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Have You Heard of Warby Parker?

27 Jul

Buying glasses has always been one of those things that I’ve never understood why it was so painful and expensive.  I mean, yes, I want to look good, but due to my seriously poor eyesight, I’ve been stuck behind some coke bottle lenses that make my eyes look like pinholes.  So why do we feel like we have to spend hundreds of dollars for nice glasses?  Or maybe I’m just making excuses – it has been about 10 years since I bought new glasses.  I was a college student when I bought my last pair!  And they are terrible – way too strong for me, with a slightly cracked lens, and a bit crooked from 10 years of hard living.

My friend Katie told me about Warby Parker.  Y’all.  Seriously, this is one of the coolest ideas I’ve ever seen.  And the execution is FANTASTIC.  From their website:

A collaboration between four close friends, Warby Parker was conceived as an alternative to the overpriced and bland eyewear available today. Prescription eyewear simply should not cost $300+. The industry is controlled by a few large companies that have kept prices artificially high, reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options. By circumventing traditional channels and engaging with our customers directly through our website, Warby Parker is able to provide higher-quality, better looking prescription eyewear for under $100.

We meticulously crafted our first collection of 27 limited run styles, plus one monocle, using only the finest custom acetates and materials. The Warby Parker aesthetic is vintage-inspired, with a fashion forward twist – and every pair is custom fit with anti-reflective, polycarbonate prescription lenses.

Available exclusively through the Warby Parker website, our glasses retail for $95.

So basically, they provide high-quality glasses with anti-reflective, polycarbonate prescription lenses for $95.  That is amazing!  Granted, the styles tend towards the thick rim, hipster-looking glasses that are popular right now, but I was planning to get thicker rims anyway.  But that’s not the only thing I love about this company.  In addition to having a “virtual try-on tool” where you upload your picture and can position the glasses onto your face, there is a Home Try-On Program.  You pick 5 styles to have sent to your house, try them on, and return them within 5 days.  For free.  No shipping fees, free return shipping, no obligation to buy.  FREE.

So, friends, I have taken advantage of the Home Try-On Program, and I ordered 5 pairs that seemed to fit my face shape.  (The website is really helpful about figuring out fit.)  I placed my order on Saturday, and I’ve been practically waiting by the front door for the UPS man to come!  And they came today!

I just love opening packages!  Isn’t the presentation amazing?  The box is so nice, it looks like no one’s used it before, but it’s not disposable.  So the styles I picked to try on are the Thatcher, the Miles, the Finn, the Zagg, and the Colton.  All the styles came in several colors, so I picked a random assortment of colors so I could see them in person.  So.  I am not a photogenic person.  To say the least.  However, I need to see what I really look like in them, and I would love to hear if anybody has any opinions.  So here are some pictures of me wearing the frames.  (Note: WP points out that the glass in the frames can look tinted, but the prescription polycarbonate will not have that problem.)

Thatcher - in Whiskey Tortoise

Miles - in Amber

Finn - in Sandalwood Matte

Zagg - in Striped Chestnut

Colton - in Whiskey Tortoise

So does anyone have any opinions?  Anyone want to vote for one particular frame style or color?  (If you vote for Thatcher, then I will know you are not really my friend.  UGH.)  I have two favorites that I’m trying to decide between.

So now I just send the package back to Warby Parker.  They provided a UPS return label, so I just packed the box back into the original packaging, and I send it right back.  I can order the glasses I want at any time, and all I need is my prescription.  I’m sure you are wondering: don’t they have to measure you the way the optometrist would?  Well, they do.  The measurement they need is the pupillary distance (PD) and it should already be on your prescription.  If not, you can call your optometrist and ask if they have it on file.  If not, perhaps they will measure you for free.  And if they charge you a fee to do the measurement, send the receipt in to Warby Parker, AND THEY WILL DEDUCT IT FROM YOUR TOTAL.  Fantastic customer service.

One more thing that is so awesome about this company:

I love this company!

Visit the website: www.warbyparker.com

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The Proposal Story

16 May

Happy, happy news to share: Andrew proposed!

