Friday, October 28, 2011

L-House Update: 30

An L-House Update...

1. Ever seen Missed Connections on Craigslist?  Check this out!

3. This picture reminds me of the best stories you read when you were a kid.

4. Cool book idea.  I'd love to see what the rest of the posters are.

5. Beautiful flowers.  And, not to mention super cool website!

7. Aren't these absolutely gorgeous?  I just want to live there.

8. Awesome engagement announcement.

9. To anyone who has ever encountered an artsy bro: this is hilarious.

10. Interesting book.  Love the cover.

Photo via Gather

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Relax, darling

Wandering around a bookstore is one of the greatest experiences ever.

At least, in my life.

Maybe it's the ambiance.  There's something so comforting about it.  The smell of paper beckoning and, if it's a good store, the milky yellowish light.  Whispering music.  Whether it's the Emperor's Concerto, Feist's latest album, or the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack (as was my experience this evening), it always seems to fit.

Maybe it's the fact that so many of my Saturday evenings as a kid were spent wandering the Barnes and Noble.  I was a figure skater at the time.  My parents, sister, and I had this routine where we'd go down to the rink, I'd have my lesson, then we'd go get burgers at Fudruckers or Mexican at Don Pablo's.  There was a Barnes and Noble across the street from the restaurants, and after dinner we'd go over and peruse.  If I was lucky, we'd get slices of chocolate cake.  But, no matter what, my parents would always buy me my choice of the "blue books" as I called them:  The Childhood of Famous Americans series. (Such a super cool kid.  I know.  Not dorky at all.)  My favorite was Thomas Jefferson.  And, yes.  These books can be attributed to my infinite random knowledge of American historical figures.  (Did you know that Harry Houdini aka Ehrich Weiss had a sister named Gladys?)

After our jaunt to the bookstore, we'd get back in the car in time to listen to the second half of "The Story Man", as my sister and I called him.  I'd usually have half of some young American's childhood committed to memory by the time we pulled in the driveway-- having read it in white flashes of headlights of the cars behind us on the highway.  I'd hold the book up so I could see properly, and then I'd have to set it down every ten minutes or so when my arms got tired.

And then, every summer growing up, my dad and I would take a trip to The Cottage Bookshop in Glen Arbor, Michigan.  He'd buy me a book every time.  And, if I'm not mistaken, I think my first ever Harry Potter book came from that store when I was about eight years old. 

I'm always inspired when walking around bookstores.  My dad says that he used to get stressed out walking around bookstores, because all of the books seemed to be taunting reminders of the stories he had yet to tell and hadn't.  It's funny- because that's how I feel nowadays when I watch movie trailers.  I'm glad that, for me, walking around all of those books feels encouraging.  The thought, "Well if all of these authors did it, why couldn't I?" floods my mind.  I'm glad that I'm just a bit blissfully unaware of the story-world, you know?  I feel sometimes that if I got too far into it, it might lose its allure.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll find out some day if it does for me or not.

For what a beautiful day it was today, it was quite the chilly and drizzly evening.  The type of night when you expect to hear sirens screaming all over the place and when you're not quite sure whether or not to use your windshield wipers, but you do anyway and they scrape off the barely-there condensation with an over-indulgent squeak.

I took a leisurely trip to the grocery store, all by myself.  There weren't many people there, given that it was sort of late.  Dreary Tuesday evening and all.  I usually can't handle going into huge places like that by myself.  It overwhelms me a bit too much, so I end up getting the bare minimum and getting out as fast as possible.  But, for some reason, I didn't care so much tonight.  I rambled around, picking up this and that, deliberating on whether or not to buy a crock-pot. (I did, and I'm planning on making some sort of slow-cooked chicken and broccoli monstrosity tomorrow--stay tuned.)  It was nice, because, if I wanted to stop my path and go to the other side of the store to get something before I forgot about it, I did.  It's funny when a stupid thing like going to the grocery store proves relaxing.

On my way out, I passed Barnes and Noble, and I thought, why not?  So, I parked and walked in.  Immediately the stress and anxiety of the day dissipated, and I was left with stories and aesthetically pleasing covers and the warm smell of paper wafting.  I looked through a bunch of my favorite snobby indie-ish magazines that I love but are too expensive to buy.  I wandered through the children's section and the music section and the poetry section and landed somewhere in the middle of fiction.  I always think it's odd that Capote's In Cold Blood is in the fiction section.  I mean, it's narrative non-fiction, isn't it?  No matter.  It is where it is.

