Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Things I Love Today: Frivilousness

I try to convince myself sometimes that although I am American I am not wasteful, frivilous or too caught up in material things. While I might just be kidding myself, I can always feel good when certain products make me laugh because they are just a bit over the top. One example is this lovely water resistant ipod speaker set. You wouldn't want to take it scuba diving - it only resists water up to 1 meter. But you could definitely take a bath with it or throw it in the shallow end of your pool and dive for it. Just follow the sound.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Music I'm Lovin' Today: Joseph Arthur

What do you do when your iPod dies?

Plug directly into your computer while it charges and go to of course.

What do you do when you realize that your work computer doesn't have real player (necessary in order to stream their fabulous radio)?

You go to their most recently featured artist and hit up their webpage hoping they have some music there.

And that's just what I did. I had heard of Joseph Arthur, but hadn't really given him a listen until today. My ears are very happy.

For Reasons Unknown

I'm not sure why, but I've been wanting to read Running With Scissors for a while. Since I don't have a lot of access to books in English right now I haven't gotten around to it yet. Today I went to to see how much it would cost to ship something to Belgium and to browse their selection of vintage record players, and this was on the front page. Is it just me, or is there something terribly disturbing about this image?

-The Killers-

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Sound of Your Life Moving On

Sometimes life just moves so quickly. Life happens in a series of oft-ignored 'sometimes.' There are a few that I've tried to pay attention to while I've been in Brussels.

Sometimes our huge sliding-glass door gets fogged up. And I write messages to the world on it (backwards-- so the passerby can see, of course) I'm fairly certain that no one saw my greeting since we live on the seventh floor. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to work in such an adorable little building again. Really, I can't complain. You should see it when the blinds are open.
Sometimes I feel really lucky to live on this street. This as the view from my apartment. I have pictures of this view from almost every day since I've been here.Sometimes we get incredible sunsets.
Sometimes we get a free feather when we buy eggs.
Sometimes we get really cool thunderstorms right outside our window.
Sometimes we watch TV on our laptops. Actually, just The Office. I think this was General Conference.Sometimes Ryan makes us the most amazing dinners. And I pretend to be a photographer for Martha Stewart. But I'm sure her placemats would be ironed and starched.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I ate one of these every day.
Sometimes even the dogs here beg for money.Sometimes I can't believe that this is my backyard.
Sometimes I put on concerts for all of Brussels from our balcony. For free.
Sometimes the moon fascinates me.
Sometimes I like to take pictures of things up-close.Sometimes I wonder who chose the mod-bird light fixtures for the office.
-Lucas Reynolds-

Things I Love Today: Creative Band Memoribilia

So, we've all seen the t-shirts, the stickers, the vinyls. Just leave it to a band as cool as OK Go to come up with something better: the OK Go Disposable Camera. The best part about the cameras are that they each contain 3 surprise photos, taken by one of the band members while on tour. What a cool idea! I'm not sure they are worth the $20 they charge, but kudos for coolness and creativity.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Sadness

I have no idea how it happened. I have had it on my concert calendar for months. I was more prepared for this show than any I attended this summer. I have had at least one of his albums on constant rotation, and after I got over my skepticism about the price, I finally decided that yes, Ryan Adams would be one concert I would attend in while in Europe. So you can imagine my dismay when I went to buy tickets for the show and found that it actually happened two weeks ago. Don't worry, Ryan. Maybe I'll catch you in America some time.

-Ryan Adams-

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Let's Hear That String Part Again...

Sometimes life is so majestic or delicate or slow or whirling that at any moment I secretly expect a full symphony to start playing the soundtrack to that moment. I can hear it sometimes as I really watch people and see their struggles, their passion, their sorrow. I can hear it as I sift through my own disillusionment, fascination, boredom, curiosity. It fills the air as moments and memories are spliced and blurred. Devastation and heartache bring everything to a reluctant slow motion; triumph and delight sprint in a haze of euphoria.

Jackie and I went to Luxembourg this weekend. I was fascinated by these people and their faces, so I apologize in advance to those who cannot appreciate my photographic renderings of strangers.
-Sufjan Stevens-

Friday, October 20, 2006

Just The Way You Are

-Billy Joel-

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Agent Orange

Call it a quarter-life crisis, call it life abroad, call it what you will.

My hair is red.
Jackie dyed hers too.

