Monday, February 28, 2011

the look of glorious 39

Over the weekend, I finally got around to watching Glorious 39. It's a film, like many films with some sort of War Intrigue, where the promise is more fascinating than the reveal. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it-- especially the first half. Helloooo, Eddie Redmayne. Even if the last half was rather preposterous and I wish they had cut the modern sections all together.

I especially loved the scene where Romola Garai takes a disastrous accidental nap in this beautiful golden field. The weather has been so beautiful here the past week or so (today included!) that I felt inspired to recreate this mood. I wasn't prepared to make too much effort, like do my hair or buy anything, but here's my spin on a flowy glowy golden summer mood. 

Remember when Domino Mag had make this painting/outfit/etc into a room? I loved that. I would turn this look into a room. I've got that decorating itch. Sigh. I really do love gold tones, don't I? Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

poetry pillows

In the tradition of "Sleeping on Love Letters," I thought I'd share with you this little gem from Etsy. Nice job, My Adobe Cottage. I'm really resisting the urge to buy these, as my teeny single bed is basically overrun with pillows (or cushions, as some might say.)

I actually think my main motivation for moving out of halls is to regain an adult-sized bed. There's just something about the idea of coasting into my thirties in a twin bed that makes me want to hide under a rock. Instead, I think to the hypothetical amazing antique bed that awaits me somewhere in Edinburgh-- with room for as many poetic pillows as my little heart desires. Happy Sunday! I'm back to my Artisan Roast coffee and book. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

today in st andrews

Three consecutive days of Spring-like weather! And, on the scores, after a long walk, Taylor and I stumbled onto a huge field of tulips. Just a field of tulips. Amazing!

Friday, February 25, 2011

royal friday, etc

Without some kind of press credentials, there wasn't a shot in hell I was going anywhere near a scene like this-- what with my deep-seeded loathing of lines and being part of the masses. So thanks to my friends for going down and taking these pics so I didn't have to. And thanks to the Daily Mail for taking pictures of my friends. Look for my adorable pal from South Africa, Marty-- in the glasses-- in the below photo. 

Royals might not be my cup of tea, but somewhere in the world, Sara McCleskey is seething with jealousy. And I basically live to make her jealous. So, score one for me. 

Here are some other delightful things about life right now:

(maybe delightful isn't the right word for that one. Relevant,  maybe?)
(What? I actually loved her in After Miss Julie.)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

the royals are coming

Remember that time Wills and Kate came to visit and all the streets were blocked off and paparazzi camped out in front of North Point? Oh, right-- that's now. I mean, it's not like they've never been here before. The whole point of the visit is for them to kick off our 600th Anniversary since they're the poster children of good stuff happening to you if you come to St Andrews. 

But security for everyday measures when the future King of England actually resides somewhere is different than when it's just a high profile visit. High profile visits make people jumpy. 

Never in all of living in NYC or hanging out with famous people were there ever actually any paparazzi staked out on my corner. And yet, here are these guys, on my corner. Taking pictures of North Point--- my coffee shop. (That claims to be the place where Kate and Wills met-- not true. It was in South Africa or something on some ya know... excursion that royals and other richies might be on.)

That is actually a cardboard cutout of Wills and Kate in the window as well. But, you know what-- Mazel Tov, North Point. That shit's gonna be alll overrr television. You might as well cement that myth in people's heads so they'll come a-lookin for you when they hit up St Andrews. (Not that you ever really lack for business. I also noticed that North Point took down their "For Sale" sign.) As long as I can get my hazelnut hot cappuccinos and mint chocolate milkshakes in milk bottles, more power to ya. 

And, like I said on Visit St Andrews, the matchmaker in me gives Kate and Wills props for giving back to the sleepy little seaside town of 17,000 where (even if they didn't meet) they did fall in love. My favorite couples are always the ones that credit me as the person who set them up, and St Andrews is just like me: a single gal totally susceptible to flattery. 

For video, click here.

jake wilson is justin bieber

In the great tradition of Leslie Kritzer is Patti LuPone at Les Mouches, my pal Jake has been rocking a Justin Bieber alter ego with some amazing results (and an NY Critics pick!) ...whether you love Bieber or love to hate him. 

Here's Jake singing "Baby" with my favorite twins, Brooke & Tiffany Engen, backing him  up. I would have killed to see this whole concert. For more Jake (including the song we did for the Season 2 premiere) check out The Battery's Down. Even though the show itself is over, Jake's shenanigans continue on. Apparently also in the Bravo TV personification of my favorite NYMag Column, The Approval Matrix, which I still read every week. 

