Sunday, February 28, 2010

an online 'do not disturb' sign

Started a new book....

Yep, I'm hopping on the this-is-really-good-you-have-to-read-it bandwagon. For the next few days, you'll find me hunched over, turning pages furiously as I chow down on my fingernails.

[11/30 complete]

Saturday, February 27, 2010

dirty little secret

Most people don't have any idea I write a blog. And I don't mean in general, like '"people of the world," but people that know me personally, i.e., friends. I always feel kind of dumb saying I have a blog, unless the situation somehow merits it. Maybe that's why I used to only write in times of travel. Giving out a blog link is a whole lot easier than sending mass-emails (the way I did back in 2004, when I first lived in Germany. Although, at that time, I was also cell-phone free and using dial-up. Which isn't necessarily an accurate reflection of the times, as I am kind of an old person at heart. But still, the world has certainly changed. I mean, I remember facebook also came out around that time and I simply could not comprehend the point of it....Speaking of points, it's about time I got back to mine, eh? Oy.) 

Even more of a secret than the fact that I have a blog? [And it's a big deal for me to admit this, since doing so makes me feel almost as dumb as saying I'm now on Twitter (which I vow to never be, because sorry, but really? REALLY?!), but here goes...]

I read blogs. A lot of them. Regularly. As in, Hi, my name is Emy, and I'm a blogoholic. (How's that for Twitter-worthy lameness?) 

You may remember when I started this project I mentioned something about giving up T.V. for Lent. Well, I changed my mind shortly thereafter. Instead, I gave up reading fashion blogs. The Sartorialist, Style Rookie, Garance Dore....I can't even give you the links because if I go hunt these babies down, I will DEFINITELY start reading. So Google away, my dears!

However, it's not just fashion that gets me all hot and bothered. I also have a strong affinity for the crafting/art/home/lifestyle genre of the blogosphere. (Yes, I am a domestic at heart. It's fine, whatever. Leave me alone.) Here, a few of my never-before-shared (by me, anyway) favorites. Mind you, I'm sharing out of love and admiration, not to promote anyone or anything. Besides, trust me, there's no way I, with my readership of two, would be of any use. Nor do these ladies need it, as they are the types that get book deals from blogging and upwards of a hundred comments per post. For reals. So, without further drooling on my part, the rundown:

Posy Gets Cozy - The wonderful, whimsical world of Alicia Paulsen, a native of good ol' River Forest, Illinois, and an Augustana grad, now located in Portland, Oregon. She has loads of links to other blogs, and I like to play a game where I randomly click on one and see if it's worthwhile. Alicia also happens to be the master of cozy.

Hygge House - "Alex the Girl" doesn't post all that often, but man, am I inspired when she does. The gorgeous photos combined with an in-depth, stylish, and thoughtful approach to life and living it well have made this a regular read.

Treefall - Manda is like my version of a celebrity: I feel like I know her. I've been reading about her life in the UK for so long that I've witnessed her oldest growing up and her youngest being born! Thinking about it now, I also feel like a total creeper. But hey - she shares, and I read.

Abby Try Again - The poetic beauty of the everyday is how I'd describe the content of Abby's beautiful, unique blog. Artful, soulful, and real.

I also find myself frequenting Decor8 and little brown pen, among numerous others. (I didn't actually realize how numerous until I began trying to list them all here. But the daily reads are up, so I'm satisfied.)

So there you have it. In addition to being old, I am also a huge dork with hope-chest-wielding tendencies.

At least I don't use Twitter.

[10/30 complete - woohoo! third of the way there....]

Friday, February 26, 2010

called it


  • Had mini "sparkle" doughnuts for breakfast (they had frosting and huge sugar crystals on top, hence the sparkle factor). And also a vanilla rooibos latte, which is my favorite.
  • Played with a little baby and made her giggle. A lot. (She returned the favor.)
  • Did some dancing around, plus some singing at the top of my lungs.
  • Read away an hour without even realizing it.
  • Sipped an afternoon cup of coffee and watched the sun begin its descent behind the trees.
  • Received confirmation on a new job in Berlin. (HOORAY! Good friends, good pay, and a job I already adore? A girl couldn't ask for more. At least, not this girl.)
  • Will be heading off shortly to enjoy wine and food with a friend.
See? I KNEW today would be better.

Happy Friday, lovely world.

What a fantastic feeling of alignment. Finally.

[9/30 complete]

Thursday, February 25, 2010

the guy from office space has it wrong


  • Went to yoga.
  • Made five bucks shoveling snow.
  • Currently have twelve whole dollars to my name.
  • Researched teaching positions abroad.
  • Am extremely tempted to apply for a job at a school in the Marshall Islands.
  • Decided to pretend I am an infant that must care for itself, i.e., decided to live in the moment (even if that moment involves ridiculous amounts of waiting, and all I can think much of the time is, ENOUGH ALREADY!).
  • Ate spaghetti for lunch even though I usually don't like spaghetti.
  • Thought about how other people are likely having a much more interesting day because they probably have purposes that somehow contribute to society.
  • Once again do not feel like writing on this blog.
My apologies.

