snowday grab-bag.

if you've noticed the lack of the promised theme lately, so have i. somewhere along the way i lost my vision and have gone askew! (i just wanted to say askew.) however, i'm working on getting it back, with half of today's snowday grab-bag being j's (the letter we left off at)!

yeah, it snowed in virginia today. in november. for folks in northern virginia, this isn't a huge deal. but, we never get snow this early in the southeast portions of the state. i woke up to it, had lunch to it, and there's a looming threat of it later this evening. which is pretty exciting. i'm gearing up for a bit of a holiday-tastic weekend. norfolk has their annual grand illumination parade tomorrow evening. my mom and dad are coming into town for it (they live 40 minutes away in newport news). i'm going to attempt to decorate some this weekend, even though my roommate is completely anti-christmas. i am not. obviously. (which explains the garrish cheating in today's picks.)

1. colored lights. oh yes. when i was younger, i really hated colored lights. i approached christmas at a much more traditional angle, opting for white lights on a green tree with the standard hallmark ornaments. as my own style has grown and solidified over the years, i've gained a deep appreciation for vintage tinsel trees. you know - charlie brown gawked at them in "a charlie brown christmas". they made clunking sounds, and were portrayed as solid metal. awesome. you can't (read: shouldn't) put white lights on a tinsel tree. they beg for the rainbow treatment. so, in the event that i have white tinsel tree like i want this year, i'm throwing colored lights on it. 2. another cheat! i just blogged about this in a separate post, but i thought i'd summarize it here. i'm not a huge fan of the bond movies, but the books are top notch. i will be buying this beautifully designed quantum of solace anthology as soon as i find it at barnes and noble. 3. target ornament sets. if your family is anything like mine, their christmas trees aren't just christmas trees - they're investments that take years and years to perfect. my mom's christmas tree has been in the making since my brother and i were born. her mom's tree has taken even longer, consisting of over 50 years of a mix between vintage and modern ornaments. mine unfortunately tends to change ever year. that's why i love these convenient ornament kits you can buy at target. of course, you need to buy free-standing ornaments and accessories to really get your tree right, but these provide cheap and easy fillers while you perfect your own legacy. 4. and finally, another cheat. janelle monae, my new obsession. while you're out listening to britney's new album that you pirated (read: i pirated and burned you a copy), or kanye's new heartbreak, i'm jamming to a record that was released about 4 months ago. janelle's "metropolis" is a brilliant piece of r&b, pop, hip-hop, future love that stands out from every single one of her peers. where beyonce goes for the over-the-top diva, estelle opts for the reggae roots, and rihanna goes for the edgy teen-pop sensation, janelle goes for the weird. the eccentric. the concept album. (who does that anymore in the main stream?) you can read about it in the gushing post i made last week. i really, really love her, though.

before i stop this joke of a 40% post, check the holiday card i designed for this year. i might actually get them printed for once!

quantum of solace.

first, a definition.

if you didn't know, quantum isn't just exclusive to the leaps made by mr. sam beckett. in fact, it means almost exactly what it sounds like - a quantity. in 007's case, a lot of solace. (or ironically, lack thereof.)

quantum of solace is now the umbrella title for a beautifully designed hardback anthology of several short-story versions of the infamous womanizer and international spy. behold:

"Angus Hyland and his assistant Fabian Herrmann have designed the hardback edition of Penguin Books’ Quantum of Solace: The Complete James Bond Short Stories. The book collects together all of Ian Fleming’s Bond short stories in a single volume for the first time and includes stories that inspired the Bond film classics From a View to a Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, The Living Daylights and of course, Quantum of Solace, the latest in the series." via Pentagram.


let the right one in.

if you're secretly anticipating watching the very pretty robert pattinson take a bite out of love in "twilight," but don't want your friends to know, tell them you're going to see this: "let the right one in".

the film hails from sweden by director tomas alfredson, and tells the tale of a girl (eli) who has been 12 years old for a very long time, and her love for the very blond, very swedish, oskar (also 12 years old). oskar becomes friends with eli, and eventually connects the dots of blood to deduce that eli is in fact a vampire. it's a bit of a coming of age story, and ends with oskar tapping "kiss" in morse code to eli, who has taken refuge in her coffin.

at least it's not an allegory for abstinence. fuck that noise.


faces of evil.

"Using digital technology, graphic designer Hans Weishäupl has carefully reconstructed portraits of 13 dictators over the past 100 years. However, the photo montages, which measure 1.8 m x 2.3 m do not contain a single piece of original picture material, but are made of countless tiny, specially shot portraits of the citizens of the country the dictator ruled over. Christian Lechelt and Hans Weishäupl photographed over 350 people between November 2007 and March 2008, in Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, Dresden, Frankfurt, Berlin, Amsterdam, Moscow, Belgrade, London, Barcelona, Paris and Milan.

The portrait of Hitler is made up of 37 people. His nose belongs to an estate agent from Berlin, his upper lip is from a locksmiths in Dresden, and so on. Each wrinkle, each mole, each eyebrow was reconstructed to resemble the original."

having tried something similar to this in the past, i can tell you this project was not easy. it's been seamlessly produced, though. gorgeous work.
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