Monday, April 26, 2010

Current obsessions

My New Hats. These actually aren't that new (I bought them in February), but I haven't worn them out yet and so they're new to me. This first one makes me feel like I'm a character from a Fellini film wearing a dainty lilypad on my head:

This second one is a blatant Pucci knockoff, but I needed something to wear when I'm shopping at some exotic outdoor market in the Rio de Janiero sun laying out next to my apartment complex's peanut-shaped pool:

Mid-Century Modern. People, I cannot get enough of mid-century modern everything. Living rooms, homes, books, clothing, decor. I want it all, and have lately found myself staying up much later than I should googling the fine art of credenzas and coffee tables, wooden wall art and floating nightstands from the Eisenhower/Kennedy era. You know you're obsessed when finding a genuine set of Danish Modern drinking coasters makes your afternoon. Or when you're thisclose to ordering a boomerang-shaped red glass ashtray from 1961 -- and you don't even smoke. (Yes, this actually almost happened). One of my secret favorite things to do is scour the back area of my grandma's house in Walnut Creek where no one ever goes anymore to look through all her old books and decor from that period. By myself in that empty wing of the house I pull out old books about dining room etiquette printed entirely in Futura font, the binding yawning with loud pops and cracks after years of being unopened as I scan the text inside and bring the pages to my nose, close my eyes and deeply inhale that old, musty smell of "the past" from their surfaces. It's so...well...satisfying.

Once we have the means I can't wait to go antiquing and pick up pieces I can see in person, versus what I find on eBay. There's something fascinating to me about the potential stories behind authentic pieces of a certain time period (especially during my favorite period: 1950 to 1970). But even the brand new pieces that mimic the design aesthetic of yore intrigue me; the lines and simplicity of the furniture and decor speak to me, as weird as that sounds. Maybe in a past life I was this woman:

It looks like both she and he are totally appreciating that credenza. Check out my favorite tribute site to the period: The Mid-Century Modernist.

Simon's Cat. Since we gave our cat Moneypenny to my BFF in California to take care of until we move back next month, I've been missing her like crazy. (Who'd have thought that me, the hater of all cats, would eventually find myself missing one?) Fortunately I've found a cartoon version of her, otherwise known as "Simon's Cat". Apparently this guy in Britain began animating his cat in hilarious short sketches and they gained such popularity that now he's got a book deal and millions of YouTube subscribers (including yours truly). This video is older, but is still one of my favorites:

Jonathan Adler stuff. I never would have guessed I'd be pining over a ceramic dachshund, but I am:

Jonathan Adler is a genius when it comes to the art of mid-century modern. His sculptures and other design accoutrements encapsulate retro aesthetics with a contemporary twist. Adler's goods are definitely not cheap (the dachshund in question is $88), but a girl can dream -- and eBay.

Breaking Bad. While I wait for Mad Men Season 4 to premiere in July, I've found a new show to obsess over:

Breaking Bad is about a high school chemistry teacher named Walt White who finds out he has lung cancer and a couple years left to live. After coming to grips with his imminent death, he resolves to set up his family (a pregnant wife and teenage son) financially once he passes on, and so he begins using his talent at chemistry to cook crystal meth with an ex-student-turned-drug-dealer. The premise is what initially drew me in -- how desperate does a guy need to be to make and sell drugs to secure his family's financial future? -- but it was the theme of moral ambiguity that's kept me hooked. Walt is not a bad guy -- he's dying and looking out for his family -- and yet he becomes the "villain" when viewed through a social and legal lens. Fascinating stuff, reader-friends, especially when he gets mired in the dark underbelly of the drug world -- a world he as a straight-laced science teacher was never prepared to deal with. Bryan Cranston (the dad from Malcolm in the Middle) does an AMAZING job as Walt White, and the story arc is incredible (major props to the writers on staff). Behind Mad Men, Breaking Bad is one of the best shows on television.

