December 31, 2011

365: Debrief

I started this year with a crazy New Year's resolution: blog every day of 2011.  I started out writing lengthy, thought-out blog posts, even planned several days ahead.  But there just isn't enough stuff going on to sustain that kind of content, so things have devolved into "here's a photo."

Here's a photo.

All things considered, though, I'm putting this year's resolution in the "win" column.  Why?  Because, including today, I posted on 359 out of 365 days.  I missed less than a week in total, which is incredibly impressive for me, knowing my habit of leaving projects unfinished.

I won't try to write some deeply introspective summary of this year and what it's meant for my family and me.  I'll think about it, certainly, but -- especially after this particular year -- that's not the kind of thing I want to share with all and sundry who might stumble across this corner of internet.  Suffice to say that 2011 has been a year of experience, and may 2012 bring some brighter days for everyone.

My daily-blogging experiment is at an end, and I think I'll be emigrating from the Impermanent State, for a while, at least.  So with that, I'll end this year the way I began: with someone else's photo and a wish for a very Happy New Year.

happy new year 2012
Best wishes for 2012!

December 30, 2011

364: Millennium

Made it to a movie theater for the first time since June to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  It's a faithful adaptation of the book, and at least as good (if not a little better) than the original Swedish version with Noomi Rapace in the title role.  This English-language version actually seems to be more faithful to the original novel in some ways -- though I could be wrong, since I read the book a while ago.  I really enjoyed Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander and Daniel Craig was good (if very, very British) as Mikael Blomkvist.  I actually had trouble looking away from Mara whenever she was on the screen, which is saying something when she's acting opposite Daniel Craig.

Perhaps the best thing to come out of this adaptation, though, is the Trent Reznor-Karen O cover of "Immigrant Song" that ran over the teaser trailer and plays during the title sequence:

Speaking of the title sequence, it reminded me very strongly of the titles for Quantum of Solace, which might be why the whole movie sort of seemed like it could be an alternate-universe James Bond flick.  Also, Daniel Craig.

All told, Dragon Tattoo gets a thumbs-up from me, and I'd highly recommend it (to those old enough to see R-rated films, of course).

December 29, 2011

363: Things I missed in 2011

Pete Campbell and his bitchface
(delayed; due 2012)

The crew of the Enterprise
(endlessly delayed; due 2013)

Jack McCoy and the 27th precinct


December 28, 2011

362: Tumbling Downton

via whatisaweek-end on Tumblr

Lovely late-19th century sketch of Highclere Castle, which plays the role of Downton Abbey.
The second season starts airing on PBS's Masterpiece Classic on January 8th! Huzzah!

December 27, 2011

361: Wishlist

Vintage Whirling Eye Sterling Wide Cuff Bracelet from Mindi Lyn Jewelry

The next time I have $260 lying around, this will be the first thing I think of.

December 26, 2011

360: The city of old

Random Tumblr find of the day:

via Robot Cosmonaut on Tumblr

Minneapolis has some nice-looking office towers, but the drive through downtown would be a lot more interesting if the storefronts still looked like this.

December 25, 2011

359: Come on and let it snow

My favorite terrible Christmas song comes from the movie Love Actually, and it's the only holiday song I keep on my iPod year-round.  Enjoy the awful, really inappropriate music video for "Christmas is All Around" by Billy Mack (AKA Bill Nighy):

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2011

358: Yule Log

I can't stream the Yule Log, but I can offer this:
 From snowless Minnesota to wherever you are, a merry Christmas Eve to you!

December 23, 2011

357: Festive

So we got an iPad for my grandpa to use as an ereader, so I obviously have to play with the camera.
'Tis the season.

December 21, 2011

355: Reading is fun-damental

(click to view full-size)

These are the books from my completed-and-then-some 2011 50 Book Challenge on Goodreads.  I actually read more than this; I left a bunch of the romance novels off because the covers were just so heinous I couldn't bear to have them in the graphic.  With ten days left in 2011, I've read eighty-four books, seventy-two of which can be seen above.  One of the benefits of working only sporadically is that you get a lot of time for leisure reading.  On the downside, you're working only sporadically.  Ah, well.  Here's to a 2012 full of books and paychecks, yes?  Yes!

December 20, 2011

354: Bling

The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara
I lost at least an hour to The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor this morning, after a commenter on Tom & Lorenzo linked to it.  I'm a total magpie and fascinated by all those royals,'s kind of the perfect storm of casual interests.

Also, shiny.

December 19, 2011

353: Parapluie

La parapluie cassée
Notre-Dame de Paris, France, 2007.