I mean, seriously... 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

dancer appreciation day

Last night, we had our first creative team meeting for VOTE! in St Andrews. I'm getting so excited, you guys! SO much is happening. Our website is being overhauled, the new concept album will be up shortly, and much much more. It's all got me thinking about these two very special ladies, Rachelle Rak & Deidre Goodwin

In the smash documentary, Every Little Step, about the casting of the Broadway A Chorus Line Revival, these two lovelies were up for the same iconic role of Sheila. Dee Dee got it and played Sheila for the length of the run, grooving out in that nude jumpsuit to "At the Ballet." (Marvin Hamlisch, you're the man.)

But we brought them back together for VOTE! at Fringe, where Dee was just perfection as Ms. Fowler and Rak Attack was our choreographer. They are both just so so special. 

Rak really made everyone tow the line. And even though Fowler doesn't dance much, Dee did dance in the bows megamix, inspiring one of my favorite moments in the whole process. Chad, one of the assistant choreographers was cleaning up the the bows before we opened. He stopped everyone and called their attention. "Guys, guys, guys," he said. "I'm not sure if you're aware...that you are dancing...with Ms. Deidre Goodwin right now? So, I'm gonna need to to step it up. Thank you."

Both of them are Broadway treasures. And two of the best dancers alive today. Soon, you'll be able to see Ms. Rak stealing the show in Catch Me If You Can (ugh, dying to see! Been listening to that demo for what seems like years now.) And Dee is tearing up the tv and movie screens left and right.

If you've never seen Every Little Step, please step away from your computer and do so now. Every time I hear Dee almost cry in the camera about how she didn't work for a year and thought she was supposed to quit the business, I just...lose it. You will too.  It's probably the best documentary about what casting (about a show about casting) is really like ever made. 

Also check out these awesome videos of Rak & Dee made by our hottie/Brody, Daniel Robinson Productions

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Fergie & Fife

This day, exactly one year ago, I told the internet a secret. That I was going to Scotland. At various points in the process, my motivation for this move was different. To learn, to hide, to become a doctor... but I think I knew, at the end of the day, my reason for moving was the exact same reason I started this blog in the first place. 

You see, in the winter of '09-'10, I hadn't written anything in months. I couldn't even bring myself to do it. I had to start with a diary because I was so judgmental of my own-- even casual-- writing. I had to tell myself over and over again that it didn't matter what I said-- no one was going to read it. I just needed to move pen across paper. Because in my head, I could still hear the bitchy little voices of all the people on the internet and even sometimes within earshot, who rolled their eyes and said, "Oh, awful! What a mess!" 

Having your writing and, in fact, your character, slandered on the internet by people with little better to do should have rolled right off my back. But I've always been more sensitive than I appear, and in the Fall of '09, after VOTE! at Minetta Lane, I was just so tired. I've never been so tired. A sideways glance could reduce me to tears. 

But I think I knew then, and certainly believe still today, that the people who make it happen for themselves rely on very few voices but their own. Super Agent Sara Douglas once gave me the best piece of career and life advice I've even gotten: "One of the most important decisions you'll ever make is who you decide to listen to."

An un-erring belief in your own abilities no matter what anyone says. It's actually one of the core ideas of VOTE! as well. 

So I set out to hold myself accountable to my most important boss, critic and reader: me. 

There have been days-- when I was travelling or feeling lazy on a weekend-- when I thought, "Ugh, why did I make this blog daily, again?" But mostly, it provides a structure and a small victory in my writing everyday. I've written a complete thought, around an idea, and published it. Every day. 397 entries!

And when I stopped caring about what response I got, or waiting for any community or group of people at all to validate my writing, that's when I started to get better than I've ever been. I'm happier with my fiction-- I'm delving into the hard stuff. Things with VOTE! (and Nic & Alix) are going so well. It's like a new existence. And response to this blog has been moving and humbling. Some of the nicest letters I've ever gotten from friends, people I haven't heard from in years, and people I've never even met. 

And I think about the difference in people who will take time to send you a lovely letter about how what you wrote moved them vs. people who fire off insults anonymously online about people they don't know. (To those people, I'd like to say this.) Stewing in judgment-- of yourself or anyone else-- is a sure-fire way to feel miserable. Judgment kills creativity. I guess, put me in the Susan Sontag camp of "Against Interpretation" (A book I recommend everyone read for that particular essay, in addition to other gems, like "Notes on Camp.") 

