Friday, July 31, 2009

Cottage Bound

[not an accurate representation of my weekend destination]

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go....

image source

Thursday, July 30, 2009


image source

The Usual

I ordered a spinach salad with chicken today for lunch. The guy at the counter looked at me and smiled.
GUY: Didn't we do this earlier this week?
ME: Yep. I guess I'm pretty predictable.
GUY: But you were wearing something different.
Apparently take-out guys notice these things. I hope he liked Monday's dress. 'Cause today was a jeans day.

And while some gals would be unnerved by such observation (and subsequently persuaded to cut back on spinach salads), I'm considering this an opportunity to finally be a "regular" somewhere. Because my new work neighborhood is full of strangers. I miss the convenience-store man who used to ask my coworkers about me when I failed to visit his little haven of junk food and carbonated beverages.

It's fun to be known.

Little Joys

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Motion City Soundtrack

This has been the summer of live-music bingeing and iPod dependency. For the past few weeks, Motion City Soundtrack has been slowly making its way into the "I heart" category.

Their MySpace bio won me over. I officially heart them.
Motion City Soundtrack, the most influential rock band in the history of the world, has been destroying the hopes and dreams of small children everywhere since 1997. This quintet of ex-Sears catalog hand models reside for the most part in Minneapolis, Minnesota; where it is always a pleasant 78 degrees and sunny. Errol Bumpstead, an 8 year old student at Wildwood Elementary school in Mahtomedi describes Motion City Soundtrack as, pretty good if you like that stuff. Justin Pierre, Josh Cain, Matt Taylor, Tony Thaxton, and Jesse Johnson comprise this feat of musical excellence. You, the reader of this brilliant paragraph of writing, formulated by a state college-paid education, can find out more about this academy award winning band as well as astrophysics and the whig party by visiting their website: Enjoy yourself. - Nixon Fappleby

Monday, July 27, 2009


Song of the Day: Use Somebody

I don't know why I avoided the Kings of Leon bandwagon for so long. There was no real reason for holding out.

This song. I love it. So much.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rock Star

image source: TADA's Revolution

Soggy Sunday

Song stuck in my head: Raining on Sunday. For a very obvious reason.

Today's adventure with preschoolers involved kazoos. I convinced them we were spies. And then we snuck up on the bad guys and terrified them with our awkward buzz-happy blasts. Very Gideon of us, no?

Quotes of the day:

BOY 1: This is my magical orange. It keeps saying, "Not a chance."

BOY 2: I like bread in my milkshake.

BOY 3: I don't want a cookie. I brushed my teeth really well this morning.

Friday, July 24, 2009

History, Fashion, Geography & Chuck

Rock On [ROM Edition]

I went to the ROM today with my parents to check out the Dead Sea Scrolls. If you like reading and learning and trying to wrap your head around history, I highly recommend it. I am perpetually humbled by how little I know about...everything.

Most surprising, though, was that my favorite exhibit ended up being the geology one. Maybe I'm becoming my dad. There's something about brightly colored rocks that inspires me. And I should probably start investing in gemstones. (For those not in the know, my dad was a geologist once upon a time. He still has the rock cabinet to prove it.)

Earlier in the day, as I was waiting for my parents outside the museum, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was one of my best friends from high school. With her husband. These random meetings happen a lot to me. I once ran into old youth-group friends on a street corner at 3 a.m. And I'm NEVER on a street corner at 3 a.m.

The Sartorialist Lite

As a follow up to this post, I'd like to reassure you all that I did survive my evening with Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist). I wore a dress. He did not scoff at me. Major win.

If I were to have a "What I Wore" style blog, it would be Poladroid-style. Because it redeems the non-amazing lighting situation in my living room. And gives me the hipster edge I need.

New Zealand...Rocks

I think I want one of these posters. Because I love Murray. I also love New Zealand. Probably. Note to self: Visit New Zealand and confirm this suspicion.

Nerd Herd Forever

And I'm excited for Chuck's third season. Behold the poster of awesomeness.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Almost Sisters

Canada Day at the farm.
Photo by Byron, another awesome cousin.

I went out for dinner this evening with my lovely cousin Grace. Conversation was effortless and real, the kind I'd imagine one has with a sister. Except that we don't fight over clothes or curfews. We were so wrapped up in conversation that, even seated beside a window, we didn't notice the sky grow dark. Or the turnover of diners around us. Suddenly it was 10:00.*

Sometimes you just need a heart-to-heart with your almost-sister. Tonight was one of those nights.

