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Top 10 Great Things About No Longer Being Pregnant

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1. My gorgeous, non-swollen feet.
2. Losing 30 lbs in 11 days, like magic!
3. Nobody asking me if this baby has been born yet.
4. I can eat far, far more.
5. I pee far, far less often.
6. No ominous feeling of dread about labor.
7. Working my way back into my real clothes.
8. No heartburn.
9. Getting to use all the cute baby stuff I've been collecting.
10. Him.

1 Comments

you were not kidding about how long his feet are!

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Care package companies: the breakdown

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I am a girl who loves to send a care package (love to receive them, too!). Nothing excites me quite like picking out a bunch of "I hope this makes you smile!" items, packing them up, and mailing them to someone I love. Except, of course, for the actual packing and mailing part. See, I love to CONCEPTUALIZE care packages, and buy things for them, but I'm less into the logistical aspects. And, sometimes, I just can't seem to get it done at all.

So, I started to poke around to see if someone else was doing it for me. I envisioned a company making up and sending out care packages that could be customized, little gifts that would let my family or friends know I was thinking of them, without my ever having to do so much as find my packing tape. And there are a number of these companies, so I thought I'd build a list (because if there's something I love as much as a care package, it's a list) for my own reference, and for your information. This is what I found:

Carepackages.com: Focused on packages for college students, including specialty packages for holidays and themed packages like "healthy options" and "graduation." Packages range in price from $20-$85 (and a few non-college student centered options are included) plus S&H. Most packages seem to consist largely of name brand junk food.

GourmetGiftBaskets.com: The care package section of the site features various food-based care packages for intended recipients including college students, service members, and children away at camp. Packages range from $34.99-$59.99, plus S&H. Focus of most is on junk/snack food, though the children's options also include games, toys, and art materials. The rest of the site, however, includes gift baskets for every imaginable intended recipient, from "mini-baskets" for under $25 through huge executive gift hampers for up to $250.

Care4Troops: Though the focus is on care packages for service members, there are also options for college students and friends and family members. Packages start at $28 and go up, and there are options to design your own packages. Items available include candy, snack foods, and small toys/gifts. S&H is included in package prices.

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Ultimate Party Animal Package from Custom Care Packages, $37.79

Custom Care Packages: This Utah-based company focuses on care packages for students, military members, and missionaries, as well as a few corporate offerings. Packages range from $15.49-$62.66, plus S&H, with various add-on options also available. The usual candy and snack options are included, as are a variety of homemade baked goods. A "party animal" package also includes party fixings like streamers, a mini pinata, balloons, and a mini disco ball.

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Get Well Sooner Care Package from Hip Kits, $49.97-$59.97

Hip Kits: Hip Kits is another company focused on care packages for college students. Packages are available for holidays, exams, or "just because." Prices range from $19.97-$73.97, plus S&H, with most packages available in two sizes and at two price points. Again, the packages are largely junk food-based, but other options are also available, including a healthy snack options package, a "pampering" package, and a "now what??" graduation survival package.

Beyond Bookmarks: Affiliated with Hip Kits, Beyond Bookmarks offers the same types of packages, but also has offerings for kids at camp, service members, and corporate recipients.

Care Package Cafe: Once again, focused on college student care packages, mostly of the junk food variety. Prices range from $39.95-$49.95, plus S&H. They do offer two "healthy snack" options.

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Mommy's Hospital Overnight Bag Care Package from Minimus, $39.95

Minimus: Minimus has the most extensive offerings I found. They offer packages, called kits, in categories as broadly ranging as Baby & Family, Camp & Outdoors, Romance, Office & Work, and "The Bachelor Guy." Prices are extremely wide-ranging, from a few dollars for basic shaving/toiletry kits to several hundred dollars for train cases full of fancy toiletries. It seems you can find almost anything here. Some of my favorites include the Office Survival Kit (how great as a congratulations present for someone with a new job!) and the Al Naturale Mom-To-Be Kit (maybe as a gift for a pregnant lady about to go into labor?). They also offer an impressively wide variety of military-specific kits and really cool looking care-package-of-the-month clubs for college students and service members.

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Movie Break Package from Semper Finest, $46

Semper Finest: Semper Finest is intended for sending care packages to Marines and other members of the military serving overseas, and also has options for overseas service members to send care packages to their families at home. Packages range from $30-$67, plus S&H, and can also be customized. Offerings are not all food based, with packages including a "Just for Girls" self-care package for deployed women and the heartbreaking "You're a Dad!" package for men whose children are born while they are overseas.

Package To Go: Package to Go is another site focused on care packages for college students. Packages are available on themes or "just because," and most are snack/junk food. Prices range from $35.50-$69.50 and include USPS Priority Mail shipping.

Show Ya Care: Show Ya Care offers packages for college students, campers, and service members, as well as "baby and home" and "just because" packages and seasonal offerings. Prices range from $38-$49.99 and include shipping. Most of the packages are the same type of junk/snack food offerings found elsewhere, but also include small toys, games, and other items.

Sealed with a Kiss (SWAK): SWAK focuses on packages for kids at summer camp. They offer ready-made packages from $25-$62, or customers can build their own for $35-$100. Shipping starts at $11.95/package. Most packages are NOT food based, but rather include toys, games, kids' beauty products, art supplies, etc.

My Care Package: My Care Package offers packages for campers, college students, and wedding guests. Packages range from $51-$69 for campers, with other offering priced not listed on the site. The packages shown on the site are not food based, but rather include toys, art supplies, etc.

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Detox-O-Box from Box-O-Box, $49.99

Box-O-Box: Billing itself as "the world's greatest care package," Box-O-Box focuses on college student packages. Themes include "Movie Night," "Pamper Yourself," and "Detox-O-Box," and seasonal boxes are also available. Prices range from $39.99-$59.99 plus S&H and are largely food-focused, though they do include other things as well.

Camp Pacs: Camp Pacs focuses on packages for campers, with options ranging from $35-$50, plus S&H. There are also smaller, $10 packages available for your child's bunkmate(s) and/or counselor(s). Each care package is customized by age, gender, favorite colors, and likes and dislikes of the camper. There is also an option to create your own package.

The Wrinkled Egg: This one gets my award for most innovative company name! The Wrinkled Egg offers both pre-built and fully customizable packages for students and campers ranging from $35-$100, plus S&H, as well as the option to build your own package. The camp packages are full of toys, games, and supplies rather than snacks.

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Old MacDonald Welcome Wagon from All About Gifts & Baskets, $105

All About Gifts & Baskets: This site offers snack-based care packages for college students and service members, ranging in price from $25-$75 (plus S&H), and also has a few less common options, including pet gift baskets ($40-$65), housewarming gift baskets ($39-$112), and tons of new baby gift basket options ($30-$195).

Care Package XPress: This is a service intended for campers or college students, featuring mostly snack-based packages. Packages range from $36.95-$46.95, plus S&H. One thing I noticed that was interesting was the offer of a gluten-free and kosher package.

Giddy Gift Box: Giddy Gift Box offers care packages for students, campers, and soldiers, as well as general boxes for men, women, kids, and families. Prices range from $9.99-$49.99, plus S&H, with the option to design your own package or add to existing ones. Most packages are snack-based, but the site does offer a few non-snack options.

Baskets by Rita: Baskets by Rita offers mostly care packages for professionals and guests, including a Bar Exam Care Package and a Tax Relief Gift Basket. Most are snack-based, but the caliber of the snacks is a bit higher than the college student-focused services. Prices range from $30-$69, plus S&H.

Kosher Care Packages: This company offers kosher options for all the typical care package types, including students, campers, and corporate recipients. They also do gift baskets for holidays and events and allow custom packages. Prices range from $25-$150 plus S&H. Some packages are available only in the US, others only in Israel.

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Korean Japchae - Sweet Potato Noodle Dinner Kit from Destination Dinners, $35

Destination Dinners: These aren't typical care packages--Destination Dinners send packages called "Recipe Kits" of instructions, shopping lists, and pre-measured spices and specialty ingredients to help you create meals from around the world, with offerings as diverse as Korean bulgogi, Lebanese kibbeh bil-saneeyeh, and Creole-style jambalaya from New Orleans. The kits cost $30 each (plus S&H) and make enough for 6-8 adults. They also offer "Dinner Party Kits," which combine the recipe kits with flatware, table settings, and/or cooking utensils. These range from $40-$75, plus S&H.

Pleasant Surprises: Pleasant Surprises offers gift baskets more than care packages, but really, what's the difference? They have baskets for all manner of intended recipient, with prices ranging from $34.95-$169.95, plus S&H. The baskets feature a lot of slightly higher-end food items, as well as mugs, tea pots, and other small gifts.

Cherry Moon Farms: A general gift site, Cherry Moon Farms has an extensive collection of gift basket/care packages for all types of recipients. Prices range from $19.99-$129.99, plus S&H, and include higher end snack foods, fruits, cheeses, coffee and tea, and spa products.

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Bath & Body Invigoration Basket from Gift Tree, $29.95

Gift Tree: Gift Tree is another gift site with a large number of basket offerings. Baskets range from $19.95-$899.95, and are intended for both personal and corporate gifting. Two that appealed to me were the Bath & Body Invigoration Basket, featuring Burt's Bees products and the Sweet Nostalgia candy basket, packaged in a retro lunch box.

1-800-Baskets: This is the gift basket arm of 1-800-FLOWERS, and they have a wide variety of baskets available in prices ranging from $19.99-$229.99. There are a lot of typical offerings--fruit, cheese baskets, etc, but also a few interesting things, including the New Baby Gift Pail Solution Station and the Award Winning Stubbs® Authentic Barbecue Gift Set.

Art of Appreciation: Art of Appreciation offers gift baskets for individuals and corporate giving, with a wide range of price points. There are baskets for children ($19.99-$69.99), teens ($19.99-$49.99), and adults ($19.99-$149.99). Gift baskets include the typical snacks, teas and coffees, etc.

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Marathon Runner Gift Basket from Well Baskets, $79.99

Well Baskets: Well Baskets offers "healthy" gift baskets for recipients including children, college students, and various types of adult. They have international theme food baskets ($35-$95), baskets intended for cancer patients ($39.95-$165), and an extensive selection of vegetarian and vegan baskets ($15-$425). Some unique offerings I noticed were the baskets for marathon runners ($55-$175) and the memory enhancement basket, which features foods thought to contribute to memory.

Nikki's Gift Baskets: Like the other gift basket sites, Nikki's offers a variety of baskets, for many types of recipients and occasions. Prices range from $19.99-$94.99, plus S&H. Many baskets are snack-based, others include baby clothes, bath supplies, etc.

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Home Away From Home Care Package from Organic Stores, $49.98

Organic Stores: Organic stores offers a selection of gift baskets for babies, kids, pets, and adults (many of which are not made up of organic products, which seems strange). Prices range from $24.98-$137.79 (plus S&H). Most of the offerings looked pretty typical, but I did like the Home Away From Home care package, featuring laundry supplies as well as as snacks, and the Family Game Night care package, which includes snacks and games.

Carepackage.org: A bit different than the others on this list, but I couldn't leave it out. This site allows you to build a virtual care package for woman in need somewhere around the world. There are options to build individual or group packages, with contents including training health care workers, buying school supplies, and providing food assistance.

6 Comments

Great list!! I may have to try that Destination Dinner kit....

I can attest to the awesomeness of the Destination Dinners. Thank you so much, Grace!

I have worked with a volunteer with Wounded Warriors on care packages and am thinking about starting a care package company that specializes in local Hawaii snacks. I would like to know what you think about that. Part of my interest is to put aside some of the profits for the Wounded Warriors Project. I am worked with a retired commander and I see that this would be a good way to make some money for the project and to also help me survive as I am unemployed. I would enjoy doing this kind of thing as I have experience with being a part of a canteen.

Have you checked out Redship.com? What's unique about RedShip is packages are not shipped in plain old brown boxes but giant red tubes. That's half the fun, curiosity of what could possibly be inside!
We've researched top snack foods throug focus groups and also attend the largest international snack expo to make sure the goodies are the best of the best. PLUS we ad some hard to find surprises and fresh baked goods. Packages are $44.95-$94.94 with flat rate shipping $6.95.
Oh and we also have a "buy one give one" program so each time you purchase we provide a meal through Feeding America:)

Thanks for this comprehensive list Grace! It was very helpful when I was searching for care packages to send to my daughter in college.
We ended up going with Doteable, they were advertising on her school campus when we visited and seemed to know college students well http://doteable.com
Her first package included a ton of stuff: a t-shirt, scarf, wristlet, socks, underwear, razor, and hair ties. And I'm pretty sure she's going to use every single one of them, so I think it's money well-spent. ($45/month including S&H, first month is only $30) They're a subscription service, but you can opt out any month you want.
I think I'm going to look forward to her getting them and telling me what's in each month's package!

Hi. I really love all of these great sites. I also came across a site:

rizngstar.i8.com
and
blowakisscare@inbox.com

they were sooo professional for the price. They actually specialize in 'unique' packaging. I sent one to my niece and my ailing grandmother and they were so impressed. I spent less than $60 for two baskets.

I hope this helps. Their order line is: (704) 280-3606

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I originally published this post back in September, but the curated subscription box market has EXPLODED since then, and I've been trying to keep up with it, so I thought it might be good to re-post it and see if any of you wise readers have any additions?

