Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"Now get it right or pay the price!"

The correct line is "I hope we never part," but alas, we did. Salute Your Shorts was the TV show about the summer camp I never attended but always really, really wanted. Still, that doesn't mean I can't pretend I went there.

This guy wasn't at Camp Anawanna with me. He's just a model.

We run, we jump, we swim and play, all in our yellow Camp Anawanna t-shirts! The glorious Internet has brought us many relics of our past, this shirt included. Rest assured I will uncover other evidence that I watched too much television as a child.

Though they still aren't selling pieces of the Aggro Crag from one central location, so don't get those hopes up too high.

Image via the same.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Wide-Brimmed And Wonderful

One of the great tragedies of my (fashion) life is that I can't wear hats. There's something very odd about the size and shape of my head that makes most millinery work look silly on me. But I love them still, including this lovely resort option from Eugenia Kim:

Go big or go home, am I right? It's like St. Tropez meets the Kentucky Derby. Where would you wear this? I have no idea, but damn, is it fabulous.

Image via Eugenia Kim.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Flitting By

Sometime in the last year, birds began to take over my life. They were everywhere--in stories and poems I read, mostly, but also on my Pinterest boards and all over my campus. So let's just keep this trend up, shall we? Here's a bird necklace:

I love the idea of having a little hummingbird hovering at my neck--the fast, flashy avian creatures are fascinating and elusive, so capturing one in silver is probably the closest I can get to examining one up close. 

Image via Liberty London.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

"I just want to start a flame in your heart."

I've told you all before about my fondness for the Fallout series of games. I've played the first three and completed the first two. I still have yet to play an evil character in any of them. It will be the ultimate challenge--I just can't bring myself to join the slavers or kill children. (Even if The Den is full of snot-nosed little thieves.)

In addition to a great gameplay experience, Fallout brings you a little something else: music. I was first introduced to The Ink Spots by Fallout. The theme tune for Fallout is the song "Maybe."

Fallout 2 features Louis Armstrong's "A Kiss to Build a Dream On," to which I did not need an introduction (we were acquainted previously), but it's worth including, because I like it.

Fallout 3 brings us back to The Ink Spots with "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire." But there's more! With the game's addition of a radio, the soundtrack now features the Andrews Sisters, Cole Porter, Bach, Billie Holiday, and many more.

So today I covet the games I can't play and the games that have brought music to people who didn't realize they could like it.

And you can download Fallout and Fallout 2 for the shockingly reasonable price of $6.00 each at Good Old Games. But I'll save the coveting of GOG for another day.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

People We Covet: Fabio

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Today, I covet Fabio.

Stay with me for a minute here, m'kay? I understand that his pecs are bigger than his head. I know that he was once mauled by a seagull or whatever (and b-t-dubs, he took it like a champ). And I suppose it's possible that someone who is clearly not a viking should not pretend to be a viking. But whatever. None of those things are the point of Fabio. Look at how adorable he is when he gives you the thumbs-up!

Okay, let's take a step back. Here is Fabio, just, you know, chillin' with a tiger (like you don't do the same):

Maybe it seems a little contrived? But the fact remains that dude is chillin' with a tiger, like some kind of tiger whisperer. That's badass. He's also appeared on the covers of, like, hundreds of romance novels (including some that he co-wrote). He's played himself on television and in films. He was in a music video about girl-on-girl action way before Katy Perry got her hands on girl-on-girl action. He tried to become the new Old Spice guy! (Which was never going to happen, but I love him for trying.)

Talk about perseverance. Fabio could have easily faded into obscurity or rested on his TRN-cover laurels. But he's still out there, working and poking fun at his own exaggerated image. I hope to someday have the same amount of good humor with which he has been endowed!

Image via here.


PS In current events today (actually, yesterday): Rickman was robbed, and I trust you all know that.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

For Science!

Have you ever wanted to help real scientists do real science, but you're an English major? Or maybe your skills mostly consist of eating cheese and playing video games?

Well, never fear! There is a way that you, too can do science! And it is a game called Foldit.

Foldit is about folding proteins. I'm not going to give a protein lecture here, but apparently they fold, and the fact that they fold is very important to the protein-y work that they do, and computers are terrible at folding proteins.

So scientists decided to let people do it. They turned protein folding into a game, handed out some instructions, and let gamers solve problems that computers can't. I started playing Foldit years ago and got sidetracked for, well, years, but I'm back now and as bad at folding proteins as ever!

