In love again

with this song. Rediscovered it a couple of weeks ago.


Already?! I know, but there were some things I had to draw attention to.

1.These shoes are just delicious. I want them. If only the company wasn't based all the way across the pond. Via Irregular Choice.
2.I have these in Nude/Red, but that might have been a bad choice after seeing these. While I was in Florence Emilio Cavallini was on my walk to class -- it was hard to ignore the rows of boldly-printed, bright-colored legs, but who'd want to?

That's all for right now. I'm posting tomorrow about an upcoming project that I hope will be finished by the end of this month. Lots of goodies to come.




Thus begins a new portion of my blogging repertoire. I'm just lusting after too many things these days to keep it all pent up inside -- instead I'm releasing it to the masses on the internet (maybe Twitter?).

Now for the lust list:
1.I love this t-shirt. When my sister and I were in Quebec City our sole mission was to find a t-shirt with French print, but all we found were shirts with "Cape Cod" tauntingly scrawled across the fronts. Five years later I stumble across a hot pink shirt with the phrase "I'm too sexy for this shirt" translated in French in block letters. Destiny? (via alexandchloe.com)
2.Brian Lichtenberg racerback tanktop. Probably just want it because it looks more than just a little like Chanel. (via karmaloop.com)
So worth all that money. I've been lusting after this for a while -- it might be the image of this stereo from Urban Outfitters perched on my shoulder while walking to class.
4.I've been on the fence about peep toe shoes; they've always seemed a bit awkward to me. After trying some on, however, I might be rethinking my stance. Especially after seeing this Valentino pumps. Seeing as they're on sale for $465 (original price $775), I'm not sure I'll ever get to experiment with this particular pair of shoes. ::sigh:: (via valentino.com)

More lusting to come.


Overloaded and Overwhelmed

I've only seriously been paying attention to the blogging world for less than 24 hours after my summer sabbatical, and I'm on sensory overload (or maybe my eyes are watering from playing too much Guitar Hero).
I also hopped on the Twitter bandwagon just to see what it's all about. Not sure if it's a mistake or not -- really just not sure what it is to begin with. Am I supposed to update it every time I do something newsworthy? Isn't this like my Facebook status? Should I Twitter about how I'm confused about Twitter? Maybe I'll direct message Lady Gaga about that later.

Here are my favorite links so far:
1. As I'm interested in all things fashion these days, Nubby Twiglet's Blog as well as BetseyJ's are some damn good reading material. They have plenty of great links to all things fashion; expensive, inexpensive, and just educational. Information on the both of them can be found on their sites.
2. Unfortunately, exploring fashion blog feeds my online shopping problem. I'm powerless to stop it. Girlprops.com has inexpensive, crazy jewelry for the cost-conscious while Alex & Chloe provide a little bit of the opposite, though not quite Cartier level.
and finally...
3. A fun video from CollegeHumor.com.

Since I'm so out of the loop you'll have to forgive me if all of these links are old news -- I'm trying.


I am ashamed;

I've been terribly absent. We'll just look at that as my vacation. Once I stop posting for a week or more it gets harder and harder to do it again. That "posted 5 weeks ago" is just staring me in the face.
I find that once I put goals online I'm more driven to follow them, so here goes:
-- Keep posting regularly
-- Finish my two photography projects that I didn't do in Italy
-- Keep shopping at Goodwill/making my own clothes
-- Continue reading as much as I have been (Left Hand of Darkness I will finish you!)

Okay, hold me to those. Moral of the story: I'm back yet again. I needed about a month vacation from thinking about my life critically and now you find me vastly unaware of politics, still incredibly poor, not very driven, but infused with happiness. Excellent.

Here are a few photos of my summer thus far:

Hope yours is as good as mine.



As a budding (hopefully) photographer I'm always on the lookout for the new and interesting. Annie Leibovitz will continue to be my idol for two reasons:
a) her work is beautiful, interesting, and always surprising
b) she started off as a photographer for Rolling Stone in its younger days, and learned as she went.