*We probably should have tipped better, considering we hogged a table for four hours. Or at least ordered dessert.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nirvana vs. Rick Astley

This takes Rickrolling to entirely new level.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Three Cool Things

  1. I'm going to meet the Sartorialist tomorrow. Yes, THE Sartorialist. The one who took this picture. Talk about fashion-brilliance pressure. Eek!
  2. Sarah and Dave make me happy. Congrats, guys!
  3. This movie has the potential to rock my nostalgic little world:

That is all. Carry on.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How Nadine Will Die

My impending death in one image:

Remember when I used to run? Yeah, I barely do. Since a total upheaval in my work life, I haven't had any sort of consistent exercise. At all. And my eating habits have fallen by the wayside. So I thought to myself, "Self, it's time to get your butt in gear." I recruited Jillian Michaels. And for 20 minutes this evening, I fantasized about being dead. Because she's killin' me, folks.

Oh. My. Word.

(No, I'm not trying to lose 20 pounds. So don't get all "losing weight is one thing, losing perspective is another" on me. I just want to not die of disuse atrophy.)

I'm typing this merely to hold myself accountable to taking care of myself. So I'll be jogging, "shredding," consuming massive quantities of veggies and pursuing a little more sleep in the coming weeks. You have permission to yank me away from the computer* and take the chocolate out of my hands. And are more than welcome to go for a nice long walk with me.

How long? This long.

*Unless I'm in the middle of typing the world's greatest sentence. Give me a minute to finish being brilliant, then pull me away.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

You've Got Mail

A few evenings ago, as I was typing away (a habit of mine), I noticed that a new message was awaiting me in Gmail. And then another. So exciting.

Unfortunately, when I ventured over to my email account, the anticipation of a friendly hello or witty commentary came to a pathetic halt. My inbox was merely filling up with emails I had CCed myself on, sent from another account.

I email myself. So sad. So very sad. And then I forget about it. Also sad.

But the CCing was me being efficient and productive and professional. It's a lose-lose-win.

My memoirs are going to be fascinating. [Insert momentary sarcasm.]

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Today: Dr. Draw

It's that time of year again: Beaches International Jazz Festival, anyone?

I'll be there. Today. Listening to this guy. Because he's amazing. And I like amazing people.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lang vs. Keaggy

I love this for 3546.45 reasons. Here are of 3 of those reasons:
  1. Jonny Lang + guitar = the way things are supposed to be
  2. Phil Keaggy + guitar = legendary
  3. "When Love Comes to Town" = U2 at their finest
I should crash GMA Music Week sometime. 

P.S. Some Johnny Lang guitar solos for you. I'm a bluesy mood this afternoon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Like Indie Flicks

And their soundtracks.
"At one point they put all the songs on top of each other... I didn't like it. At all."
~Bart Fogelaby, Rolling Stone

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Remember Gerbert?

I do.

That's all. Carry on.

Sartorial Happiness

On the streets of Paris. Love. Every. Detail.

(Including the part about the streets of Paris. Anyone wanna go?)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: LEGO

"Keep on brickin'."

Monday, July 13, 2009

My To-Do List

(via iLove)

There Goes a Year of My Life

Choosing outfits for work, nights out, dinner parties, holidays, gym and other activities means the average female will spend 287 days rifling through their wardrobe.

The iPod supports these findings. As does my reality. And I'm not even dolling up for nights on the town. I'm just trying to reconcile my closet and my brain. They don't get along well.

Lyrical wardrobe issues:

I've been wondering what you're thinking
And if you like my dress tonight

~Scratch, Kendall Payne

Fifteen minutes left to throw me together
For Mr. Right Now, not Mr. Forever

~Settlin', Sugarland

You change your mind like a girl changes clothes
~Hot N Cold, Katy Perry

See her, heavy makeup and cut T-shirt
Every girl out wants to be her
But they look the same already, why adjust?

~Rock & Roll, Eric Hutchinson

Sunday, July 12, 2009

THIS is an MJ Tribute

She wrote "Man in the Mirror." And knows how it should be sung. And how Michael Jackson's legacy should be honored. Like this.

