h like HaHa.

i'm going to get around to posting tomorrow, but until then, here's the new harry potter trailer. yes, i'm a nerd.


i found the f.

i slept at my parent's house last night in newport news (as i'm in between homes currently), and was floored by the amount of sound contained in such a small place. norfolk is a fairly large city. true, the bulk of its action-centers are pretty contained within themselves - like ghent, downtown, larchmont, etc... but aside from the constant sirens and incessant chirping of birds, what other noises are there? i pulled up in front of my parent's house at around 10 p.m. getting out of the car, all i could hear were the sounds of locusts and other bugs. it was nearly deafening, but so pretty.

it reminded me of a trip i took to just-a-little-bit beyond gloucester a couple of years ago with my friend c3. we went to eat dinner with her grandparents on the water. we enjoyed a huge vegetarian dinner, made with vegetables they'd grown in the garden by the house, then sat on the porch for some wine. leaving, c3 and i stopped on a dirt path and found ourselves surrounded by lightning bugs. just tiny little points of light in every direction, flashing and sending their message: "here i am. let's get it on."

though i love norfolk, i miss moments like those. getting caught up in things like promotions, music, other people's lives and just trying to establish yourself leaves little time for those very real moments of actual life. i'm most pleased about the fact that i'm moving back to ghent because it will afford me more time to enjoy my surroundings. my social hot-spots are mostly right there around the corner from my house, and having that center will allow me to calm down every now and then and just listen. exciting.

so now that i'm in full on apartment mode, i've been checking out things to fill the space with (even more than last week, pre-apartment-debaucle number 1). i want to start cooking again, especially things like fake cheeses, since i'm adamant about going vegan again. so, i've cheated a little bit and thrown in a food processor up there because the actual product name starts with an "f". i found the f, and it sounded a lot like broadcast piping through my fabulous ghent apartment.

1. fabian unternahrer. yeah, dude. i found this german-born photographer through another photography blog, and was floored by his approach. with the exception of the personified-animals i chose to showcase, he focuses a lot of time and attention to shadows, to light, to every day significance. he works with the generally surreal, but it takes a real artist to be able to capture every day events and portray them as something beautiful. his work is absolutely breathtaking. check him out at www.fu-photo.ch. 2. set of 2 branch hooks. "f"or the apartment. wow, i'm cheating a lot on this letter. i used to have two metal branch hooks in my old apartment, but i've sort of grown tired of them. these are an upgrade, most definitely. i'm not even sure i'd use them for anything, but just having them on the wall would make me feel more thoreaux-like, i think. 3. cuisinart food processor. the last time i was in california, i finally made it to real food daily. if you haven't eaten there, it's incredible. one of the only all-vegan restaurants that i consider mainstream because the food isn't "weird" and doesn't try to be any different than say a panera or baker's crust. it's still high-end, most definitely. but it is what it is - real food, daily. my favorite is the seitan club, stacked high with crispy chicken-style seitan and decked out with cashew cheddar "cheese", lettuce, avocado, tomato and of course, lots of ketchup. i've been aching to make the real food daily cashew cheddar cheese from their incredible cookbook for at least 2 years - but i've been lazy about getting a food processor to do it the right way. i will be asking for one of these for christmas i think. oh, you want the recipe for cashew cheddar cheese? i'm sure you do, because it's just as versatile as real cheese, tastes better and isn't laden with the guilt of the dairy industry. click here for goodness. 4. fuck buttons "street horrrsing". sweet love for mother earth seems to be a bit of theme for this post. and i've also got sweet love for this album. each lengthy track takes elements from ambient, noise, post-punk and prog-rock and wraps it all up in interesting and, most importantly, very well executed compositions. pitchfork and i rarely agree on "best new music", but they got it right with this one. the british duo can be found on ATP Records, and will be on tour with Mogwai this coming september.

you're invited to my housewarming party.


f'ing preview.

i couldn't wait until tomorrow to show you this gem. from german-born photographer, fabian unternahrer. i'm a little bored with the humans-in-animal-masks-personifying-every-day-animal-life schtick, but i will allow it this once.

everybody loves you.

