August 31, 2007

Kent Pendant

This pendant, about 2" across, is my single most-worn piece of jewelry. I love it, and I'm so lucky to have it. Gran, my mom's mom, gave it to me a couple of years ago, and I put it on a strand of pearls that Mark, my stepdad, brought back for me from Singapore when I was about 8. They were the perfect match for each other.

Sadly, the pendant's origin is a mystery. First, my mom said her dad, ("Pa" to me), gave it to her when she was in high school. But now she's not so sure, and nobody seems to remember where it came from.

Maybe Pa will remember. Hmm.

[Edit: Gran does remember where it's from! She says, "When I worked at the Woolworth Store during high school, those sort of things were very popular and I thought it looked really great with all my sloppy I bought it at the dimestore, and it became a favorite. I had very few jewelry pieces and got lots of compliments on my Kent Pendant. Even grown-ups wanted to know the origin. I continued wearing it until my black hair turned white, and I stopped wearing anything other than silver." Loving this little story :) ]

August 30, 2007

Song of the Week: Regina Spektor

I'm crazy about these lyrics, so I'll share part of the song here.
Ghost of Corporate Future
by Regina Spektor

...Imagine you go away
On a business trip one day
And when you come back home,
Your children have grown
And you never made your wife moan.

And people make you nervous
You'd think the world is ending,
And everybody's features have somehow started blending
And everything is plastic,
And everyone's sarcastic,
And all your food is frozen,
It needs to be defrosted.

You'd think the world was ending right now.

Well maybe you should just drink a lot less coffee,
And never ever watch the ten o'clock news,
Maybe you should kiss someone nice,
Or lick a rock,
Or both.

Maybe you should cut your own hair
'Cause that can be so funny
It doesn't cost any money
And it always grows back
Hair grows even after you're dead...

...the world is everlasting....

[To listen to the whole thing, click here, then click "music," click the album "Soviet Kitsch" then click forward to "Ghost of Corporate Future"]

Live at Red Rocks

I would love-love-love to go to a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre some day.

The website reads:

"Nestled in the Rocky Mountain Foothills fifteen miles west of Denver, there stands a symbol of nature's unparalleled majesty. Red Rocks is a geologically formed, open-air Amphitheatre that is not duplicated anywhere in the world. With Mother Nature as the architect, the design of the Amphitheatre consists of two,three hundred-foot monoliths (Ship Rock and Creation Rock) that provide acoustic perfection for any performance.

The area of Red Rocks, originally known as the Garden of Angels, has attracted the attention of musical performers since before the turn of the century. The majestic setting of the Amphitheatre, along with the panoramic view of Denver, makes for a breathtaking scene." Mmm!

Doesn't that sound amazing? Can you imagine a Muse concert there (September 18th?)? Or Radiohead or Sigur Ros? Or Stars? Drool.

[images from
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre website]

August 29, 2007

Post Secret

Post Secret is one of the most brilliant ideas on the internet. If you're not sure what it is, you should watch this video, then go visit the site. If you do know what it is, you should still watch this video : )

It's a blog where the author has invited anyone and everyone to mail him their deepest, darkest secrets, anonymously, on postcards. Over time, the postcards became little pieces of art. Very powerful art. It's quite beautiful.

August 28, 2007

Creepy Art

Suzanne kindly thought to send this to me yesterday when someone told her about these creepy sculptures by Ron Mueck (thanks Suzanne!):

Mueck is a London-based photo/hyper realist. Unlike other artists, who usually use latex for this type of sculpture, Mueck works with fiberglass resin to create these unusually large sized sculptures of people. He had a show at the Brooklyn museum last year – while I was in New York. Bummer I missed it! These things must be amazing to see up close. And probably quite eerie and disturbing, as well. Especially this baby:

I couldn't find an official site for Mueck, but you can see many more images of his work here and here. [The images I posted here came from email, source unknown].

August 27, 2007

Arizona: S

Sedona, Arizona

August 24, 2007

Arizona: Yes, Please.

Friday I'm in love. With this rare Tiffany golden Lotus Leaf lamp. Actually, I fell in love with a much more reasonably priced imitation of it at an awesome little odds & ends store in Sedona.

If I carefully tell you the price of the real thing first, maybe the imitation will sound like a great buy, and you can justify getting it for me for my birthday in November! Ha.

The real thing: $78,000.

The imitation: $1,200. Only 1/65 of the original!

I should probably buy some real health insurance before spending several thousand bucks on a lamp. Sigh.

August 23, 2007

Arizona: Thursday

Type from an old ad painted on a brick wall in a downtown Flagstaff alley way:

Thursday we recovered from the hike. And we played TriBond with the whole gang.
What a great game.

What do these three things have in common?

• A snowstorm in Florida
• A hula hoop with a nail in it
• The USS Adams

If you can answer that correctly, you are brilliant. And kooky.
By the way, looking it up online probably won't help you! Good luck!

August 22, 2007

Arizona: Geronimo Springs

Went for a four-hour hike at Geronimo Springs. Boy, was it a toughie. We agreed that the pot o' gold at the end of the trail wasn't quite as big as we'd hoped (the view wasn't spectacular – perhaps we were jaded), but it was a good workout for all of us, and we saw several horny toads (above, photo by Dad & Scott) and a huge elk with giant antlers.