To answer the three most common questions:

1. Yes, I was surprised.  I mean, we live together, and we’ve had the grown up conversations that we want to get married one day, so it wasn’t out of the blue.  However, my sister is getting married this fall, so if I thought about it at all, I sort of vaguely imagined it happening after her wedding.  But to be honest, I tried not to think about the actual proposal too much because I wanted to be surprised.

2.  We haven’t picked a date yet.  I’m thinking Fall 2012, as Andrew and I will be paying for most of the wedding ourselves, and that will give us some time to save.  The added bonus is that we won’t be getting married right on the heels of my sister.

3.  How did it he do it?  It was awesome!

At some point in February I think, Andrew asked me if I wanted to go to Florida to visit his grandmother and have a long weekend break.  He made me feel like it was totally my choice; as though he was just wondering if we had time and money to go.  This year we have been saving up in order to go to every wedding and out of town event that we have the desire to attend.  Andrew grew up going to Florida to his grandparents’ house every year, and I feel like if we have an opportunity to go, we should take advantage of it – particularly if we get to see his family.

So I of course said yes, and then promptly put it in the back of my mind.  Not because I wasn’t excited, but because I had one event after another coming up in March and April and I was stressed out.  About two weeks out, Andrew reminded me that we were going to Florida for Easter weekend, and that became the goal, the light at the end of the tunnel.

The final week leading up to Easter weekend, I had four events.  The first was the Smith Announcement on Wednesday, which was planned by others and I just helped out at.   The next was the Silver Tea on Thursday afternoon, one of the three major events I plan for work each year.  I went straight from the Silver Tea to Kiss My Grits, the awesome new event the Young Texans Against Cancer held Thursday evening.  (Check out the link to read the write  up from Jay Ducote at Bite and Booze.  Yummy!)  I am a board member for YTAC, so I chipped in for the event by organizing volunteers and doing some of the printing.  Mostly, though, I thoroughly enjoyed myself while indulging in a bit of overdrinking and undereating.  Which made it very difficult to get moving for the last event of the week, a Day in the District tour on Good Friday.

One nice thing about ending the week with Day in the District is that I wear scrubs all day, so even though I was totally exhausted and dragging through the rigorous and physical schedule of the all day touring, I didn’t have to wear a suit.  Plus, Andrew picked me up from Ben Taub General Hospital and we went straight to the airport, so I was already dressed comfortably for the plane.  Andrew is absolutely adorable, and dresses up to fly, so we were a rather odd couple.  (I have now had to fly twice while wearing scrubs straight from work, and I’ve joked that I hope no one has a heart attack on the plane.  “Doctor, we need your help!”  ” But I’m only an event planner!”  Ha.)

So we made it to Florida, met his parents at the airport and drove on to Boca Grande.  Boca Grande is such a magical, beautiful place.  It’s quiet, relaxing, and there is so much to do without really needing to do anything at all.  It’s a place that means a lot to Andrew, and his whole family.

We got there late on Friday night, so our first real day there was Saturday.  We went out on the boat with Andrew’s parents all day, which was amazing.  AMAZING.  Andrew got to spend quality time with his dad driving the boat, and Andrew’s mom and I did nothing but enjoy ourselves.  Here are some pictures from that day.  I love looking at these and remembering how I had no clue what was going to happen later that evening.  And how every single other person on the boat did!

Lunch at Useppa Island

"Shower With A Friend" - Afternoon drinks at Cabbage Key

View from patio at Cabbage Key

After going out on the boat all day, we made it back to the house just in time for a nap before dinner.  (Still trying to convince Andrew’s family that southern women take naps regularly.  Not for nothing is my family nickname Scarlett.)

I did manage to sleep for about an hour, then got up and dressed for dinner.  Another nice thing about vacationing with Andrew’s family is they tend to eat at home in Florida.  It’s so relaxing to not have to eat out every meal.  So while his dad got the grill going, Andrew mixed drinks, and asked me if I’d like to walk down to the beach.