It's nice to see what other people come up with, their styles, what they find interesting enough to immortalize in a photograph. Today I stumbled upon Jasper Goodall who has a new series titled "Poster Girl." This is a quotation from his website:

Poster Girl is a series of works by influential graphic artist Jasper Goodall, that explore themes of fetish and fantasy. Whilst the work itself can be seen as erotic art, it is equally about looking at the world of fetish and erotica with an appreciative yet critical eye. It is erotic art but it is also about erotic art - the images are a result of Goodall's musings on erotica and sexual fetish.

Risque? Definitely, but also really fascinating. Just check out these pictures.

Bad Bambi


Pink Polish

However you feel about the topic of sexual fetishes and erotic art, you have to admit those are some eye-catching photographs. Jasper Goodall's show is being featured at the Electric Blue Gallery in London - www.electricbluegallery.com.



Somewhat later in life than some girls, I'd say, I've fallen prey to the weakness that is fashion. My wall is covered significantly with pictures from my Vogue Italy magazine - the models annoy and fascinate me in the same breath. The Chanel model who wears tight patent leather pants, ankle boots to match, a chain belt, leather jacket, and hot pink t-shirt printed with the famous interlocking Cs seems to say as she throws back her hair, "God, I'm so sexy you can't even comprehend it." She might be right.
LUST LUST LUST literally runs through my head when I'm looking at some things and here are my latest obsessions:

Selina Dress at MotelRocks.com

Les Chiffoniers' Leggings

Snap-On Hoodie from IsThatOT.com (beware of the bizzare)

Nike Women's High-top Vandals via Sneakerhead.com

Lust Lust Lust. I want.

The Funk List

I miss Italy, I need to do something more stimulating than swiping cards, filling out Incident Reports, folding t-shirts, and roaming around the AFC (even though I love working there). So, I'm going to volunteer at the Charlottesville SPCA today to get in my puppy fix - no matter what I say in the future, do not let me adopt one. Even if I beg and cry, don't fall for it.

Other things on my "Funk List" - the list that will get me out of my funk - include:
- Keep reading
- Pay more attention to politics
- Fix up my apartment
- Take at least one big trip (Austin, TX?)
- Keep up my Italian
- Make/design clothes

I'm all about the anti-funk today, so I think my anti-funk song would have to go to...
Santogold. I know she was MTV's posterchild when she first appeared, and she's now old-ish news, but I love this song.


Ladybugs and Puzzle Pieces

Everyone always says (yes, everyone and always) that you'll find something when you least expect it. In fact, I remember an anecdote from a movie about a little girl who would spend hours looking for ladybugs when one day she fell asleep, woke up, and they were crawling all over her. Oh, wow, how insightful movie, I wonder what commentary you're trying to make about life.
Or, when I was a little girl, well, maybe just a few years ago, I'd be working on a puzzle and furiously searching for a specific piece. Sure enough, when I gave up all hope of finding that piece and moved onto another one, I'd find the stupid piece I was looking for before. I might still have anger issues from that very situation.
So this is my formal complaint to Life as some sort of entity that might listen to my thoughts. What's up with this business of leading people on wild goose chases only to reward them with the chases' objects just when we've given up all hope? There we are, with bruised and battered egos, demoralized completely, then you hand us a "Get Out of Jail Free" card just to mess with our heads. Unfair? Completely.
I've pretty much decided that I'm not going to listen to anything that ends with the words "when you least expect it." Besides, maybe Life will be fooled if I pretend to give up hope just to get what I've been wanting. Outsmarting Life not a good way to spend my days? Well, it's summer; I'm not exactly pressed for time.

Dan Auerbach knows what's up.


For Wade

who made this boss layout possible, bringing to my attention that rotating the image 180 degrees then flipping it horizontally would simply be the key to so many wonderful things.
You love acoustic guitar, and hey, Tommy Emmanuel deserves his little 15 minutes of fame, too. Here's "Antonella's Birthday," my favorite part comes at 1:45 - look at those fingers caress (because there's no other word for it) those strings:

He's so rock and roll with his strategically unbuttoned shirt - what a legend.

Neon Indian!

The above picture is not really what I'm going to write about - it's a t-shirt from threadless, but it's pretty perfect nonetheless.
Anyway, thanks to Marcus (again) there's a good summer song by Neon Indian called "Deadbeat Summer," and guess what, thanks to my genius I found it on YouTube.

