It’s been way too busy around here lately. But I got to meet Huck, the Aussie, on Sunday, and he was a dream. A fuzzy, razor-sharp-toothed dream. (I’d forgotten how much puppies, like babies, want to put everything in their mouths.) He belongs to Jodi and Michael, who brought him home just a week ago. When I stood up to reluctantly leave, he laid down on top of my boots and looked up at me. KILLING ME, PUPPY. KILLING ME. It took all my willpower not to pick him up, stuff him in my purse, and make a run for it.
Best Photos of the Year 2011. So powerful. Warning: Some are violent/graphic/upsetting. But they’re all incredible. Especially #46! If you don’t see any other photo, at least get to #46. (Reuters)
Well, friends. Your last dose of Snax until the New Year! I’m unspeakably excited about going back to North Carolina for the holidays. We leave Wednesday morning for Southern Pines. I’m looking forward to sitting around the fire there and wrestling with Aoive and her complicated psyche. It’s going to be great. Then we’re off to my grandparents’ place for Christmas day, and then back and forth between Davidson, Southern Pines, and Durham for the next few days. Exhausting! (A wedding in the middle of it all doesn’t help the simplicity.) But I’m looking forward to it all the same.
Today’s featured website: The New York Times
OK. So it’s not like I discovered the NYT or anything, but they’ve just had a lot of beautiful, striking content lately. So I’m going to share some of it with you.
Let It Dough! The perfect holiday feature from NYT. Hilarious, brilliant, and oh-so-tasty. Thanks for the link, Granddad! (NYT blog, Abstract City)
Fourteen Actors Acting. “A video gallery of classic screen types.” These black-and-white minute-long pieces feature well-known actors playing intense, briefly realized characters. What makes it so interesting is that the only sound is the orchestra in the background. The inability to understand anything the character says gives considerable license to the imagination. My favorites: Natalie Portman, James Franco, and, of course, SWINTON. (NYT Magazine)
10th Annual Year in Ideas. The ideas are almost as great as the design of this page. Really fun to tool around in. And so much weird stuff to learn! A bra that converts into gas masks? The world could always use more of those. (NYT Magazine)
In Germany, from Derelict to Pristine. The slideshows from “Great Homes and Destinations” are my favorite way to kill time. I could look at these wild houses all day long. This couple lives in a posh, converted water tower. Crazy! (NYT)
Regularly scheduled Snax:
The Angela Simulator. “No need to miss me over the holidays,” Angela’s e-mail read. Because now you can generate any potential conversation with Angela on her website. It’s brilliant. It makes me feel closer to her, so I just sit there clicking on “What else?” for 10 minutes. (WXTCHOU)
Printable Holiday Gift Tags. Still wrapping? Try out these cute and colorful gift tags; they’ll liven up any present. (How About Orange)
What Languages Should Liberal Arts Be About in 2011? This is for Emily. We liked to hate on romance languages a lot, basically because they are so darn easy to learn compared with Japanese and Arabic. In this piece, James McWhorter takes our side, but argues that romance languages are essentially useless to learn in the new decade and beyond. It’s Chinese for everyone, baby. (The New Republic)
Closet Visit: Momo Suzuki. Basically, I just want to BE a Japanese woman. Their sense of style is impeccable: peaceful, simple, elegant. (Jeana Sohn)
William Merritt Chase. A feature on the well-regarded portrait painter. It makes me want to go to an art gallery. (Miss Moss)
In the Scheme of Things. This dialogue reminds me of the look my mother shot my father when he was choking on the pit of a plum. After his esophagus had cleared and he was recovering from the trauma, he announced, “Wow, that was like having a baby.” I will always remember the look of pure disgust on her face. (Dooce)
Jon Rafman: Google Street View. Somewhat related to a post from last week, but these images will always fascinate me. How does he find them?? Rafman must spend all day on Google Maps. (Sub-Studio Design Blog)
Putting the “Gold” In Your Golden Years. I know retirement is very far from our young minds, but it really shouldn’t be. This is one of the many things I’ve learned in my short tenure at work. This is a great graphic from the folks at Mint explaining some of the basics of retirement saving. (Mint)
G. and I have both been sick since we got back from Thanksgiving. I think I’m getting over it, but he’s just acquired my slew of symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, aches, general yuckiness). As E. Hylton would say, “I feel like a big gross.”
