...but really, all she wants to do is * READ *

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009, I'm over you

Happy New Years! 2010, welcome welcome welcome!
My favorite version of Auld Lang Syne:

Give yourself a New Years present: Write a letter to your future self and choose what day it gets delivered to your email inbox., HERE.

Things I Got For Christmas / Things I Bought For Myself Around Christmastime

Party Topics:

(coming out on the NYE table tonight)

Clear glass tumblers:
New red latte bowls:
New Years Eve necklace:
Sweater, perfect with leggings and boots:
Cute polka dot shirt:

Cycling shoes:

Yosi Samra ballet slippers:

Aluminum water bottle:

Knit coffee cozy- my sister made it!

Will's grandma gave me an embroidered hanky:

Deluxe leopard print gloves, via my mom:

Cashmere iPod gloves, via Will's mom:

"Now Panic and Freak Out." Will made me this poster:

Starbucks card:

Borders Gift Card:

and books! books! books!

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles- Adventures in the World of Chinese Food, by Jennifer 8 Lee

The Domino Book of Decorating

Cleaving, by Julie Powell
(I've got a lot to say about Cleaving)

Half Broke Horses, by Jeanette Walls

The World in Vogue- People, Parties, Places

Monday, December 28, 2009

Oh my goodness, where have I been?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"The Good Stuff" by Susie Boyt

Below is a very inspiring article about gift giving that made me wish to be a better gift giver... and for a gift closet.

"My favorite sensation in the world as a child was the gradual realization I always had at 3:00 am on Christmas Day that there was something awry with the bed. The truncated sheets restricted my stretches; a rustling sound puzzled me in my semiconscious state. I would burrow down into the covers to investigate this small-hours obstruction and suddenly discover the best possible news: an enormous woolen limb stuffed with crisp beribboned packages at the foot of the bed. All for me!

I was the youngest of a large family of slender means, our day-to-day existence modest and at time austere, but our Christmas selves inhabited a different realm entirely. My mother packed five stockings that, in actual fact, were pairs of tights. Lavish and unfailingly thoughtful, they contained a level of care designed to stun. They celebrated her five children, turning all our eccentricities into badges of honor. They were medicine and compensation for anything we might lack in life, rewards for our efforts, indulgence shown towards our childish whims. Things I remember: a blue notebook my mother painted with gardenias and the words SUSIE'S POEMS in a fond italic script; a pair of 1940s silk-satin polka-dot pajamas with black piping at the collar that spoke of movie-star honeymoons; a drum of Gentleman's Relish to make me feel Noel Coward-ish at the breakfast table; a bank of Chanel perfume testers my mother had salvaged from a local pharmacy's closing-down sale.

The balance of the contents was so tender and acute. There was something cozy, something glamorous, something to expand your mind; something to make you see that a new and fledgling personality development you had barely noticed in yourself had been acknowledged and admired. It was an annual tribute to the best of myself, where I was considerably more promising than the facts of my life implied. The stocking seemed to suggest, like an enamored director to a bashful chorus girl, "But you knew it all along, didn't you? You just needed someone to tell you."

Anxious by nature, I felt emboldened by this championing. Was there any surer sign I was of worth? I had no desire to believe in Santa whatsoever, for it meant so much more that my mother went to these great lengths. Is it any surprise that I thought Christmas, with its twin cargo of cheer and consolation, was the religion?

I learned early on that presents have the power to transform lives. So now, each year, I fill stockings for my children and husband and mother, of course, but also for friends at a particularly low ebb or merely in need of a boost from the slump that winter can bring.

I like a stocking to be a summary of all the good things I've discovered in the year, from the wondrous haberdashery shops in Lisbon to the screwball comedies of Preston Sturges. I choose a receptacle that complements each personality: An unraveling shooting sock is perfect for a husband or father; a pair of dotted tights will delight a teenage girl.

It's good to have a range of items that will extend the season. I include the makings of an emergency mad meal festive enough for 4:00 am on New Years Day. Foie gras and chocolate money can really revive when the cupboard is bare. I always choose something comforting but now dowdy, such as a pair of red leather ballet slippers, ideal for lolling on Christmas morn. Distraction for a long journey is always welcome, like a book that thrills or an addictive card game such as Monopoly Deal.

Homespun items made with care should be sprinkled throughout the stocking also. I often write out the lyrics to old songs such as "You're the Top" on stiff correspondence cards in fountain pen. Skits on popular songs of the past can be funny, too: "And when you came to visit/ My parents said 'Good God what is it!'/ These foolish things remind me of you." I enclose a bundle of highly flattering photographs of the recipient and, a few packages later, a bright frame in which to display one.

