Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bestill My Heart...

Courtesy HuffPost & StarzUncut

Okay... so I knew that I'd be going to Coachella this year. After 4 years abroad, it's only natural to take advantage of the good things living in SoCal has to offer. But this?

I know this is only the manifestation of a leaked rumor - but hot damn. I am all in.

FTW... which I mean 'Food Truck Wednesday', naturally.
Sliders and Tater Tots
I know... December in Irvine is rough.
Blackberry Lemonade

I'm still trying to get my hands on some good old-fashioned lemonana, but until I rock up on Little Tel Aviv (field trip, anyone?) or open my own food truck, this might just do.

Next week: scenes from the picnic tables.

I Can't Get No...

Wow. This is likely the best thing I could have seen today. I've been thinking a lot about resolutions: who I want to be and how to get there.... And I realize that I need to do what ever it takes to stay hungry for more. Knowledge. Love. Understanding. Movement. Growth.

So this year I resolve to give thanks for the people in my life who help my wounded spirit try again in those instances I pause too long, get too comfortable and backslide.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On Traditions...

Aimee, Bill, Nana
Bunny ears make everything 'gangster'
Regroup for the real smiles....
Frankincense, Gold, Myrrh
Or... 3 wise women prepping for the New Year!

I hope that your holidays are happy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


A hilarious ethnography on upper-middle class (lower upper class?) urban women who are kind of liberal but whose friends all look like them.

Even though I'm only kind of liberal, I realize that I've said everything in here at least once - with the exception of the stink-eye aided "I'm on the phone" ...because that's just rude.

And to all of my friends who work in computers, I'm sorry.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Courtesy My Nana...

It seems I'm not the only one who has noticed that The Most Wonderful Time of the Year... now spans half of the year. The Christmas Can Can is clever and catchy - enjoy!

Disclaimer: I'm not being a cynical jerk, I just think this is funny.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

...Let There Be Light

Maybe it's because these photos from NASA (courtesy A Cup Of Jo) are so lovely and serene, or maybe it's because our days will start to get longer and warmer (crosses fingers...) - but I feel a little reflection is in order.

So the biggest change in my life this year is the cross-globe move I made from Israel to the States at the beginning of August. I tell you that there was not a small amount of nervous excitement in that move. But I'm finding that the smaller ripple changes that resulted from that move have been correspondingly profound.

One of my biggest challenges has been holding on to the lessons of material detachment I learned (emphasis on earned) in Israel, particularly now that I'm living in a capitalistic society again. Being able to put that lesson to the test, so to speak, really makes me proud of myself. I also find that I'm thinking about and appreciating the idea of capitalism in a much different way... mostly by reevaluating what it is that I'd like to foster and invest in.

Which brings me to the true joy I've found in my new "extra-curricular" activities. At least once a week (but now that school is done, I aim to spend more time), I work some of the smartest, coolest, and kindest people I've ever met. As a team, we're learning how change our culture and society in positive ways: we examine things like the effects of unity and friendship versus the destructive effects of gossip and "cliques". We think about our impact on the world socially, materially, and spiritually and really think long and hard about the kind of people we want to be: how to be a true friend; how to be wise stewards of our environment.

I am learning so much from these people, who, by the by, are between the ages of 9 and 11.

Spend some quality learning time with children and youth, yourselves - it's the best investment I've ever made!


Source: via Aimee on Pinterest

So my Papa Jim just sent me an email wishing me a Merry Christmas, and I thought I'd pay it forward in a "may your days be merry and bright kind of way"... particularly as the shortest day of the year is upon us.

What's your share the light in your heart strategy? [wow... that sounds really "my blog is my full time job/hipster about town" to me, too.] But seriously? I'm making pasta with friends tonight and couldn't be more stoked!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Further to my previous (like 2.5 seconds ago) post - El Ten Eleven will be playing in Santa Ana on the 30th! If you're going to be around, we should go.


The Wednes Monster...

Okay. I know... sometimes my ability to be corny and to abuse any and all "pun making" privileges astounds even myself. But I have my very last class and final today... and I'm a little giddy. It may or may not have something to do with the fact that in order to work my full day of work and still get to class on time, I have to come in to work at 5. In the am. As in "oh -dark-thirty" for those of you on military time. But my early morning, first cup of coffee thoughts led me in the direction of how similar Wednes and Loch Ness are - and why do we say "wins-day"?

