Thursday, February 26, 2009

And we take requests

My British agent, Sas of Sas' Magical Mystery Tour, has demanded that my band stop procrastinating and get our butts in the studio to finish our album (that's like a CD, for you young 'uns).

You, too can be a Jane Austen-quoting, Toddlers and Tiaras*-influenced Eastern European electronic klezmer rock star:
  1. Go to Wikipedia. Hit 'random'. The first Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
  2. Go to Quotations Page and select 'random quotations'. The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album.
  3. Go to Flickr and click on 'explore the last seven days'. Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. I used the third picture down, since the third picture across was a cute little ladybug, flittering across a daisy, and my band is Eastern European electronic klezmer rock, not The Carpenters.
  4. Use Picnik (or photoshop or whatever) to put it all together; I used my new favorite toy, Picasa. Then tell us about your album.
  5. Comment with the link to your album

*seriously, why else is this child wearing this outfit?

For the record (ha ha, no pun intended, and for you kiddos, a "record" is also like a CD):
  • Albota is a commune in Arges County, in southern central Romania.
  • "Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way." is from Emma, by my girl Jane Austen.
  • The photo is by NoSha.
When your band makes its album cover, don't forget to put your link in the comments!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I want my own mouse circus

Saturday night the boyfriend and I went to see a little piece of stop-motion genius, Henry Selick's Coraline. If you've seen James and The Giant Peach or The Nightmare Before Christmas, you are familiar with Selick's work. Coraline was three years in the making, employing dozens of artisans, artists and crafters (like Althea Crome, who knitted Coraline's tiny sweaters and gloves on needles smaller than toothpicks) to create the wondrous world of a curious girl and her mysterious neighbors.

Coraline is gorgeously made, and meets my main criteria for any film: a good story, well told. I think it is being marketed as a kid's film, and while there certainly were a lot of kids at the showing we went to, there were plenty of adults, and everyone was equally mesmerized by the spectacle Selick and his team have created. But the thing that made me squeal like a little girl was Mr. Bobinsky's Mouse Circus. See, when I was a child I had this thing about mice, this secret belief that behind the walls they lived a Borrower's life, wearing tiny clothes, sleeping in little beds made from matchboxes, dining at spool tables, tooling around in toy cars, Stuart Little-style. As an adult, I may or may not have let that go (and this despite having once owned an old house that had many a mouse trap to catch the little buggers before they could do too much damage). Mr. Bobinsky's mice wear cute little red band uniforms, play tiny musical instruments, and put on a circus performance with military precision. There's a secret behind their showmanship that I won't give away here (go see the movie), but they are just adorable and must be forgiven for their role in any deceit. Plus if you ask them nicely they will spell your name with their tails (click the pic below to make your own).

Screenshots from the Coraline website.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The cheesy prom pose was his idea

{Matthew Modine and I, apparently about to break into a tango. Sorry about the bad photo quality, blame my iPhone}

Earlier this month the BF and I went to a swanky fundraiser for the local arts council, where we tasted lots of wine, sampled food from local restaurants, schmoozed, and bid on silent auction items that we didn't win (we forgot to keep going back to check on our items and were quickly outbid by others. This is what happens when you stop tasting wine and move on to martinis). Amidst the crowd of local business tycoons, non-profit leaders, arts execs and hoi polloi like ourselves was a tall dark & handsome guy that I kept thinking I knew, in a "did I go to high school with him" kind of way. Um, no, actually it was more like "did I have mad crush on him while I was in high school and he was starring in Vision Quest*".
Matthew Modine, one of the objects of my teenage affection, is in town in rehearsals for To Kill A Mockingbird at our (Tony Award-winning, thank you) regional theater and came to the fundraiser with the theater prinicipals. We don't get a lot of big stars in town so when one is in our midst the reactions range from stammeringly starstruck to ridiculously over-familiar. I was somewhere in between, but the real estate developer who owns the building where I work falls in the latter category, shouting out (like they are old pals) "Hey Matthew, Robin would like a photo with you" as Matthew entered the room we were in. Thankfully, Mr. Modine was not only gracious about the whole thing, but a little corny, hence the cheesy prom pose (as he put it) above. We even had a nice conversation about how rehearsals were going, how he liked Hartford, etc. He is very charming and looks you right in the eye when he speaks to you. My teenage crush is renewed.
*Yeah, now you have Madonna's Crazy For You stuck in your head don't you? Me too.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I heart you

Yup, that's exactly what you think it is. Happy Valentines Day.

By the talented Thomas Cheng

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New bird on the block No. 25

Two of my favorite things: birds and purses! Swoony swoon swoon. This would look great with the new LBD I bought for Meg & Mo's wedding. Or gray wool pants and a black sweater. Or a tan linen dress in summer. Or jeans. Etc., etc. Swoony.

Love Bird Clutch by Noah, available here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Alas poor Martha, we thought we knew ye

Sequined purple satin shoes sound like something that our current First Lady Mrs. O would wear, but apparently these beauties (which once also had gold buckles) adorned the feet of none other than the first First Lady, Martha Washington, on her wedding day to George.
The dumpy, frumpy image we have of her is based on a few portraits painted after her death. Through the magic of computerized age-regression -- and a better look at the life of a woman whose story was overshadowed by the legacy of her famous husband -- it turns out she was a head-turner, a smart business woman, a reader of gothic romances and a stylish dresser. Read more in this great article from the Washington Post.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Now I ain't sayin' she a gold digger

Research firm Prince & Associates Inc. carried out a survey of 191 men and women with a net worth of at least $20 million. More than 80 percent of the men said they planned to give lower “allowances” to their mistresses, and almost as many would offer fewer gifts.

In tough economic times, the incentive to become a kept lover may increase. After all, other ways of making easy money are looking less certain by the day.

“I foresee a growing desire on the part of many people -- male and female -- to be kept,” Prince said in an e-mailed response to questions (by, not by me). “A bad economy like the one we’re experiencing will only make the good life ever more attractive.”

More ridiculousness here.

Bath & Body Works has it in for me

Every time I find a scent I love at Bath & Body Works, they go and discontinue it. Every time. First it was Honey Almond - wonderful, not too food-y smelling. Then it was Fresh Ginger Lime, which was really refreshing in summer. Then it was Rice Flower & Shea, which was light and smelled great layered with almost any perfume, and now it's Brown Sugar & Fig.

I asked two different sales associates why they discontinued certain flavors and not others and got two different answers: 1) "They didn't sell well enough" (understandable. Hard to believe because they are delicious scents, but whatever) and 2) "We discontinue some to encourage you to buy others".


You are discontinuing (yet again) a product that made me like you in the first place so you can force me to try something you think I should like better? I trudge all the way to the mall specifically to buy this specific product (okay, and maybe some shoes, and Sephora is just across the way, but I digress) and you think taking it away is going to make me more loyal? The basic principle of the law of supply and demand is that there is some supply to begin with.

Thank goodness for the "fond farewell" section of the BBW website, even if you have to dig on their site to get to it.