This is my favorite photo of the day, taken by Dad:

After the hard hike, Scott made puttanesca for my hungry, hungry family. Whatta guy.

August 21, 2007

Arizona: Meteor Crater

50,000 years ago, a meteor went kapow! in Arizona. It's a good thing we weren't around. It shocked the world, and left a mighty big hole in northern AZ. And it gave us something fun and interesting to do on Tuesday. Good find, Scott!

The tourguide (who was very rude to the French Polynesians because she'd never heard of French Polynesia) insisted on taking family portraits. We're very centered. It's a great, goofy family portrait, though.

And I noticed they used the typeface Impact on all of their brochures. It was hideous and hard to read as body text, but it made me laugh despite my sometimes type-snobbiness. : ) Hey man, I think my wordplay humor might always prevail over my design snobbery.

...But then again, I would never, ever use Impact. Or Papyrus. Or Comic Sans.

I can find another way for wordplay. That's a promise.

August 20, 2007

Arizona: Flagstaff

Monday we browsed the shops & galleries, then took a local's recommendation and ate at a cute place called Mountain Oasis. Oh my goodness, it is home of the most glorious wraps you've ever tasted. I loved the bright aspen tree paintings they had for sale on the walls, too. By Lyn Matthew.

Mmm. This one was by far my favorite (image from Lyn's website):

Only $900!

August 19, 2007

Arizona/Utah: Lake Powell

Yup. It's real. Absolutely stunning Lake Powell. We crammed a bunch of the good stuff into the first weekend of the trip because Justin was able to join us from LA for a couple days. We drove a gorgeous 2.5-hour trip to the Utah/Arizona border and rented a boat on Lake Powell for the day. It's also known as the houseboat capital of the world – and it's easy to see why.

The water was the most perfect refreshing temperature for swimming. We dove right in. This cove might not look that big, but we guessed it's about .75 miles wide. It was all to ourselves, because the lake is ginormous.

So then a few of us tested out the waters for tubing. Bliss.


Me, just before falling off! I felt that one for three days in my shoulders...

Apparently the water level is way low (Kiersten told me so). We were wondering if the water usually rises to that obvious color change in the rocks. At some points that line was at least 30 yards higher than the current water level – could it really normally be that high? If so, we're lucky, because the walls were even more magnificent the higher they were. Truly impressive.

August 18, 2007

Arizona: Bell Rock @ Sedona

No time to waste! Woke up early Saturday to drive to Sedona (30 minutes from Flagstaff), and hiked up Bell Rock. Bell Rock supposedly looks like a bell. Everyone saw the resemblance except for Uncle Mark and me. I mean, I could kinnnnd of see it, but it was a stretch, my friends. It was certainly gorgeous, regardless!

Scott and I at the base (yay for my fun wide-angle fisheye camera!):

Justin (left, red) & Scott (far right) at the top:
Dad, Peggy, Uncle Curt & I made it to the top, too, just a little slower.

And lastly, a picture of my three uncles + grandma + dad:

The whole Arizona trip is a kind of family reunion on my dad's side. So much fun!
Shockingly, the color coordination that day was not intentional.

[Sidenote: I find the @ in Georgia (the typeface) to be quite beautiful, don't you?]

August 17, 2007

Arizona: Beautiful Mistakes

The beautiful two-hour drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff (through the car window!):

Three hours if you count the 30-mile detour courtesy of Dad. Hey man, if you make a wrong turn, realize it, but see that the wrong road is more beautiful – why not stay on it for 30 miles?

I feel like there's a life lesson somewhere in there. And a pretty picture.

Highway Typography

"Now, as the idea of branding has claimed a central role in American life, so, too, has the importance and understanding of type. Fonts are image, and image is modern America." Zing!

[all photos in this post are from]

Yesterday I went to visit ProWolfe, to start familiarizing myself with St. Louis design. When I walked in, Mr. Wolfe kindly handed me a copy of this New York Times article on highway sign typography. A present, for me? Why thank you, Mr. Wolfe!

Clearview (a typeface) is taking over the signage in many states, replacing Highway Gothic, which has been used for half a century.

It's amazing the way subtle (and not-so-subtle) typographic changes can affect everyone – without them even realizing why. The article gives an in-depth explanation (and pictures!) of why Clearview is so clear. For example, Clearview has larger counters (the space inside of the letters - like the inside of the letters a & o).

It also explains the process and method to Don Meeker's madness in developing easier to read signage, including placing two signs side-by-side on his living room couch, in a dark room, and squinting while quickly flashing a light at them. Can't ya just picture it?

The whole article is interesting to me, but if you find yourself not wanting to read it all, at least take a peek at the slide show.

By the way, the last line of the article is my favorite.

[And I'm off to Arizona for a week! I may or may not be posting on my adventures there... I am definitely not taking my computer. Later gators.]

August 16, 2007

Song of the Week: Leo Sayer

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing by Leo Sayer.

