October 31, 2007

Boo!

Happy Halloween! In the spirit of one of my favorite holidays (which I am sadly not celebrating to its full potential this year, due to moving/packing and unexpected circumstances!), I am going to make a nice long 3-part post about it riiiight here.

#1) Creepy Chocolate Bunny Video from SanderPlug.com:




There is something about bunnies lately, with Fifi, and the Play-doh commercial, and now this. Maybe the slow, creepy, melting signifies the end of this bunny craze?


#2) My stepbrother, Justin, in all his glory:

He is the movie-theatre floor. As far as costumes go, I'm living vicariously through him this year. I'm loving it, Justin!


#3) An observation, or fun-fact about Halloween in my hometown (please tell me if you've witnessed this in other places – so far my investigations prove that this is only true in St. Louis):

In St. Louis, kids have to tell a joke to get their candy. The kids knock on the door, say "trick or treat," and the person at the door asks them for a joke before the kids get their candy. If the host has heard your joke already that night, sometimes they'll even ask for another. Usually after two repeat jokes, they give in and give you the candy anyway.

I know this doesn't exactly make sense, since the phrase is "trick or treat," (not "trick for treat") but for some reason, this is just the way it is. I guess STL kids are just as obedient as my golden retriever, politely obeying commands to earn her T-R-E-A-T. Does anyone know how this joke-tradition started, and why it's only in St. Louis?

And, lemme just say, before you bash this tradition, realize that a 4 year-old in a Tigger costume trying to tell you a joke is pretty much one of the cutest thing ever, so it really makes your night as the candy-giver. It's not so bad. In fact, I love it : )


That's all! Have a Happy Halloween! Go listen to the Monster Mash and Thriller on repeat!

October 30, 2007

The Handmade Pledge

Visit BuyHandmade.org to pledge to buy all handmade gifts this holiday season! The site is full of suggestions for places to buy such things. My favorite, of course, is Etsy. Not only would you be supporting artists directly, but you'd also save yourself the trouble of fighting the holiday shopping crowds! Plus, it's easy! On Etsy, you can just enter a few key words, and it'll give you ideas. Got a friend who collects the letter "s?" Just type in "s" in the search bar! Who knows what you'll find! Order online, and it'll arrive on your doorstep in a few days. Easy peesie.


My pledge is that all of my gifts will either be handmade, or help make the world a little bit better place (example: baggu reusable shopping bags, which actually happen to be directly from the artist, it seems...).

Please consider doing the same! Hopefully you'll at least buy a few handmade gifts.

[Oh and this reminds me, I will soon post about our Christmas tradition on my dad's side of the family – don't let me forget!]

October 29, 2007

Eat, Pray, Love

Thank you Brody and Peggy-Mom for recommending I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's a compilation of stories from one woman's search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia (says the cover). I'm only on page 70 (so busy lately!), but I absolutely love it. It's funny, it's thought-provoking, and it gives me a good feeling inside. It's been a while since I got past page 50 of a book and wanted to keep on reading (the last was David Sedaris, I believe).



So I like it enough that I wanted to share this part with you, about Americans and our pleasure, or lack thereof. From tale #24, in Italy (the pursuit of pleasure):

"Generally speaking, though, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused with everything from porn to theme parks to wars, but that's not exactly the same thing as quiet enjoyment. Americans work harder and longer and more stressful hours than anyone in the world today. But as Luca Spaghetti [her Italian friend's name really is Luca Spaghetti] pointed out, we seem to like it. Alarming statistics back this observation up, showing that many Americans feel more happy and fulfilled in their offices than they do in their own homes. Of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure). Americans don't really know how to do nothing. This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype – the overstressed executive who goes on vacation, but cannot relax.

"I once asked Luca Spaghetti if Italians on vacation have that same problem. He laughed so hard he almost drove his motorbike into a fountain.

"'Oh, no!' he said. 'We are masters of il bel far niente.'

"This is a sweet expression. Il bel far niente means 'the beauty of doing nothing...'

"For me, though, a major obstacle in my pursuit of pleasure was my ingrained sense of Puritan guilt. Do I really deserve this pleasure? This is very American, too – the insecurity about whether we have earned our happiness. Planet Advertising in America orbits completely around the need to convince the uncertain consumer that yes, you have actually warranted a special treat. This Buds for You! You Deserve a Break Today! Because You're Worth It! You've Come a Long Way, Baby! And the insecure consumer thinks, Yeah! Thanks! I am gonna go buy a six-pack, damn it! Maybe even two six-packs! And then comes the reactionary binge. Followed by the remorse. Such advertising campaigns would probably not be as effective in the Italian culture, where people already know that they are entitled to enjoyment in this life. The reply in Italy to 'You Deserve a Break Today' would probably be, Yeah, no duh. That's why I'm planning on taking a break at noon, to go over to your house and sleep with your wife.

