OK, and also I was embarrassed to be one of the crowd of post-work women in suits going "Where IS this place??" Sooo uncool. Anyways, when I finally got inside I was overwhlemed by how packed it was and anticipated hating it already. However, once we worked our way into the crowd, the cozy atmosphere and warm finished-basement (in the best sense of the term) decor won me over. While it was full, it's full of small groups of people chatting, and so avoids the clubby, packed-like-sardines feel I hate of groups roving around. I agree with LL that it was perfect for a chilly autumn night. Adding to the comfortable feel were the waiters who, somehow!, managed to be knowledgeable and hip without being snobby and offish.


LL'a impression: The drinks are obviously the main attraction at this place, as the name would suggest. And the bartenders are ready to sing for your supper. No drink or cocktail menu exists, so you have a conversation with the bartender about what you like and don't like and then he carefully mixes your drink. You shouldn't be in a hurry when you order. Each drink is carefully measured (no Cocktail free-pouring here!) and then presented to you in smaller than usual cocktail glasses. The art is in the fresh ingredients (including herb bushes, fresh squeezed juices, and homemade syrups). Even though the servings seemed small, the prices weren't as outrageous as you might expect, for all of the show around the drinks. When we got our bill, I was surprised to see that no drink was over $10.

PS – For the design lovers, our shot-sized water glasses were filled with water from these bottles. I noticed them immediately because we just received one as a wedding gift. Very nice touch.

Shorty's take: I was initially skeptical of the whole premise of Drink. Describe what I want from a drink and my expectations? Please. It's been along week, I just want a beer. However, I managed to act like a grownup and try something new....and I'm super glad I did! Each one of my drinks, alone with those of LL and Co. (which I so rudely demanded to taste), was incredible. Multi-layered and complex, without being complicated and fussy, ordering each new drink was totally exciting. The waiters describe to you what is in each one, and seem to genuinely like their mixology jobs. The sizes were fairly small, and the prices not cheap (although I can't really complain since LL was kind enough to pick up the tab), but I would definitely return for the drinks for a special occasion.


LL's impression: Bottom line: don't go hungry. I'm normally pretty cool with a cocktail and appetizer menu. I love Rialto's bar and cocktail menu. But while the food at Drink was amazingly tasty, it did not fill you up. The "Parmesan potato crisps" (which of course, I assumed would be a basket of fries), were instead three, small potato slices that were each topped with a delicious creamy Parmesan mixture. Also, the "flatbread" was three, thin crackers with some delicious toppings (again, not the pizza I was expecting). Overall, Barbara Lynch does an excellent job of offering a creative bar menu with a modern and elegant twist on bar food classics. After we left, we went across the street for some sliders and wings. I'd recommend starting at Lucky's for some nosh and the first round, and then end at Drink.

Shorty's take: I was totally annoyed by the food here. This could be because I am not hip enough to appreciate fine cuisine but, seriously, the portions were UNREAL. LL's description is right on and we are not exaggerating - the "crisps" were THREE CHIPS, and the "flatbread" was three crackers. Yummy, but as soon as we took the first bite of one we had to order the next! The scallops were three stirrers with one scallop on the end. Uh, what? I know the focus is on the drinks, and the bites I did have were good, but seriously....Boston is a hearty crowd, give us a little something more to chew on. It just starts to feel like you are having one pulled over on you when you get such small portions. Once again, I second LL's call - thank god for Lucky's!

Overall score

LL's impression: For me, the biggest winning point was that I could enjoy talking with friends, have a fairly uninterrupted conversation, with some memorable drinks. I'll be curious how this concept develops once the initial opening buzz wears off.

Shorty's take: Great drinks and concept, warm and unique atmosphere, and I love the development being done in Fort Point. However, the tiny food portions will probably make me less inclined to stay for more than one or two drink in the future.

God only knows

Today's study music is tending towards the classical, notably two very different pieces: Bethovan's Symphony #9 in D minor (yes, I know more of it than just the overly-used but still incredible "Ode to Joy" section) and "Abandoned Wheel," a composition by contemporary composer Vardan Ovsepian. Both are excellent (in very different ways, of course).