I told you what my favorite entries were. What were yours? 
Finally, I leave you with an entry from one of my favorite bloggers and friends, Lamar about the NY Times Article that says blogs are dying. 

"Decide What to be and Go Be it."

Monday, February 21, 2011

my favorite southern belle in the south magazine

My favorite Southern Belle, Miss Haviland Stillwell was recently featured in The South Magazine.  I mean, seriously-- after becoming instant besties like five years ago, I still look at pics of my pal and think, " SCARLETT O'HARA!." (And you know how I feel about her.)

Read the article here. And the pictures, by photographer Tim Johnson and styled by Mitchell Hall, are a super great mix all the fun flirty things about the Hav. Part Circus, Part NYC street chic, part antebellum femininity with the curls and corsets and velvet. 

And in case that's not enough Haviland for you, check her out on CSI: NY here! She's a geisha! Also this. This is hot. 

Haviland with her awesome dad, Brooks

Sunday, February 20, 2011

only in nyc: amazing subway performer engagement serenade

This is one of those super magical moments that make me miss NYC. My amazing friend Autumn got engaged this weekend to her super cool boyfriend, Tim. They're a special couple for me 
1. because Autumn is just a National Treasure as far as friends go 
2. Both of them were so supportive and helpful to me as I was moving out of my apt on my way to Scotland and they were moving in. (I'm talking, Tim carried a VERY heavy box to the post office for me and they're STILL storing some of my stuff!)

I had a long skype catch up with her just two days before it happened and felt totally peachy about life. Autumn has that affect on people. Tim is one smart guy to snap her up! Kind of a whirlwind romance-- fitting of a subway serenade. Pay attention to altered lyrics of this Michael Jackson classic. 

Best wishes to you, my lovely friends!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

never let me go

This week, I rented Never Let Me Go on itunes rentals (genius. Love it. Thank you, itunes.) I love the book (mono no aware is JAM.) and had been very excited about the adaptation since I heard about it. 

I wasn't disappointed. As far as book to film adaptations go, I thought it was about as successful as it was gonna get on this. Andrew Garfield, especially, as Tommy, was just.... ugh. My heart hurts. Oh and those children actors. Love 'em. 

Fun fact: filmed in part right here in St Andrews at Andrew Melville Hall. Super cool. Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

week of crushes concludes- #5, Landon Beard

For Friday, I'm giving you a little bit of one of the all-time greats for you to crush on. It seems ridiculous to even apply that term for me to Landon, because it's so far past a crush. In fact, for years, I've just basically considered this kid family of some whacky variety. He's just the Dooner.

There are so many things to recommend him as a human that it's hard to know where to begin. I mean, there are all the obvious crush-worthy and talent-crush worthy things. Ya know, the dreamy eyes and the muscles and stuff. The sexy voice, the being one of the Four Seasons and whatnot. Being the fastest, most accurate person I've ever worked with in the studio. Being far more versatile as an actor or a singer than anyone gives him credit for (Can we say-- Rasputin??) I mean, sure if you're into that kinda stuff... yeah. 

But let me put it to you this way. When I was younger, I had a huge issue with people just not showing up for me. I never really counted on too many of my friends. I hate being vulnerable. I hate asking for help-- oh, I especially hate asking for help! And then, sometime during the middle of living in NYC, I realized that I had not just a few, but a whole set of folks who were just...on it. And Dooner is like the mayor of the People who just show up for you. 

Because of that, he can get away with most anything. (Check out the days of these highlights!) Make most anything endearing. Even a long-standing tradition of embarrassing the shit out of me on my birthday in a series of "constipation" related facebook updates and tweets. He has advised me as a friend and colleague during the darkest hours of the great Fringe debacle of '09, during the great Scotland move '10 and various great romantic/career/existential dilemmas '08 '09 '10 '11 along the way. 

He's invaluable. I wish for everyone a Dooner of their very own. When you need a comrade in fun, it's Landon you should call. Here he is, singing the title number of VOTE! with the gang from Steven's Hudson Terrace Concert. I love that he starts to sing the old chorus lyrics. Because he's been with the show from the very first table read. Just one of the many many many things to love about Landon. Dooner, a toast to you, with some premium single malt. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

week of crushes- #4, Brian Barneclo

For Thursday, I'm giving you another hottie from the Dockers "Wear The Pants" Project. Artist/Painter/Muralist Brian Barneclo. His aesthetic isn't really my thing. But pretty much everything else about him is. And I'd love to see his stuff as part of a community mural. 

