05 June 2012

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at brunch, we were full of laughter and a touch of silliness and anticipation of vastly different summer adventures on the way.

at the market, we found playful perennials and perfect peaches and some of the best apples I've ever tasted.

at the flea, I wanted to buy every pretty vintage bookshelf and chest of drawers. I tried to rationalize this by stating that I needed furniture for my new house. plus, they were recycled - a totally sensible buy, of course. the roommates knew better and managed to get me out of there without buying anything I couldn't carry on the metro. (but oh, those sandals. I'm kind of in love with them.)

at the bookstore, my search for CSL's Space Trilogy was finally complete. and I stumbled upon the perfect intro anthology for a lady I've been meaning to read for so long. and when I say stumbled, I literally mean stumbled. in this beautiful chaos of a bookstore we leapt over piles of books like ballet dancers. we scaled bookshelves like mountain climbers - reaching to the tips of our fingers for dostoevsky and tolstoy.

and best of all, at every step of the way, we loved being together. we celebrated the end the same way we celebrated the beginning. autumn called it symmetrical. I called if full circle. either way, it had a satisfying way of completeness to it. but without the circle feeling totally closed. because it's never really closed when you know the friendship will keep moving forward albeit under different roofs in cities far apart.

by the way, I feel like these two photos perfectly encapsulate my roommates. autumn, with her always moving, always joyful (even when she's not) smile. maria, with her quiet confidence and peaceful presence. these two balance me out in more ways than I can count. what the heck am I going to do without them?

31 May 2012

big and floppy.

awesome finds from pretty people vintage in alexandria. leave it to me to finally find a good vintage store. two weeks before moving. everyone needs a big, floppy hat if they're moving to the south, right? I'm getting ready, people. getting ready.

29 May 2012

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evening picnics with the favorites are all the more special when I know they are ending soon. it's hard to imagine enjoying life this much without them.

somehow we always end up back at our hill. the one in front of the netherlands carillon. we sit close with knees touching and pull out berries and bread and cheese. we wash our fruit with water from our bottles and eat slowly. after too many months apart, we are not surprised to find that we still fall into the same patterns of conversation and easy laughter. what a comfort to know that we will always fit.

the evening sun sets us in soft shadows and we shake off our dinner to enjoy the end of the day. we lay close together, talking about the silly things we believed when we were little and the silly things we still believe now. we imagine stories - entire lives - for the people around us. the sky darkens and the monuments illuminate in the distance. lincoln and washington's white marble shine bright in the twilight.

so many times during my day, I wonder why I'm choosing to leave nights like this. friends like these. but so far, God has been nothing but faithful. providing best friends on two different coasts. hopefully there are also a few to be found in the south.

27 May 2012

I scarcely know what to do with myself. there's so much to tell, but I don't think I'm ready to share quite yet. although most of the people who read this may already know. still. it eventually deserves some words in this little corner if I'm really being true to the purpose of this little corner. but the words will come in fits and starts, I suppose. because I'm still processing all of it. still praying about all of it. still trying to wrap my head around all of it.

in the meantime, here's a little instagram en route from nashville to DC. a hint of what's to come.

08 May 2012

april showers carry into may.

thunderstorms gathering. the sound of this I love almost as much as the storm itself. clouds rush in. settling as we quicken our steps and dig around in our bags for the umbrella we hope is there. trees rustle. swaying softly at first, but in a moment, forcefully. as though they might topple over if not for roots digging deep into the earth. and then the rain falls. like a bucket spilled over a sieve. not gradually growing, but all at once. with a rush of excitement and a bit of melodrama.

there's just something about everything getting ready. preparing instantly and all at once.

like a symphony right before the start. players enter. settling as we are seated and decide who will take command of the shared armrest. papers rustle. black and white sheets of notes and bars and soaring scores moving into their proper place in the order of things. and then the conductor quiets us all. and the silence before the opening crescendo envelopes us. and then the music is there. not gradually growing, but all at once. with a rush of excitement and a bit of melodrama.

29 April 2012

red velvet.

number one on the list and I feel great about it. I finally tracked down the famous recipe from that lovely friend who thankfully included some expert advice from her years of experience. for example, I am completely confident I would have had a very flat cake without her adamant multiple warnings not to over-beat the batter. and the frosting? guys. you have to believe that, contrary to popular cupcake shops all over the place, buttercream frosting goes wayyy better with red velvet than that of the cream cheese variety. per her guidance, I whipped that frosting until my arms were sore. and folks, it was totally worth it.

seeing as this is not a fancy food blog where I take detailed and beautiful photos of each step, I only snapped one before I got too engrossed in the actual cake creation. and then by the time I was finished it was 1am and I was too tired to take more than two, poorly lit photos documenting my success and that lovely red that took two bottles of food coloring to create. who knew it takes multiple hours to make and frost a cake from scratch??? (probably a lot of you.) so there you have it. number one completed with flying colors. if I do say so myself.