Before finals began I had the chance to finish up the second season of Big Love.  Incredible stuff.  That show never ceases to amaze me.  When I tell people what the basic premise is (a man and his three wives in Utah) they always laugh, but the depth and compassion and humor with which the characters are written and portrayed really transcends the initial premise.  Every time I begin to write of Marjie as ditzy and annoying, or Nikki as conniving, or the kids as mere props, the show proves me wrong.  Definitely one of the best series of this decade.

Finally, I was really disappointed by this week's SNL, for a number of reasons.  First, I really like Paul Rudd and just didn't find him funny.  But most of all, I found almost the WHOLE show to be shockingly homophobic.  Now that the election is over, SNL had no where to go but 8th Grade "That's so gay!" jokes?  Apparently, I'm not the only one who noticed....

Calling all cars

I am absolutely wild about this Beyonce video.  Don't know how much I actually love the song, but damn if that girl can move!  I would pay obscene amounts of money to have the ability to dance like that...So much fun!

They have started to release cut out scenes from new episodes of The Office - what a great set of actors!  That said, I am starting to get frustrated by the story lines.  Angela is just seeming evil (rather than torn between two men, or misunderstood) and Michael is just depressing since loosing Holly.  Thank god that Jim and Pam are finally in the same place - the long-distance drama was such a downer.  I could be biased though - who wants to watch a long-distance relationship when you are in one??

Wanda Sykes comes out and speaks out: "Wanda Sykes was at a gay rights rally in Las Vegas on Saturday; she told the crowd: 'You know, I don't really talk about my sexual orientation. I didn't feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life. Everybody that knows me personally they know I'm gay. But that's the way people should be able to live their lives.' But, Sykes said, Prop 8 made her feel like she was being attacked. 'Now, I gotta get in their face," she said. "I'm proud to be a woman. I'm proud to be a black woman, and I'm proud to be gay.'"

I am loving the blue room pictured to the left.  I love the color and I also have a huge weak spot for attic rooms - I think it's because my mom's room during my childhood was the attic room and it always seemed so grown up and mysterious to me.  Also, I love cozy spaces and having the roof sloping over you really appeals to me.  From Design*Sponge, of course!  

In  honor of the new film (which I might get to see tonight!) the 10 Coolest James Bond Cars Ever from Wired.com.

p.s. YAY for the NYTimes recognizing Talent, OR in this weekends Travel Magazine.  Although I hate to see secret places told to the world, I also appreciate seeing my beloved Rogue Valley acknowledged.  Can't wait to go home for Christmas!


Marriage Equality For All

The tyranny of finals kept me from today's protest, but my heart was there.  Check out the signs posted on Gawker (and elsewhere).

More pics from anti-Prop 8 rallies.

Fitter, happier, more productive

I'm studying for finals (when not blogging as a distraction).  This semester's finals soundtrack so far has been Beth Orton's "Daybreaker," Chet Baker (as always), and "Slidin'"a great collection of Slide Guitar I got somewhere.  All reccomended.

A devestating but important read from the NYTimes: A Killing in a Town Where Latinos Sense Hate

Image to the left is from artist Casey Ruble.

Had drinks and food (probably more of the former than the latter) at Drink last night with Lipstick Lobbyist.  Stay tuned for our joint review of the place!

This week's episode of 30 Rock was the season's first bomb.  Jennifer Anistons performance was awkward and unfunny, and seemed to bring everyone else down with her (except for perhaps Alec Baldwin who may not have been faking the horror his character feels....)

So curious to see what happens with this: Officials: Obama Offered Clinton Secretary of State.


Goodbye and Good Riddance

My friend Zac just gave me a heads up to Paul Waldman's recent article Goodbye and Good Riddance. He writes that "After eight years of President Bush, we almost don't know how to function without him -- almost. But before we move on, we should pause to remember just what we're leaving behind.":

"Goodbye, we can say at last, to the most powerful man in the world being such a ridiculous buffoon, incapable of stringing together two coherent sentences. Goodbye to cringing with dread every time our president steps onto the world stage, sure he'll say or do something to embarrass us all. Goodbye to being represented by a man who embodies everything our enemies want the people of the world to believe about America -- that we are ignorant, cruel, and only care about foreign countries when we decide to stomp on them. Goodbye to his giggle, and his shoulder shake, and his nicknames. Goodbye to a president who talks to us like we're a nation of fourth-graders."