Andrew is a sneaky guy.  The way he asked, I could have very easily said no.  He totally made it sound like my idea.  But we hadn’t even been to the beach in Boca Grande since we’d been out all day, so of course I wanted to see it.  We took our cocktails and walked a couple of blocks away to the 7th Street beach, where the teenagers on the island have always met up to do teenager-type things, according to Andrew.  So romantic!  We pulled our shoes off and walked out onto the sand.

My first clue that this wasn’t just a walk on the beach was when Andrew, with a frustrated expression, looked up and down the beach muttering, “Why are there so many people on the beach?”  There were maybe, maybe, three families in either direction.  I started teasing him for being a snob.

We started walking towards the beach club, and it was nearing sunset, so it was gorgeous and perfect.  Andrew was saying all these very nice things (which, lucky me, is not unusual), and I was being my usual smart ass, when all of the sudden he hugged me and then knelt down in the sand.  He pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him.  I totally started laughing, and said something like, “Oh, that’s what we are doing!” and “We have cocktails!” and finally, “Yes! Of course!”

The best part about it was that neither of us brought phones or a camera or anything.  Not one of the three families on the beach noticed what we were doing.  It truly was a moment where only the two of us were present.  We sat on the wall next to the beach club, and watched the sunset while I laughed and made Andrew tell me every little detail about how he’d done it.  (Like, how did you know my ring size?  How did you make this all seem like this was my idea?  Who else was in on it???)

The beach

After the sun set, we walked back to the house.  Honestly, that was the first time I really became emotional.  It was finally sinking in, and Andrew told me that both his and my parents knew, but that we were going to be breaking the news to his grandmother.  I don’t know why, but that’s what finally made me start crying!

So when we walked up to the house, it was all hugs and cheering.  After thanking everyone (especially Andrew’s mom, who had helped him get the ring, wore it through security and on the plane, and had been dying all day waiting for him to get it over with), I went downstairs to start calling family.  Of course I called my parents first, and my mom answered after a .00003 second ring with, “Where have you been??”  Apparently, Andrew had paid them a visit right before we left to get their blessing, and told them that he would be proposing at sunset on Saturday night, weather permitting.  My parents totally pulled up the sunset and weather information for Boca Grande on the computer, and spent Saturday evening refreshing it over and over.   The visual of that still makes me laugh out loud!

I called only family that evening, so that Andrew and I could enjoy dinner kind of normally, but the phone kept ringing with well-wishers.  After dinner, Andrew and I went to the Pink Elephant on our first date as an engaged couple.  That’s where we started trying to refer to each other as “fiance” and “fiancee”, which still trips me up.

About the ring…I’m sure every girl says this about her engagement ring, so forgive me for gushing a little.  The ring is gorgeous.  I couldn’t have picked out a ring for myself, knowing that I would be wearing it forever and ever, so I was more than happy to drop that one in Andrew’s lap.  His mom helped him last November (! I can’t believe he kept all this a secret so long!) by giving him some diamonds she had inherited from family.  I love that.  They brought them to a jeweler, who created a beautiful custom ring to fit, and added some more diamonds to make it extra glittery.  It’s impossible to see in pictures, but it has an Art Deco feel to it, with a very modern, ziggurat-motif in profile.  I will post a picture, but it doesn’t do it justice.  Andrew did an amazing job, so much better than I could have.

notice how I picked the picture with the *bling*? haha

So that’s the story.  I think I answered all the questions people had, but let me know if I missed one!  Here are some other pictures from the weekend.  Enjoy!

Andrew's happy when he drives a boat

Island picnic on Easter. We are trying to practice the "engaged couple" pose.

Heaven is under a yellow striped umbrella.

Sunset at Cabbage Key

As you can probably imagine, it was so incredibly difficult to come home from this trip.  However, my parents are awesome, and look what greeted us when we pulled up to our house:

“Congratulations on your Engagement Courtness and Andrew” from my amazing parents

I feel so lucky that I will be joining Andrew’s wonderful family, and that he will join mine!  Now if only I didn’t have to plan a wedding…or just one wedding.   But more on that later.

