Thursday, April 23, 2009

They're "sensible" if they make sense to me...

When I started this blog I began a series of posts called "New Bird On The Block", which was partly a way to showcase some of the lovely birdie things I was finding on the interwebs, but also a way to curb my impulses to purchase most, if not all, of said birdie things. I have a little obsession with them, but also a not-enormous apartment, so I had to limit my collection to virtual vs reality. I was thinking I should try to do the same with my purse and shoe habits, and then I saw these beauties in Marie Claire:

{Calvin Klein "Rene" sandals, in silver. Size 10 please.}

I can quit any time, really I can.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

All atwitter over Mr. Darcy

Some clever person in Twitterland has begun posting Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice in 140-character bites. Now, before your inner purist screams out "sacrilege", consider this: Jane Austen is known for her "realism, biting social commentary (now known as "snark" - Ed.) and masterful use of free, indirect speech, burlesque and irony". Free, indirect speech: A style of writing where the author's first-person descriptive blurs with their third-person perspective. Sound familiar, bloggy peeps? Were she born 200 years later, methinks she would have been a blogger (and twitterer) ........................

Hmmm.. Oh, what's that? Sorry, I was busy looking at this:
{Mr. Darcy as Colin Firth. Oh, wait, I have that backwards.
Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. sigh}

With thanks to Julia @HookedonHouses for the Twitter find.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm sorry sir, your baby is ugly

We are fortunate to have in Our Fair City of Hartford the country's oldest public art museum, a treasure chest of masterworks by everyone from Caravaggio to Mondrian to the most recent (as in "last week") acquisition, Slightly Open Clam Shell by Georgia O'Keefe. The museum's castle-like facade, complete with battlements and leaded glass, is often festooned with enormous banners advertising the latest exhibition, usually with a close-up of one of the artworks, to entice one to come in. Or, in the case of Folkert de Jong in Watou, to totally creep one out. To wit:

Creepy, right? Good morning Mr. MeltyFace. You know what is even creepier? The sculptures are life size or larger. Enormous. 8 -10 feet tall. They are made of Styrofoam and polyurethane, materials chosen specifically for their manipulative qualities as for their significance as elements of war, impermeability and toxicity. The figures depict a David and Goliath-like representation of Spain vs The Netherlands during the Eighty Years War that began in the 16th century. I understand the use of the grotesque in art. Compelling, historical stuff, a la Picasso's Guernica. But I could not stop thinking:

Here is another one, with a great dental plan.

{kunstwerk van Folkert de Jong in Watou, (say that three times fast) originally uploaded by mjiwill}

Zombie letterpress sign from Yeehaw, found via Good Mouse, Bad Mouse

Saturday, April 18, 2009

You down with Bert, Ernie? (yeah, you know me)

I try to limit my gangsta rap intake to once per decade, but this just cracked me up:

[found via KK1820 on twitter]

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wish I looked like this when I woke up in the morning

{Sophie Marceau on the cover of April's French Elle. I've had a wee girl-crush on her since Braveheart}

Ooh la la, ze French, zey are so much more... hmmm, how you say... evolved than the rest us. Exhibit A: The April issue of French Elle. Eight lovely female European celebrities, all sans fards ("without rouge/makeup") and, perhaps even more revealing, all sans le Photoshop.

Granted, these are all amazingly beautiful women, and they are well coiffed and lit, and the photographer was Peter Lindbergh, but still, nary an airbrush in sight and they still look fantastic. My only complaint is why are they all wearing such dowdy clothes? I'm sure they are really expensive tees and sweats, "it's cashmere, darling", etc. but sans fards doesn't have to mean sans style. What do you think?

More here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'll have the filet, medium, hold the Creedence

{NYC Felix, originally uploaded by tbone_bill. See note below**}

There is nothing like a nice dinner out. In Downtown Hartford, and the surrounding towns, there are a lot of great places to eat. I am fortunate in that The BF also appreciates good restaurants, and most Saturday nights find us enjoying a cold martini followed by a lovely meal and some great wine. We like the whole experience that a good restaurant offers: a little chit-chat with the bartender while he shakes up the vodka or gin and tries to remember which of us ordered the olives (me) or the lemon twist (The BF). Debating staying at the bar so we can sit cozily side-by-side vs moving to a table. Sharing an appetizer, weighing the merits of various entrees, picking a wine, having a three-hour conversation about everything and nothing. We appreciate the whole experience that has been created for us - the food, the service, the decor, the ambiance. But not necessarily the music. The music befuddles. When I think marble bar/white tablecloth/martini/wine/etc, I think jazz, standards, accoustic, maybe somethig electronic, but all in the name of background music. Aural wallpaper to complement the Scalamandre grasscloth and alabaster chandeliers, to sparkle behind the patrons' dialogue, to bookend the beginnings and ends of conversations. I don't think Creedence. Or Jimi Hendrix. Or Cat Stevens.

I was in three different fine dining establishments this past weekend: two with The BF on Saturday night (one for a drink and a different one for dinner) and one with my family for Easter. In all three instances, the artfully-designed decor, first-class service* and excellent food was curiously set against an backdrop of '70s rock: CCR, Led Zep, Fleetwood Mac, Queen. Great stuff, in a grammar-school-flashback kind of way. Or a beer-and-burgers-on-the-beach kind of way. Or a hanging-out-at-home kind of way. I don't get it. Why would a restauranteur spend a million dollars on opening a restaurant, creating a menu, designing a space, praying for a good review and a crowd that keeps coming despite the ups and downs of the economy, and then leave the Muzak station on Seventies Rock? You've taken a wonderful little experience and tainted it. It's not ironic, or charming, or clever, it's kind of obnoxious, in an ambiance-be-damned-this-is-what-I/the-staff-likes kind of way. And if that is who you are catering to, I am afraid for your business.

*Okay, the service at the place we went to on Easter was more grandmotherly than first-class, but still...

**The BF took this picture, on a hot summer Saturday night in NYC, at Restaurant Felix. The food is amazing, and the music is a mix of French jazz/electonic lounge/music hall (think Pink Martini). A delicious end to a wonderful day. If you go, be sure to sit in the window so you can watch the street theater that is West Broadway. We watched one couple on a blind date, another couple breaking up, and a Vespa-riding cross-dresser wearing a fur coat and a wig (in August). Oh, and did I mention the food was fantastic?

Monday, April 13, 2009

My business card can beat up your business card

Can you imagine working for this guy?

Yes I know, I am lame, two videos in a row, but life has got me by the tail these days and is swinging me around its big, fat head. More bloggy goodness tomorrow, I promise.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's like LiteBrite, but with legs

So you're a shepherd in Wales, and maybe you're a bit of a tech geek, and you have these extra LED lights hanging around, and you and the lads want to have a bit of a laugh on a Saturday.

The Atari one is my favorite.