Earthquake

I was rattled out of my tiny bed in the middle of the night by an earthquake, my first earthquake. I was in Oyumino, a relatively unknown suburb of Tokyo, in my host family’s home. I felt like I was dreaming. Half-awake, I looked around the room, looked at the walls and waited for things to start to fall off them, one by one, but it was my body that was shaking. Things weren’t shaking; the whole room was shaking.

The next morning at breakfast, Keiko was excited that I’d experienced an earthquake; she said it was a rite of passage for those who dared to live in Japan. She told me that no one was really much hurt by this quake, except for a teenage boy who was killed when his stereo system rattled off a shelf and crushed his skull.

Things I’ll never wear again

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Somewhere in Japan, July 2008. Exhibit A: Proof that I can’t wear shorts. Or dress myself like an adult. I was a giant horror to all the chic Japanese women.

Garments and styles I’ll never wear again:

  • Shorts. No shorts ever again, unless I am doing some strenuous physical activity. I can’t look good in them, no matter how hard I try.
  • Cable-knit sweaters. I can’t even begin to tell you how ugly these make me.
  • Boxy turtlenecks. À la Lands’ End. You know what I’m talking about. You know they’re bad when not even the models can make them look good. I don’t think I’ve worn one since the late 1990s, though, so I’m fairly safe from repeating this one.
  • Polo shirts. I have never been preppy enough to pull off a polo. I don’t think people with naturally curly hair are allowed to wear polos?
  • Capri pants. Do people still wear capris? Are they even called that anymore? (And is a capri higher than an ankle jean? Someone educate me.)
  • Jean jackets. I’ve never been able to pull off a jean jacket.

If you wear any of these things, I am not passing judgment on you. I have simply come to the point in my young adult life where I have learned that I cannot wear certain things. I need to establish these rules. Because deep down, I think I just want to float around in big, drapey, tent-like garments, the kind that 50-year-old community college art teachers wear. I have to put some limits on myself.

Monday Snax with a slideshow

Shaun and Ann-Marie get married and we see a ton of other people!

Photos from our whirlwind weekend in Chapel Hill can be found here!

Snax:

Katsuya Kamo, Hairstylist, at His Home in Tokyo. I tend to shun clutter, but Kamo’s packed walls and cultivated collection of items really appeals to me. The beetles make me think of Prufrock. (The Selby)

Sachiyo Nakamura Exhibition in Tokyo. This showroom looks like a dream to me. I will always be in love with Japanese patterns. (Upon a Fold)

Interiors. I absolutely love all of these rooms and had to resist the strong urge to pin them all myself. (TeenAngster)

Hot Tea Is More Refreshing than Cold Tea. Wow, so interesting. So my Japanese host mom knew what she was doing when she repeatedly gave me piping hot cups of sencha on 103-degree days. (Discovering Tea)

At the End of an E-mail, Everyone’s a Valedictorian. Helpful suggestions on how to close your e-mails with more appropriate and tone-specific signatures. (The Hairpin)

Circles of Influence. A fun graphic showing famous writers who influenced other famous writers. (English Muse)

At Home with Elke. Yes, please, glorious home in Provence! Doesn’t this also look like the setting of one of the recent Anthropologie catalogs? (French by Design)

10 Questions for Ellen Picker. Ellen is a friendly face around town and a great young photographer. The Charlotte asks her a few questions about work and inspiration and includes some beautiful examples of her work. (The Charlotte)

Frida’s Corsets. A sad but interesting detail from the life of Frida Kahlo. (The Paris Review)

Super-Saturated Colors. The juxtaposition of these dabs of color really appealed to me. Paintings by Michelle Armas. (Anne Louise Likes)

Catherine Campbell’s Tea-rific Illustrations. Campbell sketches sad-faced ladies in tea cups. It’s very charming. (ModCloth blog)

Voguepedia. People who know about fashion will have more fun with this than I will, but it’s still a cool feature: Vogue, in encyclopedic form. (Voguepedia)

Old Navy’s Performance Typo. It pays to have an editor around when you’re in the business of making graphic tees. (Mighty Red Pen)

My Dreamboat. I think John Travolta is totally gross, but this fitness book of his is probably the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen. So serious! So much spandex! (Lucy Can’t Dance)

Who… Is… Hansky? I just love that this is happening. (Best Week Ever)

My life in chapters

Chapter One: A blissfully happy childhood, in which my greatest concerns are how many library books I am allowed to bring home and how many baby rabbits we can smuggle over from the neighbor’s back yard.

Chapter Two: The dark days of middle school, in which I fill up many dramatic journals and feel murky and confused inside.

Chapter Three: High school, in which my weirdly conservative debater identity takes hold; in which I feel that I am very popular, even though I am homeschooled and my entire social circle is about 40 people.

Chapter Four: Freshman year of college, in which I feel elated and totally excited about everything; in which I date a boy for the first time; in which I am still very judgmental.

Chapter Five: My sophomore year in college, in which everything falls apart and I am rebuilt again.

Chapter Six: My summer in Tokyo, in which my entire worldview is broadened; in which my Japanese language abilities make exponential strides; in which I have never worked harder in my entire life.

Chapter Six: Junior year in college, in which I am in love with Guion and find that he changes everything; in which I am happy, genuinely happy again.

Chapter Seven: Summer working for the Denver Post, in which I become an adult; in which I find a new, bold, extroverted self emerge, a self who makes new friends and invites them hiking every week; in which I am more fit and joyful than I have ever been before.

Chapter Eight: Senior year of college, in which Guion decides to marry me; in which I live in an almost constant state of stress; in which I learn that living in a house with six other women is difficult but has its benefits; in which I finish my thesis and feel very accomplished; in which I plan my wedding and graduate.

