Friday, October 23, 2009

on: Engrish.

Well, it's been a full month and half since I've updated. Whoops. Sorry bloggies.

I'm in Seoul, South Korea. It's 10am. But to you, it's 8pm the night before. Weird, right?

I'm with the Stewarts, and it's wonderful.

My luggage finally arrived at 3:30am last night. What's funny to me is that NOTHING opens before 10am, but it's no-big-deal to make deliveries in the middle of the night.

The signs, people, the signs are awesome.

More updates to come. Well, maybe. I'll think about.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Typical: How to Speak

Co-worker #1: "What are you doing to wooarking? Worning. WORKING today?!"
Co-worker #2: "You want me to put out road-flares until you finish construction on that sentence?"


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Autumn is upon us, Ms. George Eliot.

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." ~George Eliot

Summer is waning fast, and it feels like it was hardly here at all. Normally, I hold fast to the swimming pools and barbeques, sundresses and flip-flops, ice cream and late-nights on patios. But this year, I'm ready for the change. My heart can feel the coming turning of the seasons, and it knows it will change more than the weather.

I'm excited for...

1. New adventures. In church and community, new relationships and neighborhood, and foreign countries (South Korea!).
2. Flannel.
3. Honeycrisps. The Ferrari of apples. With gouda or caramel... but not all together.

4. Pumpkins. Hell-yeah-I-love-pumpkins. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkins on my porch, pumpkin in my lattes, pumpkinpumpkinpumpkin.

Some things I have already been enjoying...

1. All things Arrested Development. I think I've said the Buster-line "It walked on my pillow!" at least ten times in the past week. And this classic little picture (via Unruly Things, I think?) is just awesome.

2. New pictures from the Hubble's fancy new camera. Ohhhh how small I am...

3. 1000 Words. A blog project by KC locals Hannah and David Huffman.

4. And Regina does it again.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Typical: The Air-Freshner Episode.

First, it's just absurdly GORGEOUS outside, and I'm sitting here, with no windows, suffocating in fragrance.

Second, some background: a few months ago, a couple of my co-workers were sitting in an office chatting when a toxic-strength floral scent began to pour from the vents (think movie-poisonous-gases-style). They cough and cover their faces and co-worker #1 says to co-worker #2, "Are we going to die?"*

Fast-forward to today, whilst sitting at my desk, suddenly my head begins to ache and my throat begins to burn as I'm assaulted with a just HIDEOUS scent. Think, something like a cross between a Glade-plug-in and any scent from a Crabtree and Evelyn store (adored by Grandmothers and Victorian-era enthusiasts the world over). I remark on the rudeness of the smell and both of my office-mates agree that it is offensive and deadly. Not 30 seconds later, a coworker in another room yells out, "WHAT IS THAT WONDERFUL SMELL?"

Classic. Couldn't have been better if it were scripted.

*It should also be noted that this is the origin of this phrase that I now use frequently.

Nooowwww, to get my mind off of this death-cloud of fragrance, some other things:

1) I'm moving out of my dear Garfield house this weekend. And I'm sad. I keep meaning to write about it, but it clearly hasn't happened yet.

2) Project Runway premieres tonight! Boom! No promises on the PR-posts this time around, though. I mean, I'll have class and crap.

3) And a couple of pick-me-ups. Because I'm drowning in fragrance!!!! First, baby sea turtles!!!! When I was in NC last week, we visited the Topsail Turtle Hospital and I got to see real, live sea turtles. Naturally, I've had baby sea turtles on the brain since.

4) And finally, a little Kanye for your day. Yes, I know it's Thursday. But I just LOOOVEEEE this song. And you should too. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

on: Emerald Isle, NC

In approximately 24hrs. I will be here:

With this lady. BFFAEAEAEAEAE...

I will read this...

And go adventuring looking for this...

and this (pink! and shells!)...

If only I had one of these to capture it with...

But mostly, I just wish for one of these...

A bicycle, a bicycle... my kingdom for a bicycle!
See you all in a week!
Love, Rachel
P.S.- Do you think it was a bad idea for me to load up on shark-week television before I went to the beach? (y/n)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

on: a post that isn't 'Music Monday'

Jarrod reminded me this morning of a culinary fiasco that we witnessed in DC back in January. A woman at the Smithsonian cafe was eating a slice of pizza with a whole bratwurst on top, covered in parm and ranch. Woof. We got on this topic because of a sign I saw in a window of a Long John Silver's (I KNOW) that said "Caution: hot dogs at this establishment contain milk." WHAT?! That's filthy. So sick. Why? How? Dairy in what form?