My friends are awesome

Two of my most favoritest ladies and globe trotters have recently shared their experiences with all of us:

First, my friend Maggie is a journalist and activist out of Philadelphia and has been traveling for the last few months.  She recently posted this article, with links to audio recordings, about the Social Forum of the Americas. Check it out! (FYI, all the audio recordings are in Spanish).  For those of you unfamiliar with the Forum, "according to forum organizers, the goal of the 3rd ASF was to 'embrace the range of struggles, proposals, and experiences that have been strengthened, renewed or emerging over this rich period of common searching that has been taking place across the continent. It will stimulate stronger interconnections and aim to create more effective spaces for self-guided construction of shared platforms for emancipation… Overcoming geopolitical divides, peoples of the continent are moving toward an ever more shared identity between South and North, and between the different regions of the Americas. The struggles are growing closer and stronger in solidarity, as peoples who are confronting capitalism, imperialism and patriarchy.'"

Our close friend Mneesha has had a number of publications in the last few years that reflect the varied experiences she's had while studying international conflict resolution in places as far-flung as Argentina, Cambodia, and Australia.  This piece, in Asian Perspective, is on the tension between justice and peacebuilding in Cambodia.  I'm so proud to have these brilliant women as friends!


Consumerist: Round-Up

This resort looks beyond perfect....from El Beso.

Another great design blog, Bliss.  I especially love her I Heart Mondays!  Great idea and great picks.

I agree with AGDS - this button card would look amazing framed....I can't wait till I'm living somewhere for more than three months and I can start collecting little items like this and assemble an actual house, instead of an apartment I'm squatting in.

I love all of IKEA's whimsical children's lighting.  I want to find a way to include these in my house without looking kitschy....

Adorable (from A Cup of Jo): "These gloves from Kate Spade are really cute. But the best part? They're handcrafted by women in war-torn regions. When you buy a pair, you're 'directly supporting a woman as she rebuilds her life, family and community.' Awesome."

Consumerist: Vanities

I love vanities and desks, so when I saw this desk on CasaSugar and I was totally in love.  From Pottery Barn for $469.  Sigh, maybe I'll find one on sale someday....

In the meantime, I'm on the look out for an old vanity to fix up...hopefully with enough scouring, the antique markets of South Beach will turn up something good.  This weekend we went to the monthly market on Lincoln Beach and there were some great finds - jewelry, dresses, art, and furniture.  Along with, as always, the best people watching every.  South Beach holds the title on that one!  If patience and funds permit, I hope to outfit our apartment with some unique finds from the markets.  I never thought Lucite lamps would be up my alley, but in the idea of a few transparent lamps on my heavy work desk is sounding perfect.

Things I Love: the incredible work of Vincent Bousserez

{Thanks to Happy Cavalier for the heads up.}

Looking for hope

If you haven't already, please take 5 minutes to watch Keith Olbermann's comment on Prop 8.  Its about so much more than the election, please check it out.  


Rocket man

To the left: by artist Jonathan Horowitz.

The United States' first openly transgender mayor....in Oregon!  Yay, Oregon!  I don't know much about Mayor Rasmussen or his policies (he continues to identify as male, hence my use of "he") but I'm excited that the town elected him into office and hopeful about what this means.

Curvy Girl Daisy Lowe Lands Marc by Marc Jacobs Campaign.  This headline made me pretty excited since I love Marc Jacobs and, like most people I know, are horrified by what passes as a healthy model these days....however, when I actually clicked on the photos and saw what "curvy" looks like in this context any excitement I had was completely deflated.  This model is probably, seriously, 10 pounds more than any other stick-skin model.  Big deal.  Fashion is so unimaginative sometimes.