yesterday, my best friend and i went to check out an apartment we had been eyeing for a while in the heart of ghent, one of norfolk's oldest and trendiest neighborhoods. the apartment is in an old building, but i fell in love almost the minute i walked in the door. the two bedrooms, converted from a one, are decently sized and wood floors cover every inch of the apartment except the kitchen and bathroom, which were outfitted with brand new tile. the kitchen itself is a large, rectangular space that i can see myself cooking in quite often, and the bathroom has a cute window above the shower space. what i really loved about the apartment was the balcony off the living room. it made me think about urban gardening, specifically tomatoes and herbs. (ok, two of the easiest things to grow on an apartment balcony.) the closets were just sick - deep and wide for lots of storage.

i've been sitting here all morning waiting for a call from a friend of mine that works for the management company so i know how to proceed from here. i made an appointment yesterday with the girl that showed the apartment to us to come in this afternoon and "interview" for the apartment, and perhaps sign the lease. to keep myself from entirely stressing out, i started looking around the internet for cute things to fill the new space up with. it hasn't yet worked, but i did stumble upon today's letter, "e". fitting for her, designer elizabeth paige smith heads up today's findings. smith hails from california where she specializes in photography, modern design, and dabbles in film and music videos. her work is ultra modern and colorful, with soft corners, bright, engaging shades of pinks, blues and greens, and environmentally friendly. i'm showcasing two of her projects here.

1. elizabeth paige smith kittypod. now that i'm looking forward to my reunion with my ellamonster in our new place, i wanted to get her something special to call her own in the apartment. (aside from everything i own that she's claimed for herself.) at $320, this product is a bit pricey for me, but i absolutely love the idea of it. it's very egyptian in it's approach - almost an alter or throne for your cat-friend to relax in. it's made of maple plywood and corrugated cardboard, so your cat-friend can also keep their claws in check and hopefully out of your other furniture. i can imagine ella lounging around in this, and maybe if she's lucky she'll get it for christmas. 2. elizabeth paige smith bird entertainment center. okay, aside from the fact that she uses part of my adopted name in the description of this piece, how can you not love it? this isn't just an entertainment center, it's a piece of art. sculpted and replicated out of plaster (i think), and created from pieces, you can make an entire wall out of this design and incorporate your television and what have you into your very wall. the idea is attractive, and expensive. smith has made a name for herself designing for personal homes and large, trendy restaurants in the west hollywood area, and this explains why. gorgeous work. 3. el perro del mar. i first discovered el perro del mar from thehoodinternet.com, where they remixed one of her songs, inner island. her vocals are quiet, hushed and ethereal. ranging from the sweet to the somber, this is music best suited for chill days and evenings in the fall. her name means "dog of the sea," but her music is anything but. check out her 2008 release, "from the valley to the stars". 4. comic appetizer plates from cb2. to eat on. eat starts with "e". i know that's kind of cheating, but i wanted to write about these yesterday and i didn't. the whole pop art thing is getting kind of old, i think. i'd like to see cultured people embrace something a little more organic, but these plates are so much fun. they're based on the art of roy lichtenstein, famous for his paintings of comic book storyboards and satire. they'd make either an interesting piece of kitchen art on the wall above a stove, or as actual serving plates. and at about $3 a piece, they're way more affordable than most table settings.

el perro del mar at least looks like she's enjoying them.


cazal's "somebody somewhere"

///not about sunglasses.

kanye's fans are stronger than you.

yeah, dude. those are slotted sunglasses. i'm not jumping on the bandwagon. they're a kitschy trend, at most, that kanye sparked, which is something. he's spot on with fashion all the time. what i love about this, though, is that there's a whole section on his blog dedicated to his fans in these things. urban outfitters is selling really cheap pairs of them if you're so inclined. they're a little too ironic for me. which, in itself, is ironic. oh, the irony.

c sells c-shells by the c-shore.

north carolina has been on fire for several weeks now, filling most of southeastern virginia with toxic fumes and heavy patches of smoke whenever the wind blows just right. these poses more than a few problems: air filters in automobiles are unable to filter out the gross dust particles and smoke from the air, the smoke is being released into the atmosphere which is raising the ozone threat (compounded by the immense amount of summer travelers on the road), and of course normal breathing function is interrupted. the first night the smoke showed up, i started a painter's mask gang. while it didn't last or jump off as a fashion trend, it helped us breathe, which is one of the best fashion trends you can start.

so today i've been thinking about health, and how the summer usually means so-fresh-so-clean to most people. when i envision the perfect summer, i'm reminded of water reflections against walls, twinkling garden lights, bright colors, ironically large sunglasses and dance music. (among other things, of course.) it's disheartening that the current state of my world is keeping me from feeling like summer is all around us freshing things up. it's also disheartening to know that areas of dense forest are continuously burning, destroying habitats and uprooting native wildlife from their homes.

the letter "c" gave me some particular problems, until i hit the ground running with the discovery of cheap monday's '08 fall line. in light of the burning woods some miles to my south, it was refreshing to see these muted colors in some very dense (not burning) forest, with a bunny thrown in. so, cheap monday (with a "c") kicks off the third letter of the alphabet.