Ten on Tuesday

19 Apr

Yay, today Chelsea’s Ten on Tuesday is a book edition! To answer the questions yourself, go to Chelsea’s blog.

1. When someone asks you for a book recommendation, what is your go-to book?

It depends on the person. I usually recommend authors for particular genres: Bill Bryson for non-fiction/travel/science history, Mary Balogh or Liz Carlyle for historical romance, Ngaio Marsh and Jacqueline Winspear for mystery, and I could go on and on…
2. Do you buy your books, or are you a library patron?

I like libraries, but rarely have time to go to one to find books. Plus, I like the instant gratification of the Kindle store.
3. E-readers, yay or nay?

A whole-hearted YAY. I think of my Kindle as a book that I can never finish reading. Heaven.
4. What was your favorite book as a child?

I loved, loved, loved Nancy Drew books. I still want to be Nancy Drew when I grow up.
5. If you could be any character in a book, who would you be?

Oh wait, I accidentally answered that in the last question! Besides Nancy Drew, I would love to be Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice.
6. What book would you love to see turned into a movie?

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb. It’s futuristic noir. It could be an amazing movie if they didn’t screw it up.
7. What is your all-time favorite book?

Pride and Prejudice, of course.

8. How many books do you read at once?

Usually not more than two, but I read quickly, so I often will finish a book in one sitting without opportunity to pick up a second one.
9. What is your favorite book genre?

Impossible to pick one. My top five are science history, historical romance, fantasy (like Harry Potter, J.R.R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis), early 20th century murder mysteries, and travel narratives.
10. Which Harry Potter book is the best? Or haven’t you read them at all?

All of them, read right in a row as one gazillion page epic novel!

Houston Bucket List – 2011 update

18 Apr

I have been such a bad blogger!  But I have excuses reasons!  Besides all those many, many reasons, I have accomplished one or two things from my bucket list.  I also want to add a few more items….

(My original Bucket List post is here.)

Things to see and do:

1. Monica Pope’s farmer’s market

2. Rice University football game

3. watch a Dynamo game

4. visit the Holocaust Museum – Done.  I visited on an Agency Visit with the Junior League, so I didn’t get to explore at my own leisure.  I did request to get a community placement there through the Junior League, so hopefully I will be spending a lot more time there.

5. visit the Contemporary Arts Museum

6. visit the Printing History Museum

7. go to the George Ranch (as an adult) – that’s a real, live, working Texas ranch.  Yee-haw!

8. go to Washington-on-the-Brazos

9. see a movie at the Angelika – Dang it.  Should have done it while I could.  The Angelika closed for business not long after I posted this.  BUT a new theater is coming to that space called Sundance, so I will probably go check that out!

10. see a movie at the old River Oaks – Done!  Saw The King’s Speech there.  It was amazing, both the theater and the movie.  The theater has a bar, and you can bring your drinks in with you.  It’s no Alamo Drafthouse, but it’ll do.  Hope to see many more movies there this year.

11. ice skate at the Galleria (as an adult)

12. visit the Cockrell Butterfly Center – Okay, I kind of did this.  During the whole “Corpse Flower” craze at the HMNS, we went in the middle of the night to smell it see it bloom.  The line wound through the butterfly exhibit, but it was dark out, so hard to see any butterflies.  We need to go again to make it count.  I did see the most INCREDIBLE thing there though: a working apiary.  The bees live inside a clear beehive inside the museum, with a tube to the outside so they can gather pollen and nectar or whatever.  It was awesome.  

13. visit the Planetarium

14. see a show at Miller Outdoor Theater – Done!  Saw an Elvis movie.  And part of “Little Shop of Horrors”.  Good times.

15. visit the 1940s Air Terminal Museum

16. visit the Art Car Museum

17. visit Bayou Bend Museum

18. Find Howard Hughes grave at Glenwood Cemetary

19. visit all the old houses at the Heritage Society site in Downtown – Done!  We brought Andrew’s sister when she visited from Boston.  I loved every second of it, she was probably bored to tears.  Oh well.