All stockings should contain one or two personalized items of a slightly random nature. I've bought bottles of the French apertif Suze for Susans and Susannah's, Chateau de Tracy and Isabel Marlborough Estate wines for friends, Marc de Champagne truffles for my pal Marc, Oh Henry! and Baby Ruth candy bars, Barry's Irish tea... If organized I order pink pencils stamped with the recipient's name in gold from children's gift catalogs.

Stocking should also cause waves of nostalgia: An old copy of a treasured childhood book is always welcome. For a friend who loved Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield, I was delighted to discover The Years of Grace, in which the author gives advice on how to be lovely.

The scent of a stocking should also be considered. An orange studded with cloves reeks of Christmas, and I make mine in front of "Singin' in the Rain." I like to have two Christmas crackers peeping from the stocking top because of their gunpowdery smell. To me Christmas smells of Roger & Gallet carnation soap and Wiberg's pine essence, because there were in the house were I spent Christmas as a child.

Once I have assembled my gifts, I draw up a rough placement for the parcels with crescendoes and quieter moments, interesting pairings and surprising ones. A staunch gift of homemade marmalade should border something daring like chocolate-brown sheer tights speckled with tiny hearts. Next to Keat's Selected Letters - uplifting always- I might include a pack of blue-and-white polka-dot dish scourers from Italian supermarkets. It's nice to keep the juxtapositions jaunty. A plastic guitar filled with popcorn next to an Elvis CD in my eight-year old's stocking last year made her smile at the thought of a lost afternoon. If I include Sullivan's Travels with Veronica Lake, I might add a tube of hair conditioning treatment for recreating the leading lady's lustrous coiffure.

To ensure the requisite swish and crackle there must be both tissue paper and cellophane. A little newspaper adds some extra rustling; the pink paged Financial Times looks chic- and won't mark the bedclothes- and if you're really going to town you can pick a story that resonates with the subject.

On some level, perhaps, I'm still packing stockings for the anxious girl of 30 years ago. Yet considering the sweeping range of behaviors prompted by the pulls of the past, it could be a great deal worse. Besides, it is all filled with love."

by Susie Boyt, taken from Vogue Magazine December 2009 pages 156-8.

The Holiday Season Will Not Be Complete Until I've Viewed Each One of These Movies

1. White Christmas
Not just my favorite holiday movie, quite possibly one of my favorite movies ever.

2. A Very Brady Christmas
It has to be seen to be believed.
(p.s. Cindy/Amy Fitz look alike)

3. Home for the Holidays
I quote this movie every day. If you haven't seen it, you must.

4. It's A Wonderful Life

My mom and dad call each other George and Mary sometimes. That's romantic.

5. A Christmas Story

Our family is having Chinese food dinner for Christmas Part 2 next week. Coincidence?

6. Home Alone
The Home Alone house is across the street from Lise's childhood home, and every day people drive up, get out, and take a picture making this face. It's possible I may have done that several times as well.

Holiday Shopping Guide Part III

7:30pm: Depart gym/sauna for Target. Am very sweaty, possibly stinky; figure I am just doing my part to make the overall Christmas Eve Eve shopping experience as awful as possible for everyone involved.

This is what I'm wearing. Did I mention that it was 70 degrees here today? I blame the weather for my holiday shopping lassitude. It's like I'm living in A Very Brady Christmas. No snow.
7:47pm: Arrive at Target to witness someone being loaded into an ambulance. Apparently there was an altercation in the electronics departments. Person on gurney is wearing a shower cap. Welcome to sign No. 379 that I live in Louisiana.
7:48pm: There are no more carts. I shall have only my wits.
7:49pm: Discover Rodarte for Target clothing line in Women's section, lose wits.
8:01-9:04pm: Inexplicably spend one hour on the telephone while aimlessly wandering around Target. Pick up and put down several items I am tempted to buy Will's sister in law, whom I've never met. Does she like bubble baths? I don't know. Store resembles scene in Blindness when the starving masses raid grocery store; whole aisles are decimated. Consumption Apocalypse. The Holiday section lures me in with its shiny ornaments. Am tempted to buy $15 massive bucket of ornaments, yet I have no Christmas tree. Still talking on phone.
9:04pm: Phone dies. Need. To. Leave. Target. Immediately.
9:05-9:37pm: Wait in line for 32 minutes. Am elated when several people in front of me abandon line when they learn carpet cleaners are on clearance for $17.
Currently: Wrapping presents and listening to Elvis Presley Christmas Album on vinyl. Would drink a glass of wine but I am on call.

I think all my Christmas shopping is done, but maybe yours isn't. My goodness, here are even more ideas. (p.s. is it obvious to anyone yet that I think all holiday shopping can be done within a bookstore?)

Maux's Guide to Holiday Gift Giving III

Know a designer?
Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles Volume I, by Taschen.
$60, HERE

Know an explorer?
How To Be An Explorer of the World, by Keri Smith
$15, HERE

Wish people wrote more letters?

