Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ruth's Diary

via fadedfilmstrips Flickr stream

Fiona Robyn is going to blog her next novel, Thaw, starting on the 1st of March next year. The novel follows 32 year old Ruth’s diary over three months as she decides whether or not to carry on living.

To help spread the word she’s organising a Blogsplash, where blogs will publish the first page of Ruth’s diary simultaneously (and a link to the blog).

She’s aiming to get 1000 blogs involved – if you’d be interested in joining in, email her at or find out more information here.

I already signed up to help... Won't you?


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vintage Berlin

White Lace Dress

Thanks so much for all the comment love I got on my last post-- you guys are so lovely! It's so nice to get positive feedback every now and again:) It's also nice to know that there are people out there who actually read what I write!

I know I posted about Berlin last time, but I'm not quite finished yet. I promise after this post, I'll stop living in the past and will write about what's going on in my current town, Dubai.

I'm a big fan of the "outfit post," although I haven't quite gotten the hang of it quite yet (see Liebemarlene, Strawberry Koi, Some Girls Wander..., Clever Nettle, Sally Jane Vintage, Casey's Elegant Musings, etc. for better examples). These girls have mastered the art of romantic settings (think train tracks, moss-covered trees, cemeteries, historic mansions), the lens flare, soft lighting... Truth be told, even if I could learn these techniques, I'm not usually wearing outfits that are really deserving of their own outfit post. I'm usually living out of a suitcase, which means my outfit/accessory/shoes choices are VERY limited.

Vintage Dress in Berlin
Dress - Vintage, found in a Berlin vintage shop
Cardigan - borrowed from Corrie's closet
Tights - Hue
Boots - Madden Girl, bought at DSW last year
Scarf - (not pictured because it blew off in transit and is forever lost) Corrie's, CNC

I absolutely fell in love with the shops in Berlin. We got around on bicycle (something new to this American girl-- don't try that in our cities, unless you have a death wish!), which meant I had ample time to check out little shops-- and pull over and stop when time allowed! They have a plethora of shops just stocked to the brim with vintage dresses and shoes and what-not. I was in hog heaven, and without the prohibitive price tags, lack of suitcase space, and the flagging US dollar, I might have gone overboard!

Alas, I allowed myself only one item... and that was the creamy lace dress seen above (better picture at the top!). I had been looking for just such a dress for a while, and had even seen contenders at Modcloth and Ruche, but I'm glad I waited as this one is one-of-a-kind (it even appears to be homemade!). There was also something about wearing a dress while riding a bike that made me feel super cute:)

Elise and Corrie in the photobooth
A parting picture of me and Corrie in the local neighborhood photobooth (seriously, it's on the corner outside Corrie's apartment-- shouldn't all neighborhoods have photobooths?!?) goofing off.

Okay, next time I'll tell you a little bit about life in Dubai. Promise.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wir Fahren Nach Berlin!


"Berlin is the newest city I have come across. Even Chicago would appear old and gray in comparison."

~Mark Twain, Chicago Daily Tribune, 1892

"Berlin! Berlin! Wir fahren nach Berlin!" (Berlin! Berlin! We're going to Berlin!)

~A chant during the World Cup in 2006

I think I probably mentioned this already (did I?) but for those of you who don't know, I spent the end of September in Berlin visiting some very dear friends there. It all worked out perfectly-- I was able to join my brother and his band on their European tour, and then after the last show in Leipzig, Germany, I caught a train to Berlin. I realize that I've been a
TERRIBLE blogger as of late. I sort of got out of the flow when my hard drive crashed, and then lately I've been feeling as if the bar has really been raised in the blogosphere. I mean, there are some AMAZING bloggers out there, and it's hard for me to put together posts that seem like they might be interesting to others.

I'm really trying to do better, but now I am in Dubai, where some of my favorite sites are blocked (Flickr, that means you), and the internet runs, well, really slowly.

That reminds me of a joke: "What did the snail on top of the turtle say?" Give up? "Wheeeeee!"

Just to make this clear, people, my internet abroad is that little snail saying "Wheeeeee!" I never realized how spoiled I was in the ole US of A until I left it. Internet speeds abroad always seem to be dismal compared to what I've got at home.

