Friday, December 17, 2010

I Love Old Books: Boris Pasternak

I love old books, and was so delighted to learn about abebooks while visiting Professor Braunmuller at UCLA a couple years back.

Just recieved this $3 copy of Boris Pasternak's Selected Poems. It's in great condition and has a lovely message written on the inside.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The message reads:
With my fondest love and the happiest of memories.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Monday, December 06, 2010

This purse bears my name

These are the happinesses of my childhood

Because jewelry makes you sparkle

Ria Charisse Opal Ring because every libra needs an opal. It's not a birth stone it's a birth right.

Elizabeth Knight Wishbone Pendant so you can wear your hopes close to your heart.

Carlos Montanaro Travel Clock Necklace for the time traveler in all of us.

Finn Gatsby Ring, just because.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prada Spring Summer 2011

A beautiful show. The clothes might feel like a mix of hospital and Cuban cigar shop chic, but the set and the music are magical. I feel like I'm sitting at a cafe in Barcelona, watching Matisse's bathers walk up and down the boulevard in the heat of the late afternoon and into the night.

The shoes are pretty incredible too.

There were more, but finding photos of all the ones I love was very hard.

Jaime Mon Carre

Monday, September 27, 2010

How would you describe a pear?

An excerpt from Beatice and Virgil by Yann Martel. So good I had to read it twice.

(Virgil and Beatrice are sitting at the foot of the tree.They are looking out blankly.Silence.)

VIRGIL: What I'd give for a pear.


VIRGIL: Yes. A ripe and juicy one.


BEATRICE: I've never had a pear.


BEATRICE: In fact, I don't think I've ever set eyes on one.

VIRGIL: How is that possible? It's a common fruit.

BEATRICE: My parents were always eating apples and carrots. I

guess they didn't like pears.

VIRGIL: But pears are so good! I bet you there's a pear tree right around here. (He looks about.)

BEATRICE: Describe a pear for me. What is a pear like?

VIRGIL: (settling back) I can try. Let's see . . . To start with, a pear has an unusual shape. It's round and fat on the bottom, but tapered on top.

BEATRICE: Like a gourd.

VIRGIL: A gourd ? You know gourds but you don't know pears? How odd the things we know and don't. At any rate, no, a pear is smaller than an average gourd, and its shape is more pleasing to the eye. A pear becomes tapered in a symmetrical way, its upper half sitting straight and centred atop its lower half. Can you see what I mean?

BEATRICE: I think so.

VIRGIL: Let's start with the bottom half. Can you imagine a fruit that is round and fat?

BEATRICE: Like an apple?

VIRGIL: Not quite. If you look at an apple with your mind's eye, you will notice that the girth of the apple is at its widest either in the middle of the fruit or in the top third, isn't that so?

BEATRICE: You're right. A pear is not like this?

VIRGIL: No. You must imagine an apple that is at its widest in the bottom third.

BEATRICE: I can see it.

VIRGIL: But we must not push the comparison too far. The bottom of a pear is not like an apple's.


VIRGIL: No. Most apples sit on their buttocks, so to speak, on a circular ridge or on four or five points that keep them from falling over. Past the buttocks, a little ways up, there's what would be the anus of the fruit if the fruit were a beast.

BEATRICE: I see precisely what you mean.

VIRGIL: Well, a pear is not like that. A pear has no buttocks. Its bottom is round.

BEATRICE: So how does it stay up?

VIRGIL: It doesn't. A pear either dangles from a tree or lies on its side.

BEATRICE: As clumsy as an egg.

VIRGIL: There's something else about the bottom of a pear: most pears do not have those vertical grooves that some apples have. Most pears have smooth, round, even bottoms.

BEATRICE: How enchanting.

VIRGIL: It certainly is. Now let us move north past our fruity equator.

BEATRICE: I'm following you.

VIRGIL: There comes this tapering I was telling you about.

BEATRICE: I can't quite see it. Does the fruit come to a point? Is it shaped like a cone?

VIRGIL: No. Imagine the tip of a banana.

BEATRICE: Which tip?

VIRGIL: The end tip, the one you hold in your hand when you're eating one.

BEATRICE: What kind of banana? There are hundreds of varieties.

VIRGIL: Are there?

BEATRICE: Yes. Some are as small as fat fingers, others are real clubs. And their shapes vary too, as do their taste.

VIRGIL: I mean the regular, yellow ones that taste really good.

BEATRICE: The common banana, M. sapientum. You probably have the Gros Michel variety in mind.

VIRGIL: I'm impressed.

BEATRICE: I know bananas.

VIRGIL: Better than a monkey. Take the end tip of a common banana, then, and place it on top of an apple, taking into account the differences between apples and pears that I've just described.

BEATRICE: An interesting graft.

VIRGIL: Now make the lines smoother, gentler. Let the banana flare out in a friendly way as it merges into the apple. Can you see it?

BEATRICE: I believe I can.

VIRGIL: One last detail. At the very top of this apple-banana composite, add a surprisingly tough stalk, a real tree trunk of a stalk. There, you have an approximation of a pear.