***

I love magazine subscriptions. In part, this is because I love magazines--my attention span is just about magazine article length and I like pretty pictures. The bigger reason, though, is that I love love love mail. And reoccurring mail is my very favorite. I've been a Columbia House used-to-be-Record Club subscriber at least a dozen times. I'll sign up for a sample of just about anything. I just like it when something comes in the mail for me.

Turns out, I'm not alone. Lots of us love receiving mail, and when it's good mail, something we picked out, or, even better, a surprise that was curated for us? (Curated, in this case, just meaning selected based on our likes/dislikes by some sort of authority.) We're sold. That's what drew me to the independent business sample boxes I've reviewed here before, and to Birchbox more recently. And I'm so enamored with Birchbox, I started nosing around for more things like it.

And I found far more than I'd expected I would. Turns out, these "curated subscription services," wherein you receive periodic shipments of something that was either picked for you, or picked by you from options picked for you, are sorta the next big thing. They're popping up everywhere, for all sorts of products, and they're hot hot hot. I found dozens of them. And I did not find any sort of comprehensive list. So, I thought I'd try to fill that space and provide a list.

Please realize that I have NOT tried all of these, or even most of these, services. This list is not an endorsement; it's simply an overview of what I found in this space. And it is, but necessity, a work in progress--most of these companies are new, and some will fail, and new ones will pop up. So please, if you see anything I omitted, or anything that is here that doesn't, as you are reading this, exist anymore, let me know and I'll update.

Now, for what I found:

(A note on pricing: many of these services have a price cut if you sign up for several months at once. For the sake of simplicity, the prices I am quoting are their highest prices, generally for a single month.)

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Beauty

United States
Birchbox: 3-5 deluxe makeup/beauty samples each month, curated, $10 including S&H. This is one I can vouch for--I've had a subscription for nearly a year, I love it, it's more than worth the $10/month.

For my Birchbox reviews, go here, here, and here!

Julep Maven: 3-5 nail polishes and treatments each month, curated, $15 including S&H.

Beautyfix: 8 full-sized makeup/beauty products, selected by you from a group of options, sent quarterly. $49.95 including S&H.

For my Beautyfix review, go here!

New Beauty Test Tube: deluxe makeup/beauty samples, some full sized, curated, sent quarterly. $29.95 + $8.95 S&H.

For my New Beauty Test Tube reviews, go here and here!

Smallflower Bath of the Month Club:curated bath products, sent monthly. $85/3 month subscription.

Added 10/17/11: The Little Black Box: This is one of several monthly sample boxes for independent/handmade beauty products, as well as other things like candles and edibles. Boxes are $20/month including S&H.

Added 10/17/11: Out of the Box Sampler: Out of the Box sampler is another sampler of independent and handmade businesses. It is available for $22/month including S&H.

Added 10/17/11: Makeup Monthly: Makeup Monthly offers clubs for nails, makeup, or beauty care. The clubs are $20, $30, and $35/month respectively, including S&H, and subscriptions are available for 3, 6, or 12 months.

Added 03/05/12: The Look Bag: The Look Bag is a Birchbox-esque sampler box offering 4-5 beauty samples in each monthly offering. It is curated by celebrity beautician Damone Roberts. The cost is $10/month, S&H included.

For my Look Bag review, go here!

Added 03/19/12: The Soap Box: A quarterly offering of 8 mini-sized bath products from Fortune Cookie Soap. $19.99/quarter, S&H included.

Added 03/19/12: Kara's Way: 5-10 eco-friendly beauty samples, sent monthly. $15/month including S&H.

Added 03/19/12: My Glam: 4-5 beauty product samples, sent monthly. $10/month including S&H.

Added 03/19/12: Beauty Box 5: 4-5 beauty product samples, sent monthly. $12/month including S&H.

For my Beauty Box 5 review, go here!

Added 03/19/12: Beauty Army: Up to 6 samples of our own choosing, delivered monthly. $12/month including S&H.

For my Beauty Army review, go here!

Added 04/02/12: Sindulge: Monthly delivery of 4-5 sample products selected by beauty experts after customer chat conferences. $12/month including S&H.

Added 04/02/12: Sample Society: A Birchbox-like offering from Beauty Bar, sends 5 deluxe sized samples and a mini-magazine each month. $15/month including S&H.

Added 05/23/12: CurlBox: For $20/month, including S&H, subscribers receive 5-7 samples of products intended for curly hair.

Added 05/23/12: Beauty Cache: Seasonal/quarterly boxes include various deluxe samples and one full-sized "mystery" item. Cost is $29.95 plus S&H.

For my Beauty Cache review, go here!

Added 05/23/12: Glossybox US: The US-invasion of British superstar beauty box Glossybox, this box offers 5 "travel-sized" beauty products each month, for $21 including S&H.

For my Glossybox US review, go here!

Added 05/24/12: Total Beauty Collection: One-off boxes instead of a subscription, Total Beauty Collection sends 4-6 deluxe samples in each box, for $15 including S&H.

For my Total Beauty Collection review, go here!

Added 10/15/12: Wantable: Wantable is a slightly different model--they create a seasonal makeup kit based on your profile, and send it along with instructions to use it to create several complete looks. Each kit contains 6-7 full-sized items.The cost is $39.95 including S&H.

Canada
Loose Button Luxe Box: 4-5 curated deluxe beauty samples, sent monthly. $12 CND/month including S&H.

Glymm: 4-5 curated deluxe beauty samples, sent monthly. $10 CND/month including S&H.

Added 10/17/11: Sweet Delight Divalicious Sample Box: Sweet Delights Divalicious box focuses mostly on handmade/independent beauty products. Boxes are $26 CND including shipping to Canada or the US.

Added 05/23/12: Glossybox Canada: Britain's Glossybox is also available in Canada! For $15 CND/month, including S&H, you get 5 travel-sized beauty samples.

Added 05/23/12: Topbox: For $10 CND/month (including S&H), Topbox sends four deluxe sized beauty samples.

Australia

Haute Box: deluxe beauty samples, send monthly, not yet launched

Added 10/17/11: The Lust Pack: The Lust Pack is a monthly 5-6 deluxe sample delivery. The cost is $14.95/month including S&H.

UK
Glossybox: 5 curated high-end beauty miniatures, sent monthly. £10.00/month + £2.95 S&H.
Updated 04/02/12: Glossybox is expanding to the USA soon!

Added 10/14/11: Amarya Beauty Box: For £10 per month, Amarya sends at least one full-sized product, along with multiple samples or trial sizes.

Added 10/14/11: Bourdoir Prive: Works just like Birchbox-- £10/month including S&H and they send 5-6 deluxe samples.

Added 06/26/12: SheSaidBeauty Box: For £9.00/month, plus postage, SheSaidBeauty sends a box of five beauty samples to customers in the UK and Ireland.

Added 06/26/12: JolieBox UK For £10/month, plus postage, JolieBox sends 4-5 exclusive beauty samples to the UK. There is also a French version.

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Kids/Parenting

United States
Citrus Lane: 4-5 curated baby products, tailored to baby's age (newborn through 18 months), sent monthly. $25/month including S&H.

For my Citrus Lane reviews, go here and here!

Bluum: 4-5 deluxe baby-related product samples, sent monthly, $12/month including S&H.

Little Passports: information about and "souvenirs" from a different country sent every month, geared towards kids. $11.95/month plus S&H. I really, really love the idea of this one. If anybody out there does it, please drop me a message--I'd love to run a review.

Babba Box: curated monthly box with all supplies needed to do 3-4 projects with a 3-6 year old child. $29.99/month including S&H. This is another one that really intrigues me, and I'd love to run a review if anybody has used it.

Added 10/11/11: KiwiCrate: much the same model as Babba Box, KiwiCrate is a monthly delivery of supplies for craft projects suited for a 3-6 year old child. It is $19.99/month including S&H.

Added 10/17/11: Fluff of the Month Club: Cloth diapers! For $22.50/month including S&H, you receive a cloth diaper delivery. Subscriptions are available for 4, 6, or 9 months, and you choose the style and size of diaper you want.

Added 10/17/11: KraftyKid Craft Clubs: KraftyKid offers lots of different options, with basic clubs, deluxe clubs, and clubs for teachers. They have clubs available for 3-6 year old kids and 7-10 year old kids. Prices vary.

Added 03/13/12: Wittlebee: Along the same lines as some of the clothing basic clubs for men, Wittlebee sends a monthly box of clothes for your child. The box includes 8 basic items (leggings, onesies, etc.) each month and costs $39.99 including S&H.

For my Wittlebee review, go here!

Added 03/19/12: Honest Company: A selection of self-selected eco-conscious diapers and/or household and bath and body products, sent monthly. Price dependent on products selected.

Added 03/21/12: petiteBox: 4-7 "mommy and baby" products sent monthly. $25/month including S&H.

For my petiteBox review, go here!

08/28/12 note: petiteBox is currently suspending services.

Added 03/27/12: Green Kid Crafts: Monthly delivery of three open-ended craft kits for kids, focused on green supplies and international calendar awareness. Available in three, six, and twelve month subscriptions for about $15/month, including S&H.

Added 05/23/12: Spark Box: For $34.95/box , including S&H, Spark Box sends a box of four or more educational toys. You keep them for four weeks or more, and when you return them, you get another box.

Added 06/20/12: Little Pnuts: Little PNuts also sends toys, curated by the age of your child, but they are yours to keep, and they're all "sustainably made, ecologically friendly, organic, and naturally made." The cost is $25/month, but toy deliveries (of 3-5 toys) are only every three months.

Added 06/25/12: StorkStack: For $28/month, StorkStack sends 5 deluxe products for moms and babies from birth-3 years.

Added 06/26/12: TeetheMe: Along the same lines as Citrus Lane, TeetheMe sends a monthly box of 4-5 products, tailored to the age of your child. The cost is $24/month including S&H.

Added 06/27/12: Ecocentric Mom: For $17/month including S&H, Ecocentric Mom offers three choices in boxes--a mom centered box, a mom-to-be centered box, and a box for babies newborn-18 months. All boxes contain 5-6 earth-friendly products in a mix of full and sample sizes.

For my Ecocentric Mom review, go here.

Added 08/27/12: Taddle Kids: Like Wittlebee, Taddle Kids sends a monthly box of clothing. $39.99/month including S&H for a minimum of 8 items.

Added 08/27/12: PickyBunny: PickyBunny is a slightly different kids' clothing service--gently used clothes! Prices are based on the "level" of the clothing brands, from budget brands for $19.99/month to boutique brands for $69.99. Each box contains seven clothing items.

Added 10/12/15: FabKids: FabKids is a children's clothing subscription program focused on girls. Clients pick an outfit each month from a curated selection. The cost is $39.99/month.

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Green Products

Blissmobox: you choose between curated monthly collections of eco-friendly and organic products in several categories (this month had a beauty box, a tea and snacks box, and a romance/sex box, other months have had cleaning/laundry boxes, summer snack boxes, etc.) $19/month + $3 S&H. This is another one I'm planning to try out, so watch for a review in the future.

Eco-Emi: curated green/natural product samples delivered monthly. $15/month including S&H. Available outside the US for $30/month. Currently has a waiting list for new customers.

Goodebox: curated monthly samples of green beauty, health, and wellness products. $15/month including S&H.

For my Goodebox review, go here!

Uncover Me Naturals Soap of the Month Club: monthly delivery of six bars of natural soap. $25/month including S&H.

Added 10/12/11: Conscious Box: a curated monthly collection of various environmentally conscious products, based on a monthly theme. Products include food and health and beauty offerings. $12/month plus $7 S&H.

Added 10/20/11: Herbaria Soap of the Month Club: A smaller scale soap-of-the-month offering, Heraria sends 1 hand-crafted bar each month, for an $88 annual subscription cost.

Added 03/19/12: White Apricot's Green Grab Bag: 6-10 eco beauty product samples, sent monthly. $15/month including S&H.

For my Green Grab Bag review, go here!

Added 05/23/12: Kara's Way: 5-10 eco beauty samples delivered each month for $15/month including S&H.

For my Kara's Way review, go here!

Added 08/27/12: Yuzen: For $26/month including S&H, Yuzen sends a "Zen-inspired" box of about 5 natural and organic products.

Added 08/27/12: WellyBox: For $25/month, plus $4.95 S&H, WellyBox sends a monthly assortment of organic and eco products.

Added 10/15/12: MightyPacks: MightyPacks are filled with co-conscious products for home and family. They are available in every 4 week and every 8 week subscriptions. You can choose between different types of packs (kitchen, bath, or surprise), and they are $30/each including S&H.

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Food

United States
Turntable Kitchen Pairings Box: This is a cool concept. Each month, they deliver a food and music pairing--a limited edition 7" vinyl two-track along with a downloadable digital mixtape, and the recipes and ideas for a dinner party to go along with the music, along with 1-2 premium specialty ingredients to make them. Not exactly up my alley, but fascinating. $25/month including S&H.

Healthy Surprise: monthly delivery of curated healthy vegan snacks. Prices vary by package size: $33/month + $5 S&H for 5-10 snacks through $250/month including S&H for 70-80 snacks.

PaleoPax: monthly curated selection of 5 paleo snacks. $20/month including S&H.

Steepster Select: 3 2-3 oz pouches of curated premium loose leaf tea each month. $19/month including S&H.