In brighter news, however, my department at work moved to a new building, which has WINDOWS and I get a bigger desk. It feels like an upgrade on life, since I spend so much of mine there. Yesterday, we also had our first snow. It was just a light dusting, but everyone got pretty jazzed about it. On my way back from the grocery store, I saw a dad and his two sons “sledding” down a big hill in the park off Madison. They were basically just sliding down wet grass. But they were having a great time. Oh, and I have this Mac. I’m still getting used to it–it’s kind of a learning curve after spending most of your adult computing life on a PC–but I think I am going to like it just fine.
Snax to cure your sniffles:
Catalog Living. Courtesy of R. Hylton (via Facebook) and E. Hylton (via handwritten letter). Finally, someone mocking the ridiculous spreads that occur in catalogs. The site follows the imaginary lives of Gary and Elaine, who live in the catalogs you get in the mail. Pottery Barn, you’re probably guilty. This post has to be one of my favorites I’ve seen so far. (Catalog Living)
100 Notable Books of 2010. I get really excited when this list comes out every year. I’m generally not very good at staying updated with good modern literature, and this is always a great place to start. Need to start stuffing my book list. (New York Times)
Chloe the Australian Shepherd. I am going to keep posting pictures of puppies until someone tells me to stop. And even then, I am going to keep doing it. (Daily Puppy)
Hideaki Hamada. This Japanese photographer takes the most beautiful and sweet pictures of his son. Some of my favorites: Windows (the comic/seriousness kills me); New Balance (adorable); Another World (they already have his hair groomed to look like every Tokyo teen boy). (One Year)
We almost finished all of our Christmas shopping yesterday. It made me positively giddy. One, because I love buying presents for people; I wish we had an unlimited gift budget. Two, because it makes me feel so TRIUMPHANT. I nearly skipped out of Target humming “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Guion is less enthused about shopping for presents, but he was quite helpful (and by “helpful,” I mean that he played with all of the animated toys in the kids’ section).
I had a very vivid dream last night that I won a labradoodle puppy in a fashion makeover contest. Yes. I know. These dreams! At least my psyche is consistently stuck on puppies. The contest was to see who could put on the best and craziest face of makeup in five minutes or something. I beat out two of Guion’s MFA classmates to win this puppy. As soon as I saw it, I announced to everyone that I couldn’t have a dog in our apartment, but that I was going to give it to my mother. She was less than pleased, but Dad was thrilled.
Leaving for Davidson in just a few hours! I can’t WAIT! We are getting back in town on Monday, so Snax will probably be delayed until Tuesday or later.
We’re on the fast track to Christmas now, people.
Going to go eat some pumpkin pie, be back later,
Whoops. Totally forgot about Monday Snax. Yesterday was a super-busy day around here. My apologies! I was still recovering from our crazy and fun weekend at Topsail Beach for Rose and Kemp’s wedding. (A few photos on Flickr, to your right or here.) Really, really thrilled for both of them.
Continuing my total binge on BBC miniseries based on classic novels (thanks, Hylton sisters!), I’ve been watching “Our Mutual Friend,” Dickens’ final novel. Observations: Bella is very unusual for a Dickens heroine, in the fact that she seems to possess a brain! Also, all of the men are totally crazy stalkers, and it does not seem to be a big deal to anyone. And, finally, Dickens just can’t get over unbelievable coincidence, spontaneous resurrection, and rich people with insane wills.
Most of this week’s links are not very serious. I seem to have gravitated toward the absurd and hilarious this week, for whatever reason. Enjoy!