BEATRICE: A pear sounds like a beautiful fruit.

VIRGIL: It is. In colour, commonly, a pear is yellow with black spots.

BEATRICE: Like a banana again.

VIRGIL: No, not at all. A pear isn't yellow in so bright, lustreless and opaque a way. It's a paler, translucent yellow, moving towards beige, but not creamy, more watery, approaching the visual texture of a watercolour wash. And the spots are sometimes brown.

BEATRICE: How are the spots distributed?

VIRGIL: Not like the spots on a leopard. It's more a matter of areas of shadowing than of real spots, depending on the degree of maturity of the pear. By the way, a ripe pear bruises easily, so it must be handled with care.

BEATRICE: Of course.

VIRGIL: Now the skin. It's a peculiar skin, the pear's, hard to describe. We were speaking of apples and bananas.


VIRGIL: They have smooth, slippery skins.

BEATRICE: They do.

VIRGIL: A pear does not have so smooth or slippery a skin.


VIRGIL: It is so. A pear has a rougher skin.

BEATRICE: Like an avocado's?

VIRGIL: No. But since you mention avocados, a pear is somewhat shaped like an avocado, although the bottom of a pear is usually plumper.

BEATRICE: Fascinating.

VIRGIL: And a pear becomes thinner in its top half in a more pronounced way than an avocado does. Nonetheless, the two fruits are more or less similar in form.

BEATRICE: I see the shape clearly.

VIRGIL: But you cannot compare their skins! An avocado's skin is as warty as a toad's. An avocado looks like a vegetable with leprosy. The pear is characterized by a thin roughness, delicate and interesting to the touch. If you could magnify it a hundred times, do you know what it would sound like, the sound of fingertips running over the skin of a dry pear?


VIRGIL: It would sound like the diamond of a record player entering a groove. That same dancing crackle, like the burning of the driest, lightest kindling.

BEATRICE: A pear is surely the finest fruit in the world!

VIRGIL: It is, it is! That's the skin of a pear for you.

BEATRICE: Can one eat it?

VIRGIL: Of course. We're not talking here of the waxy, thuggish skin of an orange. The skin of a pear is soft and yielding when ripe.

BEATRICE: And what does a pear taste like?

VIRGIL: Wait. You must smell it first. A ripe pear breathes a fragrance that is watery and subtle, its power lying in the lightness of its impression upon the olfactory sense. Can you imagine the smell of nutmeg or cinnamon?


VIRGIL: The smell of a ripe pear has the same effect on the mind as these aromatic spices. The mind is arrested, spellbound, and a thousand and one memories and associations are thrown up as the mind burrows deep to understand the allure of this beguiling smell — which it never comes to understand, by the way.

BEATRICE: But how does it taste? I can't wait any longer.

VIRGIL: A ripe pear overflows with sweet juiciness.

BEATRICE: Oh, that sounds good.

VIRGIL: Slice a pear and you will find that its flesh is incandescent white. It glows with inner light. Those who carry a knife and a pear are never afraid of the dark.

BEATRICE: I must have one.

VIRGIL: The texture of a pear, its consistency, is yet another difficult matter to put into words. Some pears are a little crunchy.

BEATRICE: Like an apple?

VIRGIL: No, not at all like an apple! An apple resists being eaten. An apple is not eaten, it is conquered. The crunchiness of a pear is far more appealing. It is giving and fragile. To eat a pear is akin to . . . kissing.

BEATRICE: Oh, my. It sounds so good.

VIRGIL: The flesh of a pear can be slightly gritty. And yet it melts in the mouth.

BEATRICE: Is such a thing possible?

VIRGIL: With every pear. And that is only the look, the feel, the smell, the texture. I have not even told you of the taste.


VIRGIL: The taste of a good pear is such that when you eat one, when your teeth sink into the bliss of one, it becomes a wholly engrossing activity. You want to do nothing else but eat your pear. You would rather sit than stand. You would rather be alone than in company. You would rather have silence than music. All your senses but taste fall inactive. You see nothing, you hear nothing, you feel nothing—or only as it helps you to appreciate the divine taste of your pear.

BEATRICE: But what does it actually taste like?

VIRGIL: A pear tastes like, it tastes like . . . (He struggles. He gives up with a shrug.) I don't know. I can't put it into words. A pear tastes like itself.

BEATRICE: (sadly) I wish you had a pear.

VIRGIL: And if I had one, I would give it to you.


Buy the book here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Grace Coddington Writing a Memoir

I'm not a huge fan of memoirs, but this is one I will definitely read.

Vogue’s creative director and fashion industry icon Grace Coddington is writing a book about her life, reports WWD. Former Men’s Vogueeditor-in-chief Jay Fielding, who has collaborated with Coddington in the past, is her writing partner.

Coddington’s mainstream notoriety has skyrocketed since The September Issue, which means the project is sure to be a hit with fashion insiders and fashion admirers alike. The stylist says that the book will not only cover her life–including her years as a model and time spent at Calvin Klein and British Vogue–but also plenty of fashion history.

