Saturday, June 30, 2012

HAPPY WEEKEND! hope you learn something new

Wouldn't book club be so much easier if you just had to read a short article?
Because I know you just said 'yes' - consider this weekend post the Article Club. Its with me. But you don't need to show up with cheeses (although I wouldn't object).

Below are a few articles I've flagged recently because they made me think, or they've sparked discussion. I'll give you a little topical sentence with them and a few questions and you can pick whichever one (if any) pique your interest.

Then you can go to my comment section or to your significant other/co-worker/friend/mechanic/dog and launch directly into the Article Club discussion. Tell them every thing you learned. And on second thought, bring cheese, it will go better.

Article 1, is called the white savior industrial complex. Remember all the fuss about that Kony video? So this piece is a little old and somewhat topical to that - but it speaks to some much larger issues and it really really made me think. (it also made me a little uncomfortable, which I like). Do you agree with the author? Do you think americans like a "convenient villain" or a "space onto which white egos can easily be projected"? He challenges, if you care - do something about the underlying structural issues in Africa. I spent a number of years volunteering and working with Jubilee USA Network and I believe they make great strides in that direction. They always said there's giving a man a fish, and teaching a man to fish.... and then there's asking who staked ownership of the lake and why no one has access. (To be clear, working with Jubilee doesn't exempt me from the author's critique. I definitely cringed a lot reading this)

Article 2, on the increasing trend of using midwives. Would you use one? Do you still think it's safer/better in an MD's hands? Do you agree with the author that the reason for the shift is because of 'too many c-sections"? I watched the documentary called "The Business of Being Born" (on Netflix streaming) and found it to be only slightly biased and very eye opening.

Article 3, titled lying children will grow up to successful citizens. I found this argument to be entirely new and strange and interesting. Can you see the author's point? Do you think you'd agree just to feel okay about a lying kid that you love so much? I might.

Article 4, of all the articles I read post NBA finals, this one was my favorite (excuse the cursing) "Lebron James is a C**KSucker" It cut out all the warm and fuzzy story lines about Lebron and called it like it was - he's the same guy he was the day before he won. I love this piece because either you like him or you don't and that shouldn't change if his team wins. It reminded me of when Tiger came back to golf and was going head to head against Mickelson and the rhetoric was "good vs evil" and "bad husband vs. great husband". Do you think we crave the good guy wins story? Do you think we link the  one that wins to the one with good character? I remember being unable to watch PTI and Sports Center at the time Tiger made his return because, while I don't approve of his extra curriculars, shouldn't it just be about the golfer with more skill? (I'm the same girl that will go all in for any triumph story they promote during the Olympics, so take this with a grain of salt)

That's all for now. I hope you have time this weekend to relax and read. I hope you have time to be social and discuss. I extra hope you learned something new!

Let me know if you liked these and I'll send more your way here and there. Let me know if you were bored to tears (All Paragraphs?!? No Pictures?!? lame!) and it's cool - I'll lay off the Article Club.

Either way, have a great weekend!

Friday, June 29, 2012

off the chain

Quentin Tarantino's new movie, "Django Unchained" comes out this winter and the trailer has recently been released.

Oh. My.

I heard Will Smith turned this role down. Honestly, I can't see anyone else but J. Foxy as Django after seeing even this little bit.

I can't wait!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

my buddy, Chicago

Right now we're on our way to CHICAGO!

Its an exciting vacation where we will see Neil's cousin get married just north of the City this Saturday. Before that, I will take him around the place I used to live and visit friends I miss so much it hurts. After the wedding, we go with his family to the neighbor state of Michigan and kick it by the lake for a few days.

As we head off to the windy city my head is swimming with all the things I want to fit into such a short time.

When you go back to a place you love do you ever feel like you need to re-visit places (parks, restaurants, train stops, etc) as well as people?

Don't those well worn sites feel like friends too?

I find myself booking us for way more meals than we will know how to eat! And franticly trying to decide the most perfect location to watch the NBA draft (in a city that actually has an NBA team!)

I'm just going to keep posting photos of flirty Chicago (that minx) because it's making me so happy.

And I'll tell you some places I love to go when I'm there. Like Sultan's Market for lentil soup and falafel that's so tasty it will make you late for work and not care (at least that's been true for me). 

and Smoke Daddy's for 'hot damn that's good' barbeque and live blues and jazz every night (no cover).

and Dunlay's on the Square for really good brunch and really really good bloody mary's
and they serve a cookie in a skillet with ice cream on top. amen.

my favorite vegetarian place, Handlebar (where Andrew Bird eats)

as for the chicago staples...
Hot Dog: when I was eating meat it was Hot Doug's all the way (or the Wiener Circle)
Pizza: I'm not big on the deep dish - I know its against all things mid-western - but when I need a true Italian style, wood fired, thin crust pie, I go to frasca.