20. make a retablo for Lawndale’s Day of the Dead event

21. visit the Menil Collection (as an adult) – Done!  Again with Andrew’s poor sister.  She was dragged all over town.

22. visit Rienzi

23. visit the Officer Lucy Dog Park

24. visit the Danny Jackson Dog Park – Done!  We walk there from our house occasionally.  Grover does NOT like other dogs though, so it’s mostly for us humans to enjoy the other dogs.

25. walk all the way around Memorial Park

26. watch the Houston Marathon –  Done!  I am on the board for Young Texans Against Cancer, and we are one of the Run For A Reason charities who benefit from the Marathon.  We got up early on Sunday morning to man a “hoopla station” and cheer our runners on.  So fun!

27. Opera in the Heights

28. stay at the Magnolia

29. visit the Jade Temple

30. visit the Forbidden Gardens – DOUBLE DANG IT. I missed this one too.  Closed forever.  The expansion of Grand Parkway ate into their property and they decided to close instead of operating next to a busy road.  I HATE THE GRAND PARKWAY.  

31. kayak the Buffalo Bayou

32. Arboretum – Done.  We had a staff meeting there.  It was beautiful, and a very different spot for a meeting (in a good way).  Though we did have to ask the funeral next door to turn down the rock and roll so we could hear each other.  I am not making this up.

33. Explore the Downtown tunnel system

34. ride in the Moonlight Ramble

35. hang out and explore Discovery Green

36. Go to an Aurora Picture Show event

Places to eat:

1. Reef

2. Shade

3. Vic and Anthony’s

4. the breakfast klub

5. Kim Son

6. Tiny Boxwoods – Done.  Delicious.  Haven’t been back as I’m never in the mood to fight people for tables.  Although they are opening a second location in the old JMH grocery store by my house, so I will probably walk to that one.  

7. Hobbit Cafe (as an adult)

8. Mark’s

9. Black Lab pub – Done.  Delicious.  Sat outside on a gorgeous day, and drank mimosas.  La.  Andrew ate a piece of salmon fried in a ball of cheese or something.  Possibly his personal heaven.

10. Glass Wall

11. Candelari’s – Done.  Meh.  

12. Ocean Palace dim sum

13. Mucky Duck

14. Daniel Wong’s Kitchen – Done.  This is now our delivery Chinese food.  They have fantastic fried rice.

15. Fogo de Chao

16. Brennan’s  – Done.  Visited during Houston Restaurant Week (Now Restaurant Month, I hear.)  Had the turtle soup, something delicious that I can’t remember, and the bananas foster.  DELICIOUS. 

17. Coco’s Crepes and Coffee

18. Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen – Done.  On the same night that we saw The King’s Speech at the old River Oaks Theater, we ate at Tony Mandola’s.  It turned out to be the last night at the old location, so I was thisclose to missing this one too!  They are reopened in temporary space by Chuy’s on Westheimer, but parking sucks, so no thanks.  Food was good, though.

19. Bar Annie/RDG

20. Himalaya

Why I am a bad blogger. A list of excuses.

16 Sep

I have analyzed the reasons why I am such a bad blogger and left this poor thing neglected and unupdated for months. I have decided to list them here.

1.  April 23: I got a dog.  Not just any dog, but the dog I’ve been wanting for years.  I prefer to rescue animals rather than pay for a puppy, but I wanted a young, male bichon frise – and you generally can’t be that specific when you rescue.  I have said, though, that the right dog would find me.  After a few false starts, a friend who is plugged into the rescue scene emailed about a little white bichon who had been hit by a car (!) and tied to the door of a vet and abandoned (!!) and who only had three more days until they euthanized him (!!!!!)  I called to save his life, only to find that Bichon Frise Rescue had beat me to it.  I signed up for him as soon as possible, and then harassed they poor rescue woman until she relinquished him.  Would you like to see how cute he is?