I always have a habit of imagining what movie scenes I would put songs in. If my life were a movie, this song would go in a scene of me in my new room. It'd be one of those scenes where time speeds up by showing me doing various things in a sequence: making my bed, sitting in my chair typing on my computer, folding clothes, sitting in my chair, laying on my bed blowing bubbles, hitting my head on my desk repeatedly, and repeating the whole cycle all over again.
Summer anthems aren't always about sunny nirvana - sometimes summer is boring. It's a wasteland of free time or time spent working behind a counter for hours on end. It's hot - the type of hot that glues people to plastic lawn chairs and makes retractable awning sales skyrocket.
This song, however, makes me feel like all of that is bearable and maybe even pleasant in its own right. When we're not busy we can recognize the humor in normal things, or it forces us to amuse ourselves. Have you ever made faces at yourself in the mirror and then laughed at its ridiculousness? Were you busy?
Listen to Neon Indian.


Projected Summer Jams

I always read a certain phrase on iTunes that has to be a tried and true marketing trick: this is the song/track/hit of the summer. For some reason, probably not a particularly complicated one, those of us that still enjoy the benefits of a few months off salivate at those words and click 'Buy' every time.
What's in a summer jam? Gauging our reaction, it has to contain something like these ingredients: a whisper of freedom, a few obnoxiously-printed Hawaiian board shorts, even more too-small bikinis, some Banana Boat sunscreen, too much free time, and of course, more than enough sunshine.
Either way, I've found some summer jams. The first one, "Now We Can See" by The Thermals was at the end of a long, harried musical treasure hunt. One of my new roommates heard it while driving but sadly missed the name and band. The next few days he unsuccessfully tried to hum the tune only getting blank faces in response. Now all's well, and here it is:

Likewise, I was driving with the windows down back home, when I heard Grizzly Bear's song "Two Weeks" from their new album Veckatimest. Marcus was right, this music video blows my mind. Couldn't resist making that joke and now I regret it. Here it is:

Anyhow, I'm debating whether or not I should put my favorite Discodust find up here or if that will scare the summer crowd away...maybe next time. Let the first two soak in like those healthy UV rays.


25 Days Later

Almost like the film 28 Days Later minus zombie-like, enraged infected people. 25 days after my homecoming has been characterized by challenges, but returning from Italy has been nothing like other life transitions I've endured so far.
I'm not sure what I expected, though history is not in my favor. Two summers ago saw me sobbing on the plane next to a very uncomfortable woman, and walking around at my job like the living dead until I finally moved into my first college dorm room.
Here I am, back from Italy and probably the most important life experience so far, and I'm completely fine. I miss it, but like I missed my family while I was gone. I knew I'd see them soon.
I could tell you every detail since I've gotten back, but who wants to read that much? I will say that the Blue Ridge Mountains rival any Renaissance Cathedral, and, best of all, I feel as though they're mine. I can't wait to drive up to Shenandoah and disappear for a few hours among the trees - it's a nice change from disappearing among centuries-old stone and crowds of tourists.
I'm home, but I'm not going anywhere. Keep checking back here.


Consolation Prizes

I apologize for being out of touch lately. I'm packing to go home. 'Nuff said, eh?
Here's some ear candy in the meantime.

sorry, great song.

Late of the Pier!

I sympathize.

Coming home on Saturday!


My literary life...

and the wonderful delusions that come with it. As I was writing in a letter to a friend the other day, I've long since liked to pretend as though my life were some epic novel. I've read about people such as this in my English classes - heroines that seem to think that life is one ironic story. They see heroes in ruined men who only have the capacity to disappoint, see in themselves a resolve to suffer solely because it makes life more beautiful.
For some reason this gives me hope and this has mostly to do with the poetry life can contain when sought out. I have no reason to believe that my life isn't, in some way, literary. I had a trying semester that ended badly, I stepped out of my world, journeyed to a new one, and had a life-defining experience. I was in denial, faced the truth, felt acutely all of the actions that could have morphed into an elaborate tapestry of regret, finished a book on a train to Paris, and instead, I forgave myself. Then I began to live. I could have become more guarded, could have decided that my open nature was unwise, and changed in order to feel less. Instead, I've embraced even more who I am because I've had to reevaluate the reasoning behind it.
If I imagine my life as a novel (hopefully a well-written one), it gives senseless things definition. Characters, the ones at least that play a part in an important experience, leave prematurely, but usually come back at the most appropriate time. I leave this city that witnessed my most honest and raw moments; in a plotline, it doesn't follow that I won't return.
There have been many times already that I've felt as though this life view was foolish. Real life isn't poetic, loose ends are left untied every day. I look back, though, on everything up to this point and I simply see no reason not to be hopelessly Romantic (yes, capital R) in regard to life. Forgive me for wanting to live in a world where things are unpredictable in their beautiful predictability, their poetic endings. Forgive me in advance for inflicting upon you, those I'm close with, all the multi-faceted intrigue of a dynamic character. It's just my nature.