So I guess we can say that my ability to run with a tangent is equally astounding.

Which brings me to the impetus for this little post. This song is the business. It is equal parts meditation and inspiration - really excellent for all kinds of things. Like writing papers, cramming for finals and/or working.

Big shout out to El Ten Eleven for being awesome and just what I needed. Cheers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nobel Peace Ladies...

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia
Leymah Gbowee, Champion of Women's Rights (Liberia)
Tawakkul Karman, Icon of the Arab Spring Protest (Yemen)
[2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipients]

"The woman is indeed of the greater importance to the race. She has the greater burden and the greater work. Look at the vegetable and the animal worlds. The palm which carries the fruit is the tree most prized by the date grower. The Arab knows that for a long journey the mare has the longest wind. For her greater strength and fierceness, the lioness is more feared by the hunter than the lion.

The woman has greater moral courage than the man; she has also special gifts which enable her to govern in moments of danger and crisis…." - 'Abdu'l-Baha, from an address given in London.

I don't mean this to sound like man-bashing... because it is not. But it is nice to see the contributions and achievements of women recognized, particularly in the field of peace building and community development.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Friday...

My Chaucer class is winding to a close (the final is in T-minus 5 days and counting) and I'm getting giddy, y'all! Naturally my interweb addiction has become correspondingly more pronounced.


On Thicker Blood...

Via the perennially lovely Fleur

I can't believe that it's been almost three years since I was in Paris. ...freezing, wearing multiple (borrowed) unmatched layers and surrounded by stylish and chic Parisienne's - apparently immune to the cold. *And I mean snow. I know that I'm from Israel and SoCal, so you might not trust my value judgments on what constitutes cold: but this was it!

And I have to say that pictures like this take me right back. Because I'm shaking like a leaf here, and it's only in the 50s during the day (30s at night)... and these ladies are so cute it hurts me. So my recourse is to wear layer upon layer of figure morphing sweater, or to thicken my blood and walk out like a boss.

Which brings to me to my central question: how does DO that! Holler.

On Homesickness....

This was shot literally down the street from my flat in Haifa. These guys - Broken Fingaz - have art up all over the city, but especially in my old neighborhood: Hillel & Masada Streets.

Live in an artist's enclave at least once. It's good for your soul. Or mine.

Major shout-out to Shadi Toloui-Wallace for the head's up. ...she's lucky enough to be in Haifa right now! She also has a new album out that you should totally get. You will love it. Maybe even more than living in an artist's village.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On Realistic Expectations...

In this rare clip from 1972, legendary psychiatrist and Holocaust-survivor Viktor Frankl delivers a powerful message about the human search for meaning — and the most important gift we can give others.

This is probably the most important thing I have seen all year. As someone who works with young people and is consistently humbled and amazed by the potential and manifest capabilities of youth - and who is also trying to find a position in this world with significant meaning and worth - this short speech really speaks to my heart. I hope that you will also love it.

I hope, too, that you will be inspired to help someone find a place in this world that has meaning for them. To help instill or even restore a persons dignity.

Courtesy Tralalere - original source

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hit The Ground Running...

The Street Aesthetic of New York City from Christian Andersen on Vimeo.

I know that there are great things about Orange County - but sometimes I have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees. Or, you know... the track homes. This video, courtesy Double Takes, is the business though! It kind of makes me wish I could play it on the inside of my sun glasses when I go for walks.

Christian Andersen - you're my homeboy. Cheers.

The Better To See You With...

Via Bitte Ein Kuss.

They don't even have different expressions... as though their feelings and personalities don't really matter - so let's not draw them. Awesome [she said with not an inconsiderable amount of sarcasm].

In other related news, Doghouse Diaries: rendering equal opportunity stick figures since 2008.

Friday, December 2, 2011

PB & Jokes...

Faced with a long holiday weekend and a week off from school (!!!), I did what anyone unaccustomed to bucketfuls (buckets full?) of free time would do: rearranged my living space. I've moved my bed and really love the new set up of my bedroom - but my penchant for late night book reading times is now is serious need of a bedside lamp.