Craft Coffee: 3 12 oz bags of coffee, curated from different small roasters, each month, along with tasting notes. $24.99/month including S&H.

Added 10/14/11: Black Box Dessert Club: High end desserts, varied based on your region, right to your door! This club is not cheap--a single month is $65-$85 depending on the box--but contains 6-8 full size artisan desserts.

Added 10/17/11: Adagio Tea of the Month Club: Adagio makes really good tea. Their tea of the month club, available in 6 or 12 month increments, and in flavored, herbal, black, decaf, and green & oolong varieties, sends two bags of loose tea (enough for approximately 80 cups) every other month. Prices are $39-$49 for six month and $69-$89 for twelve month subscriptions.

Added 10/17/11: Citizen Bean: Every month, Citizen Bean sends a pound of sustainable small-batch roasted whole bean coffee, along with extras. The cost is $79.99 for three months, $129.99 for six, and $219.99 for a full year.

Added 10/17/11: Anchor Chip of the Month Club: Every month, Anchor sends regional, unusual potato chips. Subscriptions are available in 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 month increments of various sizes, starting at $13/month.

Added 03/19/12: Love with Food: Monthly delivery of samples of 4-5 gourmet food products. $14/month, S&H included.

Added 04/11/12: Samplrs: Monthly delivery of 4-6 full-sized products from local food artisans, all packed in a reusable canvas bag. Vegetarian option also available. $29.99/month including S&H.

Added 05/23/12: NatureBox: For $19.95/month, including S&H, NatureBox sends 4-5 full-sized packages of "healthy, locally-sourced snacks."

Added 05/23/12: Yumvelope: $21/month, including S&H, gets you a minimum of six full-sized natural snacks, drinks, and desserts.

Added 05/23/12: Gothambox: For $20/month, including S&H, Gothambox sends a box of food products from your selected city (current options are San Francisco and New York). For every subscription, the company donates a meal to the hungry in the chosen city.

Added 08/26/12: Petit Amuse: For $10/month including S&H, Petit Amuse sends 3-4 samples of small batch, artisan foods.

Added 08/27/12: KnoshBox: KnoshBox is another artisan foods box. For $30/month including S&H, they send 4-6 gourmet, small batch food items.

Added 08/27/12: Sprig: Sprig offers several sizes of boxes, each filled with small batch artisan foods. Monthly subscriptions are available at the $26.95, $55.95, and $99.95 price levels.

Added 10/15/12: Blue Apron: Currently available only in the Northeast, Blue Apron is a weekly grocery subscription service, sending all of the necessary ingredients and recipes for three meals. Price depends on the number being served.

Added 10/15/12: Gfreely: Gfreely is a gluten-free entry into the snack box market. For $19/month plus $5.95 S&H, they deliver a package of gluten-free foods, tips, and recipes.

Added 10/15/12: GoBites: GoBites sends individually packaged, single-serving healthy snacks. You choose the snacks you want, the cost depends on how many you pick.

Added 10/15/12: Misto Box: Misto Box is another one for coffee lovers. For $15/month, you receive four samples of whole bean coffee from small roasters. International subscriptions are available.

Added 10/15/12: Savorfull: This is an allergy-friendly food box. For $15/month, they send "deluxe to full size samples of gluten and/or wheat, peanut and dairy free foods."

UK
Graze: Nutritionally balanced single-serving snack boxes, however many days/week you'd like. £3.49/box including S&H.

Added 10/17/11: The Chocolate Tasting Club: The Chocolate Tasting Club charges £18.95/month including postage, for which you get a box of 32 hand-selected chocolates. The selections are different every month, and recipients can choose between Classic, Dark, Purist and Elements boxes.

Added 06/26/12: Kopi: Priced variably, depending on quantity, Kopi sends UK residents a different gourmet coffee every month.

Added 06/26/12: Tea Horse: For £11.95/month, Tea Horse sends UK residents four different types of tea (enough to make at least 10 cups of each), as well as an informational booklet.

Added 06/26/12: Love Your Larder: The Larderbox, from Love Your Larder, includes at least 5 products each month. It's £19.95/box.

Clothing/Accessories

United States
Jewelmint: Jewelmint is the big player in this space right now. For $29.99/month including S&H, you pick a piece of jewelry each month from a collection curated to your taste by celebrity entrepreneur Kate Bosworth. This is club to which I subscribe and I am very happy with it so far.

Stylemint: Stylemint is from the same parent company and uses the same business model as Jewelmint, only it's t-shirts, not jewelry. $29.99/month including S&H gets you a t-shirt of your choice. The celebrities behind the style and curation are the Olsen twins.

Shoedazzle: Shoedazzle is another big player. It works the same way as the previous two programs, with the recipient making a monthly selection among a curated field of choices. This one is $39.99/month, though, and the selections are shoes and handbags. The celebrity name is Kim Kardashian. Shoes only up to size 11, though!

In the Mood Intimates Gift of the Month Clubs: Several monthly options, all curated, including Panty-of-the-Month, Camisole/Bustier-of-the-Month, and Bra-set-of-the-Month. Prices range from $18-$90/month.

Send the Trend: Similar to Jewelmint, only it includes non-jewelry accessories. Clients pick from among a curated set of options. $29.99/month including S&H.

Threadless 12 Club: I kinda love this one. Every month, you get a handpicked t-shirt from Threadless! Think of the variety you could amass! $200/year for US participants; $250/year for international, including S&H.

Added 10/14/11: Sole Society: Basically the same model as Shoedazzle, Sole Society charges $49.95/month including S&H for your pick from a curated selection of shoes.

Added 10/17/11: Solmate Socks Sock of the Month Club: This one amuses me. Available for adults or kids, you get a pair of funky mismatched cotton socks each month. There are 3, 6, and 12 month memberships--the 3 month is $65 including S&H, and kids' socks are a pair-with-a-spare.

Added 10/20/11:Stitch Fix: Stitch Fix sends a shipment of clothes, based on your personal style quiz, and you keep and pay for those you like and send the rest back.

Added 04/16/12: Dive Bar Shirt Club: Monthly delivery of an authentic t-shirt from a US dive bar. $22/month including S&H.

Added 06/26/12: Intimint: From the same parent company as Jewelmint and Stylemint, Intimint offers a monthly selection of lingerie and lounge wear, based on your style profile. Prices vary, but start at $19.99/month including S&H.

Added 10/15/12: Adore Me: Adore Me follows a similar model to Intimint, with $39.95/month buying a bra & panty set from a customized showroom.

Added 10/15/12: JewelBox: For $15/month, JewelBox sends a piece of hand-crafted jewelry based on your style preferences.

UK
StylistPick: Similar to Shoedazzle, a curated monthly selection of accessories and shoes, based on our style profile. You select what you want to have sent your way. £39.95/month including S&H.

Canada
Panty by Post: monthly curated pair of deluxe panties. $18.50/month plus S&H, international available.

Books and Magazines

United States
Indiespensible: I absolutely love Powell's Indiespensible book club. Every six-to-eight weeks, they sent a first edition of a new, independent book, along with some other "goodies," typically thematically connected to the book in some way, or local to Portland. The cost is $39.99/shipment, including S&H, and international shipping is available for $12 more.

Just the Right Book: Coming from another independent bookseller (yay!), R.J. Julia Bookseller in Madison, CT, Just the Right Book is a curated book club that has options for kids, teens, and adults. The selections are curated to individual tastes and get this--they guarantee you'll like what they send! The service can be purchased on a monthly, every-other-month, or quarterly basis. Prices vary depending on specific program, but average about $24.99/month.

Stack America: This one I'm excited about. Every two months, you receive a curated collection of indie magazines. Lots of it is likely stuff you aren't going to find in your Barnes & Noble. You get at least one magazine, plus extras, every two months. Subscriptions are annual and cost $75.99 in the US, with options for international shipping at higher rates.

Added 10/20/11: Chin Music Press Books Rx: Billing itself as "mail-order medicine for your mind," this club sends a curated quarterly collection of independent literature and art, all chosen to fit a given theme. The cost is $40 for each shipment, including S&H to the US and Canada.

Added 05/23/12: GiftLit: Starting at $24.95/month, GiftLit sends an expert-curated book each month to the child, teen, adult, or family you choose. As a bonus, all books can be returned/substituted by the recipient.

International
Stack: Stack is the international version of Stack America. The basic service is the same, but the magazine choices and shipping options are international, and monthly or annual services are available. Prices vary depending on where you're located.

For Men

United States
Hiskit: Birchbox for dudes. 3-5 luxury samples, delivered monthly, $12/month including S&H.

Manpacks: This one is about convenience, more than curation--men can sign up to get quarterly shipments of necessities they choose--shirts, socks, underwear, shaving cream, condoms, etc. Prices vary based on what's in your pack.

Trunk Club: Trunk Club is all about curation--they send a complete "trunk" of clothes, including 8-12 items. Prices vary depending on what is in the specific trunk. The subscriber keeps/pays for what he wants and sends the rest back.

Added 03/27/12: My Platinum Box: Monthly delivery of 4-5 sample sized men's grooming products. $10/month including S&H.

Addendum 06/26/12: My Platinum Box has grown and now also has a box option focused specifically on health and fitness, the Fitbox. For $10/month, including S&H, you get 6-8 samples of sports nutritional products.

Added 04/12/12: Birchbox Man: An offering from Birchbox just for men! $20/month including S&H for men's grooming product samples.

Added 08/27/12: Mantry: Mantry bills itself as "the modern man's pantry." The specifics are not yet available.

Added 10/15/12: 12Society: For $39/month, 12Society sends man-centered goodies curated by celebrities.

Added 10/15/12: Curator & Mule: Curator & Mule is a quarterly subscription service for men. For $60/season, they deliver 4-5 seasonal and trendy accessories.

Added 10/15/12: Svbscription: Quarterly delivery of "luxury men's products," designed around a theme. This one is spendy--$300/quarter.

Added 10/15/12: Urban Cargo: Urban Cargo is another men's toiletries box, featuring skin and hair care sample items. It's $14.95/month including S&H.

Canada
Added 10/14/11: Bread and Butter: Bread and Butter is a monthly men's skincare subscription, based on a natural product and minimal packaging ethos. Kits are customized to the client and run $35-$49 Canadian each, with free shipping to the US and Canada.

UK
Added 10/14/11: Wibba: Wibba is a curated monthly delivery of "man stuff," further described as "toys, gadgets, games, or gizmos." It's £14.95/month.

Germany
Mansbox: Though I can't read the German site, I believe Mansbox is the German equivalent of Manpacks, offering a subscription service for undershirts, underwear, and socks.

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Art & Craft

United States
Alula: sends limited edition original textile art quarterly. $300/year.

Papirmasse: monthly delivery of a limited edition print by an unknown artist. $5/month in the US and $10/month internationally.

Little Otsu: Another one by which I am super intrigued. For $15/quarter, you get two original "art books." The books are gloriously illustrated mini-books about anything in the natural world. This would be such a fantastic collection to start.

Tota Press: A handmade letterpress card-of-the-month subscription! Each month brings two cards and costs $13 including S&H. International subscription is available for an additional $2/month.

Sunrise Fiber Co. Yarn Club: Each month brings a skein of hand-dyed yarn (you pick the weight), a goodie of some sort, and a dessert recipe that ties in with the yarn colors. Subscriptions are available for 2, 4, or 6 months, at $22/month.

Added 10/14/11: Mercier Beaucoup: Mercier Beaucoup offers 3, 6, or 12 month stationary subscriptions, each month with 3 assorted handmade cards. The cost for the 3 month option is $36, plus $5 flat rate shipping.

Added 10/17/11: Three Irish Girls Pick of the Knitter Club: If you know a dedicated knitter, you probably know about the amazing yarn from Three Irish Girls. The Pick of the Knitter club offers your choice of weight and number of skeins each month, in either a solid or a handpainted colorway. Price depends on the weight you choose and subscriptions are available in three month intervals in the US, Canada, or internationally.

Added 10/17/11: Three Irish Girls Sock Yarnista Club: As the name suggests, this club is for sock yarn. Each month, members get a selected high-end sock yarn, a pattern, and possibly extras. Membership is available in 3, 6, and 12 month intervals, in the US and Canada and internationally. 3 month US membership runs $94.

Added 10/17/11: The Irish Girls Stash Menagerie Club: This is the 3IG variety club, sending a selected type of yarn each month, along with extras. Membership is available for 1, 2, or 3 skeins a month and in 3 or 6 month increments. A single skein 3-month membership is $72 in the US.

Added 03/19/12: WhimseyBox: 4-5 curated craft product samples sent monthly. $15/month, S&H included.

Added 03/27/12: Art in a Box: Monthly curated delivery of one piece of original art from a San Francisco area artist, selected based on your taste profile. $50/month including S&H, minimum three-month subscription.

Added 10/15/12: Brit Kit: For $19.99/month including S&H, Brit Kit sends instructions and materials for a DYI craft project.

not another bill.jpg

Pets

Toys4Tails: Dog toy of the month club, curated based on your dog's breed/size. Several subscription tiers are available, starting at $14.95/month.

Added 04/01/12: BarkBox: For a monthly $25, including S&H, BarkBox sends a box of four or more dog-related products. Making it sweeter, 10% of each box's sale price goes to canine rescue organizations.

