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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A former Borders employee reacts to bankruptcy. Hers and theirs.

I am a former Borders Books employee. Former due to the fact that I had to quit because I spent my entire- the literal ENTIRE- paycheck on books. I had no self control. Imagine the financial ruin if I were to work at a place like anthropologie or j.crew, with tempting treats much more expensive than a book! For each hour of work I could afford, with my discount, one book. I treated my 8 hour shifts like long shopping excursions, pretending to shelve and tidy when really I was performing a thorough top to bottom inventory and squirreling my selections away into a secret hiding spot. I worked only when exasperated customers asked me for a suggestion on something good to read, and that I did very well. Even when my managers tried to place me, the sole female employee at the time, in the children's section it did not stop. I just found young adult and children's books to add to the stash. Eloise? Love her. Ramona? I better get them all.

I left for the greener pastures of work as a harbor dock hand, but tried once to go back for seasonal hire. Now my shifts resembled elaborate Christmas gift planning missions. Books for everyone! Years have passed and now I cleverly maintain a career in a hospital environment, where there's nothing to buy but coffee, but I have remained a loyal and frequent book buying customer. I'm startled and shocked to report that Borders has now declared bankruptcy- even my robust monetary contributions could not save them- and is closing many of its stores, including all of the Austin stores. And the store by my parents house in Chicago. And the store by Will's parents house in Dallas.

When, oh when, will I ever see a Borders again? Gone will be the days of 30% and 40% off coupons and all the hardcovered bliss they've provided. Before you go acting all shocked that I don't support independent bookstores, let me just say that when you have a book addiction as serious as I do, you need coupons, people. Weekly coupons. This nerdy beast feeds on the lowest prices available. Full price is no fun and will just not do. Sometimes I have a Carrie Bradshaw moment, where I look at my bookshelves and calculate...each book x roughly $20 give or take = yikes no wonder I don't own a home yet. Then I remember those coupons and breath a sigh of relief.

I'm sad Borders is closing, but when stores close along come... closing sales. I spent a feverish two hours browsing the picked over everything must go 50-60% off inventory and managed to come away with a heavy heart but both arms full.

{photo by Maux. books by Borders, RIP}

Thursday, March 24, 2011

If Matthew McConaughey is involved, so am I.

Book & Movie: The Lincoln Lawyer, thriller by Michael Connelly (2006) and feature film starring Matthew McConaughey (2011).

Picked this book up in the airport recently (Matthew movie cover, of course) and couldn't put it down. I always forget how much I love thrillers and crime stories. Saw the movie today and it did not disappoint, both the plot line and Matthew.

{Although I did annoy my movie date with a lengthy discussion afterward concerning all the additional details I felt she missed out on without having read the book first.
Does it go without saying, that, if possible,
reading the book first is always a good idea,
or is there debate on this?}

Does it make you think of A Time To Kill?

Because, oh, it should.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Oh, my readers I am so sorry. I have been lost in a vortex of my very first Austin SXSW festival. They might as well change the name to The Greatest People Watching Experience Ever. It's been over since Sunday, and I've just now recovered. I've been to plenty of festivals {Burning Man, Lollapalooza, Telluride Bluegrass, New Orleans Jazz Fest...} and I've never seen anything like this. SXSW (or "south by" if you're very cool) completely takes over this city. LIVE MUSIC EVERYWHERE! After two weeks of exhaustive research, allow me to present :

Things Every SXSW Attendee Needs, or Needs To Know:

1. a platinum all access pass
wits, stamina, and organization: RSVP to every SXSW party you hear about, ever
no plan at all, just wander around
{did you know almost everything at SXSW is free?}

This show was free in a parking lot:

This show was free in a parking lot:

This show was free in a parking lot:

You get the idea.

2. greasy hair

3. black on black clothing and that sexy "i'm with the band" swagger

4. cowboy boots

5. sunscreen and big shades.
{temps in the mid-80s here, people}

6. wristband collection.

7. absinthe. why not?

8. furry foxtail to hang off your purse or back pocket.

{I don't know what this trend is about, but all the groupie looking girls had these on,
so naturally I want one now}

9. a hotel room downtown, preferably at the W.
cram 3 houseguests into your 700 sq ft apt like we did.

10. bicycles for everyone!

{the Beez, perched on her bike when we could no longer ride them through the streets because the crowds were too thick}

10. a perfect voyeuristic perch, such as the top secret rooftop of an undisclosed office building, from which you can drink a bottle of champagne from a paper bag while watching the 6th Street festivities below.

11. the ability to walk with confident boldness into any party you find, such as the official State of Mississippi party on the 18th floor of the Hilton Hotel, where you will watch a 12 year old kick ass on the drums and you can dance crazily until the fire alarm goes off.

12. it doesn't count as a celeb filled weekend unless you actually accost some celebs.
cast members from Sons of Anarchy, I'm specifically talking about me fan freaking out on you at that one late night underground party. i'm sure Will wouldn't have minded if we went for a motorcycle ride around the block and never came back. good times.