As Anna Wintour’s Vogue begins to look less and less like “Anna Wintour’s Vogue“–as we know it, at least–expect more senior staffers to reflect on their legendary careers, whether through books, articles, or museum retrospectives. As the brightest star, it’s no surprise Coddington is leading the pack.

The lovely Grace Coddington. Creative Genius, Vogue Magazine

Sam Edelman has my shoes for fall

Sam Edelman Women's Queenie Corset Pump

Sam Edelman Women's Sofia Softy Bootie

Monday, August 16, 2010

Friday, August 06, 2010

Eminem - Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna

Starring Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan

The story that spawned the story, "American Widow Project Born From Grief"

A while back I wrote a short story called, "They Washed Him Away." Thanks to my intern Rachel, I was reminded of the story that had inspired it. Read the story below, and read my short story here.

'American Widow Project' Born From Grief

November 11, 2008
Taryn Davis was just 21 years old when her husband was killed in Iraq. As a young widow, she felt bereft and very alone. She channeled her grief into the American Widow Project. It began as a documentary and transformed into a national support group for other widows.

On this Veterans Day we bring you a story about wives who've lost their husbands in war. Taryn Davis lost her husband in Iraq. She was bereft and, as an uncommonly young widow, felt very much alone. Gloria Hillard has this story on what she did to channel her grief.

GLORIA HILLARD: At Taryn Davis' home in Buda, Texas, there are a pair of combat boots near the front door, right where her husband, Corporal Michael Davis, always left them.

Ms. TARYN DAVIS (Founder and President, The American Widow Project): You know, when he'd come home, he'd leave his boots there. And so I leave them there. And actually, I have a pair in my bedroom, too. Because every day I wake up and I would think, you know, it was just a dream. He wasn't dead. But then you'd hear the people outside in your living room talking and bringing in flowers and...

HILLARD: But eventually the people and the flowers stopped coming. It was the spring of 2007. Taryn Davis was 21 years old and a military widow. She wondered where were the women her age, women whose husbands were killed in combat. One day she picked up a camera and went looking for them. The voices of six different widows, all young, became a poignant documentary called "The American Widow Project."

(Soundbite of documentary "The American Widow Project")

Unidentified Widow #1: I remember that I heard the dogs bark, and I looked out the window. And I saw a white van, and there were two soldiers in it. And I knew.

Unidentified Widow #2: I had never believed that the world could actually, like, spin before your eyes, and it did.

HILLARD: The film gave birth to the nonprofit organization of the same name. Today more than a hundred and fifty women post their stories and pictures on the group's Web page and chat with each other on a MySpace page offering support and inspiration.

Ms. NICOLE HART: And this is us on our last vacation with...

HILLARD: Twenty-three-year-old Nicole Hart of Burbank, California, lost her husband Sergeant David Hart earlier this year. She says without the women she's met from the American Widow Project, she doesn't know where she would be today.

Ms. HART: It's helped me in healing, knowing that I'm having a hard time waking up this morning, and I know without a doubt that another widow is too.

HILLARD: Hart met her husband when she was 12 years old. They were best friends even then, she says.

Ms. HART: And the next shadow box has his medals...

HILLARD: Framed pictures of the petite, dark-haired Nicole and her six-foot-three, red-headed husband share wall space with some of his cherished possessions. Everything he owned in Iraq was sent back in eight black boxes. That's what happens when your husband dies in war, Hart says. You receive his belongings in small black boxes: his favorite watch, the letter that he hadn't sent, his clothes.

Ms. HART: And what goes, if it's foremost in your head, are the clothes because you can't wait to smell him. You know that they're going to smell like him. And you open it, and it smells like Tide. Everything was washed. Everything sanitized. Everything was wiped down.

HILLARD: Besides the black boxes, you also get a large black binder. Taryn Davis remembers it was entitled "The Days Ahead."

Ms. DAVIS: Which has everything from the different caskets to choose from to the different urns to, you know, numbers to call.

HILLARD: But there's not much in there to deal with the emotions of the days, weeks, and months ahead. Davis hopes to change that.

Ms. DAVIS: Our overall goal is that one day that our DVD is in there. And when they're handed that binder, we know that they are going to have six widows in their house sharing their story.

HILLARD: Next month Taryn Davis and Nicole Hart will be packing up an RV and taking their message on the road. They plan on traveling to military bases and towns across the country to reach out to the hundreds of newly war widowed, listening to their stories and sharing their own. For NPR News, I'm Gloria Hillard.

Song of the Day: DeVotchKa, How it Ends

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I just died and went to dress heaven

I know all I've been posting are dresses and jewelry and beautiful things that I want, but I don't have time to do anything else.

But seriously--look at these gorgeous dresses. I want them. I want them bad.

Tibi City wool-crepe dress

This one ain't half bad either.
ModCloth's Best Time Dress

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Want: Kate Spade Book Clutch

If you love me, you will buy me the Great Expectations one (although the Great Gatsby one is prettier).

If they make a Jane Eyre one it's over.