0 Weekend recap

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I ventured to Hartford, Conn., this weekend, and had three days of

delicious food and wine

best friends

birthday candles

and Steven the Cat.

What did you do this weekend?

1 Blogspotting

Friday, January 29, 2010

I found a sweet new (to me) blog today: reading my tea leaves. Erin takes beautiful pictures in features like My Week in Objects and My Downtown (which is Providence, RI). She also features other bloggers' pictures of their hometowns all over the world in Your Downtown (great idea!). There's a sweet and nostalgic feel to it - right up my alley.

{edit: top photo from alabama chanin
all other images taken by erin at reading my tea leaves}

0 J.D. Salinger

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry."

Catcher in The Rye, 1951

J.D. Salinger Died Today, at the age of 91. He hasn't published anything and has been living as a hermit since 1965, but apparently (and not surprisingly) has written quite a bit since then. We'll have to wait and see what his family decides to do with the unpublished works.

I think it's sad that he lived as a hermit, but he must have like life better alone. He wrote a series of stories and novels about the fictional Glass family and now seems as good a time as ever to read them (so far I've just read Franny and Zooey). I really love the idea of devoting almost an entire career to one family of fictional characters. Imagine how well he knew them.

images: {1} boston.com {2} culturazzi

1 Safari

Monday, January 25, 2010

I met with Anna today, the woman with whom I'm traveling to Malawi, to discuss the nitty-gritty of our trip. After my mom and I alternately asked her logistical questions for over an hour, I went to work feeling more at ease and more excited about this trip than I have in the past six months. Although I'm excited to meet Malawians and explore the city of Mzuzu, I was worried I wouldn't be able to travel outside of Malawi, fearing I'd have to do it alone, an unsafe option for a young white female in sub-Saharan Africa. But Anna has assured me that Mzuzu is filled with young expatriates, and is certain I'll make gobs of friends. I hope I do meet lots of people, and I hope that my visit will be full of travels with them - not only to the beach at Lake Malawi, but to Victoria Falls in Zambia, to Tanzania, to Mozambique. Mostly, I am dying to go on a safari. It's one of the primary reasons I've wanted to travel to Africa since I was a little girl (well, I admit that desire was sparked by The Lion King).

2 Last night's Hope for Haiti performances

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In case anyone missed it, I wanted to post a few of what I thought were the best performances from last night's Hope for Haiti fundraiser.

John Legend is so fucking talented - I can't get over it. I always knew he was good, but in this performance, his voice had so much power, in a way I've never heard him before.

"Hallelujah" might be the most covered song in recent history, but I think it manages to never get old. J.Tims and Matt Morris' harmonies were beautiful (unlike those of Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock and Keith Urban - not so hot.) I hadn't heard of Matt Morris, so I looked him up - turns out he was on Mickey Mouse Club with J.Tims back in day. Cute.

You should have seen my parents and I watching this one - by the end we were all blubbering like little babies.

And okay, Tay is kinda small potatoes compared to these guys...but how cute is she?

0 Port-au-Prince

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This picture breaks my heart - he's cradling her like she's his own daughter.

0 Golden Globes

Monday, January 18, 2010

Both Glee and Mad Men won awards at the Golden Globes last night (Best Comedy/Musical TV Series and Best Drama TV Series). How cute and excited is the cast of "Glee"?

(I'd like to state that I had a dream last night in which Puck confessed his undying love for me.)

I love January Jones' silk headband and bright red lipstick. That's her dad to the right!

How gorgeous does Lea Michele look?

Drew's acceptance speech was so sweet and heartfelt (and watch how she mouths "I love you" to Justin Long on her way up to the stage).

Love me some Julia Roberts.

And my least favorite dress of the night. Ick.

0 Mini black and white cookies

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I finished my book the other night. I rarely cry at movies and books, but this one had me going - the ending is so beautifully written. It's a gorgeous novel and I highly recommend it.