I want to wear a pair of these around, but I'm not sure it would fly:

(via The Sartorialist)

But I guess I will just have to settle for this style, as it's more attainable and office-approp.:

(via coco+kelley)

And finally, just for good measure... because GOODLOVEAREYOUSERIOUS?! This is incredible.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Music Monday: Leona Naess

You may remember her from her song "Charm Attack" from 1999. Well, she came out with a new album last year, and I found her when she opened for Ray Lamontagne in October. And I confess that her album, "Thirteens", has been one of the select few that has managed to stay on the rotation all year. Here is a live performance from a show in New York, but she does have a couple of videos on YouTube.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Music Monday (on schedule again!)

Magical. Probably because they have accents.

It's actually a part of a musical story. Like, how awesome is that?! The "God Help the Girl" website.

Also, please get yo'self to the Tivoli and see Food, Inc. ASAP and know where your food comes from. And what it REALLY costs. Seriously.

Happy Monday. Kbyeeee.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Olympic Mania

Check out the SWEET posters for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. HECK YES. Bringing some great grapic-design to the festivities.

Check out the 2010 Olympic-site here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Music Monday (on schedule for once)

The quality on this is really poor, but it was the only video on YouTube. And this song is GORGEOUS. But they aren't on itunes! Why?! Check out their myspace page, here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

(The Return of) Stop-Motion Music Monday

A lovely little song for your Monday.

Via Black*Eiffel

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Free Fonts

I'm sure that this is the oldest of news to all of my designer/artist friends, but I just discovered this, and it's like the greatest thing ever, so indulge me!

FREE FONTS! It's a treasure chest of fun fonts. Ooo-la-la! Check itz.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Music Monday, just a little late

Ohhhh Whoops! Music Monday was yesterday, and I just keep missing it! I've even got some sweet songs that I've been saving up for it. So here's one (and get excited, maybe I'll remember to post the others in the following weeks...), it's an un-official music video done for a Death Cab for Cutie song, "Little Bribes" off of their recently-released EP. The EP "The Open Door", btw, is goooooooood. Get it.

Death Cab for Cutie - Little Bribes from Ross Ching on Vimeo.

Monday, June 15, 2009

on: girl's nights and sabbaths.

Mondays are my Sabbath-days, and I'm taking full advantage this morning. I made use of the raging thunderstorm this morning by not getting out of bed until after nine. And I think I'm going to make some homemade minty limeade with the huge bowl of lovely limes left byMaureen and her friends before they go all gooey. Yummmm! Limeade and mint are two of my absolute favorite-st things about summer; so the obvious thing to do is combine them!

This past Friday night was one of the best evenings I've had all year. A bunch of girlfriends and I, who all happen to love taking pictures, and have a fondness of Patty Griffin, went out to the nearest prairie reserve for a "Burgundy Shoes Photo Shoot." All pretty dresses, and cameras, and accessories, and boots, and wildflowers. It was cloudy and overcast all day, but the skies broke into the most beautiful sun, Sun, SUN! for our excursion by early evening that it was nearly impossible to take a bad picture. Here are some of my favorites, and you can see all of the hundreds of pictures taken between us here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Typical: G.I. Joe

At the office, Co-Worker is just ecstatic about the upcoming release of the new G.I. Joe movie. About G.I. Joes in his childhood he says,

"...I thought I had a rubber-band connecting my torso to my legs until I was 10."

Oh, good grief.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Music Monday

So, Stop-Motion Monday really was more of a "Music Monday." Plus, it's infinitely easier to find good music videos that good stop-motion music videos. Ari Hest's cover of "Hallelujah" is just enough his own while still holding the original close. I mean, who doesn't like this song!? No one, that's who. In 2008, he also undertook Project 52, in which he wrote a new original song every week for a year. That's bold, isn't it?

So here, my babies, is a little new (old) music for your Monday: 

Found via Black*Eiffel.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Just a Little Inspiration

Here's a few things I've appreciated this week:

I just love her style and haircut. Seriously had a twelve-second idea to cut all my hair off a la Audrey Tatou in Amelie. I'll hold off for awhile, though.
Via The Sartorialist.

This is just completely lovely. Inspired by Le Balloon Rouge (1956).

Be forewarned: if there's occassion, you may receive a large mass of balloons from me in the future.

Something I should have used:

Icepacks and aloe. And time to bust out the big hat again. But I LOVE SUMMER!

Oh, and the new Harry Potter is releasing in mid-July. Who's coming with me?