I feel a little bit like this umbrella today.  Just...blerg.
I don't remember why I decided to shoot this photo, but I do remember standing outside Notre Dame on a very sunny day in Paris and seeing it sitting in the shrubbery.
Pauvre petite parapluie.

December 18, 2011

352: Gondor needs no GPS

File this under "things that have amused me today":

1) Go to Google Maps.
2) Get walking directions from "The Shire" to Mordor"
3) Profit:

December 17, 2011

351: Macro

Super-closeup moss stitch.
(Buy these gloves here.)

December 16, 2011


Because LIGHT BULBS are the real problem facing our country today:

(I love that even the reporter starts laughing at Sen. Coburn's secret lightbulb stash.)

This is the most ridiculous thing I've seen all week.
I can't even.

December 15, 2011

349: Overhead


This photo is three years old, but the bare branches look pretty much the same.  Now all we need is some snow.

December 14, 2011

December 13, 2011

347: Tributes

If it's nerdy to be excited about nail polish based on The Hunger Games, then LET'S NERD IT UP:

Each color corresponds (or at least seems to correspond) to one of the Districts in the series.  Via The Hob, they are:
Luxe and Lush – District 1 (Luxury)
Stone Cold – District 2 (Masonry)
Riveting – District 3 (Technology)
Hook and Line – District 4 (Fishing)
Electrify – District 5 (Power)
Fast Track – District 6 (Transportation)
Mahogany Magic – District 7 (Lumber)
Dress Me Up – District 8 (Textiles)
Harvest Moon – District 9 (Grain)
Foie Gras – District 10 (Livestock)
Agro – District 11 (Agriculture)
Smoke and Ashes – District 12 (Mining)
Don't mind me over here, I'll just be saving up my pennies.

December 12, 2011

346: Happy Valentine's Day, No One

I realize we're nowhere near Valentine's Day, but I just stumbled across this old 30 Rock clip, and it's still delightful:

December 11, 2011

345: Christmas at Downton

The Downton Abbey Christmas special looks awfully exciting.  Murder trials!  Punching!  Snow!  But will it ever air in this country?

December 10, 2011

344: Lights and sound

We put up the Christmas tree today.  In celebration, here's my favorite Christmas lights video:

December 9, 2011

343: Alcoho-ho-ho

If you're in Minnesota, North Dakota, or Wisconsin, consider buying yourself a Finnegans beer this month.  Why?  Let the Star Tribune tell you:
Throughout December, beer distributors will give donations that match sales of Finnegans beer, doubling the money going to food shelves. To find where it's sold near you:
(During the other eleven months of the year, 100% of profits from sale of the beer goes to local charities.)  Read the full article about Finnegans at the Strib's website here.

Relevant because I'm halfway through a bottle while writing this post.  Trufax.

December 8, 2011

342: Cold outside

I haven't seen most of the Sing-Off Christmas special, but this was darned cute:

December 7, 2011

341: Retro tourism

We're hosting Christmas for the first time in at least a decade (it's just too difficult to get a wheelchair-bound nonagenarian over the river and through the 'burbs to anyone else's house), so there's a lot of panicked cleaning and a little bit of discovering fun old stuff, like the late-seventies tourist brochures from Montreal:

sad shoe worm.

There was also a guide to food in New Orleans and the merch brochure for the 1970s(?) King Tut exhibit.

This concludes the crappy iPod photo slideshow.

December 6, 2011

340: Picturesque

Look at this gentle frakking snowfall.
It's just so goddamn picturesque.

(from this morning)

December 5, 2011

339: Harrowing

I admit it: I made an impulse buy today.
via TeeFury
 Because seriously, I can't not buy the $10 shirt featuring the only Boardwalk Empire character I still like.
Appropriate graphic:

December 4, 2011

338: Bloopers

Sometimes you just want to watch a bunch of blooper reels.
Here's one to get you started:

December 3, 2011

337: Winter

I wish I had a wintry photo of my own, but I was too busy trying to see through the snow while driving to pull out whatever camera-enabled devices I had on me.  Alas.  Here's one found on the Minneapolis tag on tumblr:

December 2, 2011

336: Chandelier

Semple Mansion, Minneapolis, 2009.

I'm not sure if I like this or not.
Slightly creepy.

December 1, 2011

335: Unsolicited sharing

Unexpected TV crushes from the last 365 days

Corey Stoll (Detective TJ Jaruszalski, Law & Order: Los Angeles)
Jack Huston (Richard Harrow, Boardwalk Empire)
Tobias Menzies (Brutus, Rome)
Alan Cumming (Eli Gold, The Good Wife)
Matt Bomer (Neal Caffrey, White Collar)

Although, honestly, I should’ve seen that last one coming.

