Friday, March 30, 2012

Desk Work

About a year and a half ago, I bought myself a desk. It's white and streamlined, and I enjoy it. However, that doesn't keep me from ogling other desks. For example, there's the desk pictured in my most recent Olioboard creation:

As if anyone's desk is ever that clean.

It's the Pecs Desk by Marcel Breuer for Gavina, and though I'm not quite sure what about it resembles pectorals (unless we're talking about Fabio's wildly broad chest?), I like the look of it. The clean lines have gone right to this modern girl's heart. Too bad it's out of my price range, or I might be tempted to snap it up for my office.

Image via Olioboard.


Thursday, March 29, 2012


It's been a while since I coveted a book, so here, have four.

Here we have the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, the chronicles of the Enchanted Forest. My fondest memories are of the first one, Dealing with Dragons; I checked it out of the elementary school library innumerable times (with much better cover art--here), and I think that explains a lot about me.

Dealing with Dragons is about Princess Cimorene, who would rather fence and do magic than curtsy and scream. So she runs off to become a dragon's princess. (It's a status symbol for a dragon to have a princess, you see.) She has a few adventures with some wizards and some fairy tale tropes and a very un-dragon-like dragon, and she doesn't really live happily ever after because her life keeps happening in the rest of the books, even as the protagonists are all different. But you'll find out at the end.

I love these books so much that I give them to people as gifts. It's all part of my evil plan to turn some of my friends' as yet un-twinkled children into book-readers.

Buy the box set through Barnes & Noble for $21.55.

Image via the same.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Hungry Hungry Games

Well, I saw The Hunger Games without nail polish or mockingjay earrings or anything to indicate that I was there to see it because I enjoyed the books and not because I just felt like seeing a movie. Not that that's important. I'm not some kind of "I read the book before it was popular!" hipster. (I didn't. I read the book after hearing about it for a long time.)

Anyway, there's still a good chance that the movie will come to the local cheap theater where the popcorn is a dollar and tickets are five, and I know just what to wear when the time comes:

Okay, so it also showcases my love of goofy games. But pair it with some nail polish--however goofy you might look--and rock and roll.

Buy your very own Hungry Hungry Games t-shirt through Shirt.Woot for $15.00.

Image via the same.

May the odds be ever in your favor.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Only Six Books

I recently read an excerpt of Jeanette Winterson's new memoir Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? on The Daily Beast. In it, she tells the reader that there were only six books in the house where she grew up. Since I was raised in a house with considerably more books on the shelves (and a constant stream coming in from libraries and bookstores), it's hard for me to fathom such an upbringing. 

What I CAN imagine, however, is what would happen if my books were taken away. 

Maybe it's a symptom of having read Fahrenheit one too many times. Or it could be a consequence of living in a near-constant state of uncertainty about my future. More likely it's because I'm separated from the majority of my books (most of which live at my parents' house) by a margin of over 700 miles, and I sometimes can't find the one I'm looking for as a result. 

So what if I only had room for six books on my shelf? Surprisingly, that's an easy question for me to answer.

1) Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
I love it so much that I covered it in my first month as a blogger. (This was back when I wrote about books on a regular basis.) I love it so much that I've written three separate academic papers about it. I love it so much that I did an art project on it in high school. I love it so much that I give it to people I really like so that they might understand me better. (Quick survey of those few blessed: do you understand me better, or do you still think I'm cray cray?)

2) Leaves of Grass: First and Death-Bed Editions, Walt Whitman
Like so many before me, I have a big o' crush on the Big Gay Poet. No shame. Nor should there be any. Seriously, guys, read "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking." It will change your life.

3) Collected Poems, Sylvia Plath
Look, I'm not one of THOSE Plath girls, okay? I just appreciate an honest, well-crafted poem when I see one. And while the first half of this collection is heavy on the well-crafted and short on the brutal truth, the collection as a whole serves as a record of the evolution of a truly powerful poet, particularly when you reach the last third or so. Plath's work will take your breath away, and if it doesn't, maybe you're just a Ted Hughes fan at heart.

4) Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
Eugenides' second novel is, among other things, a sweeping epic, a love song for Detroit, and a powerful study in voice. Some find it overwrought; I think it's perfect, and I'm happy to revisit it time and again.

5) Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
If ever there was a writer at whose feet I'd like to study, it just might be Vonnegut. His honesty and wild imagination here inspire me, and he's one of the writers who makes me want to be better--not just in my writerly pursuits, but in my life, as well. (Aside: one of my literary crushes, Steve Almond, wrote a fabulous essay about his Vonnegut fixation in (Not that You Asked): Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions.)

6) Open slot for free agents
Because I have to have something new to read every once in awhile, right? And also time to revisit other favorites, such as Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, Peter Shaffer's Equus, Chris Hedges' War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, Robert Coover's Briar Rose, and Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native, among many others.

What are your six books? Could you live with so few?


Sunday, March 25, 2012

People We Covet: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Late last month, someone I knew took his own life.

This is a depressing way to start a blog post, I know, but I promise I'm going somewhere with it. His death marked the third time I've encountered suicide in the wild (as opposed to in the news, literature, et cetera). The first, I was in high school, and it was the brother of a friend. The second, I was in college, and it was a classmate. In each instance, I've been on the periphery--not directly linked to the deceased, but intimately connected to the survivors, including friends. The most important thing I learned from these three events was the same each time: no man is an island, as Donne taught us, and as such, terrible things happen to the people left behind--they're confused, scared, and guilt-ridden, much as the people they lost must have been.

Though we traditionally covet individuals in this series, this month, I'm coveting an organization that helps individuals: the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. (I've mentioned them before, in this It Gets Better Project post.) Like other suicide outreach programs, the NSPL has a phone hotline, and you can also chat with them online if you're feeling hopeless. Their website has good resource information, including a list of warning signs and a dedicated section for veterans, which is very important in this age of increased PTSD (and particularly in North Carolina, where I live, which is home to two of the largest military installations in the US and many smaller ones). In addition, you can connect with them on Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, and Twitter.

If you're not depressed, you can volunteer with the NSPL and help change someone's life. If you are depressed and considering suicide, please look into this organization or another like it. Don't wait. Don't hesitate. Get the help you need as soon as possible. We don't want to lose you.

Visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website here.


Friday, March 23, 2012


Things I don't wear: 1) hats. Things I wish I wore: 1) hats. 

Why, you might ask? So I'd have a reason to buy things like this:

That's right, ladies: a set of ten lovely hatpins. My personal favorite is the one with the pearl, though I'm totally digging the green leaf, too. I think Maureen would enjoy the cameo hatpin; after all, it looks like it could double as a seal for wax.

Image via Victorian Trading Company.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

BRB, Hyperventilating

So, they're releasing the first two episodes of The Legend of Korra online on Saturday--that is, weeks early. WEEKS.

Also, The Hunger Games is coming out.

Basically, I am overwhelmed by actually getting things I covet this week, and I just can't right now.

Best wishes!


(Images via the Internet--probably Tumblr and LiveJournal.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

For Future Reference

The Internet stresses me out. There are no tests to pass so you can use it. All you need is a connection and a computer. Anyone can use the Internet. Children. Adults. Teenagers. Smart people. Stupid people. Cats.

This is why it stresses me out. Stupid people and cats can't write. They don't capitalize or punctuate. It's terrible. If only they had a manual of some sort, something that would tell them where sentences end and begin, or how hyphens work, or at the very least how you're supposed to write a number.

Not everyone likes the same reference manual. Though I'll take what I can get, I favor Gregg because my mother had one in her office and made me look things up in it. Now I wish everyone had one. It would make things so much more tolerable.

Or, at least, those who have them and use them could throw them at the people who don't.

Buy The Gregg Reference Manual through Barnes & Noble for $65.26.

Image via the same.

Best wishes!


Monday, March 19, 2012

"Gonna Dress You Up in My Love"


Madonna by cateismilesaway 

Grab your boy toy belts and your conical bras, boys and girls, because it's time to celebrate all things Madonna!