For my Barkbox review, go here!

Added 06/26/12: BestFriendBox: This pet box can be customized for dogs or cats. For $45/month, including S&H, you get a selection of 4+ gourmet pet treats, toys, grooming supplies, and gear for your pet.

Added 08/27/12: Pawalla: $26/month including S&H, Pawalla sends six or more goodies for pets, including food, treats, and toys.

Added 10/15/12: Bugsy's Box: Bugsy's Box is another offering for dogs. It's $29/month including S&H and promises 5-7 items.

Miscellany

United States
Lost Crates: Couldn't love this more if I tried. Lost Crates is a curated stationary subscription--each month brings a new crate of pens, pencils, paper, and associated etcetera. It's $38/month including S&H.

Updated 04/11/12: Lost Crates has grown! They now have a wide variety of curated boxes, at prices from $25-$48/month.

For my Lost Crates reviews, go here and here!

Quarterly Co: This one baffles me. You choose a "cultural icon" and receive a quarterly box of physical objects curated by that person. I'm intrigued, however, by the tagline "each shipment tells a story." Subscriptions are $25/quarter.

Added 10/14/11: Good and Lovely: The business model for Good & Lovely is a period pampering pack. On your selected date each month, they send you a box of your selected variety of pads or tampons, as well as whatever extras you request (Midol, heating pads, wipes, etc) and a selection of soothing treats (chocolate, tea, bath products, etc.). The base price is $19.99/month, with more for add-ons.

Added 10/14/11: Ohco: Ohco is a monthly delivery of whatever you select--pads or tampons. They do, however, include health and beauty samples with their shipments.

Added 10/14/11: Umba Box: The Umba Box is a monthly delivery of a surprise handmade item--accessories, home goods, jewelry, bath products, stationary, etc. It's $26/month including S&H and subscriptions are available for 3, 6, or 12 months.

Added 10/17/11: Z Box: The Z Box is a monthly collection of items sold on Zibbet. Two sizes are available--for $8.75 you get 8 samples, for $18 you get 15-18. Both prices include S&H.

Added 10/17/11: Lighter of the Month Club: This one is odd and possibly brilliant. For $32.95/year ($8 more internationally), you get four stickers each month with which to customize Bic lighters.

Added 03/19/12: Cravebox: 4-5 samples of products including housewares, health products, beauty products, pet products, and food, sent monthly. $10/month including S&H.

Added 06/26/12: Bulu Box: Bulu Box focuses on vitamins and supplements. For $10/month, including S&H, you get 4-5 samples of vitamins, supplements, meal replacements, diet products, etc.

Added 10/17/11: I have to point out Global Giving Project of the Month Club. This is a truly great idea. You choose a monthly donation amount, and each month a charitable project is selected for your money. You receive an email each month telling you about the project. How great an idea is that?

Added 05/23/12: KLUTCHclub: For $18/month, including S&H, get a box with at least $50 worth of health, wellness, and fitness products and services.

Added 06/26/12: HomeMint: From the same folks as the other "Mint" clubs, HomeMint provides a curated monthly showroom for subscribers to choose to buy (or not buy) home decor items. Costs depend on the items purchased.

Added 08/27/12: Mystery Tackle Box: One for fishers! For $15/month including S&H, you receive 3-5 lures or other fishing products.

Added 08/27/12: Loot Crate: A monthly box for gamers, Loot Crate charges $13.37/month, plus $6 S&H, for delivery of 6-8 "epic products" for gamers and geeks.

Added 10/15/12: Celebrate Crate: Celebrate Crate is a holiday in a box! Each offering is filled with ideas and supplies for a themed celebration. The cost is $20/month including S&H.

Added 10/15/12: Dazzley Box: Dazzley Box is a general women's subscription service, sending 5+ surprises a month, which may include beauty products, food, or other innovations. The cost is $19.99/month including S&H.

Added 10/15/12: Hammock Pack: Hammock Pack bills itself as a "door step getaway." For $25/month plus $5 S&H, you get everything you need for a themed "get away" without leaving your house. This is one I really want to try.

Added 10/15/12: La Bella Box: La Bella Box sends a variety of boutique products. For $20/month including S&H, boxes include 4-5 "generously sized" samples of small boutique products.

Added 10/15/12: Love Club: For $12/month, including S&H, Love Club sends samples from all types of indie businesses.

Added 10/15/12: Pop Sugar Must Have Box: This one has been everywhere lately! For $35/month including S&H, you get a variety of full-sized "must have" products, including beauty, fashion, home, fitness, and food.

UK
Not Another Bill: Probably the most clever of the programs I found, this subscription promises something in your mail each month that is NOT a bill. It could be just about anything, but it'll be something that the curator, Ned, is surprised and excited by. The price is £15/month including S&H in the UK, £18 in the rest of Europe, and £20 in the rest of the world, all including S&H. Couldn't resist this, so I'll be reviewing when mine arrives.

Jangneus Design: This one is delightfully quirky. Each month will bring a colorful, Swedish-designed cleaning cloth--you pick your color scheme. Subscriptions within the UK are £25 for the year, including S&H.

In doing my research for this post, I was very indebted to:
Subscription Commerce (#SUBCOM) Matrix by Sean Percival
Boxing Up Social Commerce: Hot Opportunity? by Paul Marsden
Blissmo Launches Monthly "Blissmobox": Delivering Curated Eco-friendly Products to Your Door! by Priti Ambani
What Will The Big Winners in Subscription Commerce Look Like? by robgo
Several articles at Springwise

Added 10/14/11: Subscription service startups are the hot new thing by Harrison Weber

Added 10/14/11: Directory of Subscription Commerce Clubs by Paul Marsden

Added 03/19/12: Subscriptionboxes.com

Added 05/23/12: 10 Kid-Friendly Subscription Boxes Parents Will Love by Jeana Lee Tahnk

Added 10/15/12: My Subscription Addiction

7 Comments

I love the list (and the reviews you've done) - thanks.

And, did you see - it looks like quarterly.co is open again and taking subscriptions. I JUST went to check out the page (I've been watching it too).

:) It looks cool!

I'm tired and therefore could have missed it on your list, but Birchbox is starting a men's box too. $20/m I think?

Thanks for including Papirmasse in your list! And what a great list it is :)

I have did the Little Passports subscription if you would like a review of it!!

You could also add 12 Society - curated men's fashion by a number of sports icons, plus Nick Cannon.

Europe in a Box is a new food subscription box recently launched in Australia!

Europe in a Box offers a selection of hand-picked imported European foods and drinks and brings new flavours directly to your doorstep.

Having a moment of discovery every month is something to aspire to! www.europeinabox.com.au

There is also a dog subscription box called Pooch Pack in the UK

Leave a comment


For the most up-to-date curated subscription list, please see the May 23, 2012 re-post of this post.

I love magazine subscriptions. In part, this is because I love magazines--my attention span is just about magazine article length and I like pretty pictures. The bigger reason, though, is that I love love love mail. And reoccurring mail is my very favorite. I've been a Columbia House used-to-be-Record Club subscriber at least a dozen times. I'll sign up for a sample of just about anything. I just like it when something comes in the mail for me.

Turns out, I'm not alone. Lots of us love receiving mail, and when it's good mail, something we picked out, or, even better, a surprise that was curated for us? (Curated, in this case, just meaning selected based on our likes/dislikes by some sort of authority.) We're sold. That's what drew me to the independent business sample boxes I've reviewed here before, and to Birchbox more recently. And I'm so enamored with Birchbox, I started nosing around for more things like it.

And I found far more than I'd expected I would. Turns out, these "curated subscription services," wherein you receive periodic shipments of something that was either picked for you, or picked by you from options picked for you, are sorta the next big thing. They're popping up everywhere, for all sorts of products, and they're hot hot hot. I found dozens of them. And I did not find any sort of comprehensive list. So, I thought I'd try to fill that space and provide a list.

Please realize that I have NOT tried all of these, or even most of these, services. This list is not an endorsement; it's simply an overview of what I found in this space. And it is, but necessity, a work in progress--most of these companies are new, and some will fail, and new ones will pop up. So please, if you see anything I omitted, or anything that is here that doesn't, as you are reading this, exist anymore, let me know and I'll update.

Now, for what I found:

(A note on pricing: many of these services have a price cut if you sign up for several months at once. For the sake of simplicity, the prices I am quoting are their highest prices, generally for a single month.)

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Beauty

This is the biggest category, by far. Tons of people are hopping on the Birchbox train. The ones I found are:

United States
Birchbox: 3-5 deluxe makeup/beauty samples each month, curated, $10 including S&H. This is one I can vouch for--I've had a subscription for nearly a year, I love it, it's more than worth the $10/month.

For my Birchbox reviews, go here, here, and here!

Julep Maven: 3-5 nail polishes and treatments each month, curated, $15 including S&H.

Yellow Box Beauty: "Makeup of the Month Club," curated full-sized makeup and beauty items, monthly, $34.95/month + $7.95 S&H.

Beautyfix: 8 full-sized makeup/beauty products, selected by you from a group of options, sent quarterly. $49.95 including S&H.

For my Beautyfix review, go here!

New Beauty Test Tube: deluxe makeup/beauty samples, some full sized, curated, sent quarterly. $29.95 + $8.95 S&H. I'm going to try this one, so I'll let you know how it turns out.

For my New Beauty Test Tube review, go here!

Smallflower Bath of the Month Club:curated bath products, sent monthly. $85/3 month subscription.

Added 9/21: GoGoGirlfriend: Similar to Birchbox, trial-sized beauty products sent monthly. $12.99/month for monthly boxes or $6.98/month for bi-monthly boxes.

Added 10/17/11: The Little Black Box: This is one of several monthly sample boxes for independent/handmade beauty products, as well as other things like candles and edibles. Boxes are $20/month including S&H.

Added 10/17/11: Out of the Box Sampler: Out of the Box sampler is another sampler of independent and handmade businesses. It is available for $22/month including S&H.

Added 10/17/11: Makeup Monthly: Makeup Monthly offers clubs for nails, makeup, or beauty care. The clubs are $20, $30, and $35/month respectively, including S&H, and subscriptions are available for 3, 6, or 12 months.

Added 03/05/12: The Look Bag: The Look Bag is a Birchbox-esque sampler box offering 4-5 beauty samples in each monthly offering. It is curated by celebrity beautician Damone Roberts. The cost is $10/month, S&H included.

For my Look Bag review, go here!

Added 03/19/12: The Soap Box: A quarterly offering of 8 mini-sized bath products from Fortune Cookie Soap. $19.99/quarter, S&H included.

Added 03/19/12: Kara's Way: 5-10 eco-friendly beauty samples, sent monthly. $15/month including S&H.

Added 03/19/12: My Glam: 4-5 beauty product samples, sent monthly. $10/month including S&H.

Added 03/19/12: Beauty Box 5: 4-5 beauty product samples, sent monthly. $12/month including S&H.

For my Beauty Box 5 review, go here!

Added 03/19/12: Beauty Army: Up to 6 samples of our own choosing, delivered monthly. $12/month including S&H.

For my Beauty Army review, go here!

Added 04/02/12: Sindulge: Monthly delivery of 4-5 sample products selected by beauty experts after customer chat conferences. $12/month including S&H.

Added 04/02/12: Sample Society: A Birchbox-like offering from Beauty Bar, sends 5 deluxe sized samples and a mini-magazine each month. $15/month including S&H.

Added 05/23/12: CurlBox: For $20/month, including S&H, subscribers receive 5-7 samples of products intended for curly hair.

Added 05/23/12: Beauty Cache: Seasonal/quarterly boxes include various deluxe samples and one full-sized "mystery" item. Cost is $29.95 plus S&H.

Canada
Loose Button Luxe Box: 4-5 curated deluxe beauty samples, sent monthly. $12/month including S&H.

Glymm: 4-5 curated deluxe beauty samples, sent monthly. $10/month including S&H.

Added 10/17/11: Sweet Delight Divalicious Sample Box: Sweet Delights Divalicious box focuses mostly on handmade/independent beauty products. Boxes are $26 Canadian including shipping to Canada or the US.

Australia
Little Red Box: deluxe beauty samples, sent monthly, not yet launched

Haute Box: deluxe beauty samples, send monthly, not yet launched

Added 10/17/11: The Lust Pack: The Lust Pack is a monthly 5-6 deluxe sample delivery. The cost is $14.95/month including S&H.

UK
Glossybox: 5 curated high-end beauty miniatures, sent monthly. £10.00/month + £2.95 S&H.
Updated 04/02/12: Glossybox is expanding to the USA soon!

Bonbon: monthly artisan lip balm, £5.00/month, delivers throughout Europe. Not currently accepting new members.

Added 10/14/11: Amarya Beauty Box: For £10 per month, Amarya sends at least one full-sized product, along with multiple samples or trial sizes.

Added 10/14/11: Bourdoir Prive: Works just like Birchbox-- £10/month including S&H and they send 5-6 deluxe samples.

Added 10/17/11: Carmine: Another one in the Birchbox model, Carmine sends 5 "deluxe product miniatures" to subscribers each month. The price is £10/month plus £2.75 postage.

Added 10/14/11: FeelUnique Beauty Box: Offers a monthly subscription to 5 deluxe beauty samples for £9.95/month including S&H.

