Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My black-tie guy

We only have one wedding this year. One! It was last weekend, and so much fun. Three words: Springsteen cover band.

Another big reason for the fun? My absolute favorite game: Ken doll! I love when T dresses up. There's a part of him that is a bit from another era, and nothing brings this out like formalwear. See also: inheriting his grandfather's collection of formalwear. (The same grandfather whose seersucker suit T wore on our wedding day.)

Exhibit A: Vintage mother-of-pearl studs:

Exhibit B: Dapper tuxedo shoes.

It can be hard for a gal to keep up with this guy. I try my best.

By the end of the night, though, I don't care what's around this guy's neck. To say my heart is full is a complete understatement.

[Final note: Staying in a fancy hotel in your own town just because? Highly recommended.]

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pretty in Pink

It's that time of year again... DC's Tidal Basin explodes into bloom, tourists descend, and just like that, the peak is over. But just as the craziness winds down a couple of miles west of our house, our very own cherry blossom trees - one in the front yard and one in the back - explode into bloom.

I can't get enough of them.

Can you blame me?

Happy spring, everyone!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Recommended reads

I love to read, and have been doing it less each year, until recently. I've found over the last few years that the amount of pleasure reading I'm doing see-saws with blogging. Blogging nonstop? Not reading. Blogging break? Nose firmly implanted in a book. In a perfect world I could do both, but I suspect that world does not involve earning a paycheck.

Here are some of my favorites from the last few months, and I think it's fair to say that these books are not for everyone. No chick lit (obvs). I like my books a little bitter, a little bruised, and a lot of beautiful. See below:

The Middlesteins, by Jami Attenberg
What a heartbreak, this book. But not in an emotionally wrought, painful-to-read kind of way. Heartbreak arrives here through wryness, through observations, through humanity. I keep wanting to describe The Middlesteins as "The Corrections with a heart," but it's more than that. Food addiction has never been so... tender.

Arcadia, by Lauren Groff Oh goodness, the beauty in this prose. We begin in an idyllic commune, watch the commune's growth and eventual (inevitable) destruction, then follow the trail of that destruction through the lives of its former members. This novel is its own world, one that for most of us is just a brief visit. It would be easy to tell this story in a more contrived, condescending way, but Groff treats her characters with reality and respect.

Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon
If Arcadia is its own world, Telegraph Avenue is its own universe. Chabon takes us to a subset of Oakland obsessing over obscure vinyl, battling gentrification, stressing out midwives, breaking up and making up, dredging up old memories, and complicating the lives of adolescents. This is probably the hardest book for some people to enjoy in this grouping, but I personally couldn't get enough of this crew.

Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel
I'm totally on board the Thomas Cromwell train. If you love historical fiction that's more textbook than bodice-ripper, these novels are for you. I'm fascinated by this period of time all over again, and terrified to read #3 for our hero's sake. Protect your neck, TC!

The Casual Vacancy, by J. K. Rowling
I think many Potter fans were disappointed by Rowling's first non-Potter novel, but this is exactly the sort of plot that I adore. Small-town politics, private lives open for public consumption, human weakness in all forms. Some of the best themes there are, running rampant here amidst City Council meetings, quaint storefronts, and dinner tables. How could I not love this one?

Just Kids, by Patti Smith
Let's end on a gorgeous note. Patti Smith's memoir of discovering herself in New York City with Robert Mapplethorpe is the literary equipvalent of a gorgeous, seeping scar, one we should be so thankful made it onto print and into our worlds. Their youth, their passion, their dedication, their love... It's the most tender thing I've ever read. What a marvel, this one.

There are many more I could have added, so jump onto Goodreads for a thorough round-up. Tell me... what should I read next?

Monday, April 1, 2013

April (?), randomly

Spring. Spring! Or so we've been told.

It snowed last week. I wore tights to work today. I've been shivering for fires at night. But I'm choosing to believe that change is around the corner - arriving late like DC's cherry blossoms, but bound to arrive nonetheless. A warmup is needed around these parts, and stat. I did come home with an obscene amount of ranunculus recently to make things a little springier around here. Oh how I love these flowers.

Some random please-make-it-spring thoughts:
  • The Nationals are back! Today was the first home game and day game. Day games are tough for me because my office is across from the ballpark. Imagine me at noon, sitting in my tights and dress, looking wistfully out at the bustling sidewalks and filling stadium, a sea of red everywhere, wishing I had a beer in hand and sunshine on my face. Sigh. Maybe next time I can sneak away...

  • I figured I'd get a lot of "You don't get Good Friday off?" last Friday (we get nothing off... just nada), but what is up with how many people asked me if I really had to work on "Easter Monday" today? Is Easter Monday really a thing? When did this happen?

  • Veronica Mars is coming along nicely. We're about to finish Season 2, and the cameos keep coming! My recent fave was an episode featuring George Michael and Maeby Funke, not being George Michael and Maeby Funke.

  • Also, The Voice is back. This is The Voice!! Love this show, absolutely my biggest guilty pleasure on television. I'm really not sure what I'm going to do without Cee Lo this year. I'm always on Team Cee Lo. Shakira is the upgrade of the century from Christina, in my opinion. (And yours, I'm willing to bet.) (Seriously your loss if you have no idea what I'm talking about - everyone needs a good guilty pleasure show.)

  • We also finally watched Season 1 of Homeland, a million years late. I know this sounds like a lot of tv... remember that whole hermit thing I wrote about two posts ago? Television marathons are made for hermitdom. And reading a ton of books. Which I've also been doing ... so there. But back to Homeland. T has this longstanding hatred for Claire Danes stemming from her being an entitled biotch in college, so it took us forever to get on board with the show despite that fact that everyone and their mom told us we would love it. The fact that CD isn't meant to be likeable helps. And yes... we love the show just as much as you all said we would. Season 2 needs to get to Netflix asap.

  • There is no way to gracefully transition to this one... but Eleanor has a major thing for my underwear, and it's out of control. I've replaced at least ten pairs! And am now having to do laundry frequently enough so that the hamper lid can actually fit onto the container to keep her little paws out! The outrage! So gross.

So what's happening in your worlds this "spring?"
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