This weekend, I got to visit the originator of the term “Monday Snax,” Catherine the Great herself. We had a lovely, foggy weekend in Virginia Beach with Ava-rice and Jonathan. Some photos below; all on Flickr!
After all of that good conversation, great food, and wine, it is hard to get back into the work week…
Ask a Gay Christian: Response. Justin Lee, director of the Gay Christian Network, answers a lot of searing questions about being a gay Christian with humility and grace. This was very heartening to me. (Rachel Held Evans)
Presented Without Comment. Angela’s new blog of her father’s collected writings and e-mails is my new favorite thing. And this photo. (The Filthy, Luxury Life)
Corner Portraits by Irving Penn. I love these! Photographer Irving Penn stuffed a bunch of famous people into corners and then took these great photos of them. Included: Marlene Dietrich, Truman Capote, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Salvador Dali, among others! (Retronaut)
Another busy weekend in North Carolina: Guion backed Daniel Levi Goans at his CD release show in Greensboro, and I was in Charlotte/Davidson, hanging out with my fam and celebrating with Eva and Peter.
Grace was Eva and Peter’s wedding photographer and has just put up some of her amazing photos from their “first look” on the railroad tracks. Check it out.
Quick selection of photos below:
“Cruel,” by St. Vincent. New favorite song (I’m OBSESSED) and album. I can’t wait for her concert here in October! This music video is also totally crazy and creepy. (The Fox Is Black)
The Psychologist. Why novelist Vladimir Nabokov may have actually been the greatest psychologist of his time. (The American Scholar)
The Writer’s Voice. A reflection on the experience of hearing a great writer read his or her own work–with links! Listen to the dulcet tones of Flannery O’Connor, W.B. Yeats, Philip Larkin, James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, and J.M. Coetzee. (The Book Bench, The New Yorker)
Al Gore’s Excellent Timing. You know all this apocalyptic weather we’ve been having lately? Al Gore chimes in on a reason, and it’s not the Second Coming. These statistics are chilling… or should I say warming? (The Atlantic)
Bookish Illustrations. Lizzy Stewart’s solemn and wonderful sketched book covers for beloved classics. (Wolf Eyebrows)
We got to meet the perfectly charming Phinehas Edwards McDermott! Welcome to Earth, new McDermott. We are so glad to have you here.
And I got new glasses, which make me both totally serious AND crazy. I also got shot for the Charlotte’s new style section, which was confirming to me at what a truly terrible model I am. But Sean and Stephanie were super-nice about the whole thing. Thanks, friends.
Liz + Matt. Just some shameless self-promotion: I just finished this calligraphy project for our dear friends, Liz and Matt, and I had a blast doing it. This was my first time doing an invitation suite, which was turned into a fabulous letterpress invitation by the matchless Patrick Costello. A lot of fun! (AFP Calligraphy)
A Reunion with Boredom. Charles Simic discusses life without electricity, reading, and how much he owes to boredom. A thoughtful and lovely piece that will make me strive to appreciate our frequent power outages. (New York Review of Books)
Just Like a Woman. In defense of Jane Austen as a legitimate and important writer, in response to V.S. Naipaul’s remark, which is a campaign that I am 100 percent behind. It’s a little late to be responding to him now, as his comment is kind of old news, but I do wish Austen would be rescued from the plight of being constantly written off as a “chick lit” writer. Thanks a lot, Keira Knightley. (Los Angeles Review of Books)
Findings. My favorites, among the lighter findings surveyed: “Florida could be up to 50 percent older than previously believed” and “Chemists discovered why van Gogh’s yellows were fading.” (Harper’s)
The Slow Art of Tea. A re-posted article from the Curator that talks about one of my favorite daily rituals. (The Curator)
There’s Nothing Like… Even though Tom Wolfe got on my nerves in From Bahaus to Our House, I’m going to side with him on this one: What an unfortunate place to live. (Unhappy Hipsters)
We had a delightful (if extremely hot) weekend with Kelsey and Alex. They are a lot of fun and I’m so glad they were able to drive up for a few days. We ate dinner, grabbed dessert and drinks at The Local, sweated around downtown, and introduced them to the joys of “Friday Night Lights”–and didn’t want them to leave! In other exciting news, though, Win is moving most of his stuff today into his swanky house in town. Our crafty plan is to get all of our family members to move to Charlottesville… so far, it’s working. A few more photos on Flickr.