Hence my perusal of the Pottery Barn catalogue for "inspirational" ideas... like for a Friday morning chuckle.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


This (Holocene) has been my favorite song since BBC started streaming Bon Iver's new album - so, like, 6 months or so.

I'm so happy that they've finally done a video for it!

Shout out to Tralalere! for the head's up. In somewhat related news, if you're looking for some way to help society and further universal education, check out how the Tralere! family became involved: Capucine's Library. So sweet!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

Okay... so it's beginning to look a lot like 65 (fahrenheit) and sunny with a chance of rain. But I still love the cozy feelings that fall bring. Hence my overwhelming to hole up in a tree house, drink cocoa and read excellent books.

Thankfully Josh over at Urbanskiies has the cozy wonderland hookup. I'm not sure where this is, but I'm all in!


So I'm not sure that I can go so far as to call this little jam by, Bloom by The Paper Kites, the sweetest song of life.... But it's not far off. And besides, you know how I have a flair for the superlative, right?

As per usual, all head's up credit goes to Rachel over at Black*Eiffel. I really hope that she does a 2011 musical wrap up because her Music Monday series is seriously on point.

In maybe related news, dates for Coachella 2012 were just announced. This April, 2 wicked hot weekends of you and me dodging hipsters and enjoying what I trust will be truly excellent music? I accept!

Monday, November 28, 2011

On Long Weekends...

One of the advantages to living in your hometown is that all of your friends who've moved on to different scenes and climes come home for the holidays. Like Thanksgiving. Exploring new restaurants in the grey area between local and tourist is always kind of fun.

Note to self: courtesy Bitte Ein Kuss

But long weekends, particularly those that start to feel like staycations (the weather was 83 degrees, y'all!), kind of wreak havoc on my already spotty Monday-morning attention span....

Le sigh.

Musical Monday Surprise...

I am seriously loving this song and so I had to share it, post-haste style. You also probably already know and love Yael Naim (and David Donatien) -particularly if saw a MacBook Air commercial circa 2008 - but she's new to me :: 3 cheers to Pandora for the head's up.

Anyhow... enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cheers M'Dears...

My first Thanksgiving in the States in 4 years... and it's about to get crunk. Okay. I clearly jest.

This year I'm starting the party with the Annual Dana Point Turkey Trot - representing with Team Shelley! And then we're over the river and through the woods to my aunt's house for wicked good food [that will definitely include my world famous pumpkin scones] and Mexican Train Dominoes. Because that's how we roll.

Have a good one!

And to my Haifa people - as I have recently mastered the FaceTime universe, I'll be seeing you Saturday for your Thanksgiving festivities! Can't hardly wait!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Eye of Newt...

Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, in an address at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, calls child labor laws "stupid". Full article courtesy The Huffington Post.

Why pay parents in poor families a living wage when their kids can quit school and contribute financially? Okay... that was cynical, even for me.

See this for what it is: not economic empowerment of youth, and certainly not union or education reform. It is the single greatest means of insuring a greater than ever class disparity in our country.

In my opinion, it is time to be intellectual capitalists. Capitalism (according to my high school economics class) demands that income be reinvested in the product, thereby constantly improving your product. So if income in this sense becomes time, knowledge, wisdom, experience and opportunity for growth, and we invest that in our product - ie. the people in our society [particularly children] then we can have an ever advancing society.

And Newt (Mr. Gingrich?), if you're of the opinion that our schools are failing (they are. I do not disagree with you here), why don't you volunteer in a local school? Or read to kids in your neighborhood library, or volunteer with the Big Brothers and Sisters of America program? There are nearly as many ways to help a problem as there are to complain about it.


This weekend I sat down and really made an earnest effort to learn more about the gadgetry in my life. To wit, I have mastered (as much as a heart-to-heart with my best Haifa neighbor will allow) FaceTime and discovered Instamatic.
Which I love. Clearly.
Weekend Warrior style.
Is that a cup on a coaster, you ask?

Sometimes technology is really awesome.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Considering the story I'm about to share, it may seem a little self-serving to tell you how much I love New Girl. But I do. It's hilarious. Just saying.