25 April 2012

a sinking city.

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if venice were part of my family, she would be my spontaneous, slightly erratic, but lots-of-fun little sister. full of impetuous moods (see: weather), over the top personality (see: local gondoliers and vaporetto operators), and a slightly concerning shopping addiction (see: trinket stores and boutiques everywhere). she would also be super mysterious and beautiful but need a lot of direction in life (see: magical streets of water and cobblestone, but with no explanation of where anything actually leads). but if venice were my spontaneous, slightly erratic, but lots-of-fun little sister I would probably love her the most for all the same reasons she sometimes annoys me.

the rain. it came. strong and continuous throughout our entire first day. but with water below me and all around me and coming down on me, I kind of didn't mind it. I kind of felt at home. I didn't very much care to get my pant legs wet and my hair frizzy. but I did like the feeling of rain covering everything and making it all a bit quieter, a bit softer. I liked the way bright umbrellas looked in a gray world. I liked the way strangers huddled together under store awnings and bonded for just a few minutes before venturing back into the downpour. I liked the way the gondoliers flipped their collars up, pulled their rain rackets over their striped shirts (yes, they dress that way at disneyland and real life!), and continued calling out discounted prices for a ride on the grand canal. I liked the way my world felt contained and settled in a blanket of rain.

and as much as the first day was full of rain that I thought would flood an already flooded city, the second day was full of sun that seemed as though it didn't even know rain existed. we went to an island where all they do is create masterpieces of blown glass. glass so hot that the master glass-blowers (like that lovely gentleman with the glasses) create something fragile and exquisite and then light their cigarette right off of it. I wandered through peggy's favorites and dipped my hands in the canal of this sinking city and rode the vaporetto with venetian locals on their way to work just as if I were riding the DC metro on my way to work. we zoomed up the waterway like a freeway. and I marveled at half-flooded but still wholly-functioning buildings and boats carrying all the same things (food. lumber. moving boxes. people.) that cars carry in our world. but our world seemed about a million miles away.

23 April 2012

currently loving.

I'm almost done with the recaps. just venice is left. but friends, there's still so much to say. so many images and words and thoughts and people to remember in this little corner of the internet from that little corner of the world. I imagine it will come in bits and pieces. an image here. a list there. it will come as it comes, I suppose. but sooner or later it will run its course on the blog. and whenever that happens I think I'll be a bit sad. so just stick with me a little longer.

but today it is raining. and this weekend it was raining. and the rain covers me like a blanket and I just want to listen to beautiful music and read beautiful words and spend time with beautiful friends. and so that's what I've been doing lately. it's been a lovely way to ease back into DC life as slowly as possible.

listening: music for spring mix by threading in the choirs. (he makes the best ones.) brian eno. joni and james.

reading: the principles of uncertainty. gilead. kinfolk volume 3.

attending: wendell berry live at the kennedy center. needtobreathe live at the 9:30 club.

watching: anis mojgani (at my alma mater, no less!) on connection and nobility and magic and science.
"making of" videos. dr. horrible's sing-along blog.

tasting: breakfast (with this girl, no less!) at northside social. all the goodies I brought back from italy.

painting: my nails. this color. because I needed a little color.

19 April 2012

a city with a view.

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we took our time in florence. with a larger handful of days than in any other city, we discovered the city slowly, peeling back layer upon layer like a giant sweet onion.

we strolled the streets gazing lovingly at bright colors and perfect fits and beautiful bags. dolce and gabbana. roberto cavalli. and my favorite, max mara. it was nice to have them around for a little while to understand that art is as much on fabric as it is on a canvas.

we almost became regulars at the restaurant at the corner. with it's slightly overdone italian decor (we are italian! it shouted to us. please believe us!) and slightly earth-shattering pizza. all sorts of flavors and freshness and delicious bites shared.

we became fast friends with lorenzo of lorenzo's gelato on the corner as he let us (me) taste practically every flavor behind the glass. at least we thought he was lorenzo. he could have been anyone really. but we like to think he was the lorenzo.

we met david at the accademia and I think I may have fallen in love. michelangelo was given a discarded and neglected piece of marble when he was 26 years old. 26. really? yes. really. and then he created something completely miraculous. breathtaking in more ways than one.

we chatted with owners of camera shops and of leather shops. we got hit on by waiters who called us honey and sweetie, reminding me more of what my mom might say to me than what flirting men might say.

we saw street performers and buskers. everywhere. campy puppet shows and classical guitar players and spray paint artists. I almost got pick-pocketed while enthralled with a slightly inappropriate charlie chaplin. and I'll always be a sucker for an accordion player.

and that last photo up there is of my lovely new friend, kristin. she is loosely related to my traveling friend and is from sweden. she is a writer and a walker and peruser of tiny hidden bookstores that she shares with us. and I think she looks just like joni mitchell. and we all know how much I love joni.