Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Are You Talkin' to Me?

Flashback to 6pm Christmas Day in Denver Colorado. Upstairs a flurry of activity (which I am studiously avoiding) indicates that dinner of regal proportions of forthcoming. My brother sleeps on the couch. My sister-in-law has provided me with a glass of rose champagne and I’m hiding in the downstairs family room with this scene behind me.

Are they related? Do they love each other? Do they even like each other? Do they only see each other once a year? Yes to all of the above but in this techno world they’re hooked up to earbuds and headphones (now so old school they’re back again) watching movies on newly received Kindle Fires and iPads and listening to music on iPod-nano watches. Am I even speaking English anymore?

I could delve into the implications of a generation that knows each other through Facebook (one niece was given an account as her greatest wish for Christmas. By 7:30am she had sent me a FB invite and by 4:30 had over 60 friends). And yet…and yet. They play hide and seek, laugh and elbow each other, shriek over old photos of their parents and beg to be told stories about their parents’ misspent youth. Isolation and togetherness.

For some of us it’s all right- I sat and typed away, comfortable in my own head but for others it’s profoundly discomfiting. My mother moved from room to room asking questions and wanting to interact but not only unable to understand the technology but uninterested. What she really wanted was someone to sit and talk to her about their deepest thoughts and feelings. For people like her there is no substitute for the human voice.
Is this shift better or worse? Will this generation be able to truly connect with each other and the world at large? Or, like lovely penmanship, is talking going to become an antiquated form of communication? Will personal isolation become the norm and all socializing be done online? The clack of keys replacing conversation?

Asked as she typed this post while her husband cooked nearby listening to a podcast…

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Walk

This post might also be titled How You Know You Have Too Much Time on Your Hands if only because this little ‘project’ amused me mightily. In fact, I’m still grinning about it and hope it will make others, people I don’t even know, smile too.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Reading

It’s no news I’m a reader. Even more than I dream of being a writer, reading is one of my favorite activities (running a close second to pretending I’m a stylist and mocking everyone I watch on reality TV). The combination of reader and librarian means that I get often get asked, “What are you reading? What do you recommend?” Sometimes this comes from people in the library who seem undeterred by the fact that I have a 2” thick bright blue cord emblazoned with VOLUNTEER hanging from my neck. My pretense of not speaking English doesn’t seem to slow them down either. Anyway, you’ve stopped by so I thought I’d share some of my finds this month as it was a stunning literary month (i.e. I loved more books than I hated).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Wrap-up

Another Thanksgiving weekend is winding its way down and I’d like to quickly sum up a few of the things that made it special for me this year.
Thursday morning: A quiet walk in the rain

Thursday, November 17, 2011

When The Words Won't Come

It’s been said by all of us at some point or another that, despite knowing the need to feed the blog beast with new content, there are simply days when the words don’t come. For me that ‘day’ is stretching to several days which is quite as unnerving as I know folks aren’t checking in for kicks. You’re only good as your last post.

Friday, October 21, 2011

People, We're Walking

It's mid-October! Nothing is blooming now, everyone is shedding their leaves but here is this GIFT right next to the path. Makes me smile every time I go by. I always stop and inhale the lovely fragrance.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Let's Covet: Fall Shoes

The end of this week was a bit more fraught than I prefer (more on that another time) so I need to lighten things up. Way up. Fantasy shopping up.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


This weekend caps off a big Pacific Northwest event called Wordstock (get it?). It’s a great amalgam of writers, readers, publishers, and vendors. I thought it would a fun Saturday adventure for me and my good friend Sue. It was but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t lament the fact that my desire to be a writer is tempered by the fact that every semi-insane badly dressed unemployed freak thinks the same thing. Apparently, almost anyone who has ever combined a verb and a noun thinks they can write. And this festival encourages them.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Fashion: Practically Speaking (Shopping)

“It is amazing how much clothes mean; perhaps I value them too highly. But nothing- be it illness, poverty, or loneliness or other misfortunes, distresses me more than having nothing to wear.”-Isak Dinesen

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall Fashion 2011: Fantasy Shopping- YSL | Givenchy

The tents are down and ostensibly fashion week is over but they were showing spring anyway so I’m not compelled to follow suit. I have one more subject to discuss- fantasy shopping. I made an initial foray into this in the spring but it included home goods. Now, after perusing over 10 magazines and 1,000s of photos online I’m rewarding myself with a hypothetical fall shopping trip. This is where I show you the pieces from various designers I would love to own even if I had nowhere to wear them but CostCo (wouldn’t that be fun!). You might be thinking ‘dear God she’s already shown us 6 designers with clothes for a life she doesn’t have’ but that’s different. In the case of Herrera, Karan, and Saab (my 3 absolute favorites) I want their entire collection. For this I’m talking about beautiful individual pieces.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall Fashion: Trends to Miss

If you’ve read more than two posts in this blog then you know I like to share my opinion. By and large I try and keep it positive but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Hence this post. I’ve already shared what I like and what I love now it’s time to take a quick look at trends that really ought not to have left the designers’ head much less walked down the runway.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Fashion 2011: Chado Ralph Rucci | Elie Saab Couture

It’s Friday and a fitting (no pun intended; OK a pun was definitely intended) day to end my fall fashion week look at trends and favorite designers. Everything on Friday is happy and good, right?

It is for these two designers.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Fashion 2011: Carolina Herrera | MaxMara

Yesterday I remained largely practical in that both Donna Karan and Michael Kors make clothes for a woman who, ostensibly, works. She owns her own advertising agency or is the editor of Vogue but still, she works. Today, I’m jumping into my favorite fantasy of all- the lady who lunches. I’ve never met one but I’d love to be one. To clarify, just because you grab at sandwich at the Hoagie Hut in Portland and eat it there- that doesn’t count. You must live in New York, London, Paris, or possibly Milan. Lunch is an event not a meal.

    Lightweight almost fluid charcoal grey wool flannel in both an A-line skirt and classic wide cuff trousers. The skirt is paired with a simple cashmere (OK, cashmere is never ‘simple') while the trousers are topped with a capelet jacket. Also, I'd never considered grey and brown together but it works beautifully.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall Fashion 2011: Donna Karan | Michael Kors

Michael Kors and Donna Karan are two of my favorite American designers and not just because he’s on Project Runway and she’s a huge Zen yogini. It’s because they both make clothes that work and move with a woman’s body- something other designers sometimes sacrifice for the ‘art’ of a piece.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Portland Food- ¿Por Que No?

The unprepossessing approach- including the hostile parking sign from the restaurant next door, which is no idle threat (we’ve seen a car being towed from their otherwise empty lot leading me to believe they lurk behind the window just waiting).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weekly Adventure: Hillsdale Farmers' Market

 I’ve already written about a farmers’ market here in Oregon but what I may not have mentioned is there is one in a different location every day of the week. So, you can have your favorite but if you miss that day you still have six other markets to choose from the rest of the week. This weekend J and I visited the Hillsdale market. Hillsdale is neighborhood southwest of Portland- old, charming, and a bit eclectic. Very different crowd from Beaverton. Lots of men in floppy sunhats, loud talkers, kind of eccentric.
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