So my friend Sanaz tells me that I remind her of Jess - which is super flattering. ...even though I don't have brown hair or wear glasses. My mom was willing to accept this comparison, but insisted on the caveat that I'm also similar in character to Dr. Brennan from Bones and Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.

Emily Deschanel as Dr. Brennan

Jim Parsons as Sheldon - er... Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Well, that was okay. I mean, all 3 characters are really smart (oh... is that me being self-serving again?) and fun and original. I like to think I'm these things, as well. Even though I can't really be mistaken as a long-lost Deschanel sister (3rd cousin once removed?).

But then my mom started telling my brother and I this story last night (shout out for a family game of Yahtzee!). She was going on and ON about this wack-a-doodle who attends the local high school she works at. About how the poor thing is so anti-social and too smart for his own good ... and about how MUCH like Sheldon he is.

"But Mom. You think I'm like Sheldon. I'm social."

Crickets, friends. Your girl didn't even try to print a formal retraction.

It really is lonely at the top.


So photos from my lovely weekend in Sonora, CA will have to wait... as I may or may not have left my film camera in Palo Alto. But trust that I was completely enamoured of all of the trees that were actually turning colors for fall!

In the meantime, here are some more shots from my Roman Holiday. What? Wasn't that the first week of August, you ask? Yeah. So?

My trusty pink umbrella and I at the Vatican.

I know it looks like I'm giving the flora a stink eye - but the sun is fierce in Rome.

The Collossuem by night.
Beth, Penny & I - Trevi Fountain
[clearly already planning our next trip]

All photos courtesy the lovely Beth who has just wrapped up a grande European tour and is back home in Australia. Major shout out to Beth, Penny, Ratna & Imke - I made some seriously rad friends this summer. Thanks for accompanying me on my vacation!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekend Get Away...

Sorry that my flake factor has been kind of tangible lately... except for the part where I've been too busy to devote more time to this here blog. Mea Culpa!

So I thought I'd squeeze a little note in (do you see what I did there?) to let you know that the flake will continue at least through the weekend as I'm off to the Bay (the other Bay) for a friend's bridal shower - but I hope to have pictures or at least cool anecdotes to share soon.

In the meantime... enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On Life Lessons From Glee...

Damian McGinty as Irish foreign exchange student Rory Flanagan.

*courtesy Perez Hilton*

So aside from the grand unveiling of Irish foreign exchange student and resident Leprachaun Rory Flanagan (played by the charming Damian McGinty), last night's episode - in which Mr. Hummel throws his hat in the political ring - served up one hell of a false dichotemy.

I love that Sue's vicious bashing of the arts has become a composite characterization of the real life treatment of arts programs in public schools aross America. And last night when she called a cease fire on arts bashing in order to highlight the genuine discrepancies in education programs for developmentally challenged students created a scenario all too familiar in our nation: if we fund arts, we can't fund sports. If we fund sports, we can't fund special education [bt.dubs, "gifted and talented" programs also often fall under the budget of "special education"]. Or worse still - pitting education against health care or an increase in environmental standards against social security.

Now, I'm not an expert (clearly), but I have some strong opinions that I'm going to share with you.... I will leave my feelings on global harmony out of this for the moment and focus on the US of A.

We are a nation of hard workers, we are bright, creative and innovative. If we can avoid the trap of petty in-fighting that (ahem) some people have set, I bet that we will learn some things.

1. If we make a serious effort to think outside of the box - to demand a paradigm shift - we could come up with cost productive solutions for everyone. It will require consultation, collaboration and compromise - but it is doable.

2. It won't take as much money as you think... and my feeling is that we actually have the money available to do these things! And before you get all crazy, what I'm actually talking about is a move towards social and fiscal responsibility: and no... I don't see these as mutually exclusive concepts.

Because seriously? I don't know any old, rich guys. And you probably don't either. So why are we so hung up on their opinion? Most of the people I do know have worried at least once about how to get food on the table, or gas in their car, or getting their bills paid on time... these are the concerns that should matter.

And that's what I learned on Glee: be creative, be brilliant, be a problem solver.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Via Missed Connections.
Via Bitte Ein Kuss.

What are you going to be for Halloween? This is my first Halloween back in the States after 4 years abroad... and I'm super excited - not least because this is my favorite holiday.