You can download the game for free at their site and get started immediately. Do not delay! You could be part of a cure for some terrible deadly disease!

For science!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Snatch a Satchel

It turns out that satchels are kind of huge right now. There's the PS1, the Cambridge satchel (zomg neon colors!), and the kate spade Scout, among others. This is great. I love the idea of satchels. And I wish I was a satchel kind of girl, because this one from Dooney and Bourke keeps calling my name:

The thing that sets this satchel apart, for me, is the fact that it's not as structured as the others, and it also has a more grown-up vibe: whereas the others scream "school days," this one says, much more quietly, "Lady who lunches and jet-sets." And THAT is a vibe with which I can get down.

Image via Dooney and Bourke.


Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm on a Boat (No I'm Not)

According to the fashion world, resort time is now upon us. I'm not sure what that means, exactly, though I suspect it's code for "let's all go to St. Barth's to escape the dreary winter skies of home." Sadly, having multiple jobs and a bank account that would make approximately no one jealous, I am not the kind of lady who can slip away for such an excursion. However, that doesn't mean I don't have an eye on a nice resort shoe or two. Here's one:

It's nautical without being overbearing, and I have the feeling that it could transcend seasonal parameters. Plus, at under $100, it's kind of a bargain (I mean, considering other resort options, like this or this). Also, if you have a White House Black Market nearby--say, in your local shopping mall--I highly recommend stopping in, as their sales associates are usually helpful and nice! They'll be able to help you find a nice skirt or blouse to go along with your new sail-ready shoes.

Image via White House Black Market.


PS Yes I am. And my boyfriend Andy Samberg.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside (Especially for Reptiles)

It really is! After a deceptively warm December, I have found myself shocked--shocked, I tell you--by the coldness of January. How ever will I keep warm?

A nice hat will do the trick for most people. Like, say, a beanie. Maybe in a nice shade of green.

Yes! That is what you think it is! A Donatello beanie! If you think Donatello is merely an artist, however, you are wrong, my friend. Donatello is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Etsy seller Miss Pamela will make you one of these beanies--for any turtle--to order. And not only that, but they are convertible--the eye mask will fit nicely over your eyes, completing your disguise. (You may look a little like a green-and-color-of-choice Dread Pirate Roberts if you don't work on the rest of your disguise, though.)

Buy through Miss Pamela's Etsy shop for $30.00, but be prepared to wait. Everyone wants these.

Image via Etsy.



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Punchline

We all know that I have an impossibly small kitchen, right? Right. But that doesn't keep me from lusting after the kind of things I'd buy if I had the space necessary, such as this lovely punch bowl set from Libbey Glass:

What would I do with a punch bowl set, you ask? I would have parties all. the. time. And at those parties, I would say to guests, "Oh, darling, wouldn't you like a bit of punch?" which doesn't sound so great in my hardcore-Midwestern accent but will have to suffice, as I cannot fake a British accent (unlike so many people I know--I am looking in your direction, Amy, Selena, Allie, Rebecca, and others). And we would all be merry as we drank our punch. More importantly, I would relish the fact that I have a totally affordable set of glassware from a company that really knows its non-crystalline solids (and would also speak in a hardcore-Midwestern accent, being Ohio-based and all).

Buy through Libbey for $29.99.

Image via Libbey.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Playlists Are for Suckers--Child Gladiators Are for Winners!

I don't spend nearly as much time as Cate does thinking about music. I enjoy music, I have opinions about music, and I act as referee and postal service when my brother wants me to tell Cate how misguided her fondness for STP is and she in turn accuses him of being a Pearl Jam fan. [Ed: I did not accuse. I asked for clarification purposes. He is not, in fact, a Pearl Jam fan. -Cate-]

However, here's a song that will make for a segue.

"Heavens, Maureen," you're thinking, "this is not Taylor Swift's best work. In fact, I am probably not even a fan of Taylor Swift."

Well, allow me to point out to you the science-defying jay-mockingbird hybrid and the words "The Hunger Games" in the video. Yes! This is a song that will appear, preferably in the credits, in the upcoming film The Hunger Games. You are aware that I enjoyed the books. You may not be aware that Cate did as well.

Now we are very excited indeed to see Mystique (that is, cough, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen) do some killing. And in North Carolina! It makes me feel like my state is useful for more than pine trees and hogs and being South Carolina's sorely misrepresented hat.

And let's not forget about The Civil Wars. They're on that track, too. Taylor Swift is just a bigger name. Maybe you should look them up as well.