I gotta say, I'm a big fan of the idea behind the project-- celebrating doing what you love, what you're born to do-- and the people who do what they gotta do to make it happen. (As opposed to say, shoe-horning yourself into some job or career that doesn't suit you just to have stability.) I'm definitely into Dockers rewarding people with 100 grand to kickstart doing the thing they love as their primary occupation. I'm even in support of  their supporting a certain brand of masculinity I find particularly appealing. 

What I am less loving is that-- though they do appear to be open to everyone-- they're calling this funding "Man Grants." That we'd support men's ability to quit a mediocre lifestyle and act out their true passions, but not the ladies'. I know I know-- it's mostly just for branding purposes with Dockers. But still. I gotta bring it up. 

Back to Brian. Hot. Loving this photo from The Selby. And wishing Dockers would maybe go out and scout some hotties in other cities for me. Edinburgh, perhaps? Or NYC. But maybe Gretchen was right. Maybe all the hot guys really are in San Francisco. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

crush week- #3, TED

I'm showing you Jason Fried, author of REwork (a book I won at a Rice Alumni event) and ended up really liking. He's also a software developer-- which would normally be where you lose me-- but his software-- 37Signals, Basecamp, Backpack, Campfire-- is all stuff I can actually deal with.

I super agree with him about offices as places of distraction. But, while he talks of revamping them, of course, my hope is that I'll never have to go back to one. And instead, I'll sit here in the office of my own making, typing & editing away without distractions until the end of time.

I'm showing you Jason Fried, but my real crush is on a hottie named TED. I love the TED talks. Love 'em. You guys all really liked when I posted Liz Gilbert's talk on Creativity. And I really like Jason's talk.

But oh, Brene Brown. I can relate to you on so so many levels with this 20 minute ramble down vulnerability road. (She's a Houston gal!) I love how many times she uses the word "Excruciating." I love how she talks about her Type A tendencies-- control & predict.  I love when she talks about her trip to the counselor. That's a conversation I can suuuuper imagine having with a therapist. I love when she talks about the difference between courage and bravery. "To tell the story of who you are with your whole heart." Mmm. And for some reason, when all other qualities seem to abandon me, courage sticks around. Happy Wednesday! Watch and laugh and sigh. My boyfriend TED gives me such good presents. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

week of crushes- #1 #2, Mariani Brothers

During the world tour of boyfriends in the 1990's my mom moved to us to virtually every city in and around the California wine country. For as many schools as I went to, and people I met, the Mariani brothers, Andrew & Adam-- who grew up in the area-- weren't among them. 

Much to my dismay. Without any real life valentines this year, I'm going to spend the rest of the week talking about all the hypothetical people I have a crush on. I realize that somewhere in my life, I developed my own-- rather broad-- definition of the word "crush." It combines quite a few odd factors-- not the most of which is being a little sexy, but not the least of which involves being a lot awesome. 

The Mariani brothers, of Scribe Winery-- a place I've been dying to visit (and not just because they have the most beautiful website I've ever seen)-- are everything that my word crush represents. Sustainable vintners with an ease, a surprising masculinity, and a flair for adventure. There's also something sexy about brothers going into business together.

I can't decide which one I like best. I think Adam. Le sigh.

Monday, February 14, 2011

oh, it's valentine's day

Valentine's Day has long been second in melancholy only to Mother's Day for me. But I do like assigning myself numerous people (Iona, Tigerlily, Taylor) and inanimate objects (books, music, cities-- this year, it's Edinburgh) as my Valentines. And I do try to do things that I love. 

This morning started it off pretty decent. I didn't sleep well-- I was watching Sylvia, so I think you can tell how much I dig this holiday-- but woke up in time for breakfast. Had coffee with sugar (lately, I've been going without) and then got back into bed wearing this fluffy sweater to read a beautiful hardback book with a red cover. A morning without having to rush is definitely my valentine any time of year. 

I also love waking up to nice comments on youtube videos. Makes me and Steven feel loved. 

And now, I plan on listening to some Yann Tiersen Amelie Soundtrack (inspired by Iona's recent learning of score on piano) and writing while the nightingale who lives outside my window continues to sing all day-- as she's done every day since I've returned from London. 