The post-election coverage celebrating our country's alleged triumph over racism is absurd.  Of course I'm happy that Obama was elected and hopeful about what it means, but since he became President Elect I have heard some incredible racism.  The morning after the election I was getting coffee at Dunkin Donuts and it was completely silent as the Greek Orthodox cashiers rang me up and a black man next to me placed his order.  Out of nowhere he looked up and said "Obama?" with a smile on his face.  All the women behind the counter, and I, looked up and all said "Obama!"  It was like something out of an ad, but felt so wonderful.  And then I sat down to eat and over the radio some guys were talking about the election.  They played a clip of Whoopie Goldberg speaking movingly, or so I thought, about finally being able to "put [her] suitcase down" and be an American.  The radio idiots thought this was hilarious and made repeated comments about her acting like she "just got her chains off yesterday."  It was horrifying.  And this on a mainstream morning show.  In a Democratic state.  This country is just barely beginning to address our history, and present, of racism.  


With arms outstretched

Two Law Profs In The White House (first time ever!  Plus, a darned smart Ms. JD as first lady).

Oh, I am coveting these Penguin Classics (spines to the left) (h/t Design*Sponge).  Not only do I love the design, and the books they chose, but I'm so thrilled that they don't have book jackets - I hate book jackets!  I can't seem to find the complete list of titles - I am crossing my fingers that they included The Portrait of a Lady.....

Listening to Furnace Room Lullaby right now.  Definitely one of my top 25 albums ever.

The Magic of the Modern World.  Totally mesmerizing.

I'm in Miami for the weekend (a vacation, interrupted only by the MPRE tomorrow....stupid ethics!).  It's taken me almost a dozen visits but I think I'm finally loving this city.  I'll be living here soon enough, so I'll know for sure one way or another, but today the things I'm loving about Miami are (1) the variety (I've heard Spanish, of course, but also Portuguese, French, and Russian - just this morning); (2) the ridiculous number of happenings (I swear, there is an outdoor festival for everything!); (3) the food; (4) the weather; (5) the weather; and (6) oh yes, the weather!  I cannot overstate how amazed I am by the effect of sun on my mood.  I may have been born in Alaska, but I might just be a sun baby at heart...

And your untouchable face

Despite the somewhat off-putting title and the blurry pinkish color (it's the love!  Slipping away!) I recently read, and appreciated, The Love They Lost: Living with the Legacy of Our Parents' Divorce.  Without going too much into what I got from it personally, I will say that I think any adult child of divorce will benefit from reading the book.  Whether your parents stayed friends (like mine) or had a rough relationship post-divorce this book doesn't attempt to break new ground or propose huge ideas, but instead listens to the stories of various interviewees and provides comfort by normalizing a variety of responses to divorce.  The general gist of the book is that while many of us dealt with our parents divorces as children, new issues and realizations about the divorce can surface when we ourselves are facing decisions about marriage and children.  Worth a look.

On a not unrelated note, I also have been reading Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray by Helen Fisher. Dr. Fisher is an anthropologist at the American Museum of Natural History and allegedly "explains it all in this four-million-year history of the human species. She demystifies much about romance and pairing that we tend to believe is willful or just plain careless. She offers new explanations for why men and women fall in love, marry, and divorce, and discusses the future of sex in a way that will surprise you." Unfortunately, I was disappointed, and often annoyed, by this book.

I'm obviously no scientist but something about the approach of the book rubbed me the wrong way and constantly left me feeling like it wasn't a legitimate approach. Fisher of just tosses things together - there isn't much of a narrative of flow, it's just "hey, here's a collection of different animals that like bright colors - that's why humans like makeup!" She seems not to talk about culture at all and instead only circles around this vague idea of an evolutionary impulse. For instance when talking about the fact that many species find partners attractive who are able to support them, she says that American women like guys who have nice cars, etc. OK, I get what she's saying, but that's a really broad statement...and a pretty surface one. Does this vary amongst cultural groups? Has it always been true, or have there been times in American history where it is truer than others? It's this sort of sweeping generalization that continually rubbed me the wrong way.

In addition, it's completely heterocentric.  There is a discussion later in the book about homosexuality, but why couldn't it be part of the first general few chapters about flirting and attraction?  Why are all the examples from those chapters "man and woman" and "him and her"?  Totally unnecessary and not reflective of the scope of sexuality seen in nature - both human and otherwise.