Tomorrow will be better. Not that today was bad (well, ok, today's POST pretty much bites). But still - tomorrow? It'll be better, I just know it.

[8/30 complete]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

girl crushing

>>On the modern classic:

Mainly because of her online show, Smart Girls at the Party. (You can watch free episodes at that link or on hulu, as I did in an effort to counteract the brain-deadening, self-esteem-killing effects of this year's Superbowl ads.) In addition, the fabulous Ms. P is starring as the title character in the upcoming film Lunch Lady, based on the series of graphic novels.

>>And on a more recent discovery:

Oh, Sarah Haskins, how I love thee! Thank you for existing, and for doing what you do. (Oh, yeah, and I just found out Haskins is a co-writer on Lunch Lady. Go figure.) More of her "Target Women" segments available here.

[7/30 complete]

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

um, well, huh

---DISCLAIMER: This post needs some serious editing. As in, someone should probably just delete the whole, sorry mess. But, NO, I started a challll-ennnnge. I'm posting every single day. Awesome, Emy. Have a house point. Secondly, upon rereading my work, it has come to my attention that I may need to be medicated. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.---

It would seem I have nothing to post about at the moment. Well, actually, I'm sure I could come up with plenty (not that any of it would be particularly relevant, interesting, or useful - though when is it ever?), only here's the thing: I don't feel like it. That's right, I'm not in the mood to wade through ideas, choose one to write about, find images to go along with it. I'm not feeling particularly clever or witty or kind or insightful. I'll tell you where to put your wisdom, buddy!

What I am feeling is kind of fat. Even though I did yoga and know logically that a) I am not fat, and b) it shouldn't ultimately matter, as it doesn't have anything to do with what kind of person I am or my brilliance or capabilites blah blah blah. (Wait, hear that? It's the sound of Gloria Steinem rallying the Guerilla Girls.) Probably it's because I ate a lot of cheese today. And also a Samoa. I was reaching for a second one when I gave myself a stern talking to that went something like: "OK, it's time to own up. You need to look at the calories; stop avoiding it." So I held the shiny, happy box, trying to decide if I should just eat the stupid cookie or actually see what was in the tasty morsels I've been What-About-Bob-ing as of late.

There are 150 calories and 8 grams of fat in just two measly cookies.

Normally I am not a calorie counter (duh, if I have to YELL at myself to even check the nutrition facts and eat shredded cheddar by the BOWLFUL), but there are only three Samoas left in the box after just three days. I consumed 600 calories-worth of chocolatey coconut goodness on the first day alone, in a span of less than 15 minutes. And it's not like I'll run it off, ever, because first the snow would have to melt, and also I would have to undergo a lobotomy. (I don't enjoy running. Although, a few summers ago, I did follow this marathon training plan for some reason, before I remembered that I wasn't actually running any marathons in the near future ever, and that riding my bike is about a thousand times more fun. Maybe the endorphins were clouding my judgement during this phase, which, let's face it, was mainly a poorly veiled attempt to lose ten pounds, brought on by a copy of Runner's World I found in the seat pocket in front of me on an airplane that got me all "inspired" or some such crap.)

As is now plainly evident, I was right to begin with: I have nothing to write about.

So, uh, enjoy this painting!

It's the Venus of Urbino 1538 by Tizziano Vecellio.

Once, as a joke, I used GIMP to insert my face over Ms. V of U's and gave a printout of the final product to Andy. It was excellent. (And if that doesn't make you feel awkward, know that my mom saw me working on it and we laughed and laughed.)
Also, sidenote: doesn't it look like the girl in the background is puking into the trunk? I think that every time I see this. (I almost wrote "chest" instead of trunk, but the teenage boy in me thought that was funnier than it should be, and I didn't want the teenage boy in you to get too distracted. You know, from looking at a naked woman reading this post.)

Yep, still nothing. G'night!

[6/30 complete]

Monday, February 22, 2010

why the wonder

The night sky, otherwise known as my yoga mat splattered with baking soda. Pretty awesome, no? (This mat also made an appearance in yesterday's post, along with my feet.) And to think all I wanted to do was get the smell out. The fact that this gorgeous result was entirely unanticipated makes it that much better. Also, it's amazing what changing the lighting can do, isn't it?

In other news, it looks like I may be needing this soon:

Score! Can't. Wait.

[5/30 complete]

Sunday, February 21, 2010

song of myself



Note: The above images don't exactly have to do with what I've written today. I've included them because, for one thing, I'm finding that I generally prefer a post with pictures; but mostly because these images somehow imply a sense of playfulness, wonder, or joy. It's a mixture of these that I find most appealing, and also what I see a glimpse of in the post below.

Today I'm becoming increasingly obsessed with the idea of camping in a ball gown. Going out into the middle of nowhere, pitiching a tent, then relaxing on folding chairs and blankets around a big fire whilst wearing crinolines of ridiculous proportions and drinking champagne. And maybe also I'd be decked out in costume jewelry and a tiara.

