Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"A Sunbeam in the Abyss"

Matt Zoller Seitz is a former Dallas Observer writer, Dallasite, and Wilson brothers fan. He writes a very moving article about Owen Wilson here, entitled, "A Sunbeam in the Abyss." Here's a little from the piece:

Art is always informed by life, but one doesn't automatically predict the other. Depression is an implacably private thing, a fog comprised of biography, present-tense experience and body chemistry. It's as unpredictable as the elements and as unknowable as God. It's an abyss that you fall into, and you either die there or climb out.

Owen, peace be with you.

these are the chairs

I bought my first dining room table three summers ago at this relatively new mom and pop hardware store in Austin. They utilized half of their floor for furniture that mixed a certain ranch grandiosity with Crate and Barrel contemporary. The table is a large rectangular slab made of rosewood, from the rainforest I later discovered (felt like I'd committed a sin upon learning that). The large slats are bumpy instead of smooth, and show the grain beautifully outlined in black where the mahogany stain set in. It looks a little like a farm table in that regard but with formal turned legs. I got this beauty at a sale for half its original price, making it doubly delicious.

There wasn't any way that I was going to purchase furniture showroom chairs of brown or black leather. I wanted something to contrast the slightly rustic, formal feel so that each element would stand out.

It's been three summers, and today I found them (thanks to a random blog find: Silk Felt Soil). Phoebe from that site posted these earlier this month from a fantastic design website entitled StudioIsle. The shots above are from a restaurant in London called Cecconi's. StudioIsle revamped the restaurant and how. The only problem is that these chairs are not for sale that I can see. Perhaps the designer custom made them for Cecconi's. If you know the name of the style these chairs are designed in or have seen anything similar out there I would greatly appreciate your pointers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

turn ons

Do you know what turns me on? A strapping thirty-four-year-old, former child prodigy, grown up to be geneticist, anthropologist, and master mind of National Geographic's Genographic Project.


Even though we both went to the University of Texas, and I've got a year on him, he graduated 6 years ahead of me. If I'd only known I would have studied harder and not dropped Honors Physics my senior year in high school to pursue a life of leisure.

Dr. Spencer is captivated by a subject fascinating to all of us--where we come from--and he's developed a way for us all to participate in his Genographic map making with a kit that you can send off for. The kit contains a tool, a cotton swab with which to swab the insides of your cheeks in order to get all the little DNA bits to send to the lab. After several weeks go by, you receive a report that tells the story of either your maternal or paternal ancestry (not both; men have to choose, and women have to go with the maternal strain of lineage since we are without a Y chromosome).

Dr. Spencer cautions that the project does not give percentage break downs of ethnic make-up or pinpoint a family crest. His research reveals what the project calls, "deep ancestry along a single line of direct descent," tracing your path backwards to the beginning.

It looks something like this.

There's a lot more to it than just lines and arrows on a map. I dig. To read more, click here.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

one more, I couldn't resist

Black, white, and green is my favorite color combination these days. The Danish company Ferm Living (Ferm, meaning clever), has two new designs for the fall--this beautiful Cherry Tree design and another called Bamboo. Scrap booking away samples for the house purchase. More to come on that later.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

pretty things

Thank you to blog friend Maryam at My Marrakesh for adding me to your blog list! Good lady that you are . . .

So, a young gentleman named Joseph is helping me come up with a new blog header to freshen up the place. I told him that I wanted hues of orange sherbet, persimmon, and buttercream. Sounds yummy. Then I thought some more on it. It need not be too modern. I like bold graphic designs, but then, it must also convey a sense of handmade. I like designs that are layered on top of one another to create dimension, and then, I like those that are simple line drawings with a touch of whimsical yellow, like on Happy Cavalier. Oh man do I love that blog header.

I send Joseph images every week or so, a hodgepodge of others' blog heads, photographs, posters, and wallpaper snippets. And that has me thinking about wallpaper. My thoughts on it have changed from yuck to wowza like most of us who have an eye for the pretty. But even if I see the most delicate and beckoning image of a ginkgo leaf, let's say, if it is repeated exactly the same like a grid, I don't want it in my house. I would go crazy in a house of grids. It conveys a uniformity that doesn't ring true to my insides, the wandering nature of my thoughts and desires. Now here are some papers up my alley:

Oh beauty!

I detect a theme after this exercise. It has to do with night. Only one bright, sunny one in the bunch. Okay, from left to right and so forth:

Takes me into a fairy story. Midnight Butterfly. Johanna Basford Designs

Looove it! Amour Plantarum. WerningWallpaper manufactured by Boråstapeter.
You could melt into the bindweed. Bindweed 108. Ferm Wallpaper

The brightest thing I've ever seen. Leaf Turquoise/Gold. Jocelyn Warner
The green is almost neon. That does it for me. Victoria and Albert Museum. Hand printed flocked wallpaper with leather decoupage. Linda Florence

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I have a friend who is heartbroken. I saw her at dinner the other night. Three friends sat in a dark sushi restaurant next to a table of men speaking Japanese. We were celebrating a birthday. My friend looked fresh-faced with no makeup. I didn't notice the post-cry look in her eyes until she brought up her ex late in the evening. She talked about how she has no attention span, for our book club reads, television shows, movies. No patience to allow thoughts to rest upon something and absorb it. No tolerance to absorb anything new because this man whom she let know her all the way inside has taken himself away never to return.

It's so humiliating, demoralizing, chaotic. I don't want to love. I can't quite reach for it. And then, I feel like I'm running out of time. Saturday night at the phenomenal Neko Case and Rufus Wainwright show in Austin, Neko introduced one of her songs with a dedication to all those people who are never going to get married their whole lives. I stuck my arm straight into the air and "wooooo'd" with the rest of the contrarians. And then I felt funny.

I was perusing the blogs tonight and found that persisting stars recently featured a book called, Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam. I can only get to the cover, barely peek at the excerpted quotes. I feel little patience for the tedium of being a lost lover, little capacity to absorb it. Maddie of persisting stars writes, "[in] angry observations he illuminates the distance between human beings in a sparkling web of quests." I think Aslam is angry with me. He watched me raise my fist into the air, the impostor revolutionary that I am. Oh goodness me.