The Material Girl's former record label, Warner Brothers, will release a box set of Madonna's first 11 studio albums tomorrow. (Madonna, Like a Virgin, True Blue, Like a Prayer, Erotica, Bedtime Stories, Ray of Light, Music, American Life, Confessions on a Dance Floor, and Hard Candy are all included.) Just think of all the great songs in this set: everything from "Into the Groove" to "Music," "La Isla Bonita" to "Ray of Light," and all the wonderful tracks in between.

Why not celebrate by putting on a lace dress, borrowing a rosary, carrying a Dolce & Gabbana bag, and spritzing yourself with some Jean Paul Gaultier perfume (all of these things are classic Madonna, after all)? Or else dance the night away in your favorite vintage pieces from the '80s!

Buy through Amazon for $62.85.

Images via Polyvore.


Friday, March 16, 2012


I grew up in what you might call a Disney household. My father is a huge fan of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, as well as the Seven Dwarfs. So it's only natural that I found myself drawn to this Disney Couture Seven Dwarfs necklace:

Though it's ultimately not my style--too gold--I do appreciate the whimsy behind this necklace, and I think it's a must-have for any girl who loved Snow White growing up, or who still enjoys watching that gentle princess take care of the men who took her in and the animals around them.

Buy through ASOS for $105.64.

Image via ASOS.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Free Kiva Loans

As a young, fairly broke American, I can't do much of anything for anyone. I do have a lot of opinions, though. I like to worry that I could be buying things made by mistreated sweatshop workers, and when I think about it, I buy fair-trade chocolate. But what's worry good for?

Recently, my pal John Green (he's coming up a lot lately) told the Nerdfighters that something amazing was happening--a rich dude donated a ton of free twenty-five-dollar loans to Kiva. Kiva, for those not in the loop, is a magical web site that allows people to lend a mere twenty-five dollars at a time to entrepreneurs all over the world so they can better their situations. Mostly in developing countries, but there are people in the United States, too, for the days you feel especially patriotic.

I used my free loan to help a woman in Peru who grows bananas. I think bananas are great, so the choice was pretty easy. Later on I'm going to use my real money to finance some other enterprising individual in hiring a sheep wrangler or buying more merchandise for the store or repairing the roof. It'll make me feel a little like a fancy banker.

Some people take issue with the way Kiva does business. So while I'm here specifically because of the free loans, I'm not advocating one microfinance organization over another--I haven't done enough research for that. I just enjoy that I can do a little to help entrepreneurs while I'm hiding out in continuing education because I'm afraid of the real world.

Get your free Kiva loan today before they run out.

Best wishes!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Crash Course

Well, yeah, that's what this is about. My pals (they're not my pals) the Vlogbrothers have a new YouTube channel, and it's all for education: Crash Course. Each brother has a subject, and they come to you each week to teach you something new.

John teaches world history, starting with the agricultural revolution. Woo! I have watched all the videos, and I don't remember everything he said, but I do remember that the Mongols are the exceptions to every rule. These videos are probably handy if you spent all night reading a nice book like The Return of the Native and need a quick refresher for that quiz you're going to have in class.

Hank teaches biology, and I'm pretty sure it's less crash-y than world history, just because it takes less time to explain the octet rule when you don't have to make sure your students understand the political and economic implications of electron sharing. (There aren't any, you see.)

So, there you are! Crash Course! Study up on what you learned in class, or just relearn what you forgot oh so many years ago. An educated populace is a good populace.

You can watch more videos or subscribe to Crash Course at YouTube.

Best wishes!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Queenly Style

It might be old news or whatever, but some of us haven't forgotten last year's royal wedding. (Are you judging me? I can practically feel you judging me. I REGRET NOTHING.)

At any rate, one of Queen Elizabeth II's favorite handbag companies is Launer London, and with clutches like this super-classy High Society bag, who can blame her?

It's simple and timeless, and since it comes in ten varieties (three patent, seven calf leather), you can get one to suit your tastes and wardrobe.And if anyone asks, you can impress them all with the royal connection!