Happy Memorial Day, babies.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Character Roadtrip

I got wind of this project- Character Roadtrip- by the cable network, USA, a few months ago. It's definitely worth checking out. Basically, USA commissioned eleven famous photographers to go out and take pictures of different categories of "characters." The rundown:

Dawoud Bey, "Young Chicagoans"
Anna Mia Davidson, "Sustainable Farmers of Washington State"
Jeff Dunas, "American Summer"
David Eustace, "Highway 50"
Joe Fornabaio, "New York City barber shops and salons"
Mary Ellen Mark, "New York Festivals"
Eric McNatt, "Texas Homecoming"
Eric Ogden, "Michigan Musicians"
Sylvia Plachy, "The Spirit of the South"
Richard Renaldi,"The 49th State [Alaska. What-what!]"
Marla Rutherford, "Moment of Fame"

In the current recessive, tense, and cloudy state of society, Character Project exhibits a lovely and heartening depiction of America through its proper lense: unique, beautiful, imperfect, hard-working, big-dreaming individuals.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

on: how I spend my desk downtime

First, everyone please, simply "Ooooo" and "Aaahhh" and generally adore my new spring/summer header. Because, good grief, that little b took me about two hours to do. BUT, as pathetic as that is, it was substantially more productive than how I spent my afternoon at my desk yesterday. I wouldn't lie about these things; I really have no reason to.

Here's something very clever and slightly funny:

Isn't that just great? I know, right? Found here.

Have a lovely Wednesday evening, loves. I'm going to cook and drink red wine tonight. La Dolce Vita!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Well, great fancy bananas! It's been almost a full month since I've updated. I suppose a lot of unimportant things have happened. To sum up: I just wrapped my first semester of grad school, I have no car, and my bangs are taking over my entire face. Excellence.

Now that school is done and I have a whole glorious month to do whatever I want (that doesn't require a car), I will share some portraits of babies taken by the photographer Theirry Bouet in their first few minutes of life. Because they're babies, babies. And babies are cute. AND I also just love saying "babies" (but most of you already know that). Now without further ado:

Thanks to A Cup of Jo for sharing. ;)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Peeps are not Vegan

A couple of weeks ago, I asked if the colorful and squishy confection, Peeps, were Vegan. (Rachel informed that they were not.) My interest was not because they are delicious, because they really aren't, but because they are cute. And I guess I like to eat cute things? No, that's wrong... I like to eat colorful things. (That's better!) Well, after seeing this, I retract all previously mentioned affection for Peeps. Because, obviously, I don't want to be a creep.

Notice also, her ridiculous collection of 900, yes 900, plush soccer balls. From the footage, I'd guess that there are about 890 of the exact same soccer ball, and ten unique ones. And that's just funny.

Also, today is my Friday, because tomorrow is Good Friday, and that means the office is closed. I LOVE working for Catholics!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Some things

Monday morning, Monday evening. 

Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers. In the house where I grew up, there were these huge hedges lining the sidewalk, and underneath them hundreds of daffodils would bloom. At least it seemed like hundreds to my little-kid memory. I guess I've always been fascinated by them. I remember picking them: the frustration I would feel when I would grab them too close to the tops, and realize as soon as it was plucked that I had ruined it; and the satisfaction of that "pop" sound they'd make when I grabbed them near the bottom; and that sticky slime that oozed out of them that I thought was so gross. It's one of those few childhood sensory-things that are seared in my memory: like the smell of the house when it rained, the sound of the attic fan, the feel of the olive-green velvet sofa, and peeling the layers of paint from my bedroom walls. Good things to remember.

The city condemned and leveled this house in a week flat. It's right across the street from us, or was. It was called "The Chateau" (seriously). It's just a pile of bricks now. It's really pretty sad. 

And to end on a funny note, the funniest thing that happened today-- Several very funny things happened today, most of them surrounded the tracing, cutting-out and painting of little cardboard kids in hurricane-force wind gusts. It probably looked a lot like playing Twister with a paint-can from the street. BUT EVEN FUNNIER: Chris and I are hanging out, talking about bagpipes, like ya' do, and she's trying to explain how a certain movie-theme could be played on the bagpipes, and to drive home the point she both HUMMED (think Phoebe, Friends fans) and AIR-PLAYED the bagpipes. And as I crumple with fits of laughter, she just says "Well, it's not everyday that you air-bagpipe."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

check itz

It's hard to say exactly why, but I find this video captivating. I've watched it about ten times now. See! Jellyfishes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

: on customer service

So I recently got a new Sprint phone (and plan) thanks to a very generous gentleman from my church.