Actually, it was somewhere near In Cold Blood, that my eyes caught the title, I Knew You'd be Lovely by Alethea Black.  Something about that really resonated with me.  The concept.  I love the whole idea that little phrase implies.  It's one with which I've always identified so strongly: that moment when expectation and reality finally meet, and reality is lovely.  

I pulled it off the shelf and figured out a bit of what it was.  It's a book of short stories.  I really know nothing beyond that and the first line, which is: "Earlier that evening, under the pale streetlamps, Bradley had sat on a park bench and watched a row of trees carefully gathering snow.  It was as if they were beckoning it, as though the snow were something they'd been wanting to say."  I love that.  The personification of the trees.  It's such a soft beginning, don't you think?  It sounds to me like snow falling.  Light and soft.

I carried it around with me for a few minutes while I wandered a bit further into the depths of Barnes and Noble.  And, on my way out, it was still in my hand, and I didn't want to put it down, so I bought it.  It's sitting on my desk right now.  I'm in the middle of another book right now that my friend Maddie lent me, but I think that this new one will be good for cold-weather reading.  Late Fall/early Winter books are the best.  Simply the coziest.

I came home, put away all the groceries, talked to a friend or two, did all of the dishes.  And, I made the decision to sit here and write this instead of watching umpteen episodes of Frasier.  I'm glad.  It's put a more permanent seal upon my relaxed self.  I'm glad that I'm still at that time in my life during which just a bit of solid effort can at least make you feel as though you're sort of on top of things.  I hope that lasts a while longer.  I don't think I'm quite ready for life to get away from me.

I hope tomorrow is good.  Lovely, even.  I'm sort of dreading my writing class.  It's my turn to be critiqued, and unfortunately the story they're critiquing is one I don't particularly care for.  Alas.  Whatever.  You win some you lose some.  I just hope I don't cringe too much.  One of the more frustrating things is being criticized for something you already know is bad.  Whatever.  I can't do anything about it now.  There's something relieving in that.  Let the chips fall where they may.

So.  What is the point of all this nonsense?  There is none.  Except, go to a bookstore sometime by yourself.  Wonderful things, those bookstores.  A massage chair for the brain.  A little pocket of the universe where everything's already been done a million times, but each is infinitely unique.

I love that.  Only Hemingway could have written the Old Man and the Sea.  Only Shakespeare could have written Hamlet.

And, only I could have written this to you.

Sitting here in my bed with my legs crossed.  The tip of my nose a little chilly, and the rain pinging on the roof.  There's a still-warm cup of tea nudged against my leg.  And, I'm not looking forward to the cold patch that will be there when I get up to brush my teeth.

Photo by Kristen Angelo

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way...

A pretty picture for your Tuesday:

It is a beautiful October 25 here in Ithaca.  Crisp, brisk, and blue.  

I just got out of rehearsal, and some funny things have happened:

1. In rehearsal, we are working on this piece called "Song of Perfect Propriety"-- it's a satirical song about a woman who wants to "ride the seas" as a "roaring buccaneer" but, is stuck "writing little verse as little ladies do" etc etc.  Anyway, at one point in the piece the lyrics are: "and I should like to strut and curse-- BLEEP!-- among my blaggard crew..."  We were having trouble with the full dish of horribleness that the BLEEP deserved.  So, our director suggested that we all pretend that we were saying the absolute worst word we could think of, but just say "bleep" instead-- like you were bleeping out stuff on TV.  In order to do this successfully, we practiced by just mouthing our horrible words a few times without the music whilst attempting to look as menacing as possible.

After we'd done this for a bit, our director had us mouth the real words in rhythm.  Somehow, someway, a friend of mine didn't realize what was going on, so when it was time to "bleep" she actually shouted her horrible word into a sea of silence-- due to the fact that the rest of us had just mouthed the word "bleep".  I don't think I've ever seen her blush that hard.  And, suffice it to say, I haven't laughed that much in a while!

2. A super snazzy friend complimented me by saying, "Molly why do you have to be so attractive all the time?!"  Woot!  (Ladies--and gents-- there is nothing better than someone stylish complimenting your style, don't ya think?)