Snax with lemonade so refreshing you wish you could just bathe in it:
When All Is Lovely. Oh, nothing. Just pictures of my dream life, that’s all. (La Porte Rouge)
Elmwood in July. Can I live here, too? All peonies and rowboats in the mist? (An Apple a Day)
A Dinner Party. Amazing things like this happen all the time in Charlottesville. Sarah of JohnSarahJohn writes a guest post for The Charlotte about a classy party she threw at the new store on Main Street. (The Charlotte)
A Cube with a Clever Layout. With the help of a Japanese designer, UVA graduate Alison Threatt builds this crazy house in the woods outside of Charlottesville. Featured on the New York Times this past week. (NYT Home and Garden)
Height and Cancer. So, I used to be proud of the fact that I was a tall woman. No more! Because now I’m going to DIE of CANCER. For sure. (The Hairpin)
Molly Stern: On Makeup and Motherhood. A down-to-earth makeup artist to all the biggest celebrities talks about how she juggles her looks-driven career and her children. (Girl’s Gone Child)
Riding Bikes While Wearing Skirts. I am also a huge proponent of this practice. Although, perhaps, I am too enthusiastic about it, as I once mistakenly tried to ride my bike around campus in a wrap dress. Yes. I sufficiently flashed the entire student body and not a few significant professors at UNC that day. (A Cup of Jo)
If Women Ruled the World. As a feminist, I’m not supposed to like this, but… it’s funny. (And probably true?) (French By Design)
Texas Forever. A meditation on Tim Riggins–in the Paris Review! Love it. And this, because truthfully, we have all prayed the same prayer:
When I lie in bed at night and imagine white-bearded God making his earthly presence known at the foot of my futon, he asks, “And what is your deepest desire, young man?” I say, “Lord of all things, king of the universe, purveyor of rain, and pain, and occasional love, would you be so kind as to turn me into Tim Riggins?” (The Paris Review)
Do you want to know why Ayn Rand’s books sell so well? he [Rand’s editor] countered.
Because she writes the best children’s literature in America, O’Connor said. The Fountainhead is practically a rite of passage for alienated youth. She writes these epic, Wagnerian things. Where the sex takes place on the very highest plane and it speaks to the kids’ highest aspirations, their youthful idealism. It’s all YA stuff.
In that case, I argued, people should grow out of her, like a phase, they should get over her ideas when they become adults.
This is America, he said. There aren’t many ideas. Ayn Rand had a few simple ones which she believed in fiercely and promoted relentlessly. (The Millions)
As you can see, we had a very happy and Wolf Pack-y weekend in Raleigh celebrating Win’s graduation. We love hanging out with Win and with the Tillman-Pratt family and we got plenty of time to do that this weekend. Win’s the best bro-in-law ever and I’m excited to find out what he’ll be accomplishing next year! More photos on Flickr.
Snax with sweet tea and North Carolina-style barbecue:
People of Pharping. I can’t believe my little sister has been hanging out with these people; these photographs look straight out of Nat Geo to me. (Grace Farson)
Welcome to Pyongyang. To the great surprise of many, photographer Charlie Crane was granted unique access to the capital city of North Korea. His photographs of Pyongyang are chilling; the place looks just as cold and artificial as you would expect, and yet the faces of the North Korean people he captures are haunting. They appear so starkly alive in this superficial atmosphere. Highly recommended. (Behance)
Let’s Live Here. I mean, duh. Lush French chateaus for everyone! (Miss Moss)
Les Flaneurs. This looks like such a charming place to live. (My Funny Eye)
A Pool with a House. I’m not much for houses with backyard pools, but I could definitely make an exception here. (Wide Open Spaces)
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. This is one of my favorite blogs. Designer Matt Dorfman shows the different book and magazine covers he creates for his clients. So fascinating, especially to see the final design that’s chosen and why. I think this cover is genius. (Matt Dorfman)
Guys. On Friday night, we went to the most amazing event: the annual Charlottesville Lady Arm Wrestlers‘ tournament! We joined hundreds of other ardent supporters for this theatrical championship and had the best time. We’re already looking forward to next year. After handily defeating her opponents–the likes of Tragedy Ann, Nilla Waste-her, Jos-a-Fiend Breaker, to name a few–June the Cleaver walked away with the championship trophy. Some more photos on my Flickr!