Additionally, I couldn't resist checking out the "unveiling" of BHLDN today. As much as I stand by my earlier statements (I love how much clarification the company has done about their name since then), I do quite like their products. I could see myself wearing this at a ball on Skye (perhaps the one in April). I also like their side sections, including the one on Nuptials of Yesteryear (if you can stomach the initial click, the photos are great). More obvious and more gaggy is the "What Kind of Bride Are You?" Section. It's a quiz I couldn't even bring myself to take hypothetically. 

Anyhow, some other fun, not too saccharine Valentine's Day items. Happy Monday!

Hot literary quotes compiled by flavorwire
The Telegraph asks, "Is Valentine's Day more important for expats?" Doubtful
This Website, Luxury Scotland, was doing some V-Day deal-ys. I love the word luxury!
Last year, they projected love poems onto Edinburgh Castle rock. I love that.  I wonder if they'll do that again this year. 
Valentine's Day is one of the better holidays for someecards
Obviously my fave Grammy performance.
I think this Faith Hill song from the Country Strong soundtrack is sexy.
I still will beat the drum for love letters, people. Closest I've ever received came from this guy
Still also believe in these

Sunday, February 13, 2011

seb had three mint-chocolate milkshakes sunday

That's right. Sometimes a rainy Sunday coffee just turns into three milkshakes. If you've never had the mint-chocolate milkshakes in the little bottles at North Point, I suggest you try them. It's some gluttony I can get behind. 

Other things I'm loving this Sunday:

The woman with the best sense of color I've ever met (Jennifer Aniston [even if she did hit on my boyfriend at the time]) reportedly bought this West Village Apt. I'd kill just for the terrace. 

Speaking of NYC, this production of one of my all-time favorite musicals, Hello Again

You can now buy my life mantra, David Foster Wallace's Kenyon College commencement speech on itunes-- it's the actual delivery. Kris was there!

Nicole Krauss's Great House came in the mail and I'm putting off school reading for it. So far, loving it!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

my twin and a garden tea party

Taylor is back! It feels like St Andrews again! We went for a sunny Lade Braes walk today and got some fantastic Butler's. It was so nice out, it almost felt like this garden tea party with my twin, Kirsten Dunst at the Huntington Botanical Gardens. Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 11, 2011

VOTE! at On The Rocks

Good news! You can now buy your tickets to see VOTE! here in St Andrews for the On The Rocks festival. It's wild to think we haven't even had our first read through and you can already buy tickets, but they are just on it, I suppose. Scotland loves their arts festivals! 

On The Rocks in the Scottish Students Arts Festival sponsored by...wait for it... Dames Helen Mirren & Judi Dench, and the original Bond himself, Sir Sean Connery. (And more!) Steven said, "Screw the NY Times, let's get a quote from one of the dames!" and I said, "Or Connery!" 

"It's fantashhhtic!" - Sean Connery 

Anyhow... while I doubt the Dames and Sirs who serve as patrons of the festival will actually see any of the photography, visual arts or films showcased in the festival, (I heard Connery calls)  nevertheless, Steven and I are really excited to be participating in a festival of students. The latest changes to the show have really emphasized the educational aspects of the show, and looking back over the lifespan of VOTE!, many of the most extraordinary moments have come from our working on the show with students

I can tell you that tickets are highly in demand and quantities are extremely limited, so clear your schedules and get yours while you can! 

For Saturday, April 23rd at 5PM
For Sunday, April 24th at 5PM

Here's a fun little video about the festival (which will also show you a bit more of my town than I've been able to show you. It'll also show you a lot of my friends-- including an interview with my pal, Jon.)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

today feels like this- I saw blood and a bit of it was mine

In  my continued love of almost all things bearded and Southern, today feels like the first and my favorite track off the new Iron & Wine album I've been listening to on repeat since the day it came out. I just dig you, Sam Beam. 

It's my first day back in class. I'm already still sticking to my 10-6 writing schedule (minus additional obligations). And things are pretty amazing at the moment. I've won some, lost some in the last month. And now, when there's lots to feel my usual level of ecstatic about, instead, I feel the mellow victory of someone who put it all out there and left guts on the pavement. 

It feels like Kiss Each Other Clean. Get it. Or listen live NPR First Listen (quite possibly my favorite thing about NPR) here

Why Stop Now?

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