Tom Ford Sunglasses. So maybe they look a little costume-y, but I don't care. I'd love to own a pair, they're so Mrs.-Robsinson-meets-vintage-Catwoman:

With Carolyn Murphy's tousled locks, '60s tan lines and black liquid eyeliner, this is an Anne Bancroft-esque look I'd love to rock every single day.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches.
Does this even need an explanation? Oh all right, fine. There was a span of a few years where I absolutely abhorred peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I know, I'm crazy. But it hadn't always been that way. In fact they were all I ate in elementary school, but by the time I reached 6th grade I was burnt out. I told my parents I would only eat turkey sandwiches from there on out. Fast forward to last week. I was in the throes of a Breaking Bad catch-up marathon when I witnessed Walt eat a PB&J sandwich at the beginning of an episode and suddenly found myself craving one. Badly. To the point of where I walked across the street to the supermarket that evening to buy the essential ingredients, and spent the next four days making PB&J sandwiches for dinner. (If you can't tell already marketing works horrifically easily on me.)

Now I wonder how I could have ever gotten sick of the things. If my kids ever complain that they're tired of PB&J sandwiches I'll tell them they don't know what they're talking about, that their "liege" -- which is what they'll call me -- once said that too, and that the subsequent 16 years were barren and could never be taken back. "I won't let you do that to yourselves," I'll tell them.

This T-Shirt:

Confession: I'm a total nerd when it comes to puns. (Favorite joke: What did the mother tomato say to the baby tomato as they were crossing the street? "Ketchup!" Terrible, I know.) I can't help but crack up at the cheesiest, worst puns, and feel the one above definitely deserves to be worn in some capacity. I'm not a t-shirt kind of girl, but this would be perfect as one of my workout shirts.


Andi said...

Love your taste!

By the way, I made crepes last night and made one with peanut butter sauce and raspberry sauce swirled together and it tasted just like a PB&J!!

Maritza said...

Glad to know you still have great taste, both in fashion and humor. That era is amazing in terms of style, and one I wish I could dress in often. =) Oh, to time travel, just for a bit (but without the ridiculous old school social laws in place back then). I personally adore puns and of course, the "Ketchup" joke, so this makes me ♥ you even more!

Anonymous said...

I love blushers of all types. Why oh why do we not wear them all the time?
Adler is my design love! Great post! :)

Chloe (Naturally Frugal) said...

Oh hey cutie!

Love the hats and your mid century modern style inspirations. And hello -PB&J is always a classic. Love this post.

Scott said...

Oddly, I just returned to PBJ sandwiches last week after years of not having any. I'm on my second loaf of bread and second jar of jelly in one week. Weird.

So, do you also like "Googie" design in terms of architecture and furniture? Does that fall under "mid-century modern" or are proponents of one insulted by the other?

paisley penguin said...

That cat cartoon is so funny and so my cat (maybe without the baseball bat).

Speaking of Breaking Bad, have you watched Weeds? Same premise of a basically good person turning to the world of drugs to take care of her family after her husband dies. She does not have cancer but the show just cracks me up!

Crystal said...

Random thought: How many of us have gotten back into PB&J sandwiches as adults after years of the things never crossing our minds? Funny how we lose track once we grow up. I'm glad I'm not the only one. Oh and I, too, am on my second loaf and second jar of jelly in one week, Scott. It's getting ridiculous.

I'm a huge fan of the "Googie" movement! Sometimes I drive around taking pictures of Googie buildings (though it seems that Las Vegas - with its infinite blocks of abandoned motels and bowling alleys - is the capital for such things). As far as I'm aware of Googie falls under the Mid-Century Mod umbrella, so there's no conflict of interest. ;)

Haven't seen Weeds yet, but it's on my Netflix queue. Can't wait to check it out!

Mandy said...

Lovely list! I wish you could've seen the Diva and me try on a dozen hats at Sears on Sunday. Okay so it was Sears and no place trendy but you should have seen those mad-hatters and Tim Burtonesque styles... amazing and scary at the same time! Oh and I hear the PB&J. It's the sandwich that packs the punch. Try the almond butter over PB and some obscure blueberry preserves as your jam.... mix it up and you won't be disappointed! Cheers my friend!

dors said...

loved that cat! Mine does the same at night.
loved the hats as well...very british woman going horse races :)

Diana by Design said...

I have a fedora I ordered via a gift card my ex got for me and I feel like I can't pull it off because of my glasses. Too much happening on my face! Or maybe I'm just insane?

I love yours though, so cute! :)

& I hated PB&J when I was little! I thought it was so gross so I only ate peanut butter sandwiches! I have no idea what I was on.

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