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Kids/Parenting
This seems to be the currently fastest-growing category. I'm intrigued by it, especially as a gift option.

United States
Citrus Lane: 4-5 curated baby products, tailored to baby's age (newborn through 18 months), sent monthly. $25/month including S&H.

For my Citrus Lane reviews, go here and here!

Bluum: 4-5 deluxe baby-related product samples, sent monthly, $12/month including S&H.

Little Passports: information about and "souvenirs" from a different country sent every month, geared towards kids. $11.95/month plus S&H. I really, really love the idea of this one. If anybody out there does it, please drop me a message--I'd love to run a review.

Babba Box: curated monthly box with all supplies needed to do 3-4 projects with a 3-6 year old child. $29.99/month including S&H. This is another one that really intrigues me, and I'd love to run a review if anybody has used it.

Added 10/11/11: KiwiCrate: much the same model as Babba Box, KiwiCrate is a monthly delivery of supplies for craft projects suited for a 3-6 year old child. It is $19.99/month including S&H.

Added 10/17/11: Tiny Tots Sample Boxes: These boxes focus on indie/handmade items for children. Each box has 15-20 samples. Boxes are $23 in the US, $33 in Canada, and $58 in other countries, including shipping.

Added 10/17/11: Fluff of the Month Club: Cloth diapers! For $22.50/month including S&H, you receive a cloth diaper delivery. Subscriptions are available for 4, 6, or 9 months, and you choose the style and size of diaper you want.

Added 10/17/11: KraftyKid Craft Clubs: KraftyKid offers lots of different options, with basic clubs, deluxe clubs, and clubs for teachers. They have clubs available for 3-6 year old kids and 7-10 year old kids. Prices vary.

Added 03/13/12: Wittlebee: Along the same lines as some of the clothing basic clubs for men, Wittlebee sends a monthly box of clothes for your child. The box includes 8 basic items (leggings, onesies, etc.) each month and costs $39.99 including S&H.

For my Wittlebee review, go here!

Added 03/19/12: Honest Company: A selection of self-selected eco-conscious diapers and/or household and bath and body products, sent monthly. Price dependent on products selected.

Added 03/21/12: petiteBox: 4-7 "mommy and baby" products sent monthly. $25/month including S&H.

For my petiteBox review, go here!

Added 03/27/12: Green Kid Crafts: Monthly delivery of three open-ended craft kits for kids, focused on green supplies and international calendar awareness. Available in three, six, and twelve month subscriptions for about $15/month, including S&H.

Added 05/23/12: Spark Box: For $34.95/box , including S&H, Spark Box sends a box of four or more educational toys. You keep them for four weeks or more, and when you return them, you get another box.

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Green Products

Another large and growing market! I have to admit, this one is counterintuitive to me--what's green about sending packaged products through the mail? Still, I'm intrigued.

Blissmobox: you choose between curated monthly collections of eco-friendly and organic products in several categories (this month had a beauty box, a tea and snacks box, and a romance/sex box, other months have had cleaning/laundry boxes, summer snack boxes, etc.) $19/month + $3 S&H. This is another one I'm planning to try out, so watch for a review in the future.

Eco-Emi: curated green/natural product samples delivered monthly. $15/month including S&H. Available outside the US for $30/month. Currently has a waiting list for new customers.

Goodebox: curated monthly samples of green beauty, health, and wellness products. $15/month including S&H.

For my Goodebox review, go here!

Uncover Me Naturals Soap of the Month Club: monthly delivery of six bars of natural soap. $25/month including S&H.

Added 10/12/11: Conscious Box: a curated monthly collection of various environmentally conscious products, based on a monthly theme. Products include food and health and beauty offerings. $19/month including S&H.

Added 10/20/11: Herbaria Soap of the Month Club: A smaller scale soap-of-the-month offering, Heraria sends 1 hand-crafted bar each month, for an $88 annual subscription cost.

Added 03/19/12: Pink Moment: 6-10 eco product samples, delivered monthly. $14/month including S&H.

Added 03/19/12: Green Grab Bag: 6-10 eco beauty product samples, sent monthly. $15/month including S&H.

For my Green Grab Bag review, go here!

Added 05/23/12: Kara's Way: 5-10 eco beauty samples delivered each month for $15/month including S&H.

For my Kara's Way review, go here!

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Food

There are a ton of these--everything from the ubiquitous "Beer of the Month" to the more interesting "Bacon of the Month" or "Cheese of the Month." For the sake of brevity, I'm only including the curated ones I found here.

United States
Turntable Kitchen Pairings Box: This is a cool concept. Each month, they deliver a food and music pairing--a limited edition 7" vinyl two-track along with a downloadable digital mixtape, and the recipes and ideas for a dinner party to go along with the music, along with 1-2 premium specialty ingredients to make them. Not exactly up my alley, but fascinating. $25/month including S&H. Not currently taking new orders.

Foodzie Tasting Box: curated monthly delivery of 6 gourmet food samples. $19.99/month including S&H.

Lollihop:monthly box of 8 single-serving healthy snacks. $22.75/month including S&H.

Healthy Surprise: monthly delivery of curated healthy vegan snacks. Prices vary by package size: $33/month + $5 S&H for 5-10 snacks through $250/month including S&H for 70-80 snacks.

PaleoPax: monthly curated selection of 5 paleo snacks. $20/month including S&H.

Steepster Select: 3 2-3 oz pouches of curated premium loose leaf tea each month. $19/month including S&H.

Craft Coffee: 3 12 oz bags of coffee, curated from different small roasters, each month, along with tasting notes. $24.99/month including S&H.

Added 10/14/11: Black Box Dessert Club: High end desserts, varied based on your region, right to your door! This club is not cheap--a single month is $65-$85 depending on the box--but contains 6-8 full size artisan desserts.

Added 10/14/11: Foodiholic: For $39.99/month including S&H, Foodiholic sends your choice of a ready-to-eat or ready-to-prepare food box. The first contains 4-6 new ready to eat items and some celebrity chef ideas for enhancing them, the second contains ingredients and recipes for a memorable meal. The selections are personalized to your diet and taste preferences.

Added 10/17/11: Adagio Tea of the Month Club: Adagio makes really good tea. Their tea of the month club, available in 6 or 12 month increments, and in flavored, herbal, black, decaf, and green & oolong varieties, sends two bags of loose tea (enough for approximately 80 cups) every other month. Prices are $39-$49 for six month and $69-$89 for twelve month subscriptions.

Added 10/17/11: Kettle Chips Chip of the Month Club: For $74.99 for a 3 month membership, Kettle Chips sends monthly deliveries of 5 4-oz bags of chips, including classics, hard-to-find flavors, and sneak peeks of unreleased flavors.

Added 10/17/11: Pasenella & Son, Vitners: Vino & Cookbook of the Month Club: This one is interesting--each month, they send a white wine, a red wine, tasting notes, and a cookbook. Price is $49.99/month, plus S&H.

Added 10/17/11: Citizen Bean: Every month, Citizen Bean sends a pound of sustainable small-batch roasted whole bean coffee, along with extras. The cost is $79.99 for three months, $129.99 for six, and $219.99 for a full year.

Added 10/17/11: Anchor Chip of the Month Club: Every month, Anchor sends regional, unusual potato chips. Subscriptions are available in 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 month increments of various sizes, starting at $13/month.

Added 03/19/12: Love with Food: Monthly delivery of samples of 4-5 gourmet food products. $14/month, S&H included.

Added 04/11/12: Samplrs: Monthly delivery of 4-6 full-sized products from local food artisans, all packed in a reusable canvas bag. Vegetarian option also available. $29.99/month including S&H.

Added 05/23/12: NatureBox: For $19.95/month, including S&H, NatureBox sends 4-5 full-sized packages of "healthy, locally-sourced snacks."

Added 05/23/12: Yumvelope: $21/month, including S&H, gets you a minimum of six full-sized natural snacks, drinks, and desserts.

Added 05/23/12: Gothambox: For $20/month, including S&H, Gothambox sends a box of food products from your selected city (current options are San Francisco and New York). For every subscription, the company donates a meal to the hungry in the chosen city.

UK
Graze: Nutritionally balanced single-serving snack boxes, however many days/week you'd like. £3.49/box including S&H.

Added 10/17/11: The Chocolate Tasting Club: The Chocolate Tasting Club charges £18.95/month including postage, for which you get a box of 32 hand-selected chocolates. The selections are different every month, and recipients can choose between Classic, Dark, Purist and Elements boxes.

Clothing/Accessories

United States
Jewelmint: Jewelmint is the big player in this space right now. For $29.99/month including S&H, you pick a piece of jewelry each month from a collection curated to your taste by celebrity entrepreneur Kate Bosworth. This is club to which I subscribe and I am very happy with it so far.

Stylemint: Stylemint is from the same parent company and uses the same business model as Jewelmint, only it's t-shirts, not jewelry. $29.99/month including S&H gets you a t-shirt of your choice. The celebrities behind the style and curation are the Olsen twins.

Shoedazzle: Shoedazzle is another big player. It works the same way as the previous two programs, with the recipient making a monthly selection among a curated field of choices. This one is $39.99/month, though, and the selections are shoes and handbags. The celebrity name is Kim Kardashian. Shoes only up to size 11, though!

In the Mood Intimates Gift of the Month Clubs: Several monthly options, all curated, including Panty-of-the-Month, Camisole/Bustier-of-the-Month, and Bra-set-of-the-Month. Prices range from $18-$90/month.

MeUndies: Not-yet-launched subscription service for both men's and women's underwear.

Send the Trend: Similar to Jewelmint, only it includes non-jewelry accessories. Clients pick from among a curated set of options. $29.99/month including S&H.

Threadless 12 Club: I kinda love this one. Every month, you get a handpicked t-shirt from Threadless! Think of the variety you could amass! $200/year for US participants; $250/year for international, including S&H.

Added 10/14/11: Sole Society: Basically the same model as Shoedazzle, Sole Society charges $49.95/month including S&H for your pick from a curated selection of shoes.

Added 10/17/11: Solmate Socks Sock of the Month Club: This one amuses me. Available for adults or kids, you get a pair of funky mismatched cotton socks each month. There are 3, 6, and 12 month memberships--the 3 month is $65 including S&H, and kids' socks are a pair-with-a-spare.

Added 10/20/11:Stitch Fix: Stitch Fix sends a shipment of clothes, based on your personal style quiz, and you keep and pay for those you like and send the rest back.

Added 04/16/12: Dive Bar Shirt Club: Monthly delivery of an authentic t-shirt from a US dive bar. $22/month including S&H.

UK
StylistPick: Similar to Shoedazzle, a curated monthly selection of accessories and shoes, based on our style profile. You select what you want to have sent your way. £39.95/month including S&H.

Canada
Panty by Post: monthly curated pair of deluxe panties. $18.50/month plus S&H, international available.

Books and Magazines

Books are another area that has been doing of-the-month clubs for a long time, and there is no way I could list them all here. However, I'm going to mention a couple.

United States
Indiespensible: I absolutely love Powell's Indiespensible book club. Every six-to-eight weeks, they sent a first edition of a new, independent book, along with some other "goodies," typically thematically connected to the book in some way, or local to Portland. The cost is $39.99/shipment, including S&H, and international shipping is available for $12 more.

Just the Right Book: Coming from another independent bookseller (yay!), R.J. Julia Bookseller in Madison, CT, Just the Right Book is a curated book club that has options for kids, teens, and adults. The selections are curated to individual tastes and get this--they guarantee you'll like what they send! The service can be purchased on a monthly, every-other-month, or quarterly basis. Prices vary depending on specific program, but average about $24.99/month.

Stack America: This one I'm excited about. Every two months, you receive a curated collection of indie magazines. Lots of it is likely stuff you aren't going to find in your Barnes & Noble. You get at least one magazine, plus extras, every two months. Subscriptions are annual and cost $75.99 in the US, with options for international shipping at higher rates.

Added 10/20/11: Chin Music Press Books Rx: Billing itself as "mail-order medicine for your mind," this club sends a curated quarterly collection of independent literature and art, all chosen to fit a given theme. The cost is $40 for each shipment, including S&H to the US and Canada.

Added 05/23/12: GiftLit: Starting at $24.95/month, GiftLit sends an expert-curated book each month to the child, teen, adult, or family you choose. As a bonus, all books can be returned/substituted by the recipient.

International
Stack: Stack is the international version of Stack America. The basic service is the same, but the magazine choices and shipping options are international, and monthly or annual services are available. Prices vary depending on where you're located.

For Men

The subscription model is traditionally more heavily marketed to women, but a whole lot of man-specific services are popping up. A few of them:

United States
Hiskit: Birchbox for dudes. 3-5 luxury samples, delivered monthly, $12/month including S&H.

Manpacks: This one is about convenience, more than curation--men can sign up to get quarterly shipments of necessities they choose--shirts, socks, underwear, shaving cream, condoms, etc. Prices vary based on what's in your pack.

GuyHaus: GuyHaus is the same basic model as Manpacks, except that it's just for toiletries. Men pick what they want and how often they'd like to have it delivered. Prices vary depending on what the client picks.

Sababu: The Undershirt Club: Set to launch in December, Sababu Conscious Clothing sends two ethically made undershirts quarterly, for $20.

Trunk Club: Trunk Club is all about curation--they send a complete "trunk" of clothes, including 8-12 items. Prices vary depending on what is in the specific trunk. The subscriber keeps/pays for what he wants and sends the rest back.