I Love You, Too

(Read about his brilliance here)

I was walking down King Street with my mom. I was in a sundress, on my way to be charmed by the von Trapp family, and in a very good mood. A stranger, not watching where he was going, ran into me.

GUY: Sorry. I love you.

I smiled. And kept walking. And when he was out of earshot, I told him I loved him, too. Just not that way.

This weekend was a wonderful one, filled with laughter and heart-to-hearts and mini-adventures and challenging late-night conversation. Douglas Coupland's exhibit was involved. As was Scrabble. And new friends. And old friends. And YouTube. And lipgloss. And sunshine. And long walks. And streetcar rides. And patios. And plenty of coffee.

And everything kept coming back to love. Not necessarily that of the romantic variety (although it certainly came up), but love nevertheless. Friendships and why they grow stagnant. Needy individuals and why we're scared to invest in them. Failure to trust God with life and love and every tiny desire of the heart.

"Love takes the initiative." Church was so good today. So aligned with everything in my heart and head right now. The importance of the pursuit of God above every other pursuit. Stepping away from the bubble of self and choosing to actively love the outsider. Over lunch with my mom and two new friends, I saw the teaching come to life. It's not about me. That's not why I'm here, to just sit around and think about what I want and need and don't have. 

I've always loved the story of Ruth. But now I think I love the woman Ruth too. 

(If you've got 50 minutes to spare, listen to "The Odd Couple." All thumbs up. Not that I critique my Sunday mornings. For discerning sci-fi fans, Bruxy may have opened with, "On the eighth day, God created Battlestar Galactica.")

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Hills are Alive

This afternoon, my mom and I will solve a problem like Maria. 

And we probably won't each drink a pot of coffee. Like yesterday. Or stay up until 2 a.m. talking. Like yesterday. 

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bottled Water & Dancing Babies: Together at Last

I prefer tap water. AND breakdancing babies. Best of both worlds.

This might be slightly creepy. Or 100% genius. I can't decide.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

My MySpace Face

I keep forgetting about MySpace. I still use it to check out bands, but I don't log in anymore. Maybe it's a good thing. This profile pic is a little old:

Nothing says "be my cyber-friend" like a trucker hat. And mullet wig. And fake pearls.

And you thought you knew me....

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Sounds Like Summer

It's summer. Sometimes weathermen forget this. I keep forgiving them. And they keep betraying my trust.

And sometimes Charleston the iPod forgets this, and chooses to play dreary tunes more appropriate for bleak winter afternoons. I risked shuffle mode today. It managed to find the most random sad songs. Even from Wicked:

Ev'ry so often we long to steal
To the land of what-might-have-been
But that doesn't soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in....

Oh, and you may have noticed a complete lack of Michael Jackson coverage here. I'll talk about him soon. Promise. I just hate feeling hasty about these things. Feel-good summer music, however, can be posted in mere moments. (Um, and I left my house at 8 a.m. and got home at 10:45 p.m. Not a whole lot of time for blog brilliance today.)

P.S. I got books in the mail today. Beth, I blame you. A good blame.

P.P.S. I also overhead some fantastic news. But this probably isn't the greatest forum for sharing things I've learned through eavesdropping. Okay, it probably is. Maybe later.

And now, I give you the sounds of summer. Just a handful. Yes, music fits in my hand.

Streetcorner Symphony

I have a soft spot for Rob Thomas. I don't know why. But I could listen to him all day. (And why doesn't he age?)

The wedding-article writer in me is fascinated by his 1999 wedding to his wife Marisol. Edwin McCain was there. And played "I'll Be" for their first dance. Um, amazing.

Summer of '69

In university, my roommate and I Googled Bryan Adams just to confirm that he, in fact, does remember the summer of '69. Turns out he was 10. For the mathematicians out there, that makes him 50 this year.

I wonder how many people have Googled me....

Sweet Home Alabama

Sounds like summer. Straight-up. And I'm not even from the South.

All Summer Long

And because of the above song, I love Kid Rock's summer ditty that rhymes "different things" with "funny things." I think he'd be a fun BBQ guest. I'm sure Kid grills a mean burger. (Just keep him away from the "funny things.")


When my friend first told me about this song, I didn't believe her. "A hole in my bucket"? Really? Apparently, yes.

Oh, Canadian Idol. Look what you've done.