Chapter Nine: Our first year of marriage, in which we are excited to be together every single day; in which we move to Charlottesville; in which I get my first full-time job and he starts graduate school; in which we fall in love with a town and its people.

Chapter Ten: Our second year of marriage, which has just begun; in which we think we might just stay here forever, for who could feel this content?

Monday Snax

Late Monday Snax!

People we saw (click on thumbnails to enlarge!):

As you can see, we had a wonderful weekend in North Carolina, even though it was jam-packed with activities and even though we didn’t get to see everyone we’d hoped to (e.g., Danielle, Meller, Logan, Sam, Carmen, Sarah, etc.). I feel absolutely exhausted today and felt like falling asleep several times today at work. The dark and stormy skies don’t help that feeling, either. But we’re home and happy to be back even though we miss everyone dearly.

Snax as a garnish around a stuffed swan:

Shaun and Ann-Marie’s Engagement Shoot. We got to spend a handful of time with Shaun, one of G’s best friends, and his utterly fabulous, funny, and beautiful Aussie fiancee, Ann-Marie this weekend. They just got their engagement photos back and I think they are just perfect! Can’t wait for their wedding in August! (Sarah Der Photography)

Mixed America’s Family Trees. This is such a fascinating feature from the NYT: A series of interactive family trees with photographs from families with mixed racial heritage from across the country. I was really into genealogy in middle school. If I had to take a stab at my multicolored leaves, I think my mix is predominately Irish-Scotch-Dutch. How about you?

Daddy-O. I miss my dad. I love this photo of him and Dublin. (Como Say What?)

Leaving Tokyo. These photographs of pregnant women and families with little children fleeing the Tokyo area are so heart-wrenching to me. The children look so frightened and serious. I think about Japan almost every day and I can’t get the Japanese out of my mind. (Tokyo Photojournalist)

Having a Dog Makes You Exercise More. Reason #3,408 why I NEED a dog. (We can give up online shopping, but we cannot give up NY Mag.) (New York Magazine)

50 Photos of Basset Hounds Running. This is absolutely and gloriously grotesque. If this isn’t proof that a Basset Hound is a really, really cruel way to breed an animal, nothing is. (Best Week Ever)

Sequinned Sewshi. Tiny, crafty things like this usually annoy me, but I have to admit that these hand-sewn sushi bits are pretty adorable. (Lobster and Swan)

Belle Sue. Dreamy, peaceful film photographs by Belle Sue. (Miss Moss)

15 Totally Surreal Vintage Ads. I think “totally surreal” is a bit too nice. “Extremely creepy” seems to fit better. (Flavorwire)

Monday Snax

Valentine's lilies from G. They make me so, so happy.

Happy random holiday! President’s Day, right? Easily the most pointless “holiday” on our national calendar, but I got today off, so I will take it. Merci, Washington.

The weather in Charlottesville has FINALLY started to carry a hint of spring. It’s been very blustery, but I will take the wind, since it brings with it 60-70 degree days. But this joy, of course, cannot last long. We’re supposed to get SNOW tomorrow. Curses.

Snax and some toast spackled with apple butter:

Best of Breed, the Westminster Dog Show Photos. Um, OF COURSE I looked at all of these and of course I am going re-post this here. I’ve always gotten mercilessly mocked by Dave and my father for loving dog shows (lots of quotes from “Best in Show” thrown at me), but I am unapologetic in my love for them. These are great portraits, too.

The Dogs and Humans of the Westminster Kennel Club Show. And if you haven’t had enough, enjoy NY Mag’s snarky take on the whole affair. (NY Magazine)

Books That Rocked Your World at 16 But Fall Flat Now. I’m posting this as a follow-up to my brief Ayn Rand bits. Please note the first novel that’s mentioned in this list. Um, yes. Just trying to make the case again that no one thinks it’s a worthwhile piece of literature. (Flavorwire)

Twenty-Six Birds and a Fence. Grace took this photograph in New Zealand and I’m amazed; I just love it. The silhouette is just perfect. You should all be following her budding photography portfolio online! (Grace Farson: Photography Portfolio)

Beauty Products. I realized the other day that I really love makeup. I don’t really wear a lot of it, but I could spend an obscene amount of money on it. In this post, Kate provides a helpful guide of her favorite makeup and it made my fingers itch to try some of it. (For Me, For You)

Old Photo Love. Everyone’s been posting about this project, but I’m going to do it again, because it’s so fun. Photographer Irina Werning has people reenact photographs of themselves as children and the results are delightful. (Bleubird Vintage)

On the Street, East 26th St., New York. I don’t normally post stuff from The Sartorialist, because everybody already reads it, but I am LOVING the way this girl looks. She owns it. (The Sartorialist)

Uniform-Clad Nationalists at Yasukuni Shrine. I spent an afternoon here at Yasukuni Jinja while in Tokyo (my photos here). Yasukuni is the highly controversial national war memorial. These photos were very chilling to me–the severity of the men’s faces among the falling snow and so forth. (Tokyo Times)

Competitive Reading. Guion keeps telling me how hilarious “Portlandia” is; this clip alone will resonate with most of us borderline hipsters. (The Book Bench)

Nancy-tines. I love Kate Beaton’s general fixation with Nancy Drew. I never liked her books growing up, and so I feel rather pleased to see her taken on with such gleeful sarcasm. (Hark, a Vagrant!)

Hold Your Water. The things people try to sell on Etsy never fails to amaze me. (Regretsy)

Washed Away. Pottery Barn really does sell some dumb stuff. (Catalog Living)

Better to Be a Ho. Daughter might get a job as a cab driver; her mother is none too pleased. (Postcards from Yo Momma)