It puts me in such a great mood! It's hard to believe he's actually singing that. Or have I been duped? I can be kind of gullible sometimes.

The people on this video before Leo Sayer are pretty great, too.
[Apparently I should know who they are... but I wasn't born in the 70s, mom]


Now that I'm back home, I have some old puppies to play with.

Meet Murphy. She's almost 10. We got her for Christmas when I was in 7th grade. She's been waiting for me every morning outside my bedroom door when I wake up. It's good to be home : )

August 15, 2007

Poppity Pop

Click on this picture for one of my all-time favorite websites:

August 14, 2007

Cross Country

The drive north on 896 from UD to Lancaster is absolutely beautiful.

...and in case you weren't sure:

"No reentry" in Lover?

West Virginia. Rolling hills of giant broccoli.


Who knew you could drive to London from Delaware?

Indiana. You can start to see the bugs on my windshield here:

Illinois. I had a thing for telephone poles, which is good, because there were many.

First glimpse of the arch, from Illinois.

Crossing the Mississippi, hello St. Louis!

The drive was long, but great. 7am eastern to 7:15pm central. Home sweet home.

Nothing like a long drive to make you feel like you are going someplace new.

August 13, 2007

ByeBye Delaware

Yesterday I decided to take one last stroll around UD before officially not living there any more. There's something wonderful about taking walks by yourself. I started to get kind of sad, because it really hadn't kicked in yet that this was it for me & Delaware. I guess when I get sad, I start walking with my head down, because then I saw this (which I'd never seen before):

...and I cannot even justly describe the kind of smile that brick evoked from me. One of those laugh-through-my-tears kinda smiles. How could you NOT smile back? I couldn't help but wonder what somebody in the factory was thinking when they made a smiley brick, and whether or not they envisioned me having my own little epiphany upon seeing it. Everything is gonna be alright.

And what's even better is that some brave soul decided to place that brick face-up. Perfect.

I probably looked pretty goofy standing there, tearing up and laughing at a brick.

...And that's when I squatted to take pictures.

Good luck finding it in the land of brick pathways! Don't bother asking me where it is : ) You might find it when you most need it.

Anyway, had to get the classic campus shot of Memorial, too:

And in case this post is too serious / sentimental / nostalgic for anyone, please take note of how this tree stub from the grove area by Alison Hall looks like a boob:

Tee hee. (And ouch?)

Made it home to St. Louis safely today, in a record 13 hours. I risked my life a few times to take pictures while driving. I'll share that tomorrow.


Delaware S

There were a few esses I had to get photos of before leaving UD. Here's one:

University of Delaware

August 12, 2007

Czech Out This S

This S is from last summer, ssstolen from Hotel Duo in Prague, Czech Republic.

[It wasn't stolen, actually. More like captured. On camera. But stolen starts with S. Seized also starts with an S. So does Sarah. Swell.]

August 11, 2007

875.32 Miles

A lot of people think St. Louis is way far south of Delaware, yet every time I really look at a map, even I am surprised at how parallel they seem to be. Planning to leave at 7am Monday. The car is mostly packed!

[Annnd obviously (and unfortunately) the drive is not a straight diagonal line. I'll be driving through Columbus & Indianapolis.]

August 10, 2007

Midwest Girl

On Monday I'm moving back to St. Louis, indefinitely. It's a 15 hour drive from Delaware to St. Louis, and my very favorite part is crossing the bridge from Illinois into downtown St. Louis at night. There's nothing quite like the arch welcoming you home. I took this picture a couple years ago from that spot, while driving home with Dad (so yup, that purple-y arc in the photo is the Arch, aka the Gateway to the West, 630 tall & 630 feet wide).

There's something in me that really loves St. Louis. The Arch, the Cardinals, Ted Drewe's, toasted ravioli, budweiser, the zoo, the city museum, Imo's, the loop, the central west end... I could go on. It just feels like home.

And of course, there's my family. I've learned that it is possible for me to live across the country and still keep in touch, but I can't wait to be a 10 minute drive from so many of them.

And I can't wait to eat lunch at St. Louis Bread Co. (*wink wink*).

Time to go drop a quarter of the stuff I've accumulated during college at Salvation Army. And to start saying goodbye (or "visit you soon!") to Delaware.

August 9, 2007

Cameo Brooch

Grandma Peggy gave me this beautiful brooch as part of my graduation present. I know the rules – I'm only allowed to get passed-down jewelry if I remember the story behind it (or at least who it belonged to originally). I never got the story on this one, Grandma, so you've gotta fill me in : )

I think the history of my favorite heirloom costume jewelry will be a new category here. It's nice to have the photographs of everything, I don't want to forget any of the stories!

PS For all those following along, I didn't get the job at Discovery Channel, so I will, in fact, be home in St. Louis within the next week. Looking forward to being close to family! And hopefully I'll get myself home in time for AZ!

August 8, 2007

Pretty Fish

Check out these fish prints on textiles by Annie Sessler, featured in The New York Times Dining & Wine (I discovered it on NOTCOT). She simply paints the fishy, then smooths the fabric on top of it & peels it away. See her online gallery here. Love it.

Another simply beautiful work of art.