And in the word's of Gibran, who now seems to be the author of this transitional stage in my life:
Almustafa, the chosen and the beloved, who was a dawn unto his own day, had waited twelve years in the city of Orphalese for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the isle of his birth.
And in the twelfth year, on the seventh day of Ielool, the month of reaping, he climbed the hill without the city walls and looked seaward: and he beheld his ship coming with the mist.
Then the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.
But as he descended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart:
How shall I goin peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city. (Gibran Kahlil Gibran - The Prophet)



an Italian song I like!

Just look at those dance moves. Irresistible.

Eye Contact

Recently I've gotten into conversations regarding a specific habit of mine: eye contact. I personally feel as though it's one of the most revealing gifts you can give to someone - whether it's a friend, a love interest, or a complete stranger. It shows curiosity - something I have in spades. I want you to know me, if only for 2 seconds as we pass on the street. I want you to be curious, too.
Throughout my time here, actually, throughout my entire life, I've made many friends in unique situations that I will most likely never see again. Why? Eye contact. It invites people in. In a world full of people who remain inside themselves, only thinking of another destination, that meeting next weekend, the late flight; eye contact makes someone snap out of their own thoughts. Whether or not the question that arises is "Who is that?" or "Why the hell is she looking at me?", it pulls the person out of their infinite vacuum of introspection.

Eye contact, and being comfortable with it, is one of the most valuable lessons to learn. Just imagine the amount of interesting people one can meet if the other person feels comfortable enough open up. Some of the most intriguing conversations and individuals I've come across in my 19 years have occurred as a result of eye contact.
This isn't to say that eye contact only applies to people of the opposite sex. Once, while I was in Scotland I let and older woman have my seat. She looked like my Nana and I made eye contact with her, smiling - it was returned sweetly. Before she got off the bus I told her that she reminded me of my Nana, sharing also that I miss her every day. The woman, mercifully and wonderfully, gave me a hug and kissed me on the forehead. Needless to say, it was a profound experience in a mundane background - a crowded bus on the way to the airport.
I received an email from a man I met in the London airport on the way back to Florence - we struck up a conversation in the obscenely long line to pay Ryan Air for some silly expense. He's been reading my blog and offered this commentary about our chance meeting:
I noticed that, with very little effort, you were able to strike up a conversation in such un-aesthetic circumstances as a queue to pay a check-in fee.
Here's the thing, a rather hippy-ish comment if I do say so myself: everyone has something intriguing inside of them. Why hide it and why not seek it out? Eye contact.


I'm just sayin...

All of my writing energies in this moment in time are being devoured by one of two things: writing my Art History paper or sleeping. I apologize.
This post is going to be a certifiable journey through randomness - a beautiful place where my shoes chill in the refrigerator and giraffes attend Mustachio Bashio parties. Rudabaga!

I've been making lists in one particular notebook of mine, and here are a few selections from these lists so far - feel free to judge me based completely on what's written below.
Things That Make Me Happy
Texas Pete Hot Sauce
- dancing
- nail polish (especially hot pink, dark purple, or navy blue)
- crushes
- sneakers
- eye contact
Words That I Like
sizzle, ravenous, fuzzy, decadent, smuggle, skulk, moxie, enigmatic, cantankerous, archaic, stupendous, gummy, presumptuous, facetious
Good Movies
Meet Joe Black, The Magnificent Seven, Sin City, Kill Bill (both), The Shadow, Back to the Future (the first one), High Fidelity, Aladdin, Stranger Than Fiction

Speaking of Aladdin...

seriously? It's worth mentioning that watching Disney songs in other languages is infinitely amusing.