November 30, 2011

334: The Broken Ones

Dia Frampton was my favorite from the first season of The Voice.  I...don't really know what's going on in this video?  But I like the song, and I'm looking forward to her album.

November 29, 2011

333: Campus flashback

Daily Commute
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2006.

Going way back into the archives for this shot of my daily commute from the U of M's West Bank to the East Bank campus, back when I lived in Middlebrook Hall.  I believe this part of the Washington Avenue bridge is now fenced off and inaccessible during Light Rail construction.  Trufax.

November 28, 2011

332: Consumer ennui

I don't know about you, Internet, but I just cannot get into the whole Black Friday-Small Business Saturday-Cyber Monday thing this year.  I mean, yes, I did buy the Law & Order: Los Angeles box set for 67% off this afternoon, and a snow shovel for half off at the local hardware store on Saturday, but everything else I bought this weekend was just stuff I would have gotten anyway -- like food.

Maybe it's because I've been waiting for three weeks for a paycheck.  Maybe it's because I want everything to cost less than $30 (and therefore irrationally hold out for a better sale, when I can almost guarantee there won't be deeper price cuts any time soon).  Maybe it's because almost nothing I had my eye on went on sale this weekend.  All of the above, probably.

In any case, I hope everyone else had a better thrifty money-spending weekend than I did.

November 27, 2011

331: When in doubt... a photo of animals making faces.

Minnesota Zoo, 2009.


November 26, 2011

330: Jingle Bells

Well, it's that time of year.  The day after Thanksgiving is when I put all my Christmas music into rotation, and the first holiday song came up in shuffle today.  It was one of last year's additions, Straight No Chaser's "Twelve Days of Christmas," which everyone should know, because it is hilarious (to me):

November 25, 2011

329: Stuffed

Well, our Thanksgiving was predictably chaotic.  Belligerent 90-year-olds will never make it easy, so we didn't make it to my uncle's house for Thanksgiving dinner.  Therefore, he brought leftovers over this afternoon and we had our turkey dinner tonight.  Thus I am stuffed and groggy, and I hope that you, anonymous blog reader, had a similarly satisfying food encounter whenever and wherever you celebrated the big day.

Now, bring on the holiday music season.

November 24, 2011

328: The Butterball Hotline

Possibly my favorite Thanksgiving clip ever, and certainly the best from The West Wing.  President Bartlet calls the Butterball hotline:

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2011

327: Soft on Turkeys

On the day before Thanksgiving, allow me to share my second-favorite Thanksgiving storyline from The West Wing.  This is from season two's "Shibboleth":

Allison Janney is a national treasure.

November 22, 2011

326: Focus


I'm not sure any part of this photo is actually in focus.

November 21, 2011

325: I don't even

This is the sort of thing that happens when you spend too much time thinking about what would happen if the Doctor met characters from your other favorite shows.

The body was fresh. At least, that was Lanie’s best guess. “Drained dry,” she told Beckett. “As far as I can tell, your victim’s got no blood.” An officer pointed out a man among the looky-loos and said he’d asked to speak to the lead detective. Beckett followed the uni to the tape line and gave the guy a once-over. Tall, white, thirties. Unruly hair. Brown pin-striped suit, long trench coat. Sneakers. Interesting.

“You’re in charge here?” he asked as she approached. He had a London accent.

“Detective Kate Beckett. Who are you?”

"I’m the Doctor,” he replied, as though it meant something. “Tell me, Detective Kate Beckett, do you have a bloodless murder victim in that alleyway back there?”

Beckett narrowed her eyes. “How did you know that?”

“Because somewhere in this city, there’s a Plasmavore hiding in plain sight, just waiting to drain someone else dry. You’ll never find him with fingerprints or forensics, and if you don’t find him soon, the Judoon will sweep in, and believe me, you do not want them scanning first and asking questions later. You need an expert, Detective. You need me.”

Beckett laughed. “In this job, Doctor, I can believe a lot of things, but that line of bull you just fed me? Not one of them.”

The stranger looked grave for a long moment. Suddenly, a wide grin lit his face. “Oh, we’ll see about that, Kate.”

November 20, 2011

324: Specs

Because "trying on" glasses via computer is never not awkward.
Also, a website that refuses to provide prices for its frames is probably a website I can't afford.