Image via Launer London.


PS I was totally not prepared for the update I wrote last week, because I forgot to mention that I'm also on Olioboard and Polyvore! You can find me under the name CateIsMilesAway. Look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, March 9, 2012


I can never resist a good wedge shoe. For me, they provide more stability. Some people don't like the look of them, but I don't care, not even one bit. And here's a great example of a wedge I would enjoy rocking:

The height! The lace! The sheer boldness of it all! I'd like to pair them with black tights and a cute cocktail dress. How would you wear them?

Image via ModCloth.


PS Our friend Lisa who runs Senba Designs (remember these earrings?) has just opened her Etsy shop. Please check it out and support her work!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Well, as spring rolls around, some folks are going to have some acting up allergies. And not all of those folks will be brightly-colored, bushy-tailed types who can get a snazzy patterned box of tissues from the store.

No, some people are more somber in their choices. That's where Tissue Noir comes in.

Yes. Black box, black tissues. Really dark gray tissues. Something like that. It's perfect for people like me who don't understand colors and who have black, black souls. And who don't pay attention to how much they're paying per tissue.

Buy through Archie McPhee for $3.50 per 50-count box.

Image via the same.



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Now See Here, Sweetheart

Just put the money in the bag, and you won't have to take that pretty skirt in for dry-cleaning.

Thanks, doll. Come on, boys, I got the dough! Let's beat it!

I think I'll use my share to get another glass Tommy gun for $34.95 through Archie McPhee. It'll make a swell vase.

Now scram!


Monday, March 5, 2012

News: March 2012

Hi, there, Readers and Assorted Others,

Thanks for checking in at What We Covet today! Here's a news update for our faithful few and anyone else who feels like creeping on us.

1) Maureen has decided to run off into the woods in one of those teesy houses she likes so much. Cate has begged her to take a wireless router along so she can continue blogging, but no word yet. Also, Maureen is not actually leaving us (for now); mainly she just threatens to disappear into a swamp/forest/mountain retreat.

2) Cate is on Pinterest! Maureen refuses to join for reasons that aren't quite clear to Cate, because Cate loves pinning more than she should, and she believes you should follow her!

3) Additionally, Cate and Maureen are both on Twitter! You can find Cate here: @CateIsMilesAway and Maureen here: @reenelk. Maureen tweets only sporadically, usually in Cate's direction; Cate mostly tweets links to What We Covet posts. But we're sure one of you can give us a compelling reason to log in more often!

4) Please don't forget that Cate is on Tumblr,  as well! Everyone needs to check that out.

5) Cate's a little burned out from blogging so much in addition to her other duties (she's looking in your direction, grad school), so starting this week, she'll post only on Mondays and Fridays.

Happy March (watch out for those ides!),

-Cate and Maureen-

Friday, March 2, 2012

On the Noggin

Here's a houseware you need to see:

File under: things of no use to anyone but totally fabulous. You're welcome.

Buy through Patricia Field. Prices start at $920.00.

Image via Patricia Field.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

King of the Road

Two important symbols for young people today are the automobile and the house. The automobile, whether a pick-up truck or a compact car, represents freedom. With a motor vehicle and some fuel, you can go almost anywhere and do almost anything. A house, meanwhile, represents stability. Some might say that there is a point at which these two ideals can't really fit together. I would argue that, like superimposing the image of a crying eagle on the United States flag, putting these two symbols results in maximum effect.

Well, maybe. But I was thinking something more like this:

The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company sells both the plans for houses that you can build on a trailer and the houses themselves. Their smallest portable house is 65 square feet, and that goes up to 172 square feet. After that, the houses are merely "small houses" and stay put.

Part of the idea is downsizing. Reducing clutter and living a life free of Things. (Yes, why is this even here, right?) Also, to go green, as they say. A smaller house does less harm to the environment. I'm guessing once you get an electric dually you'll really be good to go. To go anywhere. Anywhere at all.

Buy your very own portable tiny house ready-made for $38,997-$53,997 through Tumbleweed Tiny House Company.

Images via here and here.