Look, I'm just saying, this may be a completely pointless use of my time - posting lists and videos that only I find hilarious - but I'm doing it anyway. I'm frustrated, so here's a list of questions.
- Why do we need reasons for everything? How did this semester go by so fast? Why can't people just be honest? Why do things have to be complicated/difficult? Where does that sinking feeling in your stomach come from medically? I'd like to know; I'll put it on my list of Things to Google.

Now here's one more list.
Things I'm Honest With Myself About
- I'm terrible at taking criticism
- I don't want you to be indifferent, because I'm not
- I'm slightly scared about leaving Italy
- my imagination is eerily good at creating mental mirages

To end in randomness - a mirage is also, incidentally, a car.


The Cure

for just about anything.


Moment of Infinite Bliss

Sometimes things just fall into place perfectly. These moments cannot be planned, forced, or manufactured.
I was sitting in Caffe Amerini as usual, just finished some good pasta, Daniel's package of yogurt covered pretzels and dried pears in hand, and was already happy enough. I had already eaten one of the pretzels but the pears still remained unopened.
Smiling, I opened the bag and selected one carefully - the first one is always the most important. Biting into it, images of high school rushed back: Kate and I getting these dried pears in Yoder's before a soccer game, sitting in Ethan's Miada in the parking lot talking, skipping 5th block for an extra 25 minutes at home, navigating around Charlottesville in Daniel's massive pickup listening to Def Leppard...then as if I wasn't swimming in incandescent joy already, this song came on:

In that moment I felt as though bliss stretched on and on like an endless highway situated in the sublime regions of my imagination. These are the moments that make me grateful for being easy to please.


I always pride myself on being decisive. When other people are shifting uncomfortably, staring into the dark abyss of not knowing which movie to watch, I'm the obnoxiously blinding light that will negate their confusion. We're going to watch "The Big Lebowski." Done.
Decisiveness comes in handy - I'm staying up late tonight, we're going to see this movie, let's go to this restaurant - but does that also translate to more serious decisions?
I've been thinking lately about how I can see my life going in so many different directions. I can go back to Charlottesville, graduate with an English major and try to write for a respectable publication in the US. I can see myself living in Europe, in Edinburgh for my Masters or in Italy working with Art; I can see myself going completely wild, learning Hindi and moving to India for a few years just for the experience. Is this indecisive? Should I go get a Tarot Card reading to put me on the right path once and for all?
Basically my view on decisiveness works like this: when time is wasted in limbo, I step in. Let's not waste 30 minutes deciding what to do tonight; we're going to Fiesole to watch the sun set and then after that we'll go back and cook some dinner. I don't want to spend time talking myself into and out of something, I just want to try it. If it was a bad call, then I'll know that sooner, be able to make a note of it, and move on.
This being said, I'll probably write a post next week about the virtues of not making rash choices and taking time to think things through.

Two songs by Pink Floyd that factor into everyone's decision-making:


Random outbursts of song.

Lately my journal has been accumulating many entries centered around one common wish: why can't my life be a musical? I'm fully aware that this is not a particularly unique wish, but I find myself thinking about this a lot.
As I was on my way to and from London (I promise I'll cover that subject more in-depth later), I listened to my iPod continuously and of course wanted to live in such a way that breaking out into spontaneous dance sequences and music numbers would be seen as perfectly normal and acceptable.
Similarly, if my life were not a musical, and simply a movie, I often wonder what songs the soundtrack would feature. For example:
I want to be heartbroken to this song.

This would be my travel song: train, plane or automobile.

And, I can't leave this out, this would be my falling in love song, but only in my musical, and not the movie.

Tonight, on the way back to Florence I listened to that song, lip-synching and staring out of the window. If my life was a musical I might have opened my mouth and let my eager vocal chords be heard. Ideally, the other passengers would not have been phased and would have kept on reading their novels, sleepily leaning on those shoulders, unsuccessfully whispering. Meanwhile, I would have kept gazing out of the raindrop-covered window singing, "Just open up your heart and let this fool rush in, oh, open up your heart and let this fool rush in." My forehead would have crinkled strategically, conveying my naive and pleading heart.