"Which is probably why, when I told my Italian friends that I'd come to their country in order to experience four months of pure pleasure, they didn't have any hang-ups about it. Complimenti! Vai avanti! Congratulations, they would say. Go ahead. Knock yourself out. Be our guest. Nobody once said, 'How completely irresponsible of you,' or 'What a self-indulgent luxury.'"

***

Whew, that was a longer excerpt than I originally intended. But it was so true that I had to keep going! (See? There I go apologizing for posting as much as I really wanted to! I do hope I'm not violating some copyright law though...).

So. Whaddya think? What do you do to enjoy life? And do you really enjoy it without feeling guilty? To my friends visiting other countries – does any of this ring true?

[Cover design and styling by Helen Yentus, Cover photography by John Saponara]

October 28, 2007

Roadtrips

How appropriate that I stumbled upon Thule Trail tonight, after I started google-mapping my upcoming roadtrip and move to Baltimore. Thule Trail is a modern-day Oregon Trail game, in the form of a roadtrip. I'm loving the ridiculous comments.

For example, after getting stuck behind some sheep in the middle of the road:


I highly recommend choosing the names of a few friends when you start the game – it makes the comments all the more entertaining. (Sorry Bill Bill):



Kiersten, you would. Ha-ha. Worth the laughs if you have a few spare minutes : ) I miss all my abroad buddies! Can't wait to have you back in the states this spring.

October 26, 2007

SW


Here's one I've saved, from a poll on the southwest corner of UD campus.

Click here to see the rest of the S collection! Or just click the "s" label just below.
Also, the S collection deserved a little mention on my website, here.

October 24, 2007

Sarah News!

I am happy to say that I have accepted a design job at Under Armour in Baltimore!

I start Nov.12 and will drive out there sometime before the 12th to live in temporary housing for the first month, so kindly provided by my lovely employer (fancy!).

November will be exciting, busy, and a tiny bit scary! My 23rd birthday, my first real job, my first apartment search (except for the ever-so-"quaint" ^TCBY last year), buying furniture... you know, being a real adult. A young one, at least : )

Baltimore, I think you hear me coming.

October 23, 2007

Fifi Lapin

I came across this Etsy shop today called Fifi Lapin. And I think it's pretty darn cute. The British shop owner has created this character, Fifi (whose last name is french for rabbit), who wears a different designer outfit every day. The drawings of Fifi in different outfits are for sale. I love her paragraph about herself on her profile, so if I may, I will just post it right below this print of Fifi donning a Jason Wu ensemble:


"I was born one of 257 brothers and sisters but sadly there was an outbreak of myxamatosis when I was one year old and I was the only one that survived. My parents are therefore incredibly protective of me and spoil me rotten. I'm an 'haress' to my fathers fortune which he made playing fast and loose with carrot and lettuce shares on the international stock market. There are a lot of rabbits out there so I guess he just struck gold (or orange you might say). Some people think I’m just a socialite but I think there is more to me than just an extremely stylish clotheshorse!

I love to wear the latest fashions and I never wear the same outfit twice which means each and every one of my original drawings is totally unique

hope you enjoy my obsession!

bunny kisses
Fifi
xxx"

I like that she's an "hare-ss." Ha-ha. She snuck quite a few glorious little puns into that paragraph.


So I'll admit it's a bit corny (I prefer "darling"), but I think it's a great use of creativity. Why not be free to be corny every now and then? A lovely bit of fun. I might just buy one of her prints sometime!

And what a great creative outlet for the artist – a fun little brand for a hobby on the side to make a few bucks (I assume this isn't the creator's day job, but who knows?). I'd love to come up with an idea like this that suits me.

Oh, and Fifi also has a blog, if you are interested.

[images from fifi's etsy shop, 1) "no.115 Fifi wears Jason Wu" 2) "Fifi's Favourites Spring Summer 07 Large Limited Edition Print"]

October 20, 2007

Baggu Reusable Shopping Bags


NOTCOT has a great little feature on these Baggu resusable shopping bags. The notcot editor had the opportunity to chat with the inventor, 24 year-old Parson's grad Emily Sugihara. She developed the idea with her mom (hey mom – I guess we were a little behind with our "brilliant idea," but hey, I think she should go ahead and try to market them at places like Target).

