Monday, November 30, 2009


Gah! Is it really the Christmas season already? I know I was looking at tree skirt patterns like a month ago, but I swear this felt like it arrived at warp speed. It always does.

I haven't even looked at my Christmas decorations yet. Well, maybe a glance, but then quickly closed the closet door. But what I have managed to do is load all my Christmas music on my iPod. First things first. I simply adore Christmas music. Don't you?

Back in college, I started collecting Xmas CDs. Great, iconic albums and classics. Usually one album as a treat to myself every year. About five years ago, I put together Christmas mix albums for many of my friends and family and they were a hit. I still listen to all my music but haven't really expanded the collection much in recent years. That's where your suggestions will come in handy! But first, some of my favorites...

The first and the best is of course the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. It's a must for everyone. Especially the song "Skating." It makes one think of snowflakes and bustling about getting presents and twinkle lights and cheer.

Best. Christmas. Special. Ever. And Vince Guaraldi's music is just the perfect compliment.

Another great album is Bing Crosby's White Christmas (winner for best album cover, too). In particular, his version of "Jingle Bells" with the Andrews Sisters. Back in the late 90s, Gap did a genius ad with a remix of this song - I was never able to find the remix but of course I eventually found the original. I can't help but sing along every time I hear it! It's definitely a mix CD staple.

This album also has "Mele Kalikimaka," of National Lampoon fame. It's Hawaii's way to say Merry Christmas to you.

Another fabulous addition is not technically a Christmas album. Only two thirds of it is, but it's worth it. Duke Ellington's Three Suites contains Ellington's take on the Nutcracker Suite.

"Sugar Rum Cherry" (his version of the Sugar Plum Fairy, of course) is the one track that most often makes it onto the various compilation albums out there - that's how I discovered it - but hearing the whole thing is such a treat.

Okay, the last one is decidedly unlike the others. Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas is just so good. If you're a fan of Sufjan that is (and how can you not be). It's a box set so it costs a bit more than some of these others, but you'll be glad for the abundance once you get hooked. I think his version of "The Friendly Beasts" is just the loveliest Christmas song around.

Now it's your turn! What am I missing from my collection of classics? (Of note, I already have Christmas with the Rat Pack and Dean Martin's Making Spirits Bright.)

And now, I'm gonna leave you with my favorite Sufjan tune, and this ridiculously cute video.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day tripper

Oh goodness. Lookit me, such a slacker. Though not really, as having just come in from pilates, I'm feeling very much the hard worker rather than the lazy bum. At this time last week, I was hunting through leaves for my lost wallet (never found). Can anyone suggest a good place to purchase a quality wallet? I'd been using my last one (a Cole Haan) for probably 6 years. It still had many, many good years ahead of it--wasn't showing a bit of wear and tear. Ooof, that's a sad one, that loss.

Today (during my lunch break, of course) I was browsing around on the internet looking at Christmas cards and calendars. Normally I operate with a motley crew of gifted wall calendars, but this year I've got a list. I want all three and I'm close to buying them myself to ensure I get them all.

First for my desk at work, I'd like another ilee letterpress calendar. (Remember last year's? I've just loved it.)

It's another lovely one this year. She does such good work.

Next for the home office, this one of course. Oh the Charley Harper. I still don't have a print. Will the wall calendar scratch the itch? Oof, I guess time will tell. But wait. Yeah I still want the print.

Meanwhile, the calendar is a good bit cheaper. Somebody hook me up for reals. It's only $14.

And lastly, this one for the wall at work. I mean, I know we've been sucking hard lately (didn't I say it, everyone has their bad weeks?), but I still loves my old school. Gig 'em Ags.

And of course, my Moleskine. I pick one of these up every year.

If getting one of those fancy computer phones means my Moleskine planner becomes redundant, well then I don't want a fancy computer phone. Keep it away. I don't need it. Or the answer to that trivia question right this instant. Let's just sit and ponder for a while. Right? Don't you miss that? But I digress.

So add to the calendars, the new wallet, the new camera lens, and now I've got a hankering for a new radio for my bedroom (a long-standing passionate desire to own a Tivoli Model Two). But gosh, one must prioritize. I mean, I gotta buy gifts for other people now. You know, Santa Claus and ho-ho-ho, and mistletoe and presents to pretty girls. And all that stuff.

Do you have a favorite planner or calendar you buy every year? Or do you just wait to see what catches your eye? Sharing is caring.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Loving Bonnie

Have I ever mentioned my girl crush on Faye Dunaway circa Bonnie and Clyde? I haven't? Well let's get on that.

The hair, the clothes, the smoldering stare. I wish I could pull off this look. Lord knows I've tried. I've even taken this exact picture with me to the salon before. But there's not really so much of a hair-do here as there is an attitude. And a hat. And some pretty ridiculous bone structure.

Again with the hats. And then there's the necklace. And the slip. And the cigarette. It's all just perfect. Swoon.

The violence was a big deal in 1967. But even today, watching the final scene.. goodness gracious. Oh yeah, and that one scene where he shoots the banker guy hanging on the car. I mean really, the whole thing is pretty darn gory. Watch this one after the kiddies have gone to bed.

I've read they're remaking it with some young, fresh ingenue, but let's face it, she'll never be able to replace Faye. And why would you even want to try? The movie is still amazing, and attempting to get that look and that attitude just right.. there's just no way you'll ever get there. Plus don't even get me started on Warren Beatty. Shucks.