I love going to the cocktail lounge on the almost top floor of the Hancock Building and paying way too much for a drink but not as much as you pay for the observation deck one story higher.

I love the burritos at a little place in my old neighborhood, Lawndale. It's called Spicy and it was small and hot and the horchata was churning in a machine by the door. It was always packed with people. It was were I would linger to watch world cup matches on a fuzzy tv with about 50 of my neighbors. They put avocado chunks on everything. *Spicy's does not have a website. 

The coffee shop, Cafe Mestizo, in Pilsen is legit. Get the Mexican Hot Chocolate. I don't care if its July.
I also have a thing for Efebos, which is right down the street.

And the bars - DOC wine bar for atmosphere. Map Room if you want all the beer ever. Guthries if you want board games! Dark Horse if you want The Steelers. and Goose Island if you want local brew and better nachos than you can begin to imagine.

Then the nightlife - Peace has live band karaoke so you can be a bit more terrible and its okay. The Green Mill has jazz. The Subterranean has reggae night (oh does it ever!) Funky Buddha Lounge has dancing. 

But alas, we have less than 48 hours with my old pal Chicago 
and I should stop before this goes on and on. 
maybe next visit will be long.
although honestly - even years wasn't long enough.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Camp Anderson

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom has finally expanded its showings to other cities (helloooo, pittsburgh!) And I couldn't be happier! Have you seen it? Does it live up to the standard of this others?

This new clip has me all a flutter:

His movies grow on me more and more with each viewing. So logically - Royal Tenenbaums, which I've seen the most, is my favorite. If I ever lose a finger, I vow to take up a secret smoking habit.

This a part of the scene my friends and I quote the most, so clearly this poster is pretty great. (especially for when you're having the kind of bad day where you can't even bite into a cookie)

My cousin Ryan revealed to me this wonderful website, which generates a Wes Anderson Bingo Card! I might print mine and take it to the movie. (or have a themed party and hand them out there)

I find people either go cult crazy for Wes for feel very 'eh' about all his work. I would love to have this print, but I'm married to an 'eh' guy and I don't think it would go over well.

So in honor of Moonrise Kingdom, I'm publicly stating I'm firmly in Camp Anderson. And I'll go to the movie with any one that's on the same team as me.

I'll even let you buy me this flask. 
(fill it up with whisky and soda and I'll pick you up. I'll be the one in yellow)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vacation Photos

I'm going to use the terribly unappetizing term 'dump' and unload a bunch of our vacation pictures.

Stone Harbor, New Jersey

cargo bike

                                   (here's the zoom in for Neil's reaction)

Tetherball: its wholesome family fun until someone crushes Uncle Neil in the face 

           books                                                                   castle moats

dinner buddies


more naps and
beach yoga (at 7 months pregnant)

flying a kite

make that, awesomely flying a kite


pool snacks (with a bite missing)

lazy days

long walks

lots of love

the end.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sunscreen, Bill Murray, and other links

I have some random monday morning links to go along with my random thoughts...

Is there any good summer TV? I find myself missing "Girls" and almost caring that Jessa is pregnant in real life. I also think "American Ninja Warrior" looks more appealing by the day.

And now I have only one sport to watch... and Its not the one that makes me happiest. So I'm spending my days playing around sites that discuss basketball. Like this probable Deng trade that would break my heart into a million pieces. Or this awesome break down of James' headband change/hair loss over time.

On vacation I did a lot of coloring and my pages looked really good (I'm talking good enough to replace your niece's christmas photo card on the fridge). So its obvious a grown up line of coloring books would just make sense. My choice would be the Bull Murray Coloring book, no contest.

My friend Sara turned me onto the new Edward Sharpe song ("That's What's Up") and now I really can't get enough of it. Its the song I keep on repeat in my car these days. I liked the beat the first time through and now its the lyrics that stole my heart. That's how it usually is with me - the lyrics are what seal the deal.

If there were ever ever ever a reason to apply sun screen daily - this is it. I'm so haunted by this image. He was a truck driver for 29 years, leaving the left side of his face is considerably more aged. I don't want to look but I can't look away. And then I look away only long enough to apply some spf 50

I don't know if this is amazing good or amazing so crazy. This woman is running 52 marathons in 52 weeks. 

I think Steve Martin will always be the bees knees (and Judd Apatow isn't too bad either).

