Saturday, February 13, 2010

Current obsessions

Claudia Cardinale

That profile. That hair. That obnoxiously fabulous eyeliner. Along with Marilyn (who I also adore) she's one of the undisputed sex kittens of the last century and I'm not going to lie: She makes me want to move to Italy, do away with my car, buy a Vespa and take up chain-smoking cigarettes as though they were going out of fashion. (Did I just admit that out loud? Cigarettes are BAD, people. Terrible. But it's people like her and Draper that make it look so sexy.) Love her in the original Pink Panther and as Marcello Mastroianni's muse in 8 1/2. They just don't make women like her anymore.

Case Study Houses. Remember that scene from Charlie's Angels where Drew Barrymore goes over to that young millionaire's house and ends up dangling from a bed sheet out his giant shattered picture window over the Los Angeles skyline? (Don't lie, you know exactly what I'm talking about.) Well that to-die-for house was one of the original Case Study Houses, which were experiments in American residential architecture between 1945 and 1966. These houses are so yummy to look at, I can spend hours staring at pictures of these pieces of art:

These coffee mugs:

Designed by Peter Ibruegger.

Goat cheese. Nothing makes me feel more like a beret-ed farmer living in a country cottage in the vineyards of France quite like a good ol' log of herb de Provence goat cheese. Or like a goat-herding Spaniard in the foothills of the Castilian region. Not that I want to be a goat-herding Spaniard, but if it landed me in Spain for at least one summer I would not rule it out. It can come plain, on eggs, on Sour Patch Kids -- I don't care. Give me goat cheese and I'm a happy girl.

The Oatmeal. The Internet begins and ends with this website. It's like someone scraped some of the most un-PC humor I have hidden away in my brain and jotted it down, with illustrations. The creator, who writes and illustrates everything on the site, is a genius. My favorites are "How Twilight Works" and "The 9 Types of Crappy Handshakes."

The amahzing typewriter J bought me as a late xmas present. I say "late" because there was no way he was going to lug 30 pounds of heavy steel to California and back, so he just had it delivered in late January when we were back on native soil. I love this little machine; it's captured a piece of my retro-obsessed heart:

Best of all? It's 100% Internet-free. No distractions, no low battery. If I could I'd cuddle with my 1958 Royal Futura 800 on the couch every night and laugh at Leno and take it for long drives by the beach in my non-existent sporty convertible, top down of course.

Valentine's Day. Ugh, no words. It's fantastic, it's extraordinary, it's a brilliant way to celebrate any kind of love, in all its hybrid forms. Contrary to popular belief one doesn't NEED to be in a relationship to make the most out of this holiday -- in fact I've had some great Valentine's Days where I was completely single. Those were the days when I could eat a whole tube of raw chocolate chip cookie dough without a.) gaining any weight thanks to my now-faltering metabolism, and b.) did not have to endure any mockery or criticism of my peculiar raw cookie dough slash brownie batter habit. (Ahem, J).

Anyway, I will vomit in my mouth a little if one more person rolls their eyes at the mention of Valentine's Day being a "holiday created by Hallmark" that feeds purely off consumers pressured to show their loved ones how much they care. No one says Valentine's Day HAS to be that way (besides, isn't that what Christmas is for?). If you feed into all that tripe that's your problem. What's wrong with a day to remind yourself that love is all around? Insert the cliche retort, (in my mind most often said in an acerbic British accent): "Well, you shouldn't need a day for that. You should remember that all year 'round." That's a given, honey child. Why don't you sell crazy somewhere else; we're all stocked up here.

I swear, the vehement hatred toward Valentine's Day usually comes coupled with some subconscious shortcoming slash insecurity on the part of the perpetrator. Perhaps they just need a hug? *Chases them down if necessary and forces bear-hug on to them.*

It doesn't take a lot to make V Day fabulous for me -- throw me some spicy cinnamon hearts, swath me in red and pink, let me watch Casablanca and I'm set. This year, like the past few years, J and I plan to have a special, but low-key, V Day. On the docket are heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast, Swiss fondue for dinner, cheap champagne (taking it back to the pre-J days of 2003 with the Andre Brut, people) and an in casa screening of Paris Je'taime. If I wasn't so lazy I would attempt to make this cake:

...but I don't have the energy (at least this year) to undertake such an endeavor. If any of you dolls do, let me know. Here's the recipe.

V Day is what you make of it. So instead of knocking it, try to make it great. You'd be surprised at how great it -- or most things -- could be with this method.


Stephanie said...

That cake looks so pretty but impossible to get the heart to line up like that in layers. I won't be attempting that one either. Happy Valentine's Day!

Unknown said...

Love current obsessions! I think I might have to try this post sometime!!!

I love Valentine's Day, especially on a Sunday... and day with my hubby!!

paisley penguin said...

Yummy cheesee fondue! The hubs and I had that last night at the Melting Pot for our V Day celebration.

Sunflowers said...

I totally agree about Valentine's Day!! I love it, and have loved it whether I was single or not. :) The haters need to scram!

Kayla said...

I love goat cheese too! That cake looks amazing, but also hard to make. I think I will stick to the heart cookies I made this year.

AuntBT said...

Love goat cheese. Totally a secret obsession of mine. If you ever make your own popcorn (or you could probably do plain popcorn in the microwave), just grate some raw (aka hard, not soft) goat cheese on top. It's amazing.

oilandgarlic said...

I just checked out the Oatmeal website. Almost died laughing!

Amanda said...

I AM SO HAPPY YOU LOVE VALENTINE'S DAY!!! I absolutely love it.. I always have and I always will, whether I am in a relationship or single.

Maritza said...

Thank you for standing up for Valentine's Day! So many people hate on it for crazy reasons. When I was single, I'd celebrate it with girlfriends and we'd buy each other little gifts. Also, my family and I share Vday gifts every year. Love is good - and it shouldn't be knocked down. We need more of it. I hope you had a great one with J! =)

Guinevere said...

I just found your blog. I love this post! The retro typewriter is a neat gift.

Italy is also a favorite of mine -- although I've only been to northern Italy, never southern, which means I need to make another trip soon!

Mandy said...

Wonderful post! I totally was reading it in a British accent by the way. You've got such style and vivid grace. I heart you.

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

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