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English Muse: January 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Weekend

Here's my wish list for the weekend:

*Visit Shoes at the kitty hospital (he's doing a little better.)

*Pick up a copy of the Saturday Wall Street Journal (I love the new Off-Duty section.)

*Attempt to make Nigella Lawson's Apple Syrup Upside-Down Pie.

*Read newly found thrift store copy of DH Lawrence's "The Fox."

*Catch up on Cathy Horyn's columns on the Paris Couture shows. (The Dior dresses made me want to weep.)

*Track down a copy of Annie Proulx's memoir, Bird Cloud, about her attempt to build her dream house on a 640-acre nature preserve by the North Platte River in Wyoming.

I'll probably end up just visiting Shoes and reading DH Lawrence, but it's nice to dream!

What are you doing this weekend?

(Photo by Glori Marigo.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cat Crisis

My giant kitty Shoes Lebowski -- you guys helped name him after I rescued him over the summer -- has been hospitalized with a complete urinary block, a condition that's deadly if not treated within 24 hours. We caught it in time, but he's not out of the woods...I'm so worried about him.

If you have a male cat, be sure to get educated about this horrible disease. Feed them moist food only (Science Diet is best) and filtered water!!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Red Typewriter & A Lonely Girl

I have a thing for old typewriters -- usually pink, but red is fantastic too. I LOVE the Breakfast at Tiffany's GIF, by Arlei, and the top photo by Andreia Lopes.

Thank you for all your comments regarding my previous post on boring books. I can never stick with a book if it's dull. And I hate to say this, but the latest Michael Cunningham effort is about to go on the shelf next to the Richard Ford rejects. Oh well...


Monday, January 24, 2011

The Best Boring Books


Guardian books columnist Robert McCrum believes "there are times when dullness is exactly what you want from a book."

Here are his favorites:

1. Robert Burton: The Anatomy of Melancholy
2. Robert Musil: The Man Without Qualities
3. Kazuo Ishiguro: The Unconsoled
4. Malcolm Lowry: Under the Volcano
5. Virginia Woolf: The Waves
6. James Joyce: Finnegans Wake
7. Thomas Wolfe: Look Homeward, Angel
8. William Thackeray: Pendennis
9. Karl Marx: Capital
10. James Woodforde: The Diary of A Country Parson

Do you stick with boring books or give up mid-way through?

(Photo by Uncommon Destinations.)


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Tumblr: Red

Friday, January 21, 2011

Have a Happy Weekend!

My to-do list:
Sleep in
Go to farmers market
Plant bare-root roses (Eden!)
Trim pomegranate tree bonsai
Finish "By Nightfall"
Walk around the Rose Bowl
Find vintage papers for collage project
Search for medals and filigree at the flea market
Go to see "The King's Speech"

What are you doing this weekend?

(Photo from here.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What are you reading?

The Visitor #8 (158/365)
I found a copy of Michael Cunningham's "By Nightfall" at my favorite secondhand bookstore the other day. I loved The Hours, so I'm looking forward to starting Cunningham's new book tonight!

What are you reading?

(Very clever photo, above, from here.)


Friday, January 14, 2011

The Hollywood Beauty Bar's Silhouettes

Screen shot 2011-01-14 at 4.42.05 PM
Hollywood Beauty Bar Silhouettes
Hollywood Beauty Bar

I was in Hollywood today and couldn't resist taking a picture of the silhouettes on the doors of the Beauty Bar, a lounge where you can get a manicure along with your cocktail.

I love the lights with the hairdryer shades!

Hope you have a lovely weekend! What do you have planned?
I want to finally go see Black Swan this weekend!

Hollywood Beauty Bar Silhouette


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Things inside purses...

Anthropologie is out this month with a catalogue featuring pictures of stuff inside purses. Why am I so fascinated by this? I love blog posts, photos, stories, etc. about the things people keep in their bags. (Is there a flickr group on this?) Anyway, here are a few shots from the Anthro campaign:

Sorry I haven't been posting much...I've been busy working, and -- alas -- I'm not going to Paris.
 Maybe next year...

UPDATE: I just discovered there is a flickr group called "What's In Your Bag." It has more than 20,000 members. I'm not alone!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christopher Hitchens on how to make a decent cup of tea

afternoon tea for lunch

Christopher Hitchens over the weekend wrote a story for Slate on the proper way to make tea.

"It is already virtually impossible in the United States, unless you undertake the job yourself, to get a cup or pot of tea that tastes remotely as it ought to," he complains. "It's quite common to be served a cup or a pot of water, well off the boil, with the tea bags lying on an adjacent cold plate... The drink itself is then best thrown away, though if swallowed, it will have about the same effect on morale as a reading of the memoirs of President James Earl Carter."

Hitchens relies (mostly) on George Orwell's tips for tea making.

They include:

*Always use Indian or Ceylonese—i.e., Sri Lankan—tea.
*Make tea only in small quantities.
*Avoid silverware pots.
*If you use a pot at all, make sure it is pre-warmed. (Hitchens adds: do the same thing even if you are only using a cup or a mug.)
*Stir the tea before letting it steep.
*MOST IMPORTANT: "Take the teapot to the kettle, and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact."
*If you use milk, make sure it's the least creamy type. ("And do not put the milk in the cup first—family feuds have lasted generations over this—because you will almost certainly put in too much," Hitchens says.)
*A "decent cylindrical mug" is best.

Finally, Hitchens believes brown sugar or honey are "permissible and sometimes necessary," even though Orwell would probably disagree.

And there you have it.

(Photo by Le Portillon.)

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

My New Years Confession

Do you read me? Model : Annie Beust

You guys know how much I enjoy reading books -- on paper. But, this weekend I downloaded
the free Kindle Mac app. I LOVE IT!!  (It's also available for PCs, iPhones & Blackberrys.)

Yesterday, I read "The Orange Eats Creeps," by Grace Krilanovich on my laptop. (The book is about "slutty, hobo teenage vampires" and it's fantastic.)

Today I'm reading "The Hand that First Held Mine," by Maggie O'Farrell.

I'll never ditch old-fashioned books, but I spend so much time on my laptop -- writing, reading blogs, watching movies, cruising tumblr.  It's very cool to work a little electronic book reading
into the mix...

So that's my confession...


Happy New Year!

(Photo by Magic Magic Magic.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Inspiration Journals

I love these simply fashioned inspiration journals by Victoria at the blog Inmost Light.


The paper and clippings are held together with two simple silver rings.