Enjoy your monday, where ever you may be on this world wide web.

Friday, June 22, 2012

HAPPY WEEKEND! hope its a classic

I'm almost done with a fascinating book called "Fire and Rain" by David Browne

It chronicles the music and political atmosphere of 1970.

While I (rather obviously) didn't grow up during that era - I find I'm happily pulled into its orbit. I love all of those bands and I feel foolish for not knowing how each of them existed at the same time the others did... better yet, how they all knew each other (sometimes in the biblical sense).

Growing up with a generation of hard core rock and rollers wearing their addictions and wild parties on their sleeves - it was shocking to know that the mild, strumming James Taylor was addicted to heroine and spent time in a mental institution. (what a different dimension that gives to his songs!)

And how is it such easy going gentlemen like Paul and Art couldn't get along?!?

So I'm remembering songs I love and seeing them through a whole new lens. I'm constantly saying "wow, I had no idea...."  and I'm listening to a lot of classics.

Now, to kick off your weekend right I'm going to post some of them for you:

My favorite Beatles...

Golden Slumbers
Don't tell Mt Sinai Hospital, but I would sing the face of this song when I was alone in the newborn nursery with the babies.

My favorite James Taylor...

It feels like summer and makes me want a lounge chair and a margarita. I will actively ignore that I almost died the one and only time I've been to Mexico, making it my less than ideal vacation spot. 
Yes, I'll stick with the margarita image.

My favorite Simon and Garfunkel...

Only Living Boy in New York
I had no idea this song was written by Paul when he was angry at Art for leaving the country to film "Catch 22" in Mexico instead of making music for Simon and Garfunkel. Here's a tip, if you ever want to get over a fight with a friend don't put all your woes into a hit song, make them sing harmony, then have them rehash it on stage for decades to come. 
Or should I just say, thank you for the lovely song, sorry you two didn't last.

My Favorite Bob Dylan...

Girl from North Country
The voice is a bit out of sync on this clip but I love seeing them live. And I love the bitter sweetness of these lyrics. It the nicest break-up song I know. Its just a well wishing and fondness for something that has passed. 

What is your favorite music from that era? Your favorite Zeppelin (I almost walked down the isle to "All of My Love")? Your favorite Clapton? Stones? Mitchell? CSNY? Right on, friends. Lets take it back.

that's right. I said right on.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

well hello, summer

Yesterday was officially the first day of the new season and this one is being so typically summery by dropping itself into my non-air-conditioned apartment and making itself at home all along my mid to lower back.

Welcome Summer. You've brought with you 90 degree temps and the game of "don't let any limb on my body touch any other part of my body". Since it seems you've also hit my complaining button, I"ll shift gears and talk about something cheery.

Here is the perfect summer tote: (perfect because looking at this picture can't make you break out in the sweats)

My mom got it for me for the beach and since then I've been using it non-stop. I like my purses to fall under the size category of 'hammock' so this is the way to go.

 It's light and slouchy and bright and fun. Last night I threw in my wallet and two frozen pizzas and I was on my merry way! (think that sounds strange - I already have plans this weekend use it for sneaking gyros into a movie) 

Its official now friends - happy beach, happy picnics, happy solstice, happy pizza in your purse, HAPPY SUMMER!

"Always Together, I'm Glad One Day I Meet Him"

It wasn't fair of me to just highlight the Steelers the other day when there's so much to celebrate right now in Pittsburgh sports...

Looks like after visiting the delightful University of Pittsburgh,
is ready to commit!

(I heard a crazy rumor that we have Michael Vick to thank for the deal!)

And at the NHL Awards last night, it was the Evgeni Malkin Show! 
He zambonied the competition,
then he said "With this smile and my slap shot, I have no need to learn English. Thank You."

Malkin with the Ted Lindsay Award

Then Geno goes on to win the Hart Memorial Trophy.

And if I'm flirting with sports teams....

I will never pretend I was on board from the beginning (that award goes to my Aunt Mary, my Dad, Tom and my Mother-in-Law... there may be four or five others out there, I'm sorry if I've left you out).
However I can't deny the buzz that these buckos have created with their season.
Its been really really fun to watch them.
Last night they were down one run in the fifth and my Dad said 
"I'm not worried, they're going to win."
Do you know how long its been since a native Pittsburgher has said that sentence?!?
*note: the answer is 19 years*
*note they didn't win, but its the belief that matters right?*

Here's to that point in the summer - where anything can happen and hope springs eternal!

p.s. you have one more day to go to this link and vote PNC park as the number one in the nation
(it was slotted as the overall 1 seed so we got that goin for us)