Added 10/19/11: His Black Box: His Black Box offers a personalized selection of 5 travel sized products each month, based on a survey of age and tastes. The cost is $12/month including S&H.

Added 03/27/12: My Platinum Box: Monthly delivery of 4-5 sample sized men's grooming products. $10/month including S&H.

Added 04/12/12: Birchbox Man: An offering from Birchbox just for men! $20/month including S&H for men's grooming product samples.

Canada
Added 10/14/11: Bread and Butter: Bread and Butter is a monthly men's skincare subscription, based on a natural product and minimal packaging ethos. Kits are customized to the client and run $35-$49 Canadian each, with free shipping to the US and Canada.

UK
Added 10/14/11: Wibba: Wibba is a curated monthly delivery of "man stuff," further described as "toys, gadgets, games, or gizmos." It's £14.95/month.

Germany
Mansbox: Though I can't read the German site, I believe Mansbox is the German equivalent of Manpacks, offering a subscription service for undershirts, underwear, and socks.

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Art & Craft

I am more than a bit fascinated by the art-by-subscription model. I had no idea it existed, and there are several price points and options.

United States
Alula: sends limited edition original textile art quarterly. $300/year.

Papirmasse: monthly delivery of a limited edition print by an unknown artist. $5/month in the US and $10/month internationally.

Little Otsu: Another one by which I am super intrigued. For $15/quarter, you get two original "art books." The books are gloriously illustrated mini-books about anything in the natural world. This would be such a fantastic collection to start.

Tota Press: A handmade letterpress card-of-the-month subscription! Each month brings two cards and costs $13 including S&H. International subscription is available for an additional $2/month.

Sunrise Fiber Co. Yarn Club: Each month brings a skein of hand-dyed yarn (you pick the weight), a goodie of some sort, and a dessert recipe that ties in with the yarn colors. Subscriptions are available for 2, 4, or 6 months, at $22/month.

Added 10/14/11: Mercier Beaucoup: Mercier Beaucoup offers 3, 6, or 12 month stationary subscriptions, each month with 3 assorted handmade cards. The cost for the 3 month option is $36, plus $5 flat rate shipping.

Added 10/17/11: Three Irish Girls Pick of the Knitter Club: If you know a dedicated knitter, you probably know about the amazing yarn from Three Irish Girls. The Pick of the Knitter club offers your choice of weight and number of skeins each month, in either a solid or a handpainted colorway. Price depends on the weight you choose and subscriptions are available in three month intervals in the US, Canada, or internationally.

Added 10/17/11: Three Irish Girls Sock Yarnista Club: As the name suggests, this club is for sock yarn. Each month, members get a selected high-end sock yarn, a pattern, and possibly extras. Membership is available in 3, 6, and 12 month intervals, in the US and Canada and internationally. 3 month US membership runs $94.

Added 10/17/11: The Irish Girls Stash Menagerie Club: This is the 3IG variety club, sending a selected type of yarn each month, along with extras. Membership is available for 1, 2, or 3 skeins a month and in 3 or 6 month increments. A single skein 3-month membership is $72 in the US.

Added 03/19/12: WhimseyBox: 4-5 curated craft product samples sent monthly. $15/month, S&H included.

Added 03/27/12: Art in a Box: Monthly curated delivery of one piece of original art from a San Francisco area artist, selected based on your taste profile. $50/month including S&H, minimum three-month subscription.

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Miscellany

I have to tell you, this is where my heart lives. The subscription programs for things that seem only very vaguely subscribe-able. this is the market I want to see grow and flourish. And I think these are a good start:

United States
Lost Crates: Couldn't love this more if I tried. Lost Crates is a curated stationary subscription--each month brings a new crate of pens, pencils, paper, and associated etcetera. It's $38/month including S&H. This is one I'm trying, so stay tuned for a review later this fall.

Updated 04/11/12: Lost Crates has grown! They now have a $38/month Eco box, a $68/month Housewares box, a $48/month Foodie box, a $48/month "Found in _____" box, a $38/month "Jack's Picks" box, and two "petite boxes," a $20/month "Petite Stationary" box and a $28/month "Angie's Picks" box, all in addition to their original stationary box!

For my Lost Crates reviews, go here and here!

Quarterly Co: This one baffles me. You choose a "cultural icon" and receive a quarterly box of physical objects curated by that person. I'm intrigued, however, by the tagline "each shipment tells a story." Sadly, there are no current subscriptions open, or I'd try it. Subscriptions are $25/quarter.

Toys4Tails: Dog toy of the month club, curated based on your dog's breed/size. Several subscription tiers are available, starting at $14.95/month.

Added 10/14/11: Good and Lovely: The business model for Good & Lovely is a period pampering pack. On your selected date each month, they send you a box of your selected variety of pads or tampons, as well as whatever extras you request (Midol, heating pads, wipes, etc) and a selection of soothing treats (chocolate, tea, bath products, etc.). The base price is $19.99/month, with more for add-ons.

Added 10/14/11: Feliz Box: Feliz Box is basically the same thing as Good & Lovely, but with less customization--you simply choose tampons or pads and they decide the rest. The cost is $14.99/month.

Added 10/14/11: Swuni: Similar to Good & Lovely and Feliz Box, Swuni is a monthly menstrual product delivery. However, you simply receive and pay for the product(s) you choose--no curation.

Added 10/14/11: Ohco: Like Swuni, Ohco is a monthly delivery of whatever you select. They do, however, include health and beauty samples with their shipments.

Added 10/14/11: Umba Box: The Umba Box is a monthly delivery of a surprise handmade item--accessories, home goods, jewelry, bath products, stationary, etc. It's $26/month including S&H and subscriptions are available for 3, 6, or 12 months.

Added 10/17/11: Z Box: The Z Box is a monthly collection of items sold on Zibbet. Two sizes are available--for $8.75 you get 8 samples, for $18 you get 15-18. Both prices include S&H.

Added 10/17/11: Lighter of the Month Club: This one is odd and possibly brilliant. For $32.95/year ($8 more internationally), you get four stickers each month with which to customize Bic lighters.

Added 03/19/12: Cravebox: 4-5 samples of products including housewares, health products, beauty products, pet products, and food, sent monthly. $10/month including S&H.

UK
Not Another Bill: Probably the most clever of the programs I found, this subscription promises something in your mail each month that is NOT a bill. It could be just about anything, but it'll be something that the curator, Ned, is surprised and excited by. The price is £15/month including S&H in the UK, £18 in the rest of Europe, and £20 in the rest of the world, all including S&H. Couldn't resist this, so I'll be reviewing when mine arrives.

Jangneus Design: This one is delightfully quirky. Each month will bring a colorful, Swedish-designed cleaning cloth--you pick your color scheme. Subscriptions within the UK are £25 for the year, including S&H. International subscriptions may be available, they ask prospective international subscribers to contact them.

Added 10/17/11: I have to point out Global Giving Project of the Month Club. This is a truly great idea. You choose a monthly donation amount, and each month a charitable project is selected for your money. You receive an email each month telling you about the project. How great an idea is that?

Added 04/01/12: BarkBox: For a monthly $25, including S&H, BarkBox sends a box of four or more dog-related products. Making it sweeter, 10% of each box's sale price goes to canine rescue organizations.

For my Barkbox review, go here!

Added 05/23/12: KLUTCHclub: For $18/month, including S&H, get a box with at least $50 worth of health, wellness, and fitness products and services. Currently aimed at women, men's version to be released soon.

In doing my research for this post, I was very indebted to:
Subscription Commerce (#SUBCOM) Matrix by Sean Percival
Boxing Up Social Commerce: Hot Opportunity? by Paul Marsden
Blissmo Launches Monthly "Blissmobox": Delivering Curated Eco-friendly Products to Your Door! by Priti Ambani
What Will The Big Winners in Subscription Commerce Look Like? by robgo
Several articles at Springwise

Added 10/14/11: Subscription service startups are the hot new thing by Harrison Weber

Added 10/14/11: Directory of Subscription Commerce Clubs by Paul Marsden

Added 03/19/12: Subscriptionboxes.com

Added 05/23/12: 10 Kid-Friendly Subscription Boxes Parents Will Love by Jeana Lee Tahnk

19 Comments

Very neat! Thanks for posting some for other countries too. I can't believe there's a 'beauty' one for only $10 in Canada. Neat to see all the things that people want shipped to them.

I had no idea any of this existed. Fascinating!

I signed up with Loosebutton.com to receive my first LuxeBox in October - can't wait to see what's inside!

Thanks so much for the list! I'm going to give some of these as gifts for the holidays this year!

I want them all. This is amazing!

Thanks for doing this! I'm bookmarking for Christmas gift ideas for my sisters!

Wow, what a cool idea. I'm a total mail junkie too (as long as it's good mail). I see quite a few that are tempting.

Very nice! I belong to a similar service for sock yarn and patterns. Something for everyone!

Thank you for posting this!!! I am going to try that BabbaBox one this spring, I think...and I am definitely going to have to give Birchbox a try!

I'm very excited about these. There aren't a lot that ship to me yet, but I ordered the Luxe Box, and there are feedback pages for most of the ones I'm interested where you can ask to be notified when they start shipping internationally. The one Customer service rep I spoke with also said that the more requests they get, the faster they'll start that service. I'm planning to order from Not Another Bill as well, in the next month or two.

I hope you update regularly with goodie pics so I can live vicariously through them.

this is awesome! keep us posted if you hear of new ones!

You forgot Stitch Fix! They are amazing and I love their clothes. Click here for their website: http://l.aunch.it/u9be or you can read my post about it: http://itsgreeninseattle.com/post/8785781281/get-your-shopping-fix-at-home-with-stitch-fix

Wow! LOVE this!! Will absolutely be checking some of these out!! Thought I'd also mention:

http://www.stackmagazines.com/ - though I've not yet used this service I've definitely been tempted!!

( I love love LOVE magazines!! If I could subscribe to all that I love I'd be a happy kitty!! 😄 actually, on that note, are there any read-and-pass-them-along services/groups...anyone???)

Also I just spotted this t'other day / and also am thinking fun Xmas gift:

http://www.peopletree.co.uk/women/goody-bags

- excellent post!! - i'm fast becoming a fan of What if No One's Watching!!! 😄😄😄


Great post. Excellent research!

These subscription businesses are great, pretty incredible how creative they’re are getting.

I’d also recommend checking out monthlygifter.com (http://monthlygifter.com). It’s a marketplace for unique and local subscription programs. Full disclosure, I’m also one of the founders, but we love these clubs, and want to spread the good word about them as best we can!

Best list I've seen...

Can also add: Klutch Club

You should add standardcocoa.com too! It's a craft chocolate subscription service. Major yum! You get super hard to find chocolate and learn about the chocolate maker too... tasty and informative- what a great combo.

Great benchmark ! Did you ever find a "cultural stuff" service ? With a curation of books, comics, CD's (!), BluRay, invitations to exhibitions, ... I'm fed up with searching new cool artists, graphic novels, etc

Leave a comment


Love letter to magazines

| 7 Comments

fake mag cover.jpg
Silly magazine cover courtesy of BigHugeLabs.
I've recently re-discovered my love of magazines. I've long been a magazine lover. My subscriptions to Sassy and Rolling Stone were lifelines when was a preteen and teenager in Elkton. I even wrote my senior thesis at Reed about Ms. magazine. In the years immediately post-college, I remember working the "free trial" system to get months of free issues, then canceling as soon as I started getting charged for them. I'd read anything I could get for free--Maxim, Catholic Digest, Runner's World, it didn't matter--and if I couldn't stomach reading it, it was always good collage material. It was at that same time that I discovered the magazine recycling bins at the public library, where you can get old issues of all kinds of weird things for free.

In recent years, I've been flush enough to actually pay for my subscriptions, and happy to do so, as the magazine, like the newspaper, is threatened by online competition. Mark, too, is a lover of magazines, and visiting his family has shown me that he came from a magazine loving people as well. So, I decided to share with you a history of our lives in lists of magazine.

Magazines that were around my house when I was growing up
Time
Reader's Digest (I still miss the Word Power feature)
Sports Illustrated
Ladies Home Journal
Field & Stream
National Geographic (my grandmother used to read this to my infant brother)

Magazines that were around Mark's house growing up
Sunset
Proceedings
Better Homes & Gardens
The New Yorker
The Economist
Newsweek

Things haven't changed that much--I'm pretty sure I saw all those titles at Mark's parents house this visit, along with Vanity Fair, Wired, and at least two floral design titles. My folks still get all the old favorites as well (besides maybe SI, they may have let that lapse), and have added a couple more outdoorsy titles and Every Day with Rachael Ray.

As for Mark and I, we run a magazine heavy household as well. It started with a flurry of more indie titles, most of which aren't even around anymore (anybody remember Nervy Girl?). Slowly, we've built up an arsenal of favorites, and a list of titles we've tried that just don't work for us. As I'm doing annual re-subscriptions, I'll share our lists.