November 19, 2011

323: Doing good

Stopped by the only liquor store in the area that sells Finnegans (100% of profits go to local charities!) to stock up before the snowstorm.  Of course, then I headed back out to go to lunch at Good Day Cafe and steered through the first skid of the year!  It's going to be a long winter...but at least we'll have beer.

November 18, 2011

322: Beware the Ides of March

Yup, just blasted through season 1 of Rome while alternately a) chatting with friends who were also watching it, and b) feeling gross and running a fever after my flu shot.  It's basically a show about the most British Romans you ever did see, navigating the wretched wasteland of the past.  It's also sometimes a show about how much the Roman gods love Titus Pullo, and go out of their way to let good things happen to him at the unlikeliest of times.  It's a well-written series in which you know that no one will ever be happy, and most of the characters will die in horrible ways, but damn if you don't just want to find out what happens anyway.

Highly recommended.  I'm starting season 2 this weekend.

November 17, 2011

321: Haircut redux

Seven inches shorter.  Heck yes.

November 16, 2011

320: Bling

Instagram, 2011.

Sometimes you just want to wear the fancy earrings.

November 15, 2011

319: Coppers

Law & Order: UK proves that every show, no matter how serious, should have a blooper reel.

November 14, 2011

318: May the odds be ever in your favor

Everything is The Hunger Games and there is nothing wrong with that.

November 13, 2011

317: Floral flashback

Ferry Building, San Francisco, 2008.

Because winter is coming, and we'll need some bright colors.

November 12, 2011

316: Beautiful Portals

I've been hanging out on Tumblr for a while (and appreciating television with a friend).  I always like when posts from Beautiful Portals come up on my dashboard, because they're always nice to look at (see above).

November 11, 2011

315: Veterans Day

Jardin des Plantes, Montpellier, France, 2007.
Whether it's Veterans Day or Remembrance Day in your part of the world, take a moment to commemorate the service and sacrifice of those who fought and those who are still fighting.
And to all veterans, including my grandfather (a Korean War vet), thank you for your service.

November 10, 2011

314: One-eighty

So, one of the odd and difficult things about living with a nonagenarian with a myriad of health problems is that she can be impossible to get out of bed -- or deadweight when you do get her out -- one day, and wheeling herself around the kitchen, back to her more-or-less-healthy baseline two days later.  My mom and I actually cleared a path the other day for what looked like an inevitable visit from the paramedics.  But now, the patient is back to getting herself in and out of bed, when it took three of us to get her into the wheelchair yesterday.

So who knows what might be next?  Not me, certainly.

November 9, 2011

313: Ugh.

It's been another washing-urine-soaked-sheets couple of days, so...this half-assed blogging project is taking a backseat to real life.

That is all.

November 7, 2011

311: Look at all this paper

Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni on The Good Wife makes up for all the soapy melodrama with Alicia's life.  She has trouble with technology, appreciates cupcakes, and wants her parking validated.  She also likes that color on you.

(Also-also, I love that Carrie Preston is married to Michael "Ben Linus" Emerson in real life.)

November 6, 2011

310: Nîmes

Nîmes, France, 2007.

Reinforced arches at the Roman arena in Nîmes.

November 5, 2011

309: Somebody stop me

Downton meets Boardwalk.

No, really, I don't want to talk about Photoshop, Downton Abbey, or Boardwalk Empire.
Or what I do with my spare time.

November 4, 2011

308: "I'm a soldier."

Look, I don't want to talk about my Photoshop problem or my weird fascination with Richard Harrow on Boardwalk Empire.


November 3, 2011

307: Yuck.

Not really in a blogging mood. Everyone's vomiting, falling down, going blind, or exasperated tonight, so...I'm taking the night off.

November 2, 2011

306: Nothing but charm

Oh, don't mind me, I'm just planning for my imaginary dream house.

November 1, 2011

305: Gastown

Vancouver, Canada, 2011.

Vancouver's Steam Clock, from my trip in August.

October 31, 2011

304: Witches' Brew

Back in the old days, we used to sing this in music class with Mrs. Ryan every Halloween, and everyone loved it.  So in the name of nostalgia, have some "Witches' Brew."

Also, 20 years ago today, we were buried under three feet of snow and I was dressed up as a princess. In snowpants.  Happy Halloween/Blizzard Anniversary!

October 30, 2011

303: Portal

Photoshopped?  Sure.
Still awesome?  Obviously.

October 29, 2011

302: Goldy

The athletic fellows from my alma mater apparently beat Iowa today, but the real entertainment -- for me, at home, on Twitter -- was Goldy Gopher's Halloween costumes:
First quarter: Buzz Lightyear