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.
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