...Not that the idea of reusable shopping bags is new, but finally someone has come up with a series that is simple, beautiful, and folds up small. As notcot puts it, even a man can carry them without them being too purse-like.

Unfortunately they are a little on the pricey side (1 for $8, 3 for $22, 6 for $38), but when you think about how often you'll use them, how easily they pack away, how light they are, etc. it's really not so bad. Honor and respect that designer with a hot, environmentally-respectful idea : )

I think after I move I might buy myself a few. And you might have a few coming your way from me this Christmas. This year all of my gift-giving will be nice and Green. Might you do the same?


What are your thoughts? Would you spring that much for a shopping bag?


[images from notcot and the official baggu site]
[PS: notcot just did a roundup on reusable shopping bags here]

October 15, 2007

Sony Bravia Pyramids

I'm not sure why there wasn't much hype on this one, but thankfully someone posted it on notcot. Wahoo! Check it out...


And I'm sure many of you have already seen the new play-doh bunnies in New York, but just in case you missed it:



Don't these make you smile? I wish these commercials played in the states!

Click here to see the first two in the Colour Like No Other commercial series.

October 10, 2007

Out and About

I'm off to UD for homecoming weekend!

Then I'm staying in the area for the next week and a half for interviews in Baltimore, Philly and DC. Wish me luck! So excited!

Probably won't post here much during the trip, but I hope you come back for another visit in a couple weeks : )

October 8, 2007

Song of the Week: Cat Power

Here's "The Greatest" by Cat Power. I found this video on youtube, and I'm not sure if it's the real video or not (anyone know?). Either way, there's something abstract and charmingly, rhythmically hypnotic about it. Have a listen!



Apparently I'm so very into music sung by the ladies lately. I've also been attracted to the sound of the piano.

Other ladies I've been listening to recently: Ingrid Michaelson (sings in a new Old Navy commercial), Kate Nash (very hot in London right now, according to Bill), Feist (always pleasant), and Keren Ann (love her french stuff).

October 4, 2007

October Weather

This is not a map of the tree colors changing. This is the map of our fall weather.


So I don't know about you, but I find this terrifying. In St. Louis, this week's weather is full of high 80ºFs and 90ºFs. So much for a crisp October. This is not okay.

Last January, when it was 70ºF in New York, I thought it was just a fluke. There's no way all this global warming is kicking in already.

It is.

It scares me that I hear people (including meteorologists on tv!) say "Oh this is so pleasant!" and "What a nice change!"

If the average temperature keeps rising this fast annually, it's going to be 150ºF in October in my lifetime. So what is it going to be like in August? And what is it going to be like in Phoenix?

When are more people in charge going to start believing in this, recognizing it as a major issue, and doing something about it? Because it's already happening.

Go turn out some lights, unplug your unused power cords, and try to walk some place you can avoid driving today. It's the least you can do : )

Thanks for reading. I hope, at the very least, you take it all a little more seriously, and that you'll take some kind of action today!

[image from accuweather.com]

October 3, 2007

Junk Mail Revenge

I'll start this one off by saying I know everyone won't approve of this idea (it rivals the fake parking tickets - but this isn't as much of a personal attack). However, I find it pretty funny (and not as creepy), so here it goes.


I heard my stepdad crinkling up newspapers and I had to ask what he was doing.

"It's my hobby," he replied, "All junk mail credit card applications include a self-addressed envelope with a postage-paid stamp on them. So I roll up a couple pages of old newspapers and stuff them in the envelope, and I make sure it's as stuffed as it'll get."

So the credit card companies have to pay about $1 for every one he sends back.

Oh yes, he puts the return address sticker on there every time, hoping maybe some day they'll take him off the mailing list.

But they never do.

..............................................

Edit: Ok thanks to Haley's comment, I can't resist adding this photo to this post. Howies approves of the junk mail revenge, too. Theirs is hilarious. They also mention earth-friendly reasons for making such a statement, which I neglected to mention before.

"Last year in America there were 52 billion pieces of junk mail sent out to people. When you start to think about numbers like that, you can get a sense of how many trees are being cut down for little or no reason."

Here's one of their suggestions:



I do wonder, though, does the post office really let you drop this off?!
Please try it and let me know. Thanks.

October 1, 2007

SarahRosenthal.com


Launch! Welcome to SarahRosenthal.com. Now everything matches. Enjoy!

Right on schedule, October 1st.