1. cheap monday's ///08 fall line. i first discovered cheap monday on a trip to see a friend's band play in richmond, virginia. we went into a boutique called henry to fish around in their shoe sale, and i found a brilliant black pullover covered in white rain drops. it was a rainy day, so i bought it. then i discovered their skinny jeans, which are also brilliant, and cheap, like the name says. but so well done. their new fall line seems to be quite a bit more high-end, and though i'm dubious about the fur hat (that i'm hoping is fake), i am intrigued and can't wait to see more from the fall and winter lines they've got coming. 2. color-changing t-shirt from american apparel. american apparel is pretty standard. after all, they sell en bulk, and their every-day wear clothing isn't the cheapest. not to mention the trendiness level is off the charts. they consistently revive the best of the '80's fashion that is still burgeoning in the scene(s), and i absolutely love this t-shirt. the colors are bright, it reacts to heat and cool, and it's not especially expensive. 3. . cazal vintage collection ///08. not cavali, but still just as expensive. i really can't help but love every new style of aviators or shields that come out, and i love these for their thinner frames, and sturdy looking design. just the right amount of boxiness, and though they're definitely high-end they're still masculine and rock the summer style. they were popular in the '70s and '80s and are set to make a huge comeback. (i'll be taking money on when we'll see kanye in a pair, if he hasn't already rocked them.) 4. "crimewave (crystal castles remix)" by health from HEALTH//DISCO. this remix album isn't so much a remix, as a complete redo of the original self-titled by los angeles-based health. when not disco-treated, their music is very much noise meets dance, infused with LIARS-like tribal drumming, droning, waves of guitar fuzz and soaking wet vocals. crystal castles (i picked three c's there) treats one of their finest tracks, "crimewave", with their particular brand of warped nintendo dance to spectacular results. i can't get HEALTH//DISCO out of my cd player, and many of the tracks end up making the rounds in my sets when i DJ.

that bunny is cute. i hope that mousy-haired model clinging to the woodsman up top isn't wearing it. i keep red spray paint nearby at all times.

a category of their own.

while i'm inclined to believe this is more performance art than celebrities hiding their identity, it is certainly intriguing. "faceless" people have been showing up all over england at high profile events (like this picture, taken at a wimbledon match) wearing what appear to be tightly fitted flesh-masks. they appear in couples almost exclusively.

the masks, when examined up-close, have tiny perforations where the eyes and noses are to allow for sight and breathing. the couples sit silently, or stand silently, at every event they attend. so far they've been spotted at movie releases, at benefits hosted by celebrities, the famous wimbledon tennis matches and out and about.

speculation is that these are celebrities, finally fed up with dealing with the paparazzi. i'd like to think they are activists or artists - wouldn't it be lovely if you could tell what was on the dangling pins they're wearing on their lapels? perhaps this is a statement on the anonymity of big business, or consumerism, or perhaps a creative way to show that one human is no different than the other. i love this. so many possibilities.

update: a quick google search of "faceless people" comes up with this web site, facelesspeople.com. the site is a viral marketing site for Lotus Cars, sports cars that appear to be marketed for the person with an endless disposable income. won't it be sad if this turns out to be a clever viral marketing campaign for another sports car? in any event, we will find out if True Character has anything to do with these faceless people in 18 days according to the count down.


b is for buns.

beirut is the moniker that a certain musician goes by who crafts music recalling eastern european soundscapes. he's released several albums already to critical acclaim, and won my heart with the song "postcards from italy," whose video was a montage of found home movies and 8mm footage of the director and her friend. it chronicles (in a round about sort of way) the path of life, from birth to death.

i'm not sure what that has to do with the letter "b" other than one of the images up there is from beirut. i never know how to begin.