Yours Ever- People and their Letters, by Thomas Mallon
$27, HERE

Has everyone heard of this before but me?
You buy this elf, convince the children it's watching them, move it around the house every couple days, hide it if they're bad, etc. Nurses at work tell me this is extremely effective for their grandchildren. Elf on the Shelf- A Christmas Tradition. $35, HERE

I read Dooce (HERE). It's a blog written by Heather Armstrong, who famously lost her job because of funny things she wrote on her blog about coworkers. It's so famous she was just an answer on Jeopardy. Dooce = from her common rapid typing misspelling of the word DUDE. Dooced = to be fired from your job because of your blog. She also wrote a book. You can guess at the content by the title.

It Sucked and then I Cried: How I Had A Baby, A Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita
$15, HERE

If you are really out of time, you can just send a Someecards (HERE). Absolutely hysterical, every time.

Speaking of which...
I'm your Secret Santa...
and my present's not going to make it on time...
this is what I got you...

The last piece of holiday shopping advice I can give is... there's always Snuggies.
I think leopard print is the most tasteful choice, don't you darling?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Marilyn Monroe Smoking Pot

New rare video of Marilyn Monroe smoking weed.

I am constantly packing and unpacking

What To Pack For The Tropics:

Beach Wedding:

Date Night New Orleans:
Date Night

Getting Ready For Christmas:

Some things I Just Threw In My Luggage for Dallas:

Christmas Eve:

Christmas Day:

New Years Eve:
New Years

Oh, you bet I'm rocking harem pants on NYE.

Sex and the City 2 Trailer

One perk of staying up all night is feeling like you are the first person to see this:

Best part of the trailer? Besides my open mouthed anticipation? Well, then it would have to be Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.

I'll say it again: The perfect Momma's First Night Out. Denver Girls, I can't wait!

Maux: "Babe, I love you like I love movie trailers."
Will: "You mean your love for me comes in two minute montages?"
I do have a serious love for montages.

These are two of my favorite movie montages. Recently broken up friends and recently prego friend, Do Not Watch. I'm not kidding.
The Story of Us:

(it is so pixelated! sorry, the movie is old)
Best part of trailer is the montage set to the song Classical Gas by Mason Williams

This Woman's Work by Kate Bush, from She's Having a Baby

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas, Baby Please Come Home

Lala is informing me that I have listened to the song "Christmas, Baby Please Come Home" 14 times tonight. I can't help myself.

Holiday Shopping Guide II

3 days until Christmas and I want to officially announce I have done no shopping. At all. However, I've done a lot of thinking about holiday shopping...

Maux's Guide to Holiday Shopping II
(part one HERE)

  • Little Boys
I realized I left out little boys on my last Holiday Shopping Guide post! How could I have done such a thing? In a pinch sticks & mud, matches, or a rubber band will do, and they'll love you for life, but these are good ideas too:

Swiss Army Knife

State Quarter Series collectible board book
$10, HERE

Lego Architecture Buildings, $25 each

Bird and Creature, by Andrew Zuckerman.
The photography is incredible.
$60, HERE
  • More Gifts:
"Nice Parking" cards. Just leave 'em on the windshield and walk smugly on.
$15 for 100 cards, HERE

Gullhomen chair by Ikea. My hot yoga teacher rocks in this during class and I often wish we could switch places.
$60, at Ikea stores HERE

This little gold rhino sits on my bookshelf and Will thinks it's his favorite thing I've ever bought. Golden Rhinoceros by Ideaco & Associates. Proceeds benefit The World Conservation Union. Also comes in Hippopotamus. $45, HERE

Reusable water bottle. Everyone needs one. Running late to a party? Need to bring a gift? They sell these at Whole Foods. $20

  • Lessons & Services
One of my suggestions in the original post was to purchase your friend some classes at their yoga studio. But an even better idea was gifted to me by my friend Miami Laura. She got me lessons at a place I've never taken classes before. Oh, you guessed it, Pole Dancing. Kate Hudson's doin' it...sign me up! I mean, I'm already a flexible gymnastic circus freak, so I'm probably going to be really good at learning how to do this:

She's my teacher, okay? How jealous are you?
$50, two private lessons and unlimited "Pole Play" classes. Polenamics Studio, New Orleans, click HERE for website.

Perhaps the most underutilized spa service. Look up a spa close to your secret santa's home, and get them a gift certificate for a 45 or 60 minute massage. They won't buy it for themselves, but they desperately need one. Actually, so do you. Treat yourself.

  • Know someone that needs a little courage?
"Fortune favors the brave."
Juliska Courage Tray
$32, HERE.