Snax with a dose of girl power stirred into your milkshake:
Digitally Archived Yearbooks from UNC-Chapel Hill. This was my most exciting find of the week. My alma mater, UNC-Chapel Hill, has digitally archived its yearbooks from 1890 to 1978. Guion and I have been paging through them all week and have been filled with so much nostalgia for Chapel Hill. The photographs are so beautiful and haunting. Seeing a fraternity from 1893 standing in Forest Theater? Totally amazing. Credit to Miss Moss and Wanderlusted for finding it; they also have collected some lovely montages from the yearbooks. (UNC University Libraries)
Less Than Human. I follow several blogs by artists and designers, but I have to say that Matt Dorfman’s is one of my favorites. Dorfman is a designer for the New York Times and he also designs book covers. In this particular post, he documents his artistic process as he decides on the cover for the book Less Than Human. So fascinating to me. (Matt Dorfman)
What’s In My Suitcase? Peek inside the suitcases of Mr. and Mrs. Globe Trot, an adorable wedding-photographer couple who have been traveling around the world for almost a year now. It was a pretty amazing reminder of how little we actually need to survive! Julia also provides some great tips for those who are packing for trips abroad. (Mr and Mrs Globe Trot)
In honor of my sister Grace, I am imposing a set of weekly challenges on myself. For 12 weeks, I will attempt a different “challenge” each week–to do one thing every day for seven days, ranging from serious to silly. At the end of each week, I’ll let you know how it goes.
WEEK 1: MORNING PAGES
I’m married to a full-time poet and musician and most of my closest friends are legitimate artists: painters, writers, dancers, and so forth. This means that I’m often very intimidated when I attempt to exhibit creativity of any kind. I can work on my calligraphy or take fuzzy photographs or scribble halfhearted stories into a notebook, but I dare not call myself an “artist” or even a creative person. I’m surrounded by so many serious–and seriously talented–artists that I wouldn’t dare join their throng in any tangible way.
I talk to Emily a lot about this. Emily is an artist–a dancer, a poet, a costume designer, and a basket-weaver–and she is equally intimidating in her talents. But she’s always encouraged me to artistic pursuits, despite my protestations. A few weeks ago, she sent me a copy of Julia Cameron’s workbook for stifled creative people, called The Artist’s Way. It’s a program designed to help frustrated artists or people like myself, who want to be creative but can’t get over their self-consciousness, to start making art. Some of the chapters are pretty hokey, but some are really encouraging.
One of the tasks that Cameron forces her students to do is write “morning pages.” Morning pages are essentially a brain dump of three handwritten pages right after you wake up. The goal is to get yourself in the habit of expressing thought in an uninhibited manner. This, supposedly, will allow you to loosen your self-conscious chains. For my first week of challenges, I wanted to try to write morning pages every day.
WHAT I LEARNED:
Coming up with stuff to write when you wake up is difficult. But maybe that’s the point?
At first, I wrote a lot about weather, mostly complaints about how cold it was still. But as I kept writing each morning, my thoughts seemed to diverge and I was actually able to write about the things I was thinking. Like, can you call a graphic novel a novel? Or, why is grapefruit so delicious in the winter?
I have a very well-documented and boring life.
I might try to keep doing it.
Next week’s challenge: Daily yoga. Grace, this is all your fault…