I have been with Sprint for six years now, and had every intention of giving them da' boot last month when my contract expired. But seeing how events transpired, I decided to stick with them for awhile longer. This is fine and all, but let me share with you how this customer-service scenario played out today.

Background: You know that little "envelope" icon that shows up at the top of your screen when you have a message, well mine has been up there all the time, even though I don't have any messages. This is not a HUGE deal in the scheme of things, compared with say, you know world poverty, etc. So yes, definitely a developed-world problem. But it really irritates me, okay? I don't have any new messages! I have checked my voicemail, my text messages, my SMS messages, my picture mail, and even my internet from my phone. THERE ARE NO MESSAGES. I have "cleared the envelope," "powered-off, then powered-on my phone," I have "removed the battery and rebooted." And still, that little envelope sits at the top of my screen, taunting me.
Jarrod also sits in front of me, taunting me, with such irrelevant advice about checking my messages that it makes me want to hit him in the face. I might actually, if he didn't currently have a vicious tooth-ache that more-or-less does the job for me. Convenient? Maybe.

So I call up Sprint customer service (it only takes four times to get through) and talk to this woman for awhile only to get (HERE IT COMES), "Well. I don't know how to fix that."


This would be where I think to myself that favorite word: unacceptable.

So ten minutes later, the advice that I hang up with is "You know, I just usually ignore that little envelope on my phone anyway."

Stoopid. If I wanted to ignore it, maybe I wouldn't have called.

This rant brought to you by, coincidentally, my Samsung "Rant." Ha!

Unrelated: Are Peeps vegan? They just look so colorful and delicious.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

(Not-So) Typical

Me: "_social service organization__, This is Rachel."

Caller: "Yes! I ordered a wig OVER a MONTH ago and it's still NOT HERE. (here is where I start biting down on my lip hard enough to draw blood so as not to burst into laughter into the receiver) Now, I placed the order with a gentleman that said that it would be here, and that you were in Motown or Uptown, or wherever-y'all are. Now with the wig, he put in under two names, I think, either T-E-R-R-Y or J-E-R-R-E-L, but I need to..."

Me: "Er. Ma'am. I think you have the wrong number. This is _social service organization___. And as far as I'm aware, we've never sold wigs."

Commence fits of laughter in the office.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Stop-Motion Monday

I love Mondays.

I painted for hours today.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

: on half-birthdays

Today is my half-birthday. Today I am 23 and one-half.

Do y'all remember half-birthday-parties? They were an invention of elementary-school teachers for all of us poor suckers who had summer birthdays. And how grateful we were. Do you know how upset this little girl would have been if I hadn't had my birthday marked each year? The trauma may have made me a different person. So then, it's good that those teachers were such sharp-thinkers.

It's February 25, and the temperature is currently 73 degrees. And thank goodness. I hate the cold. I really really hate the cold. Especially that awful whistle of Arctic wind that comes through my bedroom window to blast on my face. Like one of those high-pressured compressed-air keyboard cleaners. On my face. So yeah, that's awesome. Even better? WARMTH!

Lucinda, our house cat, peed right in front of me this morning, while I was making toast. About the rudest thing that's ever happened to me. Only ruder was that couple on the airplane from Seattle to Denver (Seriously. How do they sleep at night?) I think I was about as upset with her as I would have been about not getting my birthday recognized in elementary school.

Oh, and I bet you're all wondering about how the murderous cuisine turned out last night. Well: to my IMMENSE relief, they were already cooked when I bought them. That, though, didn't save me from the horror of having to dismember them. Like I said, I've had crawfish before. But in the South. I think there must be something to that when-in-Rome philosophy. (I mean, I was persuaded to eat something that resembled pink mayonnaise in a foreign country once. And that's about as bad as it gets, right?) So, the last time I had crawfish it was sitting at a newspaper-covered picnic table surrounded by locals, shell and guts everywhere; there was something just right about that whole scene. It wasn't hard to snap critters in half and suck their brains out. So then, it was another thing entirely to be standing in my kitchen in the Midwest, still in my office-attire, manhandling crustaceans; something very different indeed. The whole ordeal was pretty bad. I won't go into too many of the gruesome details, but I will tell you that at one point I started screaming "Oh no! Oh NO! That's brains! Yellow-brains! Brain-smears! On my hand!" And I was so on-edge about the whole thing that when Dane knocked I thought the bits had reassembled and come back to life to have their vengeance. It was bad, babies, pretty bad.

The food, however, turned out AWESOME. Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffee? SUCCESS! Crabcakes? DUH! I think I may just go to Jazz in the future, but I think I met the challenge head-on.