Gist of outfit: Jeans, Boots, Shirt, Trench, Scarf, Nails, and Shades 
(Yes.  I'm calling them shades due to the coolness factor in this moment.)

3. And, as I was walking to work just now, I had one of those fantastic "movie-moments" as I call them-- when your life seems to take on the qualities of a movie for a hot second.  (Really.  They happen.  You just have to pay attention.)

So, it's a gorgeous breezy day here.  I was walking with a friend, and we were chatting about how we both plan on running away to Istanbul someday, and how I really have a hankering to go on a photo adventure, and whatnot.  Then, just as we were about to part ways, we set a date and time for a photo adventure.  I walked away shouting "photo adventure!  Four o'clock!" over my shoulder, and this guy who'd been sort of behind us, walks past me and says, "Sounds like fun."  And I replied, cool as you please: "Oh, always." as I turned on my heel and sped away.  He did laugh rather awkwardly, but whatever.  It sounded cool in the moment.  And I was wearing a trench coat and black sunglasses.  (Prime movie-moment attire, if you ask me.)

So.  Have yall had any interesting moments fall upon you today?

Photo via Lost


Myself and my Momma (Katiedid the Fabulous) en route to Georgetown (the land of divine shopping experiences.)
  I convinced Katiedid to get Instagram (or Hipstergram, as my sister Kate calls it) on her iphone...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Marloes Horst for Vogue Mexico

Now that my hair is short, I'd love to do it just like this...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Alexa Chung for Madewell

So.  Got home this afternoon from a wonderful wonderful shopping trip in Georgetown with my lovely parents, and what do you know?!  I nearly died when I realized a blouse I had just purchased was featured on one of my favorite blogs...

Oh, it's the little things that perk ya up!

Pretty film!

I love this video. It looks like such fun! I'd love to make something like this. (Involving sparklers and cupcakes, of course.)  

Makes me think of Alice in Wonderland, Chocolat, and Amelie...

Be whimsical friends!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I'm home, and my goodness is it weird.  These places have become something closer to myth than reality, and I feel as though I'm walking through memories.

Well, as predicted, my heart nearly did melt last night on my flight to Richmond when I heard my first genu-ine Southern accent in months.

Upon arriving home, my mother greeted me with a Chicken Pot Pie, Brunswick Stew, and two Pumpkin Pies.  (I don't know why I capitalized all of those things, but I feel as though they deserve it.)

I discovered that my parents now have a washer and dryer that is something out of The Jetsons.  (I had no idea something like that could have so many buttons!)

I bit the bullet and got my hairs did.  It was something like eight inches off?  I keep getting surprised every time I see my reflection.  Obligatory photograph: 

I went to lunch at The Chickahominy House with my super awesome surrogate mother/friend Mrs. Perry.  Our conversation included such things as ridiculous stories from my summer, music, boys, and Lord Byron.  Of course.

And this evening, after a slice of Pumpkin Pie, I made a stop by Chapel's choir practice and lots of hugs ensued.  I sat by my mom in the soprano section, and never have two people giggled more during an anthem.  (I was previously under the impression that we mature as we age... I guess not.  Thank goodness.)

And now, my dear friends, I am currently sitting in the coffee shop of coffee shops: Aromas.  Sippin' on a lavender tea, making snarky internal comments regarding William and Mary students, and writing this to you out there. 

Yall have a lovely evening.  I have to go pick my mom up from choir practice.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Homeward Bound

I just submitted the worst story I've ever written in my life.  I'm nowhere near done packing.  I forgot to finish the dishes.  I still have a bunch of songs left to analyze.  My throat is slowly dying and I have a voice lesson today.  But the horrible part is that I can't bring myself to care about any of it!  Oh goodness.  Burnt out doesn't begin to describe my current state of mind.

A calming song for a stressful day.  (It is my belief, much like the Dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, that Paul Simon, like Windex, can cure any ailment whatsoever.)

Oh golly, I can't believe that in twelve hours I'll be back in my lovely lovely South.  I am fully prepared for my soul to simply melt as soon as I get on the flight from Philly to Richmond and hear those warm accents swingin' their syllables away. 

"But all my words come back to me in shades of mediocrity.  Like emptiness in harmony, I need someone to comfort me..."