-Depeche Mode-

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Waiting On The World To Change

why can't i get paid
for writing haikus or blogs?
life would be so good

-John Mayer-

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Call It A Day

Many of you probably still wonder what I do at work each day. Among other things, I've found the hours of 9 am to 6 pm to be prime time for creativity, which has been oozing out of me lately in the form of haiku. That's right folks, haiku. Sometimes the heavy french accent of my manager is just the inspiration I need to let the 5-7-5 flow. I can feel good about writing haiku at work, since it's not too taxing and doesn't take a lot of time away from my other responsibilities. From the archives (and hall of fame) I share with you some (ok, most) of the collection:

ask me one more time
(dreaming rainbows; butterflies)
i missed what you said

i know what i want
and now you know what you don't
we learned together

chocolate, crepes, waffles
i like to eat belgian food
it is so so good

my desk is covered
with sticky notes and papers
but I ignore them

g-talk is my love
I chat with Jackie all day
and do some work too

friends miss our faces
think europe is amazing
life is the same here

life is not the same
we freaking live in europe
but life is still good

miguel speaks english
he says jigs instead of gigs
i try not to laugh

i am so hungry
i want to quit working now
so i can eat food

jackie is going
to paris for the weekend
sarah stays alone

why do the sad songs
feel like they are more than real
slow tears are happy

why do you haunt me?
becalmed by sleep i dream you
nightmares every night

your shucks and curses
resonate, reverberate
ringing in my ears

shining, freezing light
mountains cold and icy feet
warm and happy souls

good morning my love
it's so good to see your face
i missed you all night

smile, you're in white
who doesn't look good in white?
ok, maybe you

cloudy, rainy days
your love is like a rainbow
i drip with color

If you're curious about what I really do... well, if I told you I'd have to kill you. I'm not kidding. So for now we'll just call it haiku.

-The Raconteurs-

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

You Speak My Language

I spent the weekend in London. London is just brilliant! I love it's combination of reckless absurdity and flawless charm. I think we covered all of the major highlights of the city, but we also discovered some of the things that the common tourist may not know about this fine English community. For example:

The famous red phone booths are not only functional (and decorative) they are also used occasionally as outhouses. Hence the atrocious smell which forces callers to phone from outside the booth.
Some people in London like to wear blue velour suits. The reflective quality helps to keep cars driving on the left-side of the road at bay.Aslan lives in Trafalgar Square, and actually is a quadruplet!The taxis are one style, but many colors. You can recognize them easily. They are all driving on the left side of the road.
Ben and Jerry's is twice as big as it is in America. What's up with that? It's Vermont's finest, not... Devonshire's finest.Some of the men in London like to pretend that they are seeing something spectacular while just sitting on an ordinary park bench. They often pose like this in order for tourists to take photos.
The benches at St. Martins In The Fields are not made for sitting. They are made for kneeling only.Dogs are not man's best friend. Pigeons are.
Pigeons are destructive, not only to statues and buildings, but also to people. That is why pointy hats have become necessary. No pigeons landing on this girl's head!The Thames River contains spit from visitors worldwide. Including my friend Ryan.
Subway does not mean subway or metro as we know it in America. Instead, it means, well, subway - an underground (sub) walk (way). Those Brits are clever!Saturday night's cast of Raoul, Christine, and the Phantom were played by understudies. The real stars were in the audience, but could be met for autographs and impromptu performances before the show.If you live in Notting Hill or the surrounding area, you are required to hang a plant next to your front door.If you're staying in a hotel, regardless of how cute the facade is, the inside can be sketchy. And if you are paying less than 20 pounds a night for your bed (even if it's in a room with two other friends and a Latvian stranger) it's bound to have some mystery stains.If you ever lose an eye, you can find a chestnut in Hyde Park and use it as a replacement. Then maybe if someone wants to compliment you they can tell you that you have beautiful chestnut eyes . And they won't be lying.This photo was actually inspired by a photo of John Lennon that can be viewed at the National Portrait Gallery.You can buy your child a functional mini-hummer at Harrod's for about the same price as a real one. That way you can teach your child the value of hard work and discipline from a young age.If you're in the mood for jumping off a bridge, it's best not to do it here. The water in Hyde Park is quite shallow and you'd probably just break your legs.The coolest thing about London Bridge is probably this sign. And the song that goes with it. But really, in person, not that cool.But all that London Bridge has in fame and lacks in coolness, is made up for by the oft-confused-as-London-Bridge Tower Bridge.
The end.

-Collective Soul-