Seven things (that are now six)

I.

Tuesday night, standing on the porch and about to walk in the front door, I heard the distinct sound of hooves. I looked up and, to my delight, there was a horse-drawn carriage moving up the street. Two fawn-colored draft horses pulling a glossy white Cinderella-style carriage; two drivers, a man and a woman, both wearing black top hats. I watched from the porch until they passed out of my sight, but I went inside very happy and amused.

II.

These days I am dreaming a lot about the house we are hoping to find when we move in May. I have vivid dreams about specific floor plans. In one dream, the house has dingy pink carpets throughout. In the next dream, the house has forty rooms but looks the size of a double-wide on the outside. In another, the house has a perfect farm-style porcelain sink but no cabinets of any kind. In another, the house has immaculate interior design but is covered in mildewy siding on the outside, surrounded by a chain-link fence in a scary neighborhood. The only consistent feature among the multiple dream houses is that they all have gorgeous, lush lawns. I hope this is the part that will come true.

III.

We become very affectionate with each other while we’re waiting in the grocery checkout line. I’m not sure what inspires this. We joke and laugh and kiss each other’s cheeks and try to guess how much we are going to spend.

IV.

I am not very skilled with Roman numerals. I remember one of our friend’s annoying little brothers bragging that he could do all of his math problems in Roman numerals if he wanted to. I told him, “That’s stupid. Why would you ever need to do that?” He was crestfallen. I felt a little guilty, looking at his wounded face. He was so proud of his obscure talent.

V.

Shaun and Ann-Marie are coming to visit this weekend!

VI.

I have a beautiful drive to and from work. Coming down the hill every evening, I have a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge mountains. This is something to be daily grateful for.

Monday Snax

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:

IMG_7021
We took Ally out for a (belated) birthday brunch at The Egg.
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The beautiful, happy bride gets dressed.
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Eva and Peter get hitched! At the Green Rice Gallery in Charlotte.
The cutest child EVER
Thumbnail from phone picture from a home video. Proof that Sam was the cutest child ever to live.

Snax!

“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)

Meg Gleason: Personalized Stationery. Love these cards, especially the last one in the set of photos. (Design Work Life)

Farm Life. What an idyllic childhood Courtney must have had… Jealous! (Radiate)

Your Wild Horses. Wild, white horses, galloping in the surf? Of course these photos are going to be amazing. (Eye Poetry)

Got a Girl Crush On: Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. Did this really happen?? Has anyone seen this movie? (Got a Girl Crush)

Pen on Paper: A Defense of Writing. Yet another article about why handwriting matters, this time from The Curator. (The Curator)

Chat History. A true and heartbreaking romance, rendered in Gchat. (Good)

The Dark Side of the Placebo Effect: When Intense Belief Kills. Apparently, if you believe too hard, you can die. (The Atlantic)

Dr. Neubronner’s Miniature Pigeon Camera, 1903. Um, awesome. (How to Be a Retronaut)

Monday Snax

Well, I don’t have any pictures from this weekend because I’m stupid.

Here’s the story. We went down to Winston-Salem for Allan and Abby’s beautiful wedding this weekend. On the way down, we stopped at Subway just outside of Lynchburg for lunch. I proceeded to leave my purse (containing my wallet, keys, cell phone, camera, and a library book) at said Subway — and did not realize I had done so until we were 2.5 hours away. Commence many tears, panicky declarations, frantic calls, et hoc genus omne.

All this to say: I have the good employees of the Rustburg, Virginia, Subway and my brother-in-law to thank. Win, who has a heart of gold, woke up at 7 on Sunday morning and drove 1.5 hours to this hole-in-the-wall spot to retrieve my purse and take it back home for me. He definitely receives the Best Brother-in-Law of the Year Award and I am forever indebted to him. I think I owe him my first child or something like that.

ANYWAY. Aside from me being totally stupid, we had a nice weekend. It was great to see old friends from UNC and get to party with them at this lovely wedding. Whew. I still feel exhausted from the whole weekend right now; we got in last night around midnight. It may take me a while to function like a human again.

A few Snax with a lot of caffeine:

How Much Do Interns Earn? Having worked as an unpaid publications intern before, all I can add is a hearty AMEN to this article. It’s a crime. (Full Stop)

Beauty, Islamic Feminism, and Choice. I really appreciated reading this post, especially after having read Half the Sky, which does not paint a pretty picture of the way women are treated in Islamic countries. The author, a self-described “Muslim feminist,” writes about what it means to have choice and be an empowered, beautiful woman in Islamic culture. (The Beheld)

Lauren Lancaster’s United Arab Emirates. A haunting and fascinating collection of photographs of the UAE from New Yorker photographer Lauren Lancaster. (Photo Booth, the New Yorker)

“Where the Children Sleep:” A Round-the-World Tour of Children’s Bedrooms. I feel like I’ve seen this photo project before, but I don’t really care, because it’s always extremely fascinating. The disparities are numbing. (The Atlantic)

Language Mystery: When Did Americans Stop Sounding This Way? We watched a lot of films on Turner Classic Movies growing up, and I’ve always wanted to know the answer to this question. Why did American actors in the 1930s and 1940s speak in that stilted, quasi-British way? The Atlantic has the answer. (The Atlantic Monthly)

Paintings by Morgan Allender. Dark, lush, floral. I like. (ii ne, kore)

A Heart So White. I’m still six years old at heart: I will always be enchanted by photographs of white horses. (Eye Poetry)

Wales, Circa 1880, in Color. I wonder if Wales still looks this magical today. (How to Be a Retronaut)

Keep It In Your Pants: Smartphone Etiquette at Every Age. A guide on how to not be a total jerk with your iPhone, Crackberry, etc. (Also, is “smartphone” one word now? I hate that.) (Good)

Wishful to-do list

My Japanese host sisters. Felt like this fit the post.

Things I Want To Do for Deep, Inexplicable Reasons

* Walk a dog. Any dog. For a long time.

* Cross-stitch something.

* Volunteer at the Charlottesville SPCA.

* Make pumpkin pies. Multiple pies!

* Use a typewriter.

* Ride a horse. For a long time. And then spend a few hours in the stables. I actually really didn’t mind muck-raking.

* Play with a puppy and/or puppies.

* Use all that gouache I have lying around and do something pretty and useful with it.

* Eat lots of authentic Japanese food.

* Babysit cute kids.

* Re-learn how to draw. Or, actually learn.

* Start running weekly.

* Teach Reuben how to cuddle.

* Buy weird clothes at Goodwill.

I need to read more books. There are too many books to be read! Too many, I say! I also really need a dog. If I can’t have a dog in at least two years, all of my life may have been for naught.

Jokes. (Maybe…)

All of this is really just preliminary introduction to my new feature, My Life List. Inspired my many cool lady bloggers, I thought I’d make my own. It’s a surprising adventure in personal ambition! I highly recommend it–even if you don’t plan on doing anything on your list, I think it’s definitely worth making. Courtney was planning out her bucket list months ago. I’ll be haphazardly chronicling progress here. I wonder how many of those I can accomplish before I actually die… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.