Monday Snax

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!

Balboa Towers
The view from Balboa Towers.
Cuddles
The dog is a cuddle pro.
Wry
Always watching.

After all of that good conversation, great food, and wine, it is hard to get back into the work week…

Snax:

How Many Slaves Work For You? Interactive website that gives you the answer: A lot. Very eye-opening. (Slavery Footprint)

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)

Someone’s a Big Girl! 75 words of wisdom from Alice Bradley’s hilarious mother. (Finslippy)

Elaine Stritch Is Just Happy that She’s Alive. I want to be Elaine Stritch one day. (NY Mag)

Yelena Bryksenkova. Lovely, cool-toned sketches from this illustrator. (Le Project d’Amour)

Fishscape. If only Reuben were still alive… He would have loved this. (Automatism)

Fake Books I Asked Librarians For. Yes. (The Hairpin)

Lost Gardens: II. Bunnies on the hillside! Natalie’s life is so romantic. And adorable. (Peregrinations of NJM)

All is calm

… with the exception of Aoive, the Pratt’s beautiful and crazy English Springer Spaniel, who is whining because she can’t stick her paws in my face… We are in Southern Pines again for a few days and will be jumping back and forth from here to Durham for a wedding this weekend. Then we’re back in Davidson for our annual New Year’s Day party. It has been a long, perfect, and peaceful holiday break and I wish it could go on forever. Even Reuben has been having a great time.

I’m enjoying the time to sit, read, drink tea and talk with much-missed relatives. The time to reflect has also allowed me to collect my ideas for 2011 goals. The women in my family are all fanatic list-makers and goal-setters; Grace perhaps most of all. So, family women, here’s my preliminary list:

2011 Goals

  • Start running again.
  • Read 50 books. (No more slacking! I was disheartened when I realized I had read 65 books in 2009 and only 44 in 2010–unless I can finish this Italo Calvino by tomorrow!)
  • Attempt to finish Francine Prose’s Books to Be Read Immediately book list.
  • Practice yoga 3 times per week.
  • Volunteer.
  • Thanksgiving Project: Purely inspired by one of my favorite blogs, THXTHXTHX, I am going to write down something I am thankful for every day for the whole year.
  • Drastically reduce my consumption of sugar; give up sugar for Lent.
  • Memorize Scripture.
  • Finish my Women in the Bible study.
  • Write and edit more short stories.
  • Start studying for the GRE; begin investigating flexible grad programs nearby.

Talk to you soon. In the meantime, please enjoy Guion’s face upon opening The Greatest Christmas Present of All Time. Grace, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives.

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.

Monday Snax

From our recent hike to Crabtree Falls

Autumn is still dragging its heels in coming to Charlottesville, but the mornings and early afternoons have been quite pleasant. That feeling you get when you’re sitting in direct sun, but it’s just warm, instead of sticky and oppressive? I’ve missed that. It’s coming back. Slowly. We had a nice weekend adventuring with friends–taking a hike to Crabtree Falls (photo from the summit)–and just lazing around the house together, which was really great. I’ve missed doing that. Last night, we watched “A Very Long Engagement” for the second time, and I was reminded again how much I love Jeunet’s method of storytelling in film. He’s writing a novel with moving pictures! I love it.

This week’s Monday Snax are sponsored by Reuben, who is, as of this morning, still alive and pretty! Now, commence time wasting!

In Character, Starring… This is one of my favorite features from Vanity Fair: collecting actors and asking them for a face or depiction of a certain elaborate scene. Jeff Daniels’ take on this is really the best. I’m so impressed. So entertaining and funny. (Vanity Fair)

Stupidity and Politicians. A quotation from Bertrand Russell that I find to be regrettably relevant to the current political atmosphere. (1,001 Rules for My Unborn Son)

Renovating a French Farmhouse. Um, I can has?? (New York Times)

President Obama Holds Lemonade Summit in Virginia Backyard. Haha. (Daily Intel)

Oh, What An Angry Person You Are! Young actress Tatum O’Neal’s cheeky response to a fan letter from 1982. I’ve never seen her in anything, but I want to after reading this letter. (Letters of Note)

The Colors for the 2011 Spring Season. I’ve never understood this. What group of powerful designers gets together and decides, unilaterally, what the colors for the season will be? Is there a G8 summit of fashionistas? Do they have a Style UN? (Delphine Ephemera)

Luca Luca Spring 2011. I don’t normally find much interesting about fashion blogs, but I was really struck by this collection from Luca Luca. I want to wear all of those clothes all day. (Love Made Visible)

Baby massage. Joanna Goddard, of A Cup of Jo, and her baby, Toby, show how a baby massage is done. It’s so adorable, and I’m not even in to babies right now!

Law Schools Now Require Applicants to Honestly State Whether They Want to go to Law School. (The Onion)

Margot Was Already the World’s Worst Roommate. Hipster pug! For whatever reason, no other breed looks more disdainful or ridiculous in clothing. (Hipster Puppies)

Dancing With the Stairs. I had to cover my mouth when I saw this one, to prevent myself from a tiny laughter explosion. (Regretsy)

Gossip Girl Recap: We Make Our Own Fairy Tales. Important Disclaimer: I don’t even watch this show. I really don’t. We don’t have cable. But I love reading NY Mag’s recaps of every episode, because they are so hilarious and highlight the extreme absurdity of this show. Even if you don’t watch it, you will think this is funny. (CoCo, I’m sorry. I know you think of Serena and Chuck and Blair and Nate like your own family.) (NY Magazine)

Nancy Drew. Retelling those cheesy–and often very weird–Nancy Drew covers. (Hark, A Vagrant!)

Meet Reuben

Thank you for all of the excellent advice, friends. Mrs. Pinckney, thank you particularly for reminding me what a pain birds can be. (They are so CUTE, though!)

As you all know, I’d infinitely prefer a dog, but of course we can’t get one here. So we went with the most cost-effective and peaceful option: The trusty betta.

Blogosphere, meet Reuben. We spent an inordinate amount of time picking him out. Isn’t he handsome? Guion named him after his favorite German Shepherd in Ireland. Yes, in homage to the dog that we cannot have. So, that’s that. Reuben lives on our mantel and watches us while we eat and read and listen to music. And–now–watch films on our brand-new television: our other big purchase for the day. Guion was slightly more excited about the TV than the fish, but I’m rather pleased to have a pet.