I digress. Here's a recap of how I passed the 12 or so days in Berlin:

  • I took a bicycle tour of the touristy bits of Germany, given to me by a ridiculously tall German man.
  • I got yelled at, in German, by various motorists for not knowing the rules of the road as a cyclist (Sorry!!! I'm new at this!)
  • I ate yummy German food-- one of my favorite cuisines! (The red cabbage reminded me of what Grandma used to make!)
  • I sniffled and coughed for about a week, wearing a permanent indentation into Matt and Corrie's couch.
  • I got to see the church that I've been supporting on and off (more off than on, eeek!) for the past five or so years.
  • I discovered Berlin vintage shops. Needless to say-- I NEED to stay out of those for the sake of my already anorexic wallet.
  • Drank WAY TOO MUCH. When wine costs less than water, what's to stop you?
  • Lost a VERY EXPENSIVE scarf that belonged to my best friend (and witnessed the grace of forgiveness as well. Thanks, Corrie!)
  • Learned wee bits of German...
  • Met some of the lovely people that I've been hearing about for years.
  • Met new lovely people that I admire very much.
  • Fell in love with cycling.
  • Developed a MAJOR crush on a new city
  • Discovered that I really LOVE black licorice
  • Spent time with two of my favorite-ist people in the whole wide world!
Without further adieu, then,






berlin war memorial

















Yes, I think it is fair to say that I fell in love with this lovely city. One day I shall be heading back, even if it is just to visit. Although, with any luck, one day I'll be able to say, alongside Marlene Dietrich, "Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin." ("I still keep a suitcase in Berlin.")


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

15 (or so) Ways to Charm Her

Sheet Music

My ability to sit down and write a coherent blog seems to have gone straight out the window. Last night I sat and fiddled around on my laptop, for, oh, I don't know, THREE HOURS? I was working on a blog entry that entire time. I may have just decided to scrap the said blog entry (I finally had to give up on it last night and just go to bed).

So, this is what I have resorted to. I've become enamored with another blogger (yes, another one), Miss Meg Fee, who writes in such an engaging way. I discovered her though the equally endearing Taza at The Rockstar Diaries. Anyway, I read this over at The Wild and Wily Ways of a Brunette Bombshell, and I LOVED it. So, I'm reposting here. Hope that's okay, Meg!

I should probably begin by saying that I am a southern girl. At heart. It's actually up for argument a bit (mostly the people who argue with me about where I am from don't really know my history so well). I was born in Augusta, Georgia, which makes me, I think, officially a "Georgia Peach." My first home was in Aiken, South Carolina, which is where both of my parents hail from, as well as the majority of my grandparents (with the exception of Grandma, who was Brooklyn-born, but after living in Aiken for almost fifty years of her life, I'm going to say she can lay claim to that Southerner title as well). We moved quite a bit when I was growing up-- moving from South Carolina to Texas and back again, and then to Virginia, and finally to Delaware. Here's where it gets a bit sticky. You see, Delaware isn't really considered a southern state. As a South Carolinian (which is what I say I am), we see Virginia as barely southern (although I give them major points for being the capital of the Confederacy) which means that Delaware is definitely NOT southern. But, as a girl trying to argue her case for why she's really a southerner, I would argue that while Delaware fought for the north in the war between the states, the majority of Delawareans were in favor of letting the south secede from the union. Moreover, Lincoln actually (unconstitutionally) forced Delaware to support his cause by ordering the Federal army to occupy the state and not allowing the state legislature to discuss the issue (For further reading on Lincoln and the other side of him that you won't find in typical history books, see The Real Lincoln by Thomas DiLorenzo). So, Delaware WAS southern-ish. All that aside, my parents really are true southerners, and they raised me with their mindset and values.

If you still don't believe me, then I submit the following article, which I shamelessly pilfered from Meg's blog. The article explains what southern girls look for in a man, and, well, all of the following items, with the exception of the one about football, resonate with me.

Fellows, take note:

15 Ways to Charm Her
Want to impress a Southern girl? Just think "What would my grandfather have done?"
By Amy Bickers

Number one: We still expect you to give up your seat for a lady. On a bus, at a bar, on a train . . . we don't care where you are. Unless you are at a restaurant and the only lady in sight is the one taking your order, stand up. Now.