Oldies but goodies

As mentioned before, I've been listening to Patsy Cline lately, whom I adore. During "Back In Baby's Arms," my childhood favorite, Patsy's voice lilts "don't know why we quarreled, we never did before."
I have two notebooks, one is my journal/diary, the other is a notebook solely for lists. I have a favorite word list, and quarrel is going on there immediately. Why did quarrel get elbowed out of the English language by words like "baller," "bling bling," and "Facebook friend (the verb)?" OMG! He defriended me on Facebook!
Poor quarrel is there sulking in the dusty and cobwebbed corners, rarely used, rarely heard, mostly forgotten. I feel bad for it, and I think it should return from its tragically long exile. Couples that quarrel are probably much happier fundamentally than those that fight. I want to have rows, not blow-ups. I want to quarrel.
When I imagine a night of quarreling I see a quiet night alone with my man; we pick a fight about something silly, something domestic. It gets a little out of control and after a while I look up at him and say sweetly and softly, "I'm sorry, I don't want to quarrel anymore." Afterwords, we dance slowly to the jukebox, maybe to Patsy herself, he in his cardigan sweater and button-up, and me in my apron and starched dress. His cigar smolders, abandoned.


Patsy Cline

is always a favorite. This song reminds me of driving through the countryside, passing general stores with rusted soda machines and men in overalls. She's the part of my childhood soundtrack that taught me how to be heartbroken with class and dignity...or at least, if I ever learned that lesson it would have been from her.

I accept your apology, Feist.

Rediscovered Feist's "So Sorry" today when sifting through my iTunes library. I wish fighting could be like this song.

As I see it...

fashion is a big deal, especially here. Beth and I have remarked many-a-time on how back at UVa we'd go to class in sweatpants and a t-shrit 75% of the time, simply not caring how we looked to our TAs and groggy classmates. I saw a girl on the street today wearing athletic shorts, a t-shirt and flipflops and I was appalled - this just isn't acceptable.
Since being here I've really gotten into fashion, but is that completely superficial? Maybe. I want to be a fashion photographer (though not limited only to that sphere), I get excited about putting outfits together, I love flipping through Vogue, and (thanks to Colleen) I always check The Satorialist for ideas.
I admire the way clothes can transform someone. For example, if I trudged out of my apartment on a rainy morning in sweats and a t-shirt, I would feel tired, meek, and a little drab. If I, on the other end of the spectrum, strutted out in heels, jeans, my leopard print tank top and a vest, I'd feel rather empowered as evidenced by today.
Listening to the remix of "I Kissed A Girl" (I know, bad song choice), I catwalked around Florence. Squaring my shoulders and holding my head up, I played chicken with people on the sidewalks seeing if they'd move to let me pass - I won most of the time. I'm going somewhere fabulous in these shoes, can't you see that?
I can pretty much attribute this new affinity for fashion to: a) Italy's obsession with it but b) also it's laid-back nature in concern with labels. Sure, people walk around with Gucci and Chanel bags, I see Fendi and Roberto Cavalli every day on my way to school, but I don't feel any less fashionable because I don't have a huge label plastered on my chest. No one cares. The person is more important than the label they're wearing - that's how fashion should be. Spend 1000 euro on a dress if you have the money, but don't scream about who made it. Make it yours instead - define the clothes, don't let them define you.
The simple fact is, clothes turn heads. If you can rock an outfit enough that it merges into your personality, accentuates your mood, and doesn't overshadow you as an individual, you're going to have a good day. Feeling classic? Wear some black. Feeling alive? Radiate color as you walk down the street. The point is: do yourself a favor and make it obvious how awesome you are through one simple glance. Oh, and always listen to David Bowie.

Photos by The Satorialist


I still love this song

especially when I imagine Steve Carrell dancing to it.

peace love ecstasy.


The Russians Are Coming!

Title is movie reference to 1966 film of the same name, and is worth seeing. Strangely enough my walk home from Caffe Amerini reminded me of it as there was a Communist demonstration against Berlusconi a couple minutes from my apartment.

Maybe you can help me with the translation Italians - something about the Man being happier? What?

Apologies and Photographies

Sorry for the long pause in posting, as mentioned in the previous post, the parents were in town and when I wasn't with them I was most likely sleeping. I have decided that I don't post enough pictures (besides just not posting enough period), so I'm going to catch up on that. Here are a few of my favorites lately.