Stuff we have previously subscribe to but don't anymore
The Economist
Travel + Leisure
Gourmet (RIP)
Cooks Illustrated
The Atlantic (formerly Monthly)
Food & Wine
Real Simple
Mother Jones

Stuff we get now
Bitch
Bust
The New Yorker
This Old House
Ready Made
The Bark
Martha Stewart Living

Stuff we're going to try or re-try this year
Real Simple
Make
National Wildlife
Portland Monthly (that oughta make me nice and homesick)
Anthology (I'm really excited about this one)

Finally, a list of titles I've loved and lost (because they don't make them anymore)
Blueprint
Budget Living
Domino
Sassy
No Depression
ID
Craft

So tell me--what do you read religiously? Pick up on occasion? Miss ferociously? Let's hear it for magazines

7 Comments

Have you ever read Yes magazine? It's a good magazine about progressive people doing progressive things and making a real difference. I think you might like it.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/

I like mother earth news occasionally...but I love reading about how to do farmsy/green/hippie kind of stuff.

How are you liking readymade these days? I used to LOVE it, but then started to feel like it was getting awfully bougie...the projects seemed to be expensive and difficult, the people they were interviewing seemed pretty richy rich...I don't know. It almost didn't feel like DIY anymore. Do you get that impression at all? Maybe I was just in a mood or something. ;)

I love magazines. I don't subscribe to any now. I save them for special treats. I still love Elle after all these years. I love RealSimple. I love the gossip rags (worst of the worst, I'm aware). I have a collection of Cook's Illustrated that I treasure.

One magazine that's gone that I loved so much was called "Kitchen Gardening" by Taunton Press. I have them all. I had to get many of them as back issues.

I have to say the only things we are subscribed to these days are The Oxford American (southern lit) and Entertainment Weekly. I used to sub to so many of the magazines on your list but some went bad (Remember when Real Simple was actually simple and not about buying "essential" $500 blouses?) or have pissed me off somehow because I'm more of a 2nd wave feminist than a whatever it is the people at Bust and Bitch are.

My subscribed-to list is similarly long, possibly longer - to the point that one of my resolutions a few years ago was to significantly cut back on my subscriptions.

We actively subscribe to:
Self
Vanity Fair (which I love and find more manageable than The New Yorker)
Whole Living
Bon Appetit
Beer Advocate

We've been gifted:
Outside
Cooks Illustrated

I miss Blueprint, and I'm considering reupping on Real Simple.

ugh, too bad. It seemed like it began to change right when i subscribed, of course.

If Make is good, will you post a review? I'd love to hear what you think of it. :)

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Life List (in progress)

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For a couple of months, I've been reading along as Karen Walrdond works on her Life List. As someone who is already really into goals and the importance of writing them down, I've always wanted to make one myself, but never actually done it. So, yesterday, I started.

I'm not finished. This list should have at least 100 things on it. But this is a start, and I'll amend it as I think of more.

Do it. You'll feel better.

  1. Skydive.
  2. See a Klimt painting in Austria.
  3. Sit for a portrait.
  4. Run a dog rescue.
  5. Be someone's mother.
  6. Write a novel I'd want to publish.
  7. Visit Freida Kahlo's house in Mexico City.
  8. Ride in a hot air balloon.
  9. Do a major art installation project.
  10. See the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in all four seasons.
  11. Throw a wine-tasting party.
  12. Go to a barn-raising.
  13. Learn a new sport.
  14. Attend an artistic or spiritual retreat.
  15. Be a godparent.
  16. Speak at my alma mater.
  17. Visit the Elephant Sanctuary.
  18. Get a Ph.D.
  19. Volunteer for disaster relief.
  20. Have a rose garden.
  21. See the Northern Lights.
  22. Sail on a sailboat.
  23. Teach someone to read.
  24. Eat 100 local foods in the regions to which they are local.
  25. Tuck my hair into my waistband.
  26. Go on a trip with my mother.
  27. Organize a major charity event.
  28. Work with a dog visiting elderly hospital/hospice patients.
  29. Throw a surprise party.
  30. Have a dress custom made.
  31. Got to a dog show.
  32. Attend the birth of a child.
  33. Visit the sites of 5 revolutions.
  34. Have a cocktail named after me.
  35. Ride a motorcycle.
  36. Stay overnight at the Chelsea Hotel.
  37. Visit Rogue brewery.
  38. Observe the Supreme Court.
  39. Be in a movie.
  40. See the sun rise in Spain.
  41. Drive an American muscle car.
  42. Go zip lining in Costa Rica.
  43. Have a beignet in the French Quarter.
  44. Take Mark to Crater Lake.
  45. Attend an EPL football game.
  46. Write a collection of short stories based on the old women I've known/heard stories about.
  47. Stomp grapes.
  48. Take a road trip alone.
  49. Attend the Sundance Film Festival.
  50. Host a big family holiday celebration.
  51. Write a song.
  52. Have a non-canine or feline pet.
  53. Publish an article in a national circulation magazine.
  54. Plant a tree and watch it grow.
  55. Embroider or cross-stitch a sampler.
  56. Collect over 100 bottles of wine.
  57. See an animal being born.
  58. Visit Jim Morrison's grave in Paris.
  59. Do 108 sun salutations for Globa Mala.
  60. Take a trip by train.
  61. Learn to make doughnuts as amazing as my mom's.
  62. Go to thrift stores in/around every major U.S. city.

3 Comments

Love it, Grace. I'd meet you in the French Quarter anytime! Well...until I move, that is. :)

These are amazing! I hope you don't mind, but I stole a few of your ideas. I love, LOVE this idea. I started one, too, a while back and haven't finished it yet. I call it my "Can Too List." :) Neat!

Hm. Is it weird that I don't have lots of goals like this? There are very few specific things that I have in mind...more like general concepts that I'd like to achieve. I guess I could come up with things that represent those concepts, but the list that starts to come to mind feels empty to me. Interesting! Thanks for posting this.

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I wanna list

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Strange, in light of my last post, but this is my annual pre-birthday stuff I want post. What can I say--I'm an enigma.

There is so much great indie stuff out there. I want to hug it all.

1 Comments

Those bowls are absolutely beautiful!

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What you came here for

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My good friend and mistress of all thing blogging Skye just sent me a list of search terms that have led people to my blog. Quite a few of them are obvious or make sense, but some are too damn funny not to share. A few of my favorites:

  • man hating songs: this actually brings people here all the time, to my great joy
  • erotic stories/making love ata drive in movie: this one took me a minute, but it must be the "ata" that does it
  • girly badass tattoo: hell yes!
  • short brown curly haired actresses from 1930's: specific! I like it!
  • in 'girl interrupted' 1999 what song do susanna and lisa sing to polly outside her door
  • : Hrm...Downtown, I think?
  • disney's belle is a whore: I'd say she's more a rape victim with possible Stockholm Syndrome, actually
  • where can i buy malibu musk: good God, why would you want to?
  • is reed college stressful? Haha! Yes. But worth it.
  • evil beagle tattoo: this just makes me laugh
  • every single god damn disney movie ever made: again, hysterical
  • smith college vagina: this is one that probably shouldn't make me laugh, but does anyway
  • what place in shreveport bossier louisiana deals with stories walruses hills and rainbows? Again an odd and specific question.
  • why do i drink more when i get my period: reasonable question. I do, too.

3 Comments

All of those make me laugh! Especially the evil beagle and drinking while having a period. :-)

Christine

I get so many hits for "naked hockey mom" I'm almost inclined to give the people what they want.

I searched for Beagle yodeling since I am watching a Beagle, and right now, she sounds like she is yodeling. I had never heard of that before and was curious whether it was a puppy thing or a Beagle thing. and there you were on my list talking about Uno. I like your blog. :)

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The power of smell

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Since I wrote this post about my addiction to fancy bath stuff and perfume, I have had it in my head to write something about the smells I prefer and why. Obviously, since I make my own essential oil scented products, as well as spending an embarrassing amount of time picking out the smells I want from other people's stuff, I have preferences. There are a set of smells I love and a set of smells I can't stand, and some of it is probably just random taste, but a lot of it does have to do with the feelings that those smells invoke in me. I don't know if I really believe in aromatherapy or not, but it seems undeniable to me that smells do have bearing on your feelings. Bad or overpowering smells are distracting and irritating, while subtle and pleasant smells are calming. Smells can make you nostalgic, obviously, but also tense and troubled. Smells can help you to relax or energize you. But not all smells work the same way for all people, so please don't think of this as instruction or advice. This is just what works for me.

Smells I Love
Lavender: For me, lavender is probably the most overall useful and pleasant scenting agent. I use it everything from bath stuff to cleaning supplies, combine it with nearly everything, and it is almost never wrong. My laundry soap is lavender lemongrass, with a lavender dryer sachet; there is a lavender and sweet orange spray near my cat boxes; and if I am making bath products for myself, they are more likely to contain lavender than any other single smell. Lavender makes me feel calm and relaxed, and it also gives me the sensation of being clean and fresh (which is why I love it so much for laundry and cleaning).

My favorite lavender products: There are a ton to choose from, but the first two that come to mind are Aveda's Balancing Infusion for Sensitive Skin (which contains lavender, patchouli, geranium, and rose oils) and EO's Lavender and Sweet Orange Room Spray, which I believe is found at Whole Foods.

Orange: Like lavender, I find orange to be a versatile and almost univerally pleasant smell. It has to be a natural orange smell, though--the kind that smells like an actual orange, not like orange candy. Many people find citrus smells invigorating and energizing, but I don't particularly (probably in large part due to the blends I choose). For me, orange, like lavender, invokes feelings of calm and cleanliness.

My favorite orange products: My own orange and clove bath stuff has to be up there, but I like other people's orange products as well. One I've been enjoying lately is the Orange Sherbet Bubble Bath Dough from Red Leaf. It's a nice warm orange scent with a little bit of vanilla in it that smells very natural and I find both cheerful and soothing.

Fig: Though it is slightly more esoteric than the first two scents I mentioned, I'm nuts about fig scented products. I love fig because it's a natural, fruity smell that has some earthiness to it and isn't too sweet. For me, it's a very grounding, centered smell. In particular, I love bath products with a fig element.

My favorite fig products: The product that introduced me to my love of fig was Lush's Figs & Leaves soap, which is made with actual figs as well as orange and ylang ylang and is my hands-down favorite thing from Lush. More recently, I have been crazy about Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's Carnal scent, which pairs fig with mandarin.

Rose: It took me a long time to warm up to rose, mostly because there is so much badly done rose stuff out there. Nicely scented rose products should smell like an actual rose, not your grandmother's underwear drawer. There is a weird underlying power or talculm scent in some rose stuff that I just cannot get behind. Real rose, though, is a pure, beautiful scent, and not just a floral but also an earthy, almost spicy note. I like to wear it because it makes me feel not only feminine, but somehow more mature and confident.

My favorite rose products: Once again, BPAL does an amazing job with rose. Their The Rose perfume is probably the perfect pure rose scent. I love the blends with rose even more, though, particularly Catherine, which is rose, rosemary, and orange blossom; and Mata Hari, which is a five rose blend with jasmine, vanilla, fig, tonka bean, mahogany, and coffee.

Clove: The more I experiment with scents, the more I realize that I strongly prefer "warm" scents to "cool" ones. I like spicy, rich scents. And nothing adds spicy and rich to a combination faster than clove. I mix clove with nearly as many things as I do lavender (though I do not mix them together!). I love orange and clove, rose and clove, vanilla and clove...I could go on. The smell of clove makes me feel warm and safe and at home.

My favorite clove products: Once again, I am awfully fond of my own clove blends, but nothing I've made can hold a candle to Villainess' Embargo. Embargo is a complicated scent, "Indonesian Patchouli spiked with imported spices - cloves, sandalwood, and cedarwood, and a drop of perfume - Tunisian jasmine, tuberose, lily of the valley, grape and Tahitian vanilla," but mostly, to me, it smells like a warm library. BPAL's Madrid is another great clove scent, mixing clove with red wine and mimosa.

So tell me, what smells do you love? Why? How do they make you feel? Do they invoke specific memories, or just general feelings? How important do you think they are in your life?

4 Comments

What laundry soap is lavender and lemongrass?

I love lavender, lemongrass, licorice, cinnamon, ginger, cedar, grapefruit. Spicy or citrusy is good

I HATE all musk, patchouli sort of stuff. And I hate vanilla with a passion. As well as iris, which is the main baby powder component. It's IN EVERYTHING and I have always always hated it. It's all orris root.

When I got allergy tested, it turned out I am really allergic to that stuff! So now it makes sense. I once borrowed Simon's deodorant and he uses something with it in there and I got hives. Blech.

Lavender is so disgusting to me. It is not a preference thing. It is something genetic and innate. My sis and I both had the gag reflex go off when we smelled lavender. I know 99.9% of the population loves it. I wish I did.

Smells I love: jasmine. The real deal. Either flowers or the oil that costs about $25/ml. Mmmmmmm.

Black pepper makes me weak in the knees. LOVE.

A nice light licorice smell. Like fennel.

Ylang ylang. It has a nice feminine mystery to it.

I really love peppermint, eucalyptus and pine. I think because it smells fresh. Doesn't matter whether it's for the bath or shower or to make the room smell nice.
I agree with the fig, a while back we bought Oyin funk butter and it had a fig smell I really loved. Never realized it could smell so good! I should check out the Lush you mention too.
Lavender can be really nice, but a lot of times I think it smells kind of chemical. Rose and orange are nice when I smell a bottle but I wouldn't buy it. Actually washing myself with it would be too much.
For laundry, we definitely prefer no smell to the detergent.