I make no promises, but I hope (crosses fingers) to have pictures up soon - and the according details!

Have fun and be safe!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Why Don't We...

Drive into the sunset...

Believe in dreams...

Grow something excellent...

Okay, so I lean a little (a lot) towards the romantic - but I'm a dreamer, and that's why you like me... right? So I thought it'd be fun to unleash some of that on you in the last weekend of October - before daylight savings draws to a close and we get the joy of trundling home from work well past dark.

Also? I know that in many places the harvest is past its zenith, but how about growing something? My friends and I from Saturday Virtues Class have planted flower seeds in recycled soup cans. Some of them are even sprouting - it's the most exciting thing!

Friday, October 28, 2011

On Imagination...

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand… Imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

- Albert Einstein

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don't Try This At Home...

Dr. Sheldon Cooper

So my mom and I have recently joined a gym. I know... I know! But walking is boring unless you're actually going somewhere - and quite frankly, a lap of my neighborhood's track homes just doesn't cut mustard. [Beige, tan, 'cornflower', cream - repeat!]

The great thing is that they have a pool, and bringing your mom as a workout buddy? Kind of awesome, actually.

So we took ourselves down for a little Lord's Day early morning workout (what!? 10 is totally early! ...but I digress) and I did some weight training - specifically for my legs - and then swam some.

Are you familiar with the comedic genius of The Big Bang Theory? Good. So you know how Sheldon's laugh is like 3 super-high speed exhalations of breath?

Then you know, roughly, the sound I'm making at even the thought of sitting down.

Suffice it to say that I'm trying to transform the weird gait I've appropriated trying not to out-right limp into what could pass for thoughtful introspection. It involves a broad use of a Jane Austen worthy 'quizzical brow'... which isn't so hard, really. Particularly when contemplating how to get down stairs with any kind of dignity.

If I Had A Sugar-Daddy...

Lanvin clutch

Lanvin clutch (see more clutch bags)

Truer words have never been spoken... also - it appears that my favorite fashion blogger and editrix, Johanna of A Serious Job is No Excuse (ASJiNE) has come out of retirement and can be found, regaling us all with her not inconsiderable wit, charm and style via Twitter. Huzzah!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fly On a Wall...

Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn

In related news, I think I'm finally going to invest in a trench coat. ...particularly as I no longer seem to own warm clothes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On Precedent...

Via Bitte Ein Kuss

Thanks to Cost Plus World Market's commitment to importing delicious "foreign" food stuffs, I never have to drink terrible coffee again.

I don't know if it's because the coffee I'm currently enjoying is Italian, or what... but y'all? This coffee is so smooth it has game.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who's The Boss...

Einstein on a bike.

So remember how I said that I was going to teach a pool who's boss this weekend? Yeah. It turns out that a 3 month hiatus is the point at which ass kicking and name taking actually works in the inverse.

...which is to say that I've been sore a few days. Specifically my triceps.

The good news is that it's like riding a bike: I remember how.

The moral? Don't lapse on your laps.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

When The Levee Breaks...

So it turns out that my football (soccer for my Americans) tutor is a fantastic photographer. I met him in Haifa, though these days he's calling Oxford home. Yes... that Oxford. Check out his work at oxonography. Unless you hate beautiful things. And then stay far far away.

Clearly I'm loving the series he shot in Haifa last month. Not least because I'm feeling a little homesick. But if you knew how delicious and mouth-watering the falafel was... you'd be homesick (and starving), too.

Also... sorry for my recent MIA behavior. It took me a while to get into the rhythm of life here in OC. But now that I have my feet beneath me, my creativity is starting to come back. Which is excellent, because between you and me...? I was worried for a minute!

Repitition On A Theme...

Ellie Saab

I've been really into green lately: shoes, kitchens, lifestyles... and this dress. Holy cow, dear friends! You know how I feel about Ellie Saab - but this is just stunning!

All thanks to the lovely Laily of Fleur - and contributer to {this is glamorous} ::love.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Green With... YSL

Everyone's favorite Parisian blogger and fashion photograher, Garance Dore, has dubbed these the craziest shoes of Paris Fashion Week... methinks she must mean that in a very "bad as in good" Run DMC kind of way.

Because I want them on my feet.
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