Grover Cleveland Hurst-Hoyt

I know.  So stinking cute.

2. May 5: Andrew’s birthday.  I planned a party at the Gingerman, which has a sweet, dog-friendly patio.  Andrew grew up blissfully in Ohio not realizing that his birthday is actually Cinco de Mayo, so we have to remind him occasionally with a fiesta.

Can you tell it was a fiesta?

3. May 8: Houston Crawl For Cancer.  Did you know that I am the organizer of the Houston Crawl For Cancer?  This year we had about 1500 people crawling all over Midtown to benefit Harris County Hospital District Foundation and Young Texans Against Cancer.  So much work, but so much fun.

Aren't my friends so good looking?

4. May 14: DBMAT Golf Tournament.  Seriously, this is an important organization; they raise money and awareness to benefit the deaf-blind multi-handicapped and their families.  I will be hitting you all up next year.

We hired models to show off the auction items.

5.  May 31: Memorial Day weekend in Cleveland.  Andrew tries to convince his family he hasn’t gone native in Texas.  They remain skeptical.  (Might have something to do with the cowboy boots he wore to his 10 year high school reunion.)

Also, he wore a Luckenbach shirt the whole time. Not convincing.

6.  June 16: Work trip to Washington D.C.  So wonderful, I’m posting two pictures.

Sackler Gallery

7.  June through next May: Joining the Junior League of Houston.  Best experiences ever.  Takes a lot of time commitment.  Not very many photos yet.

8.  August 27: Nerdy Thirty.  Need I say more?

At least I'm not the only nerd.

9. September 2:  My sweet, adorable nephew was born.  Evidence of sweetness and adorability:

awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Other things: a promotion at work, a new charity board, and a diet.  All of these things, and more, conspiring to keep me from blogging!

I am going to try to post once a week.  At least one of the thousands of photos that have been stacking up in my phone.  Maybe.  Don’t hold your breath.

Ten on Tuesday

31 Aug

So.  This is my first post since April.  Some things that have changed since I last posted: I now have a dog (one of my excuses reasons for not posting); I am now thirty years old; and I received a promotion at work.  I am also involved with some new non-profits, and life is busier than ever.

However, my sister-in-law Chelsea is married, nine months pregnant, works full time, and she has still managed to update her blog nearly every weekday.  So once again, I am looking up to her good example, and will try to update around here more often.

I’ll start off small with participation in Chelsea’s fun Ten on Tuesday blog feature.  Here are the questions and my personal answers!  If you would like to play along, click here for the questions.

1. Pretend it’s Monday morning–take us through a day in the life of you.

Wake up at 7 am and let the dog out.  Brush my teeth, hair, etc.   Walk around in a daze for awhile.  Dig frantically through piles of clean clothes for something to wear to work.  Put together the things I need to take to work, including breakfast, lunch, and quantities of diet coke.  Take the dog for a walk around the neighborhood while reading Twitter and Facebook on my phone.  Feed the dog right before walking out the door.  Leave and come back in at least twice for forgotten items like cell phones, car keys, and work badges.

2. What’s your favorite reality tv show?

I don’t really watch any right now.  I know, I know.  Sacrilege.  I record most shows I watch, including: True Blood, Masterpiece Mystery, Psych, Good Eats, and Scooby Doo Mystery Inc.  haha

3. What motto do you live by?

Treat others as I would like to be treated.

4. If you knew could you try anything and not fail, what dream would you attempt?

Write books.

5. What was your first job?

Retail sales at Gap.

6. What is your current job?

I am in charge of Special Events for the Harris County Hospital District Foundation.  It is my favorite job in the world 🙂

7. What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name (and you cannot pick the one you already have)?

It’s hard to say, probably something more unusual, like January Jones.

8. What musical instruments can you play?

I can play 3 chords on the guitar, and sing enthusiastically (if not well).

9. Is it easier to forgive or forget?

It is easier to forgive – I don’t think we control whether or not we forget.

10. What is one food you’d never want to taste again?

Vienna sausages.  Yuck.