13. getting into private parties is easier if you're cute.
this is not news.

{Beth & Alle @ Hotel San Jose bar}

14. the hottest accessory at SXSW?
hands down, it's noise canceling headphones for your toddler.

We can't wait to do it again next year. Who's joining us? We might have room available for you to sleep in our bathtub.

{Will & Maux}

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go finish googling and downloading music from all the new bands I've discovered.

{photos by Maux}

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Austin Scene: Texas Roller Derby

I'm headed to the Putas Del Fuego vs. Hellcats bout tonight at the Palmer Events Center {tickets}. And you?

{image via Austin Chronicle}

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Friday, March 4, 2011

How to Surprise Your Boyfriend with a Birthday Weekend Getaway

1. Insist he take Monday off work.
2. Book airfare.
3. Book hotel.
4. Book rental car.
5. Gloat frequently about your secret.
6. Occasionally make him try to guess the Secret Location. Control your facial expressions. Disclose nothing. Utah? No. LA? No. Colorado? No. Mexico? No. DC? No. Florida? No. Skiing? I don't know. Beach? I don't know.
7. When he notices you bought a new bathing suit, shrug it off.
8. When he comes home from work on Friday, present him with new luggage. Bonus points if you've packed for him.

*William needed this bag. I swear to god, he drove to Houston for his grandfathers funeral with his clothes in a Target plastic bag.

This is what I packed for myself:

8. Flight leaves Saturday morning at 7am. Who cares! Wake up happy! It's vacation day!
9. Wear his very favorite outfit: jeans and a white tshirt.
10. In the airport security line, allow Boyfriend to inspect Departures board and make further guesses. If he can't guess, just hand hand him his perplexing boarding pass to....

El Paso.

El Paso?

El Paso.

11. Select rental car. Pose like a model on the side of isolated desert highway roads as often as necessary.

12. Drive 3 gorgeous, scenic hours to MARFA, TEXAS, the bohemian art enclave in west Texas, where art galleries, food trucks, and funkiness await. Hot springs and Big Bend National Park linger temptingly close by. Same goes for Mexico.

13. On your way into town, make obligatory photo stop at Prada, Marfa.

13. Stay at the Thunderbird Hotel, where each room comes with cruiser bikes and a record player. I can't wait to lounge by the pool with a book and a beer.

See you Tuesday readers, I'm off on a blog-cation! I can't wait to report back on what the spooky Marfa lights are all about...

{all images from articles listed below, our own pics and travelogue to follow}

Read more about Marfa:
{New York Times}
{Southern Living}
{Town and Country}

Are you pretty like you mean it?

More from the Fabulous Beekman Boys. Josh model walks:

The Fabulous Beekman Boys

The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentleman Farmers, by Josh Kilmer-Purcell.

Josh, an ad agency exec and author of a previous memoir detailing his days as a drag queen, and his partner Brent- better known as Dr. Brent from the Martha Stewart world, buy a farm in upstate New York. A reality show - The Fabulous Beekman Boys- was obviously the next step. Channel: Planet Green or YouTube.

My favorite part is when Brent scrubs the pigs.

Read the book/ watch the show if you have fantasies of quitting your job, restoring a mansion, and making a profitable business out of goat soap made on your farm. I do now.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My coffee table is hungry for some fat, new design books.

Be still my open-walled house loving heart:

The Tropical Modern House, by Rizzoli

American Fashion Designers at Home, by Assouline.

Hotel Il Pelicano, photographs by Slim Arons, John Swope, and Juergen Teller.

{which new books are you lusting for?}

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'll read anything.

And like it.

{polyvore by Maux}


Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. The New York Times loves her {here} and {here}, and so do I. For fans of White Oleander, by Janet Fitch; The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold ; and The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger.

Oh, it was fantastic. The moment I was done reading I stamped it with my signature stamp and placed it directly on the special bookshelf I reserve for FAVORITES. I admit I have somewhat wacky tastes, so a dysfunctional alligator wrestling dynasty from the swamplands of Florida might not be your thing, but, wow, it should be. This book made me so happy I was born in Everglades-swampy Naples, Florida.

A great experience happened while reading this book: I was so absorbed into young Ava Bigtree's narrative that I didn't even notice something terrible was about to happen until it was already upon her, even though warning signs perfectly clear to any adult were present all along. I was completely transported to an 11 year old's frame of mind.

If you like this, read that...

Bret Easton Ellis: James Franco

Watching James Franco host the Oscars (p.s. here's an idea: why not make the Oscars an early evening affair like the Superbowl, and quit making such a big deal about how long people talk when they win?), I was inspired to finally finish his new book, Palo Alto: Stories.

I needed something to inspire me to finish it, since I had paused my reading and moved on to another book. That's not a good sign, James. Fans of Bret Easton Ellis will enjoy the emotionally bereft, violent and inconsiderate mid-90's male narrator describe parties, drugs, and meaningless sex.
I want to like you as a writer James Franco, please try again.


Beef Quesadillas with Watercress and Corn Salad.

Last nights dinner was a success. Recipe {here}.



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