Kiss a Girl

One day I'll try to explain why I think "kiss" is one of the greatest words a songwriter has in his arsenal. It's the K, that hard, sucker-punching consonant. That same K makes the F-word such a strong and strategic vocabulary choice. (Okay, so I just explained it. Wasn't that difficult.) "Kiss" is sweet and powerful and makes your head spin. All in ONE SYLLABLE.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Preemptive Answer to Prayer

I couldn't find a rather important piece of paper this morning. I'm talking "medical-records important." (No, I'm not dying. So calm down.) I had approximately three minutes before I would miss the bus. Instant shift to stressed-out mode.

I wanted to swear and pray at the same time. Which can be awkward. Although it's very possible. Believe me.

"God, I don't--"

And there it was. I didn't need to finish the thought. And I caught my bus.

God and I need a date. Tonight. He finishes my thoughts, and yet I still so often fail to trust Him with them. ("God, it's not you, it's me." Always the case. And yet never a deal-breaker. He sticks around.)

With Rings on Her Fingers....

I met three women yesterday. All remarkable and engaging and sweet. We were waiting for our ten little preschool terrors to arrive when conversation shifted to ring fingers. Left hands. Each of them sported an impressive sparkler.

I had nothing to contribute. Nothing. No insightful anecdote, no opinion. I just oohed for a moment and smiled as they talked about diamond settings and proposals. I wasn't bitter, uncomfortable or envious. It's just so outside of my reality that I felt my musings would be coming from a completely unqualified source.

Although I did have the amusing thought that it would have been a great day to decorate my hand with something like this:
Should marriage be in my future, my only ring dream is that Mr. Awesome choose something rather lovely that will make him want to hold my hand for approximately forever. The end.

(I think UP got to me. I'll get over the mush shortly. Promise.)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

"UP" for an Adventure

I went to see UP this afternoon. In 3-D. Alone.

It was wonderful.

I used to go to movies by myself at least once a month. But in recent years, the habit faded with an increasingly overwhelming social and work life. Suddenly there were no opportunities to just stop by a cheap theater on my way home from work and watch a quirky flick solo.

I've missed that.

I don't know how to explain it without sounding insane. For most of you, the thought would never cross your minds to spend two hours in the dark with strangers. But I'm not most of you. And oddly, I'm more likely to feel lonely when I'm stripped of my freedom to just be a little spontaneous and independent. One of the perks to getting older is learning to be comfortable with just being myself. I'm not an insecure teenager anymore, and kind of like hanging out with the woman I've become. She's pretty cool sometimes. She has bizarre ideas, makes random observations, has the heart of a child, the brain of an old woman, and can be giggling on the inside while appearing nonchalant to all those who pass her by. And she occasionally cries over animated old men.

I still love watching movies with friends, I really do. But sometimes I want to get caught up in a story without worrying about how I'm responding to a flick. When you go solo, no one holds you accountable for your laughter, mockery or tears. No one debriefs with criticism when your heart's all light and mushy. Sometimes I just crave an honest reaction from myself.

Friends used to call this solo-watching "pulling a Nadine." I highly recommend it. Everyone should do it at least once.

Okay, on to UP. This post should probably be a two-parter. I apologize for making you read paragraphs. (No, I don't. I lied.)

Delightful. Poignant. Christopher Plummer. And I cried. Twice.

I wasn't expecting to be moved by this great little geriatric-action-adventure flick. Because I had heard rumors of audiences tearing up, I assumed that I would remain cold-hearted and emotionless. Because that's often the case. The expectation of tears ruins it. Not this time.

It hit surprisingly close to home: What does adventure look like? What happens when our lives don't pan out the way we once dreamed it would? What is failure? Is part of growing up seeing our dreams change shape, our priorities shift, our deal-breakers readjust? If you had asked me last year what I'd be doing right now, I would have told you I'd be writing from somewhere that required a passport. Maybe with a boy and/or wombat in the tent next to me. (Yeah, I don't blog about everything, folks. Because my head doesn't always take me to places that are fair to others.)

I've landed in those places where I've mercilessly banged on the piano or scribbled in my journal, "I wanted an adventure, but NOT THIS ONE." But since my life is like a Pixar movie, the adventure I end up living is always far greater than one I could imagine. And with plenty of awkward character development to keep things interesting and moving in a generally forward direction.

