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Yep, he’s a sex bomb February 26, 2010

Posted by Emily in a few of my favorite things.
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This may seem strange, but sometimes I wonder about my sense of humor. I’m not an extremely serious person, but it’s rare that I laugh out loud. I’m more of a smirker, and sometimes I’m envious of those with easy, genuine laughs. Most movies people think are funny – Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell – I think are sort of just OK. Occasionally a British movie comes out that just gets me, but it’s rare. It’s been a while.

I do love some good absurdity, though. Which is why I so enjoyed Russia’s winning performance on 2008’s Eurovision, complete with figure skater Yevgeni Plushenko spinning around on a rink the size of my kitchen table (Please see the 2:00 mark, on YouTube. You won’t regret it.). Watching the Olympics last week, I was reminded of my dear Russian friend when we caught a feature about him – he was driving around Moscow, scowling, saying that he has fast cars and a gold medal (also lots of enemies, which he made sound like the Mafia, but that’s another story….) and so why would he compete again? But then he said he was getting bored, so he decided to go back for gold. He’s a total ice skating badass. Clearly. By now, we all know that Evan Lysacek and his Master of the Darkness feathered outfits took the gold…but don’t fret: Plushenko will always have this gem.

Now THIS made me laugh out loud.

(thanks, A.M., for totally making my week)

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Boots? Really? February 24, 2010

Posted by Emily in Uncategorized.
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Should it bother me that after almost three years of blogging, people are most likely to come to my blog by searching about boots? And not just any boots, since the shoe lover in me has nothing against a classy pair of boots, but the post I wrote about Spanish women wearing hideous mukluk boots when it’s 100 degrees outside?

Here’s today’s top searches:

mukluk boots,  eskimo boots,  women wearing boots,  semana santa sevilla,  playlist.com

Ugh.

My love/hate relationship with HGTV February 19, 2010

Posted by Emily in Blogs I read and like, design, rants.
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My name is Emily, and I’m a design addict.

My Google Reader is bursting with “homies” blogs and typography blogs and blogs with names like “Lovely Package” and “Happy Tape” (who knew cool tape – patterned, colored masking tape from Japan – could be so entertaining?) But none of it takes the place of flipping through a well-designed design magazine.

But where to go?

Domino, one of the greatest home design inspirations, closed down about a year ago.

Living Etc is a British decor magazine I love, but I can only, in good conscience, allow myself so many $8.50 issues every year.

I started subscribing to Country Living, and though it leans a bit more, well, country, than I’d like, it sort of holds me over. What Country Living lacks in cheekiness, my ReadyMade subscription more than makes up for. There’s twee urban hipsterness to spare, and sometimes interesting spaces, but it leans a bit too “look, I’m modern and eco friendly”  for my taste. Dwell is the same but even more.

The last two New York Times Habitat features have been so incredibly DULL, as Decorno and others have noted, that I find I’m throwing up my hands.

Honestly, outside of blogs and the occasional Living Etc droolfest, I get my best design fix from reading through my mom’s Better Homes and Gardens magazines.

And so we come to HGTV. Like Country Living and ReadyMade and so on, to some extent HGTV only factors in due to lack of better options. 95% of the houses they feature are blah beige suburban split levels with massive garages – not really my thing. And so few of the people featured have any sense of the possibilities of the house, what it could become. They want new, low maintenance, move-in ready. They pay way too much attention to paint color (which, I will admit, is atrocious when it’s not beige – lots of bubblegum pink bedrooms). And so their wishlists are eerily similar:

  • stainless steel appliances
  • “open plan living”
  • “room to entertain”
  • hardwood floors
  • if one of the few urban episodes, off-street parking
  • and most want a formal dining room

They tour the three houses, each of them saying “this must be the master” as they walk into the biggest room.  For some reason, most of the episodes seem to take place in Canada, so I’ll admit, there’s a little giggle value with the accents. On Property Virgins, pushy Sandra Rinomato guilt trips them into making swift decisions, as though their Canadian outposts have three houses, total, on the market. On My First Place, plenty seem to think their dads will mow their lawns (say wha?) and then they feign surprise when the house they buy gets one room kitted out with boring furniture and lame Target art on the walls.

Is this the best we can do? I remember thinking, back in the day when Trading Spaces didn’t suck, that most of these people didn’t have bad taste to work with – just no taste. Matching bedroom sets, sectional couches around massive TVs (and little else), no moldings or interesting features, berber carpet (or the ubiquitous new hardwood floors) and white or off-white paint, maybe with an awkward accent wall. It’s all such a snore. And somehow, also the American dream.

And am I solving that exasperation via HGTV? No. I’m still flipping on the TV after work some days and shaking my head at what HGTV usually has to offer. But I am looking out for some alternatives, and currently taking any suggestions you might be able to offer.

The Olympics are coming! February 12, 2010

Posted by Emily in Uncategorized.
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My deep obsession with the Olympics is nothing new, which isn’t to say I won’t have more to write. But for today, I’m just focusing on getting to Portland in time to catch at least some of the opening ceremonies. Will probably take a few days off to appreciate being in a new place – but then it’s back to Olympic fever. Too bad Vancouver hasn’t been able to come up with something like the Bird’s Nest, but I suppose we’ll manage. The New York Times’ Interactive Map is a cool way to get a little glimpse into the Olympic Village.

More soon! Happy long weekend and early happy V-Day! Now go and spread some love with those who matter.

Portland! February 10, 2010

Posted by Emily in a few of my favorite things, Blogs I read and like, design, Travel.
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I’ve had enough of the gray slushiness around here, so my fella and I have decided to head to Portland – home to more gray, I’m told, but at least it’s warmer gray weather! We head off on Friday and will roll back into town on Monday – a lot of driving for one weekend, but I think it will be an awesome break. We have a lot to celebrate – including Valentine’s Day and being together for a year. Hooray!

On Valentine’s Day, we are meeting a friend of his and doing the 18 mile Worst Day of the Year bike ride. I wasn’t so sure at first but was persuaded by promises of chai, baked goods, fruit and lunch along the way. I think it’ll be a cool way to see the city – although I did say that if it’s pouring rain, actually the worst weather day of the year, I reserve the right to stay warm and cozy in one of the stops along the way with a book and without any judgment from my male companions. Hopefully it won’t come to that. 😉 After the ride, we are going to make our way to IKEA, aka mecca. I don’t have quite the shopping list I had in California in November, but I’m going to pick up a few things that didn’t fit in my carry-on last time. Chief among them: a Ribba picture shelf (which the ladies at Nestled In use so well behind their couch) and the Helmer drawers.

Helmer drawers in white, from ikea.com

Yep, love them, especially in this house. (did you see those tape dispensers? be still, my heart)

So now I’m just working on the finishing touches of my little V-Day present project and thinking hard about a killer road trip mix. I feel sort of out of the loop, musically. What’s been playing in your ears of late? Or, any classic songs no road trip mix should be without?

A few photos from California February 6, 2010

Posted by Emily in Uncategorized.
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Finally had a chance to upload some photos from my November trip to California – had a great time in SF, Berkeley, Sonoma, going wine tasting, to happy hour, hiking and shopping, shopping, shopping. Mostly it was wonderful to have a break, get some sun, and to meet up with a great friend and enjoy her calm cottage, her throat-singing boyfriend, and her ridiculous sense of humor and patience with both my constant photographic stops and entire afternoons at IKEA. We had a time.

Check out the slideshow.