The finished product:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

: on cooking crawfish

Well, Happy Mardi Gras everyone.

Mardi Gras means all kinds of things: bright colors, extravagant parades, wanton debauchery, and OF COURSE, delicious food.

In honor of my friend Dane's departure to Nashville, TN, I'm making a Creole-feast for dinner tonight. And what Creole-feast would be complete without, you guessed it: crawfish?.

Now, I've had crawfish several times. Mostly the tails, and it always arrives cooked. On my plate, and usually simmering in buttery goodness. And being the adventerous cook that I am, I didn't really worry too much about the prospect of cooking them myself. So I called up Whole Foods, ordered a couple of pounds, and proceeded to search for recipes on the internet. Much to my horror, the directions kept saying things like "they must be alive when you boil them" and "discard the dead ones." Oh, Lord, forgive me. For I am about to murder.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

: on six-hour classes.

Seriously? Seriously. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Seriously! 

Like, come on, people. I think the grad-school planners must have figured a way to manage the monotony of teaching the same material year after year: mean-spirited nastiness. Because frankly, I can't think of any other way to describe a six-hour long class. Painful? Mind-numbing? Abysmal? Any of those would work too, I suppose. The fact that the material is actually interesting is negated on an inverse correlation to time-spent in the same seat.

But anyway. So here I am: numb-butted from sitting in the same chair for four-and-half-hours, when it's announced that we will be doing group-work. Ah, what joy is mine. This means listening to people who like to listen to themselves give irrelevant judgements on strategic board management; specifically, board-education planning. The next 30 minutes was spent counting backwards from ten in my head over and over again to calm my irritation as I listened to my groupmates try to yell over each other about anything and everything that they thought would best showcase themselves whilst mostly ignoring the scope of the assignment. For reals: I find your resume wholly useless to this task. I'm sure you are incredibly experienced in your various areas, and do your jobs very well, and stuff and things. But pleaseeeeeeeeee. So what happens? I every-so-gently try to steer back to the assignment, and get lectured like a kindergartner. So I work out the presentation by my lonesome while they take turns interrupting one another, which I read off to them three minutes before deadline and then they SERIOUSLY all say, "Wow! You nailed that. You need to be on a board, NOW." This statement was followed by a soft 'POP'- the sound of my head exploding.

Ahhh, grad school. I love you, but I don't have to like you right now.

Other things that are just AWFUL:
1) Having to google-search terms that my professor drops like acceptable English, during lecture, while taking notes.
2) 50-page reading assignments emailed the day before class.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

bologna sandwich.

I don't like bologna anyway. It's like the hot-dog of lunchmeats.

Here's how lunch played out today:

Co-worker #1 brings a bologna sandwich in a wonderbread container.

Co-worker #2 and I have already finished our burgers.

3 minutes later we are greeted with a rancid wave of smell like onions and cheetos marinated in mayonaisse.

Co-worker #3 walks in and says "What IS that?"

10 minutes later: The fan is on. I've covered my face with a scarf. I've gagged.

Co-worker #2 to Co-worker #1 "Your stale lunchmeat smells like a trail of tears [another term for crop-dusting, apparently]. And it's just not giving up."

Friday, January 30, 2009

Monkey See, Ursine Do.

So while working on those very important things that I sometimes work on while at work today I came upon this artist-photographer Jill Greenberg. She takes expressive pictures of Monkies, People, Bears, and Celebrities (a seperate category from normal people, obviously). Here are two of my favorites!

Her collection can be found here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Recipe for a Cranky Rachel

1. When she goes to bed early, make her bedroom a brisk 45 degrees.
2. Force her body to refuse to listen to reason, and therefore, her toes remain frozen all night.
3. Rattle her window all night, in alternating frequencies and decibles, so to be certain to wake her up every time.
4. Call the police, and have them circle the neighborhood in a heliocopter periodically. Flashing lights are in no way discouraged.
5. Take the neighbor dogs for a walk. The little, yippy ones. Annoy them so they yip. A lot.
6. Add Trash-Day (optional).
7. Add snow (recommended), she hates scraping her car.

Combine all ingredients before 8a.m. and shake vigorously. Better yet, shake her vigorously. Then stand back and watch the clouds gather overhead.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

things you DON'T expect to hear at the office

"No, that's a toe-ring."

From the mouth of the associate director.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

another day at the office

Jarrod tried to change his junkmail folder to read "junk in the trunk" but it wouldn't let him. He expressed this with much disappointment and mumbled something about changing outlook to reflect a more urban feel.

Three minutes later he yelled, "I want some more root beer!"