Category Archives: sometimes I leave the house

Foggy thinking

I went to see Her yesterday, which I liked a lot (in contrast to the elderly couple sitting next to me, who openly scoffed at every plot development and half the lines of dialogue). I’m a sucker for movies that take a slant-wise approach to human connections, and I thought the movie was beautifully designed; the color palette (corals, lemons, grassy greens, azures, and taupes) was fresh and pretty, and the way it mixed vaguely futuristic design with the openly nostalgic (that initial shot of the beach could have been a photograph from the early 60s) was very effective and appealing. The extremely long rise on the men’s pants was a bit jarring while I was watching, but the thinking behind that choice makes sense.

Then I walked home through Prospect Park, which was the foggiest I’d ever seen it. It was a little eerie and very, very lovely.





Before They Pass Away

I’ve been completely mesmerized lately by the photo project Before They Pass Away, in which photographer Jimmy Nelson traveled the world to document extant indigenous tribes. The pictures are just gorgeous, and while I found a lot of Nelson’s rhetoric to be overblown and overly romantic, I particularly enjoyed navigating the site through the “journeys” tab, which lets you read about what it was like to move about in a particular part of the world, then see the people he met and photographed while he was there. This project has been getting comparisons to Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York, in part because they both have remarkable books that came out around the same time, but mostly because both photographers take sensitive, celebratory portraits that manage to transport the viewer into the subject’s life, if only for a moment.

Vanuaru, Vanuatu Islands

Kazakh, Mongolia

Drokpa, India

Mursi, Ethiopia

Goroka, Papua New Guinea

Simple geometrics

Inspired by these coasters, I used some fabric I had around to make a bunch of light/dark squares. The red/white floral was a piece of flocked cotton, maybe half a yard, that came into my hands when my favorite cousin bought a house that had previously been owned by a hoarder. There was other fabric and yarn, but most of it had been gnawed on by little beasties, both winged and naked-tailed, and wasn’t usable. I’d wanted to use it for something special and had almost given up hope when I hit upon this idea. The plan is to put them together for cushion covers, but I haven’t quite nailed down which configurations I like best. I think these two may be the winners though. I like the strong graphic quality of the patterns and the contrast between the small pieces and the large motifs.
But there are almost limitless other combinations, not to mention the fact that I made a bunch of squares using the same striped fabric and a darker red silk paisley that used to be one of my favorites dresses in the late 90s, so that increases the combinations exponentially.
I have a crafting date with some friends this weekend, so I may pull them all out and see how everyone else puts them together.

Other things that have happened since I last posted:

  • I moved in with my boyfriend. We have the first floor of a rambling old house, complete with a deck, a bathroom that’s tiled on the ceiling, a sort of North African … mirror installation in the living room, and some truly ghastly 1980s wallpaper in the kitchen. The latter is not long for this world, but the rest of it is thoroughly charming.
  • I became obsessed with Homeland.
  • I became obsessed with Gillian Flynn’s latest book, Gone Girl. I actually almost regret reading it because it means I can never read it again for the first time.
  • I became obsessed with Draw Something.
  • I made this, possibly my favorite salad ever.
  • Knitting-wise, I’m plodding away on Effortless and Folded.


Earlier this week, Sarah McColl posted this fun visual style quiz on twitter. I have a hard time resisting that kind of thing, so I took it, and got Unpretentious Bon Vivant.

I *love* Unpretentious Bon Vivant. I feel like Unpretentious Bon Vivant is a goal, an intention, an objective to keep in mind when I’m making decisions. Like, if anyone ever asked me anymore what I want to be when I grow up, I want to be Unpretentious Bon Vivant. Since I’m a hermit who is moderately affected but with, one hopes, sufficient self-awareness to avoid pretension, I feel like I can only be helped by asking myself, ‘yes, but would Unpretentious Bon Vivant do that?’.

I do think that Unpretentious Bon Vivant would give her cat water in one of her favorite thrift-store dessert dishes.

I had some plant cuttings in a jar of water on the windowsill a few months ago and every time I turned around, the cat was drinking out of it, despite the fact that she has two bowls of water in the kitchen and she had to navigate around the plants. I figured that the novelty was appealing and filled up the custard dish for her. She still loves it, and it’s an easy way to make her happy, so there you go.

A few things on my radar:

  • I’ve been watching the first season of Bored to Death, which is pretty adorable. It also lets me engage in a pastime I enjoy: identifying the locations in movies and tv shows shot in New York (Veselka! The Greenpoint Coffee House! Ft. Greene Park!). And Sarah Vowell had a bit part in the finale; anything she does is right by me.
  • I still like snow. I don’t care. WinTER! WinTER!
  • I was feeling a little off yesterday and called in sick. But I was better in the afternoon, so I took myself to the movies. I liked Black Swan, though I think if I hadn’t heard it described as a campy ballet horror movie, I would have found some of the twists and turns a little more off-putting. And I really liked The King’s Speech.
  • Last weekend, my friends Rose and Sean had a few people over to raid their well-stocked bar and make drinks, either inventing them or consulting their library of cocktail books. Then we photographed drinks and tasted drinks and talked about the drinks, generating lots of content for their blog in the process. It was loads of fun and I came away with a few new favorites.
  • This post from Bookavore made me laugh: “Oh and as to all the people who thought and perhaps still do think that this book signals the death of literature: I found myself wondering over and over as I read this book just how weak you all think literature is. Literature has Jane Austen. Literature has MOBY-FREAKIN’-DICK. Literature has patron saints up to its eyeballs and many of them are handy with firearms.”
  • This is fascinating. The world is an amazing, amazing place.