Since my brother is going back to college tomorrow, and I won't see him before I leave for Africa, I did what I always do on any type of special occasion: I baked cookies. I baked Martha Stewart's mini black and white cookies, which can be found in the Bible. The batter and icing were both simple to make and the baking time was only 10 minutes. The book recommended I roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls, but they turned out as pretty average-sized cookies - I would have liked them mini-er. These cookies were yummy, but weak compared to the rest of the ones I've made from Martha's book, which have been consistently amazing. Still, I liked the cakey consistency of these and the hint of lemon in the icing; plus, black and white cookies are my brother's favorite, and he loved these - I'll be sending the rest back to school with him.

I love the idea of black and white cookies, and the New York tradition behind them - don't you?

1 Missing TV

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Going to Malawi will definitely be better than television, but I have to say that I have gotten pretty comfortable with my weekly schedule. I've always loved my "Gossip Girl" and "30 Rock," and I'm a recent "Glee" and "Mad Men" convert. I'll be missing all of the new seasons (what's the deal with Chuck's mom?!), but I guess that just means some serious Net-flixing when I get home.

P.S. I'm taking a cheap shot from Olivia - but if you read my blog, will you "Follow" it? I'm just curious :)

1 Le Scaphandre et Le Papillon

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And on the topic of my obsession with all things French - has anyone seen The Diving Bell and the Butterfly? I watched it last night - what a gorgeous, sad movie (and unreal story, and beautiful book).

0 Currents

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I. Current favorite poem.
We read this poem in my senior creative writing seminar last semester, and for some reason, it popped into my head today and I went back and found it. It's long, so here is a link: "What I Do" by Ellery Akers. It's such an eclectic account of one person's life, in all the roles she fills, her fears, her experience of nature. And it's also a very reader-friendly poem because each stanza has a different personality and I think each reader would be drawn to a different one. My favorite lines are the super-personal ones, the ones you can tell she dug and dug to get out, lines like these:

"Sometimes I bolt awake at night, feeling a man is pressing on top of me, certain it's happening"


"I see my therapist, my words fill up the room, the past is enormous, I steer towards anger and practice anger as if it were Italian"

Current read.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, about two closet intellectuals living in a fancy apartment building in Paris - the concierge of 47 years and the twelve-year old daughter of one of the families. The two protagonists narrate the story in short chapters - I'm about two-thirds into it and their paths haven't yet crossed. It's dense at times, but an interesting story with a very French feel to it (philosophical, cynical, with an emphasis on human mortality - those things feel French to me, anyway). As we all know, I'm a sucker for Zee French.

Favorite passage thus far:
"We have to live with the certainty that we'll get old and that it won't look nice or be good or feel happy. And tell ourselves that it's now that matters: to build something, now, at any price, using all our strength. Always remember that there's a retirement home waiting somewhere and so we have to surpass ourselves every day, make every day undying. Climb our own personal Everest and do it in such a way that every step is a little bit of eternity."

1 New Year's Greetings!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hello, trusty blog and friends. It was a retail-filled holiday season and now I'm busy preparing for my trip to Malawi, which is five weeks away. I will definitely be keeping my blog up while I'm away, as I'll have some truly exciting things to talk about! My volunteer position will consist primarily of preparing local Malawian students for their entrance exams to Maloto's new Mzuzu Academy, opening September 2010. The goal is to help as many local students as possible get into the academy - it's the first internationally accredited secondary school in Malawi, and will also be a boarding school, a full time home for these adolescents (the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among adults is extremely high in Malawi, leaving many children orphaned and living in over-crowded homes with their extended families). I will also be maintaining and writing for the Maloto blog while I'm there (which isn't much yet, but will be soon).

We're almost two weeks into the New Year, but I say it's not too late to finalize my resolutions.

1. Meditate in the mornings
2. Write everyday, even if it's just for five minutes
3. Try not to be such a perfectionist about everything (tougher one)
and of course,
4. Lose a few pounds

Doing pretty well on the first two so far... Here's to keeping our resolutions this time around!