Friday, October 14, 2011

L-House Update: 29

An L-House Update...

1. My life was made a happier place this week.  Frasier is now on Netflix.

2. Most amazing Halloween costume ever?  Please someone try this.

3. Pretty.  An excellent dinner party accessory and whatnot.

4. Alternative housing.  Could you do it?

5. Good basic dress.   It looks so comfortable!

6. Lua, by Bright Eyes

7. Super cool video!!  They look like aliens to me.  I don't know why.

8. Check this out!  My super fabulous friend, Aubrey, is a Senior in NYU's film program (crazy cool, I know) and this is to help out her final film project.  So, go forth and give it a gander!

9. I wish I could see this.  I love Paul Gross so much, because of this fantastic show, an amazing actor.  And don't the costumes/set look like they'll be gorgeous??

10. This time next week I'll have less hair, less anxiety, and shall be filled to the brim with Southern-love, Katiedid's chicken-pot-pie (be jealous), and cheese shop sandwiches.  Oh golly I can't wait to go home.  Where the trees have only just started to turn and the boys hold the door open for you.  It has been far far far too long.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


"The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it."
-Rudyard Kipling

Oh I just wanna go and go and go and go and go...

Osaka, Aya Brackett

Greta Garbo

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On Naming a House

By Christopher Morley 

When I a householder became
I had to give my house a name.
I thought I'd call it "Poplar Trees,"
Or "Widdershins" or "Velvet Bees,"
Or "Just Beneath a Star."
Or "As You Like It," "If You Please,"
Or "Nicotine" or "Bread and Cheese,"
"Full Moon" or "Doors Ajar."

But still I sought some subtle charm,
Some rune to guard my roof from harm
And keep the devil far;
A thought of this, and I was saved!
I had my letter-heads engraved
The House Where Brown Eyes Are.

What's in a name?

I love the names of old houses.  They pack such character, you know?  I mean, one of my more frequented day dreams may or may not be if I were to have a Dickensian manor what would I name it...?  What would you name yours?  Something wistful or something with grit?  In case you require inspiration, here is a list of some of my favorite "House" names in literature... (Some of them are so creepy, I love it!)

From Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."
Wuthering Heights
From Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (Obviously...)
"Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling. 'Wuthering' being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather." 
Thornfield Hall
From Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre
“I did not like re-entering Thornfield. To pass its threshold was to return to stagnation, to cross the silent hall, to ascend the darksome staircase, to seek my own lonely little room..."
Orchard House
From Louisa May Alcott's Little Women

Green Gables, Windy Poplars, and Ingleside
From L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series
"The night was clear and frosty, all ebony of shadow and silver of snowy slope; big stars were shining over the silent fields; here and there the dark pointed firs stood up with snow powdering their branches and the wind whistling through them."
From Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind
“The land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it's the only thing that lasts"
From Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Friday, October 7, 2011

L-House Update: 28

An L-House Update...

1. Isn't this adorable?

2. The best depictions of museums ever:  The Catcher in the Rye or The Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  They just make me want to sit in a planetarium and eat goldfish and peanutbutter sandwiches until I die.
"The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move. You could go there a hundred times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and their pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket. Nobody'd be different. The only thing that would be different would be you." --J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
3.  Watching this trailer almost made me cry.  And I'm not even a big Sesame Street fan.

4. Winter/Fall sunglasses

5. This is my friend Missy's favorite movie of all time.  Or, at least it was in the eighth grade, and I've had quite a hankerin' to watch it lately. (Taylor K.-- whatever you do, do not click that link.)

6. Super long conversations in practice rooms.

7. Amelia Earhart.

8. Minimalist coat.  Reminds me of Audrey Hepburn.

9. The other day in my writing class, we were reading a list of final meals and final words of men on death row.  As morbid as this may be, the best one?
"One box of Kraft macaroni and cheese.  One box beef flavored Rice-a-Roni" and, "Sometimes the Prozac isn't enough."  Wow.
10. I want to have a snazzy tea party one day.  And use these invitations.  Kate Spade is just the best.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Wish List on Tuesday Afternoon

Let's go apple picking and make a pie.  Or two.

The disappearance of allergies.

So, I might secretly want an iphone.

 Photo via Miss Moss