I don't know where this stuff comes from, but it makes me happy. Actually, not just happy - satisfied. Like all is right with the world when you can do quirky, thrilling stuff like that.

Today I had a plan to buy tulips and toy dinosaurs (not at the same place - though wouldn't that be nice?), but I didn't have a car at my disposal. Which stopped me, unfortunately. But there's always tomorrow. (A reassuring thought, when it isn't being used as an excuse to avoid living.)

My favorite present this past Christmas was a small plaque I got from my aunt. On it, there's an illustration of a girl riding a bicyle, feet off the pedals and legs stretched out to either side; you can't see her head. I get the impression she's going really fast though, and smiling. The accompanying quote reads: "I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world." It fits me so well, my heart hurts a little. I'm the type that wants to change the world with bubbles. Because I'm pretty sure that if you can find joy and something to love in the world, that alone is transformative.

I don't mean to sound lame or pretentious, so I hope this isn't coming across that way, especially because mostly I'm just being honest (and hopefully not in a Holly Golightly sort of way). However, I happen to really love the movies Away We Go and Juno, and it turns out lots of people find those more than a little pretentious. But I just connect with them. So there's that.

Lastly, I'd like to point out that yesterday's list was totally random. (And here I am referring to the order, or lack thereof, not simply the items listed. Because that part is likely obvious.) But even so, this goes out to "rando" number seven:

And this, too:

The end.

For now.

But I'll keep you posted. (har har har, I know. GOODBYE.)

[4/30 complete]

Saturday, February 20, 2010

tied up with string


1. red shoes.
2. red nail polish.
3. extremely strong coffee.
4. dark chocolate.
5. french butter.
6. sea salt.
7. andy.
8. garlands.
9. cubbies.
10. old card catalogs.
11. old mason jars.
12. old office supplies.
13. harriet the spy.
14. making lists.
15. trees.
16. walking.

Here's to a weekend of favorite things, whatever they may be.

[3/30 complete]

Friday, February 19, 2010


I thought of making this a wordless post, allowing the reader to take away whatever intrepretations/metaphors  s/he saw fit. But looking at the published post, it just seemed so...empty. So I thought I'd explain a little of what the above image signifies to me.

I was at yoga this evening when this picture, taken in March 2007, popped into my head. All at once, I realized I needed to post today, and that this image would serve as my inspiration. Moving into standing seperate leg stretching pose, I thought about how growth often starts so small that most of us don't even realize it's happening. For instance, that tiny bit of green above - those seedlings may seem insignificant, but they contain such immense potential, and so much mystery.  They might become fragrant flowers or giant oak trees, heriloom tomatoes or four-leaf clovers. (Yes, one of those is the correct answer. And yes, I do realize Emerson said it better. Or at least more poetically.) Couple that with the fact that they're emerging from dirt, the initial evidence of a largely invisible process, and, well - it's pure magic.

Touching my forehead to the ground in that hot, sweaty room tonight, it occurred to me that humans are much the same way. When I started yoga, I couldn't even touch my toes. Now, a little over a year-and-a-half later, I can grab under my heels, feet together, without bending my legs. I wouldn't exactly say I'm back-bending with the best of them, but I'm back-bending. Regularly. And it's happened without me having to think about it - an invisible process, taken one millimeter at a time, that has transformed my life. I just keep showing up.

I could go on writing. But the words aren't coming all that easily, and I think the nub and crux of what's on my mind is here. For now, though, it's time to let my subconscious do the processing, see what gets generated (germinated?). Especially since that last line in the above paragraph, "keep showing up," has got my brain spinning in an entirely new direction.....

[2/30 complete]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

garden, harbor, holy place

Look in the tan beam to the far right, about halfway down, and you'll notice a tiny grey speck - the Earth, as photographed by Voyager I in 1990. Below, some of what Carl Sagan had to say about this "Pale Blue Dot."

"Look again at that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every 'superstar,' every 'supreme leader,' every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."

[1/30 complete]

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

bikram for the blog

Yep, it's been over two months since I've posted. Apparently that's how I operate as far as the blog is concerned. Go somewhere, post every week or so, then quit entirely until the muse strikes again or I travel somewhere else.

As it happens, I don't really care for that system. So I've decided to issue myself a blogging challenge: 30 posts in 30 days. That means a post a day for (you guessed it) 30 consecutive days. That's the only ground rule; what I post is entirely up to me.

This idea stems, of course, from the infamous Bikram Yoga Challenge. Seeing as I've successfully completed two of those in the past year, I figure I should be able to handle a little "Bikram for the blog."

Also, I've had several people tell me they've missed reading my blog. Since a few of those people are not even related to me, I started to think that I may have a good thing going here. Why not devote a bit more energy to it, at least for a little while? (Plus, I'm giving up T.V. for Lent, so I anticipate having some extra time on my hands.)

We'll see what my messy mind has to offer. I make no promises, other than it will be something. Every day. For thirty days. So, uh...Bon voyage! I guess. And, uh...enjoy the ride! Yeah, that. Etc, etc....CHEERS!

[Introduction down, 30 days to go....]