May the odds be ever in your favor!


Monday, January 16, 2012

New Year, New Playlist: 2012

Last New Year's Eve, I spent my time doing two things: texting Maureen about our Trashy Romance Novel-writing pseudonyms, and dancing around my bedroom to songs that shuffled up on my iPod (including, if I recall correctly, "All I Ever Wanted" by Basshunter, which is a great song for getting out excess energy). So as 2012 approached, I pondered which songs I want accompanying me as a new year begins, and I came up with 10 tracks.

The list below was culled from my current collection. Most of the tracks aren't recent, but they certainly sound good to me, and that's really the goal of any playlist I ever make. They come to you in no particular order. I hope you'll check them out, if you're not already familiar with them. Enjoy!

1) "Thunder," Matisyahu
I'm sure that Matisyahu is old news to some of you, but I only recently discovered this song, and I am a little bit in love with it. The chorus, in particular, resonates with me right now: "Look for me through the wind and rain. / Thunder, remember my name. / I'll be coming--yes, I'm running, oh, I'm on my way. / Just stay and I'll be there by the break of day."

2) "O Children," Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Months ago, I wrote the following to a professor: "Most people know this because it was featured prominently in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. And let me just say, they put it to good use there. It's devastating and joyful all at once," and I stand by that assessment. When Cave delivers the lines "I'm hanging in there, don't you see, / In this process of elimination," I die.

3) "No Seas Cobarde," Melina León
The title means "you are not a coward," and though the entire song is sung in Spanish, León delivers the lyrics here so fiercely that no translation is needed, only a receptivity to emotion. My Spanish is crap, but the song appears to be about a cheating man and the woman who calls him out? At any rate, it's a great song to blast in the car.

4) "Bloody Mary," Lady Gaga
There was always going to be a Lady Gaga song on this list, and I know you know that. Blasphemy aside, tell me that Gaga's digitally-altered growl-delivery of "And when you're gone, / I'll tell them my religion's you" isn't fierce in a mind-melting sort of way. And the last minute-ten or so is pure pop fusion. It might be love.

5) "Samba Nova," Stone Temple Pilots
Maureen's brother Mark may hate Stone Temple Pilots (and, by extension, me? I'm not sure), but I still love them, as you have undoubtedly noticed. So this--a bonus track on Stone Temple Pilots that was left over from the Shangri-la Dee Da sessions--is on the list, not only because it's lovely in a heartbreaking sort of way but also because it evinces one of the last times Scott Weiland's voice was this strong; after Shangri-la Dee Da, he joined Velvet Revolver, a gig that changed his vocal stylings, maybe irrevocably--only time will tell.

6) "Lucid Dreams," Franz Ferdinand
You know I have a big ol' crush on Alex Kapranos, right? Right. Romantic delusions aside, "Lucid Dreams" is nothing less than a magnum opus, pretty much the embodiment of Franz Ferdinand's musical aesthetic (both vocally and instrumentally), and I value every second of it's 7:56 running time.

7) "Ava Adore," Smashing Pumpkins
There is something wonderfully progressive about the sound of this song, yet the lyrics are classic: it's a tale of obsessive, dangerous love, complete with brilliant lines like "Lovely girl, you're the murder in my world" that perfectly sum up unhealthy but oh-so-fun relationships. Additionally, the music video is wicked cool (and twisted, and very late-'90s--in a good way).

8) "Modern Love," David Bowie
As far as opening tracks on albums go, this is a good one, as it introduces the listener to an updated Bowie sound evident on Let's Dance and sets the stage for later songs on the album (notably, "China Girl" and "Let's Dance") while still retaining aural connections to past work like "Young Americans." Plus, the circular chorus makes for a fun sing-along.

When it comes to love songs, the irreverent ones are the most fun, like when POE sings "You can bring whatever you wanna bring, baby, / Each and every one of your friends. / And if you want a dog or a big bullfrog, / Hell, I got room for them." "Could've Gone Mad" is a bright spot on a brilliant album that tends toward the depressing or macabre, and though it certainly retains some of those elements (I mean, just look at the title), it transcends them, as well.

10) "Summer Day," Sheryl Crow
In the midst of winter, it's nice to have a reminder that summer will be here eventually. It's also nice to hear something uplifting from time to time. This track certainly does the trick for me, and it makes me want to dance. And what better way to start the new year than with a dance?

Feel free to share your own essential tracks for the coming year in the comments; we'd love to know what you're listening to right now!