On a recent Friday night at a bustling restaurant bar, two friends and I waited for our table to be called. The barstools were occupied so we stood patiently, sipping wine and chatting about the workweek. When a couple nearby stood up, another woman - who had been there less time than we had - swooped in, reaching across us to put her purse on the stool. This isn't the worst part. It's what happened next: her male companion then slid onto the other barstool.

Hang on while I do a geography check. Are we not in the South? If ladies are waiting for a seat and you have a Y chromosome, do you sit down? No, sir. No, you do not.

We know modern life is confusing. The roles of men and women have evolved over the years. As Pink once sang, "Shorty got a job, Shorty got a car, Shorty can pay her own rent."

But come on, let's keep some things old-school. My late grandfather - he of the East Texas upbringing, U.S. Navy captain status, and Cary Grant good looks - would never have allowed a woman to stand while he sat. And if you want a Southern woman to love you, neither will you. So, men, here's a short list of things Southern girls still expect from you.

We still expect you to . . .

[ONE] Stand up for a lady. Actually, this doesn't just involve chairs.

[TWO] Know that the SEC has the best football teams in the nation. Big 12 fan? Hmm, perhaps you should keep walking.

[THREE] Kill bugs. Delta Burke as Southern belle Suzanne Sugarbaker on Designing Women said, "Ya know . . . when men use Women's Liberation as an excuse not to kill bugs for you? Oh, I just hate that! I don't care what anybody says, I think the man should have to kill the bug!"

[FOUR] Hold doors open.

[FIVE] Fix things or build stuff. I once watched in awe as my stepfather built a front porch on the house he shares with my mother. He knew just what to do, cutting every notch, hammering every nail. The project was complete by sunset.

[SIX] Wear boots occasionally. Not the fancy, I-paid-$1000-for-these kind. We're talking about slightly mud-crusted, I-could-have-just-come-in-from-the-field boots.

[SEVEN] Take your hat off inside.

[EIGHT] Grill stuff.

[NINE] Call us. If you want to ask us out, don't text and don't email. Pick up the phone and use your voice.

[TEN] Stand when we come back to the dinner table. "Just a little half-stand is enough to make me melt," my friend Stephanie says.

[ELEVEN] Pull out our chairs. Wait, that's not all. Scoot them back in before we hit the floor.

[TWELVE] Pay the tab on the first few dates. "If you ask me out, you pay," Stephanie says. "If I ask you out, you should still pay." Listen, guys, it's just simpler this way.

[THIRTEEN] Don't show up in a wrinkled, untucked shirt.Care about your appearance, but not too much. Don't smell better than we do. Don't use mousse or gel. You shouldn't look like you spend more time in front of the mirror than we do.

[FOURTEEN] Never get in bar fights. Patrick Swazye might look cool in Road House, but in reality, bar fights are stupid and embarrassing. You don't look tough. You look like an idiot.

[FIFTEEN] Know how to mix our favorite cocktail just the way we like it. Fix your favorite too. Sit down on the porch (it's okay if you didn't build it), tell us how your day went, and we'll tell you about ours.

We'll leave the long list to the girl who falls in love with you.

Meg adds a number [SIXTEEN] to the list which I agree with, so I'll keep it:
[SIXTEEN] Make sure you ask my father for my hand in marriage before asking me.
And, just for fun, I'll add my own [SEVENTEEN] and [EIGHTEEN]:
[SEVENTEEN] Put the toilet seat down! I know it seems silly and like a trifle, but it really does drive me CRAZY!

[EIGHTEEN] Walk me to my car. Especially late at night. When it's dark and scary.
Oh, just thought of [NINETEEN]. I think I'm having a little too much fun with this!
[NINETEEN] Carry my bags/boxes for me. If I am burdened, and you are not, please help!
So, it's a bit of a long list (well, not so long), but really, it's not that hard it is? I am not exagerrating when I say that when a fella does anything on the aforementioned list (especially when it comes to something like helping carry my things, or opening the car door for me) it really makes me swoon.

I can't explain why. Maybe it's because I am, indeed, a southern gal ;)