recent obsessions.

1. This coffee. I don’t know how to describe coffee, even after I worked as a barista and had a required tasting at Stumptown. Reason #100 I was a terrible barista: I felt silly doing “cuppings” so I didn’t spit, and then I was overly caffeinated and hyper and probably off-putting. My only skill was flirting with the male customers and ignoring their instructions, if I deemed their orders too complicated/ absurd (e.g., double tall vanilla half-caf mocha grande sugar free dry cappuccino on the wet side. As usual, Larry David says it best.) The site describes this coffee as “sweet and smooth” with “chocolate notes,” so we’ll go with that.

2. Clogs. Look how cute they are on Annabelle over at Blushing Ambition. What do you think about clogs? Are they too grannyish? Too hipster? Can we pull them off?

05-14-10 by ornithes.

3. Crème de Violette. The name of this liqueur is so fun to say, and I feel like I should say “shan’t” and “whilst” as I sip it with my pinky up in the air. Last week, I drank a cocktail called “An Ode to St. Anne” that had champagne, Crème de Violette, and some other magical ingredients. And then the ladies and I had that “Which ‘Sex and the City’ character are you?” conversation that we’ve all had, even if we’d like to pretend otherwise. I was deemed to be half Samantha and half Charlotte– a walking contradiction.

4. This nail polish color. Normally, blue nail polish strikes me as a throw back to 5th grade and boy bands. But I ran into a friend on the street this weekend, and she had her toes and nails painted this gorgeous shade of blue. Granted, she was wearing an adorable little ensemble of light jeans, gladiator sandles, and a striped top, but the nail polish added a fun and summery flare to the outfit. Guess what I’m doing later? Blueing myself.

lapis of luxury<br>

5. Letting my hair dry naturally and allowing the ends to flip out at will, like Farrah Fawcett’s but less hot.

6. Discovering new ways to prepare tofu– a soy protein that still both intrigues and intimidates me, years after my decision to be a vegetarian. I’ve been feeling sleepy lately, and I think that’s in part due to the lack of protein in my diet this week. Here’s what I’m making tonight: Lemongrass Tofu that looks as delicious as the dish I had at a Vietnamese restaurant a few weeks ago.

01.25.10

7. Zadie Smith’s discussion of reading and writing, “Fail Better.” I particularly enjoy this quote. As I learn strategies to help students become good readers, I’m beginning to think more and more about the complex relationship between individuals and texts and how we derive and create meaning from text. This quote begins to sum up the responsibility of the reader and how much talent and skill it takes to read well.

zadie-smith

“What I’m saying is, a reader must have talent. Quite a lot of talent, actually, because even the most talented reader will find much of the land of literature tricky terrain. For how many of us feel the world to be as Kafka felt it, too impossibly foreshortened to ride from one village to the next? Or can imagine a world without nouns, as Borges did? How many are willing to be as emotionally generous as Dickens, or to take religious faith as seriously as did Graham Greene? Who among us have Zora Neale Hurston’s capacity for joy or Douglas Coupland’s strong stomach for the future? Who has the delicacy to tease out Flaubert’s faintest nuance, or the patience and the will to follow David Foster Wallace down his intricate recursive spirals of thought? The skills that it takes to write it are required to read it. Readers fail writers just as often as writers fail readers. Readers fail when they allow themselves to believe the old mantra that fiction is the thing you relate to and writers the amenable people you seek out when you want to have your own version of the world confirmed and reinforced. That is certainly one of the many things fiction can do, but it’s a conjurer’s trick within a far deeper magic. To become better readers and writers we have to ask of each other a little bit more.”

8. Big floppy hats. Eccentric and fun, floppy hats are perfect for girls like us. I can’t wait to get my hands on one and use it in conversation, tipping it at friends and cute men. At this rate, I will never have a date again. Photo below via Refinery 29.

perfect-outfit-summer-big.jpg

9. This TED talk on creativity and education by Sir Ken Robinson. I couldn’t agree with Robinson more, and I love his use of the following W.B. Yeats poem, written for Maud Gonne.

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with the golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams beneath your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

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