1. the double hanging bench from raw studios is good for your bottom, and the earth as it turns out. the hanging bench is made in the UK from sustainably sourced birch plywood, and folds flat for storage when it's not swaying in the meadows. beautifully designed, and when you get the reversible black or orange cushion, beautifully restful. very expensive, but visit RawStudio.co.uk for prices. 2. neighborwood DIY blank wood doll. this is a new take on the vinyl figurines that have been the rage among designers and artists for the past few years. the doll is designed by mike burnett, and comes packaged in a beautiful wooden box that can be used for hanging display after you've painted it up, or as a display shelf. versatile and fun for $45. 3. the deerfield faux leather weekender bag. leather production isn't only bad for the dairy cows and cows raised for their hides; it's particularly bad for the people who are exposed to the chemicals it takes to preserve the decomposing animal hydes. so this faux leather weekender bag is the perfect solution for fashion forward dudes wanting to help out the animals, and factory workers. generously sized and an absolutely beautiful, classic design. 4. buns and guns. ali hammoud has opened a new military-themed restaurant in the heart of the hezbollah-stalked beirut. patrons can order a "kalashnikov" sandwich from a bullet-shaped menu, and eat on a patio surrounded by sandbags in true war-fashion. inside, the walls are lined with images of war and guns. the restaurant's slogan: "a sandwich can kill you." for real.

happy fourth of july weekend, all.

today's letter: a.

i am no visionary, but absinthe made me feel like i might just be the moment it slipped past my lips. you start with a 120-proof bottle of a green, mouthwash-like liquid, standard Ikea short drinking glass, and sugar. 3-parts water to 1-part absinthe goes into the glass. swirl a teaspoon of sugar around lazily with your finger, and start the process. it's slow, but it begins to feel warm, and familiar. you suddenly can sing along to any song, recall names and places you've never been to, and you begin to see why edgar allen poe was so furiously insane.

and it's totally artificial - built around the myth that has become absinthe. in fact, very little american absinthe is even close to what was a turn-of-the-century favorite for bohemians and pretentious artists. (ours, in fact, was from prague. we are pretentious artists, after all.) absinthe, by chemistry, is little more than an intolerably strong bitters that you have to dumb-down with water and sugar. it does hit you quickly, though. so there's that. most of my experience with the green fairy was ultimately ended by a carelessly concocted soco+coke and an unfortunate serving of fried mozarella. i did wake up at two a.m. wondering what time my flight left... but i also went to sleep by eleven-thirty p.m., long after my last Ikea-glass of our absinthe from prague.

i am a quintessentially american twenty-something in h&m garb, assuming the role of conscientious objector and bubbling underground pop-culture enthusiast. ironic scarves and animal references to my personality are probably all too prevalent, and my sunglasses are generally overstated and "fierce".

it is my belief that i will only ever experience roughly 40% of everything the world has to offer me, if that. and so this blog is my attempt to categorize and catalog everything in a sometimes-alphabetical fashion. up first: the letter "a".

1. first up in the letter a is absinthe, which i've already touched on. sketchy business if you ask me. tastes a bit like jager mixed with mouthwash. (doesn't mouthwash already smack of fermented licorice most of the time?) 2. nooka's V Zenh camouflage watch. (hey, it's an accessory.) i was shopping around on urban outfitters and saw this in their men's "what's new" section. i was really intrigued by the colors first of all - very vibrant - and the box-shape of the face really caught my attention. what i especially love about this watch is that the camouflage is entirely composed of animal shapes. that's brilliant. it's a bit pricey (over $200), but would definitely make for a fantastic summer-time addition to your wardrobe. 3. antena's "camino del sol". this album is from the '80's. (1980, in fact, on the factory benelux label out of france.) it shares some of it's decades signature sounds - mostly its use of analog synths - but does it much better than most any act from that era could have imagined. it's not particularly danceable. most of the rhythms are minimalist, and the majority of the instrumentalism is hushed. however, the vocals are quite beautiful and if you're a fan of either of the gainsbourgs, or maryland's beach house, you'll appreciate antena. listen to this during late-night summer drives, or ocean-side sun bathing. 4. ryan mcginley. as far as art goes, photography is a particularly hit or miss trade. ryan mcginley captures everything that is beautiful about photography without fail every time. in his most recent show, he showcased a few of his disgustingly beautiful models (all very euro-looking) playing around in the summer sun. somersaults, fireworks, skinny dipping, morning fog. what more could you ask for? check out his web site for more visual appetizers, and if you can, check out one of his shows. RyanMcGinley.com.

i'll try to post a few times every week now that we've gotten past the hard part. i never know where to begin.

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