Ten On Tuesday

13 Apr

Check out everyone’s answers at Chelsea’s blog, Roots and Rings!

1. What book, movie or song has made you want to travel to a particular place? (eg. I went to Prince Edward Island because I was such a Anne of Green Gables fan)

Every Jane Austen, murder mystery, or romance novel has made me want to travel to England. The book In A Sunburned Country made me want to return to Australia.

2. Aside from your significant other, who would you want to take with you on a dream trip?

Hmm, maybe my friend Nicole, because she is adventurous and probably wouldn’t mind my obsession with museums.

3. Where would said dream trip be to?

India, Viet Nam, Australia, and Thailand. Maybe Russia and China while I’m over there.

4. If you were hosting guests or providing tips, what three things would you show visitors to your hometown? (be it where you live now or where you grew up)

Rice University campus, Hermann Park, and queso. Houston isn’t all concrete, but some of our best destinations are food, haha!

5. If you had a long weekend ahead of you, where you head – beach, city or country/mountains?

Beach – it’s gorgeous right now!

6. Do you have a passport? If so, did you get it for a particular trip or just to have, in case?

Yes, I got my passport when I went to Australia and New Zealand in high school, and since then have used it for France, England, and Mexico.

7. Are there any travel souvenirs you collect? If not, is there something else you collect?

I used to collect spoons, haha. That might be fun to start doing again.

8. If you could name a paint colour, what colour would it be and what would you call it?

Hmm. After painting our bedroom, I have concluded that I am not creative enough to be a paint inventor. Our room color is “chopsticks” – isn’t that adorable?

9. If you were heading away for a weekend citybreak solo, where would you go? (forget about practicality here and flight times, assume you can get to any city in the world for the weekend)

I would go to San Diego to visit my friends Shorty and Jimmy!

10. Is there a song or a smell or something that you strongly associate with a particular holiday/place/time, such that it always takes you back?

Yes, tons of them. The one that comes to mind is that acrylic plastic smell from an umbrella I had when I was little. Also, the sweetpea smell of my Strawberry Shortcake shampoo is still a vivid memory.

random: it’s such a small world

12 Apr

If you click on a post on Word Press, there are a couple of “automatically generated, possibly related posts” linked underneath, before the comments.  I noticed one under this week’s “Sunday Stills” post titled Sunday Stills, so I clicked it to see what it was.  Obviously I wasn’t very creative when I came up with a title for this series last year, as there is a whole system with real photoblogs posting Sunday Stills with themes and everything.  The weird thing is – the girl whose blog I randomly clicked on has pictures from the tiny suburb of Cleveland that my boyfriend is from, right at the top of the page.  (You should definitely go look – her photographs are lovely!)  And not only that, but down the page a bit are photographs from the tiny island in Florida that he and his family have visited for 3 generations.  I’ve posted some pictures from Boca Grande here, which is where we spent Thanksgiving this year.

Seriously, what are the odds that of all the millions of blogs, I would click through to someone’s blog who is from such familiar, tiny, unlikely places?

Chagrin Falls, OH

Old Lighthouse, Boca Grande, FL

guess what I’m doing right about now?

7 Apr

hint:

then, something like this:

Tragic – goodbye, 5 and 10

5 Apr

I can’t believe it.  After 60 years, the Variety Fair 5 and 10 in Rice Village is going out of business.  This has always been the place where you could find anything and everything.  In fact, I’ve mentioned the place several times here on the blog.

My dad’s criminal career began and ended one day in the Rice Village when he was about 11 years old.  He tried to shoplift some candy from the local 5 & 10, when he was caught by the proprietor, Mr. Klinger.  I’m not sure what Mr. Klinger said to my father, but it must have worked.  To my knowledge my dad was shamed and turned away from his life of crime.

Variety Fair 5 and 10, November 4, 2009

Please click the above link to read the whole thing.  I took a bunch of pictures that captured what the old store meant to me.

So sad.

Variety Fair Store Front

Variety Fair Store Front

Andrew's Halloween wig from Variety Fair