Life is better

I would never ever have found brainpickings if it were not for the overwhelming enthusiasm from @leahslag -- THANKS for the tip on this one Mom!

I cannot write enough great things about this website. If you love books, music, film, art, television, etc, but especially books, GO NOW.

Some of the greatest features include a literary jukebox, lots & lots of fun lists of books, an amazingly interactive bookshelf, and more inspiration than one's brain can handle. I always leave to go pick up a book and get cracking!

Go now--your life will be a little better. I promise.

The Burning House

I found The Burning House last year, forgot about it, then stumbled back across it recently. Such a cool idea! It's a tumblr that features submissions from people all over the world, photographing the items they would save if their house was burning.

Of course I had to make my own:

My list:

  • teddy bear I gave to my Grandmother at age three--she returned it right before she died seven years ago
  • framed origami heart out of The Beatles, "All You Need is Love." sheet music. Purchased at street fair in Notting Hill
  • Autographed, first edition copy of Jeffrey Eugenides' novel, The Virgin Suicides. My favorite book.
  • crab ashtray--once belonged to my Grandmother
  • a Baywatch Barbie tumbler--beloved shared keepsake of my aunt Lis and I
  • Frye Harness Boots -- olive green
  • yoga mat
  • iPad
  • whale paperweight --once belonged to my grandmother
  • journal containing lists, ideas, drawings, and moments I don't want to forget throughout the years

What would you save?

Listen to This!

This week I enjoyed...

"Is the Coconut Water Craze All It's Cracked up to Be? Morning Edition - June 18, 2012 Have been waiting for tired of this stuff!

"Inside Mexico's Drug Trade" On Point with Tom Ashbrook --June 19, 2012 Bonkers.

"The Bumper Sticker Debate" Two Gomers Run for Their Lives -- June 19, 2012 The Gomers are back--one of my favorite non-NPR podcasts for sure.

"Jeff Daniels: Ancoring the Cast of the 'Newsroom'" Fresh Air -- June 20, 2012 I always like Terry Gross' interviews with Jeff Daniels!

The Culture Gabfest: "Curb Appeal" Edition Slate Magazine -- June 20, 2012 Discussion including two of my favorite topics: songs of summer and HGTV's House Hunters!



a shower dancing playlist

yep, that's right. this is my shower dancing playlist. dancing in the shower (preferably with a beverage) is essential and having an iPad has made it so much more fun -- put on early 90s pop or Jackie Wilson radio on Pandora and you're all set! Or you can queue up this playlist...hopefully your shower doesn't last longer than 9 minutes...haha

"Call Me Maybe" -- Carly Rae Jepsen


"Settle Down" -- Kimbra


 "Take It Out On Me" -- Chairlift


on Spotify


5 Songs I'm dancing to right now...

I'm in a happy song mood lately and have been dancing around my house to these songs. Let me preface this with that two of these are extremely guilty pleasures...can you guess which ones?

"All I Want to Do" -- Sugarland


"Payphone" -- Maroon 5


"Hold On" -- Alabama Shakes


"What Makes You Beautiful" -- One Direction


"In for the Kill" (Skrillex remix) -- La Roux


Find this playlist on Spotify here.

A subway obsession

I'm not sure why, but I have long been kinda obsessed with subway maps, stations, stories, etc.

This has manifested itself in a variety of ways.

London underground boxer shorts, bought  in tenth grade:

 a book of essays sitting unread on my shelves:

And an art project that has been in progress for almost three years now: This is my hometown of Corydon, Indiana, imagined through an underground map.

I am making one for each city I've lived in and haven't worked on them in way too long. Trying to get back on it this weekend. Of course, I also have a master plan on how I'm going to display them once finished...

Currently working on Louisville:

Local readers -- got any ideas for stops?!?

Who watched The Bachelor last night?

Um, Is it wrong to already have a guilty pleasure for 2012 three days in?!?! Yikes, I need help.

My face was completely exhausted by the end of the night from all the crazy disgusted faces it was making...this show is CRAZY. What I find fascinating is how it takes itself so seriously, yet at the same time it is winks at the audience by exploiting complete crazyheads who are starved for media attention.

I need to get a grip and read a book. Damn.

A few of my favorite photos: Norway

pretty much the reason I married my husband. just a typical day.

beautiful Svolvær in the Lofoten islands

May 17th Norwegian Independence day  Pulpit Rock - Stavanger

Nedre Holmegate


I love looking at photo albums. My parents weren't big picture takers when I was growing up, but we did have four big, 1980s style photo albums that I would sit with for hours. Photos are now so integrated into daily life that I fear the album is long gone. Instead of sitting down with an album, I find myself every once and awhile going through folders on the computer to look at photos...different , but not necessarily any less satisfying.

I recently discovered a photo editing app for iPad called Snapseed--uh-mazing. I have yet to share much about our time living in Norway, so I thought I would share a few of my favorite photos from that year:

there is a chance Andrew might get to go to Norway sometime soon for work--hoping I might get to tag along!

Year End Lists: National Geographic Photos of 2011

I love December. Not just because of the holidays, but because December brings about one of my most favorite elements of pop culture: the end of year list. I have shared some my favorites and have some more to come soon, but I would much rather consume these lists than make them myself.

Today one of my favorites was published--the results of National Geographic's photography contest. Every year these boggle my mind.

Girls of the 90s...Not interested in growing up?

I have noticed a recent surge of strong nostalgia for girlhood of the early 1990s. Most likely this is because I was a young girl in the early 1990s, so it catches my eye, but still, it seems to be popping up everyhere, even NPR. Zooey Deschanel seems to be the ambassador of this movement with Hello Giggles as a home-base of sorts, exemplified in this interview with Conan O'Brien where Deschanel touches on the most unifying symbol of all: the American Girl Doll.

Is this fixation on nostalgia perpetuated by the arrested development of  Millennials?

I'll be the first to admit it--I'm totally and completely guilty. Um yeah, so this would be me on a girls trip to NYC, my sophomore year of college:

As a kid I was the proud owner of three American Girl Dolls, a strung-out addict of both Nickelodeon and Nick-at-Nite, and I may or may not have been to a Hanson concert...when I was nineteen (I jumped on this nostalgia train a little early I guess).

If you want to continue the reminiscing, watch Hanson explain the phenomena of 1990s music, start following @90sgirlproblem on Twitter, and check out Rookie Mag.

Elf on the Shelf when we're not looking...

So last Christmas was the first I heard of this Elf on the Shelf business. Apparently it has been a thing for awhile... I don't have children yet, but I am fairly confident that  I will never participate in completely and totally weirds me out.

Anywho, I want to give a gigantic hug to Venita Norton and her Flickr page. She has captured the Elf on the Shelf in his true habitat. These photos make me LOL...hard.

Many thanks to @CHRISTINEinLOU for sharing this!