  • For The Tweens
Take the cellphone out of their hands and replace it with one of these books. Slightly too old for them, and thus all the more important for them to read:

On the Road, by Jack Kerouac

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers

White Oleander, by Janet Fitch

Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, by Tom Robbins

The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand

Summer Sisters, by Judy Blume

High Fidelity, by Nick Hornsby

The Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon

Youth in Revolt, by C.D. Payne

Read it for the first time when I was 15:

Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
Your inscription should read: "Your freshman year English teacher is going to make you read Catcher In The Rye. You'll love that, but this is better. Welcome to the Glass family my friend. Love, Auntie MoMo"

Combine any of these books with money for a tank of gas, a blank moleskine notebook plus fine point pen, a pack of cigarettes, a 6 pack of beer, some condoms, and a highway map of the USA and you've made their life. You've given them the keys to the kingdom.

While you're at it, throw in the Harold and Maude DVD. Blow those little minds.

(Readers, any suggestions? What am I missing? What rocked your impressionable little mind?)

  • For the HBO Series junkie
For fans of Sopranos:
The Godfather, by Mario Puzo

For fans of Deadwood, the series is based on:
Deadwood, by Pete Dexter

It goes without saying:
Sex and the City, by Candace Bushnell (1997)
Note: Sex and the City prequel, The Carrie Diaries coming soon

For fans of True Blood,
Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series:
Dead and Gone, by Charlaine Harris
This is Number 9 in the Sookie series, you might want to start at the beginning.
$25, HERE

Six Feet Under Series DVD Box Set
$125, HERE

  • The Adventurista
One of the best books I have ever read:
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why
by Laurence Gonzales $15, HERE

National Geographic Adventure magazine
$15 year subscription, HERE

Outdoor magazine
$15 year subscription, HERE

It's a must! Ski or snowboard helmet. I don't want to hear anyone say they don't look cute. We're talking about your head. $80-150 HERE

REI gift certificate, HERE

Camelbak water backpack
$50, HERE

Wireless Bike Computer
$45, HERE

Hey all you peeps who still live in Colorado... what's the hottest gear present on the mountain this year?

  • The Travelista
Cool Hotels USA, by teNeues
$25, HERE

Hilarious rant about the airline industry:
Dear American Airlines, by Jonathan Miles
$14, HERE

Offset your air travel carbon footprint HERE
  • The Music Lover
The Rolling Stone Interviews $18, HERE

Paste magazine. Each issue comes with a CD and DVD.
$25 year subscription, HERE

  • The Boyfriend
My boyfriend looks adorable and rugged in the new flannel shirt I got him. Your boyfriend might look handsome as well:

A box:
Perfect for storing love letters, post cards, pictures. I got one for Will a couple years ago and it is filled with all kinds of good stuff. However, I know that what he really wants is:

The largest Apple monitor money can buy.

  • I've got a couple more things to add to my own list
Yosi Samri ballet flats:
$50, HERE

Gold Glitter Tom's:
For every pair of Tom's shoes purchased a new pair of shoes will be given to a child in need. Glitter and Do-Gooding: My fave combo.
$50-60, HERE

Pink Bowling Ball:

Every year I ask for this. Every year my parents roll their eyes. But I am SERIOUS. I desperately want a pink bowling ball with my name engraved on the ball in gold swirl. I also want it to say "This bitch can roll." I repeat, gold swirl.

My coffee table is naked. Clothe it with:

Pictures, by Tim Walker
$125 ($80 sale), HERE

The Circus 1870-1950, by Taschen
$125-200, HERE
ALERT: THIS BOOK IS NOW A BARGAIN BOOK AT BARNES & NOBLE $19.98. I bought three tonight, so maybe YOU will be a lucky recipient of this enormous book.

Like Rachel, I also want this. It's bound to become a collector's item:
The Domino Book of Decorating, by Deborah Needleman
$32, HERE

If I unwrapped this book I'd squeal with delight:

I Married Adventure, by Osa Johnson
Original 1940 Hardcover binding, $15-80 Used, HERE

Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home, From Wreck to Ravishing, by Bob and Cortney Novogratz (remember my blog post loving on them? click HERE). Book $40, HERE

On a practical note, I need another muffin tin:

Satin sheets would be nice:

Because satin pillows are good for your hair and good for not getting wrinkles on your face. Ok, fine, they're sexy too. I think black is the most tasteful color, don't you? Extra deep Queen. $30-100 HERE

Michael Kors Hollywood Signature perfume scented pen. Coming soon to a love letter near you.
$25 HERE

Lip Venom
$16, HERE and at Sephora

Tarte Cheek Stain
$30, HERE and at Sephora

Speck-and-a-Smidge Cosmetic Bag, Ikat
$48, Anthropologie HERE

Enough about me. Let's get back to thinking about others.

  • For your Hostess
Pineapples are the symbol of hospitality:
Ceramic Pineapples
$30, Z. Gallerie, HERE

1,001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
$35, HERE

1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
$35, HERE

1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
$35, HERE



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