As I walked out the theater this afternoon, I realized I'd be as perfectly happy with Ellie's adventure as I would be with Carl's. Because there's no point in having an adventure if you're not sharing it with someone. Even if that adventure doesn't look like the one you thought you wanted. And even if that someone is a rather annoying little boy who just needs a merit badge.

(In somewhat related news, I'd totally be open to a movie date to see 500 Days of Summer. Not necessarily a literal date. Unless that's how you roll. I heart Zooey.)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Signs... a great movie. I mean, if you believe in both God and aliens.

Seriously, though. Joaquin is fantastic and intense and not-yet-crazy. Mel is charming and paternal and not-yet-crazy. Abigail Breslin is adorable and precocious and not-yet-overexposed. It's the perfect balance of scary and thought-provoking and entertaining and achingly sad. And did I mention that Joaquin isn't crazy?

Plot holes? Yep. But I can handle 'em.

Maybe it just reminds me of the night I turned 19, sitting in a dark, drafty theater with a few friends, terrified of crop circles and enamored with tin-foil helmets. (I believe that theater collapsed shortly thereafter, crushing a few innocent folks to death. The venue was its own horror show.) I also appreciate the frequent usage of plaid by the Costume Department.

Independence Day TV is a little awkward. And I'm tired of accepting Bill Pullman as president. Too strong of a Newsies connection for my brain to wrap around. 

P.S. Am I the only one who's amused that Phoenix plays an ex-pro ballplayer and happens to hang out in a cornfield? How very Field of Dreams of him.

Friday, July 03, 2009

TiLF: Things I Love Friday

Sleeping in.
And then rolling over and sleeping some more.

Eric Hutchinson.
On piano. On guitar. I think we'd be friends. But you already know this. 

Rob Thomas.
With and without Matchbox Twenty. I think I might love his new album. Time will tell.

iTunes gift card.
My family celebrated my birthday on Canada Day. Even though the actual date of my birthday is August 17th. That gives the rest of you plenty of time to figure out how to celebrate me.

(The iTunes card is merely enabling me. So addicted. Next up: Motion City Soundtrack.)

Dark-chocolate-covered coffee beans.
I like to eat my caffeine just as much as I like to drink it.

Without direction, deadline or expectation. Sometimes it's nice to just let the brain go nuts.

Natalie Portman in Garden State.

I love this movie. And if I were a boy, I'd want to marry Natalie.


Paul Rudd. 

Rumors of Zac Levi being Gargamel in the 3D Smurfs movie.
I'm so conflicted. And amused.

Doug the piano.
Even though he's almost broken. I guess 20 years is a long life for a much-loved digital piano. He's my therapist.

(A piano is a great gift idea. So if you love me and have a few grand to spare....)

myvintagevogue's photo stream.
I spent way too much time oohing and aahing over photos today. Next time I'm invited to the Oscars, I'm going vintage

Vintage Beauty Rules

I woke up this morning with pale, faded lips. And thought to myself, "Self, if you had a seductive siren-red pout first thing in the morning, your life would be exponentially more fantastic." I guess lipstick should be part of my bedtime routine.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Web Site Story

I saw West Side Story in Stratford last week. It was wonderful. But it was nothing compared to the brilliance below. Thanks for the link, Dad

Vegetable Car

image via *karo*

She drives a vegetable car
Diesel, Mercedes, green, two-door
I barely know who you are
Lisa Loeb glasses
I'd sure like you ask you to stay

Joshua Radin makes me smile. He's the perfect complement to William Fitzsimmons and his divorce ballads. Because Josh is optimistic and upbeat and seemingly unscathed as he navigates the whole heart-on-sleeve, brain-preoccupied adventure of encountering the opposite sex. Even his break-up songs are lovely and nontraumatizing. He confirms my suspicions that men do, in fact, think about girls. On more than just a Tarzan level. I know you're not as simple and clueless as you pretend to be.

Oh, and he likes girls with glasses. As all the great ones do.

Joshua Radin and William Fitzsimmons. Together. I want to go to there.

(William is the common denominator between most of my favorite artists. That man tours like nobody's business.)

Aside: I've been in a remarkably good mood this week. And I've decided to remain this way. A late-night bus conversation/iPod party with Grace yesterday reaffirmed that I'm weary of matching my moods to those of my melancholy friends. Sorry if your lives suck*, folks, but I can't commiserate anymore.

*Your lives don't suck. So smile, won't ya?