Christine

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I'm not working on it

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Remember the other day when I was going on about how great it is that everyone's blogs are full of resolutions and goals this time of year and we're all bright and shiny-eyed and committed to bettering ourselves in 2009?

Well, I'm kind of over it.

I'm all about betterment of the self. I probably write more about my own efforts at self-betterment here than about anything else. I'm goal-oriented. But I'm 100% sick of my goings on about it right now, and of all of yours as well. Not because I don't think we should all be committed to being better people, but because I'm starting to freak out about our collective need for perfection.

So today, I'm going to tell you a few of things that are wrong with me that I'm not trying to fix. This is the stuff I'm not working on, the stuff that you are just going to have to accept about me as is if you want to be friends. If you want to do the same, either in the comments or on your own blog, I encourage it. I think we could all use a little time out to embrace our flaws.

1. I have zero hand-eye coordination. Seriously. It's pathological. I had to take a special class in elementary school for what was then referred to as "physical retardation" or something like that. Basically, it was three half-hours a week of trying to get me to learn to throw and catch. I hated it. My coordination hasn't improved much since then, either. I can drive adequately, but that's about the end of what I've learned. I am bad at all sports. I bump and bruise myself daily. I can't even play Tetris.

2. I don't floss. Ever. And I'm not going to start.

3. I can't sew. I've tried, I've failed, I'm done.

4. I only finish what I start about a quarter of the time. My follow through is severely lacking. I am a much better plan-maker than plan-doer.

5. I am not above picking fights to entertain myself when I'm bored.

6. If I don't like you, I probably won't bother to hide it or even be civil to you if I don't have a pressing reason to be.

7. I have a strong tendency to think things are not worth doing simply because I'm not able to do them.

8. If you grew up wealthy, I'm likely to take an unfair automatic dislike to you.

9. I bite my nails, and my cuticles.

10. I'm incredibly lazy and will sleep 12 hour stretches if allowed.

11. I drink, often to excess, and I'm a lousy drunk.

12. I quite regularly don't answer my cell phone just because I don't feel like it.

OK. I feel better now! You?

13 Comments

Turns out we're the same person!

This is a great idea.

I often don't answer my phone either, and I don't care. For all they know, I was doing something important.

I take terrible care of my fish, such that they keep dying mostly I think because of my use of weekend feeders.

I have very little actual craft SKILLS despite doing crafts frequently and with great enthusiasm

I don't really know how to clean well

Thank you for posting this. I'm working on my goals for 2009 (I haven't sent my 2008 holiday cards yet -- timeliness with certain things would be on my list) and seeing everyone's lists was beginning to make me think that there wasn't anything in my life I shouldn't be trying to improve. It is so nice to hear someone else say that it is okay to be imperfect.

I don't feel better necessarily, but I do feel more normal.

Why Grace, you're human after all, I knew it! ;-)
I really like your post, because I'm all for honesty and I've blogged myself about the fact that so much blogs seem to make the world perfect and happy and good, and how much that irks me.
I'll think about my bad sides (I have many, lol) and write a post about it this week on my blog. You've inspired me!

Christine

I can't make myself a bag lunch. You know, with like a sandwich and an apple and something to drink. In elementary school the best I could manage was to take a juice box and apple sauce. In high school I would buy a candy bar and a coke. Now I've made peace with it and I eat Lean Cuisines or buy lunch from somewhere.

I'm loving numeber 3...boy I can relate, sewing, knitting, crafting.

I had to take remedial PE too. And I bite my nails and cuticles something awful (though it is a goal to fix that). And I'm often full of disdain for those I consider beneath me!

I see no reason why the world shouldn't revolve around me, and I don't plan on addressing that attitude in 2009. Or perhaps ever.

I did this over on my blog, and actually binkin did on her blog as well (hers is http://littlebirdhouse.wordpress.com) in case you're interested.

Take care,
el

Self improvement can suck it.

I could've written this. But I didn't because I'm too lazy to blog.

Oh, I don't want to get started on my shortcomings. Except to say my ex said I should be voted "Least likely to answer their phone."

Floss - get the Glide. Honest. And then do it. You can prevent HEART DISEASE. Please?

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As promised

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My non-sucky Christmas play list. It is still under construction, but I've been listening to it.


Christmas play list

3 Comments

This is a great list! We have made a tradition of collecting Christmas CD's every year and have gotten some great ones.

The Sufjan Stevens set, I forget the name, is awesome. There is a compilation called It's a Cool, Cool Christmas that we love. Another by Mint Records called "It's a Team Mint Xmas" is good. This year we bought my very favortie one, though. It's "The Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs". It's all female musicians performing some standards and some new songs. It's amazing.

AND! I can't believe I forgot "Fairytale of New York" by the Pogues! Add it! Add it!

I can usually only handle Christmas music in small doses, but this list looks really good. Makes me wish I had an iPod. And while it's not specifically a Christmas song, I've thought of "Give a A Little Bit" as Christmasy ever since the year that GAP used it in their holiday commercials, the one that had all the celebrities singing it.

Any way, I found your blog a few weeks ago from your MDC signature and have been lurking, but I figured I should stick my head out and say hi. So...hi. :)

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Etsy Christmas List

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I'm in a bit of a mood today, so I am going to make a Christmas list of items from Etsy that I wish lived at my house. Feel free to use any and all ideas. And not just this for me--it's all about supporting handmade this Christmas!

Editing on 12/5/08: This list is in progress. I keep adding to it every day. So I made categories. To make it easier. Because I'm retentive like that.

Jewelry/Accessories

Visual Art

Household

Stationary/Office

Bath and Body


  • MoonsHarvest Bath Bomb Gift Set ($22.75): I realize I am supposed to take care of my own needs in this area, but I'd so like someone else to do the work for once, and these are particularly fetching and VERY well priced.

  • ShopRed Leaf Women's Spa Gift Set ($48): ShopRedLeaf is the Etsy store I wish Crushworthy was. The packaging is so beyond gorgeous. I want. And I especially want to try their "bubble bath dough," which is included in this nice gift set and also sold separately. I do wish the ingredients were listed, though.

That was fun! I'm in a much better mood now!

2 Comments

Love the wish list, I should make one of my own just for fun.

Take care,
El

That was mean, now I need a second job! LOL!

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Friday I'm in Love

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And in honor of all of those bloggers who regularly use Friday to list things they love (and make all of our days brighter), I give you a playlist of songs I unabashedly and completely love. Enjoy.

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

1 Comments

Heh. We sure have a lot of musical similarities... the first 4 songs on your mix are definitely some of my all time favorites. Also, the Ani. That "I Drink" song is amazing, I hadn't heard it before. Going to have to check out more of her stuff, for sure.

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Blog Action Day: The Poverty Book List

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I've been thinking for several days about what I want to write about poverty for Blog Action Day 2008. I started writing a personal story about poverty at least 10 times, but honestly, that doesn't feel the right thing to do today. I want to actually offer a resource, rather than just talking about myself like I always do. So, being as I've had some success in the past offering lists of recommended books, I thought maybe I'd use my Blog Action Day platform to offer a brief poverty studies book list. Hope it's helpful.

  1. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    No surprise here. A lot of people consider Steinbeck's 1939 novel about the Joad family's journey to California during the Dust Bowl the best book about poverty ever written, and I can't disagree. This is a fantastic book, trite as it may be to say that, and I think it should be required reading.
  2. Homecoming and Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voight
    These are children's novels about four children, the Tillermans, who, led by eldest sister Dicey, make their way across the country to find their grandmother after their mother abandons them. Homecoming gets them to their grandmother's house, Dicey's Song is about them living with her. Both books are, in part, about living in poverty, and even though I read them in elementary school, they've stuck with me. I can still remember the passage in Dicey's Song about Dicey and her grandmother eating at a restaurant and Dicey's concern at the meal's expense. Excellent stuff.
  3. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
    Though this book was widely acclaimed, I know a lot of people who really didn't like it, saying Ehrenreich, even after her experiment, doesn't actually understand the working poor and makes stupid decisions and assumptions in her book and the experiment she writes about. I don't 100% disagree with this assessment, but I still think this is a brave and important book. The fact is that most people who have never themselves been poor have no idea what it's actually like, or why poor people might make the decisions that they do. Ehrenreich gives some explanations. Would I like it better if these explanations could come from someone who has actually lived in this situation and isn't just trying it on as a journalist? Sure. Do I think people would listen as well as they listened to Ehrenreich? No.
  4. The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler
    Shipler's book has much the same task as Ehrenreich's, but instead of building a fictional life in order to have "working poor experiences" himself, Shipler extensively interviews a bunch of working poor families and mixes their first-person stories with an academic analysis of the life of the American working poor. The only really bad thing about this book is that it is outdated (it was published in 2004, but even since then things have changed radically, and the research was done for years before that). I'd like to see an updated version.
  5. Don't Call Us Out of Name: The Untold Lives of Women and Girls in Poor America by Lisa Dodson
    This is another book built much like Shipler's, mixing first person accounts of poverty with academic analysis. What makes it more interesting to me, though, is that it addresses the interplay between poverty and gender. Again, the book's major failing is being out of date, as it was published in 1998.
  6. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
    Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina is one of the most amazing and most difficult novels I've ever read. Poverty is only one of the things its about, but it is in many ways the most salient. Just as Bone's tale of the violence of men is a call to feminism, her tale of the violence of poverty is a call to class activism.
  7. The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
    Jeannette Walls' memoir is mostly about her childhood, growing up very poor with negligent and unstable parents. Walls' family was at times homeless, often hungry, and usually without running water or electricity. She recalls middle-of-the-night dashes from collecting landlords and page after page of experiences that make the reader's skin crawl. It's a hard book to read, but a good one. I only wish Walls' discussion of how it feels on the other side of that poverty, as an upper middle class adult with a world of both gratitude and guilt, was more prolonged.
  8. Where We Stand: Class Matters by bell hooks
    bell hooks as written a lot about the intersection of race, class, and gender. This book is a conflation of memoir and social theory, and although it's a bit tough to read, it's completely worth it.
  9. Ain't No Makin' It: Aspirations and Attainment in a Low-Income Neighborhood by by Jay MacLeod
    Ain't No Makin' It is one of those books that I read and never forgot. I read it for intro pol sci my first year at Reed, and I've come back to it in my mind often since then. MacLeod wrote it about the kids he encountered while working as a counselor in a program for low-income youth. It focuses a lot on way poverty is spirit-crushing even at a very young age, and on the obstacles the kids have stacked against them. Once again, this book is out of date (and out of print), but it's still a good read if you can get a copy.
  10. Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class edited by Michelle Tea
    The final book on my list is an essay collection written by women who grew up working class. The topics of the pieces range pretty broadly, from discussion of class jumping to explorations of how much worse poor people are treated in day to day life.

Obviously there are a lot more books about poverty that are worth reading. These ten are just the first best ones I could come up with. Please feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments, and thanks for reading my Blog Action Day 08 post!

4 Comments

I recently reread Homecoming and Darcy's Song and they were just as fantastic as I remembered.

Great list. You've definitely given me some things to add to my library hold list.

Hmm, very cognitive post.
Is this theme good unough for the Digg?

I read this book while in my young teens and LOVED it, although I thought it was called Darcy's Song, or Dalcy's song, recently. I have craved to read this again, and am so happy that NOW i know how to find it! Its so wonderful. Some books you NEVER grow out of!

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Women's book meme

| 5 Comments

Got this over at Frog's. These are 75 must-read books, as per Jezebel. The ones in bold are the ones I've read. The ones in bold italics are the ones I actually liked.


  • The Lottery (and Other Stories), Shirley Jackson

  • To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

  • The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton

  • White Teeth, Zadie Smith

  • The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allenden

  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion

  • Excellent Women, Barbara Pym

  • The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

  • Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys

  • The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri

  • Beloved, Toni Morrison

  • Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert

  • Like Life, Lorrie Moore

  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

  • The Delta of Venus, Anais Nin

  • A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley

  • A Good Man Is Hard To Find (and Other Stories), Flannery O'Connor

  • The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx

  • You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down, Alice Walker

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

  • Fear of Flying, Erica Jong

  • Earthly Paradise, Colette

  • Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt

  • Property, Valerie Martin

  • Middlemarch, George Eliot

  • Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid

  • The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

  • Runaway, Alice Munro

  • The Heart is A Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

  • The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston

  • Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

  • You Must Remember This, Joyce Carol Oates

  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

  • Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill

  • The Liars' Club, Mary Karr

  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

  • A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith

  • And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie

  • Bastard out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison

  • The Secret History, Donna Tartt

  • The Little Disturbances of Man, Grace Paley

  • The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker

  • The Group, Mary McCarthy

  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi

  • The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing

  • The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank

  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

  • Against Interpretation, Susan Sontag

  • In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez

  • The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck

  • Fun Home, Alison Bechdel

  • Three Junes, Julia Glass

  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft

  • Sophie's Choice, William Styron

  • Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann

  • Love in a Cold Climate, Nancy Mitford

  • Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

  • The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin

  • The Red Tent, Anita Diamant

  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

  • The Face of War, Martha Gellhorn

  • My Antonia, Willa Cather

  • Love In The Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  • The Harsh Voice, Rebecca West

  • Spending, Mary Gordon

  • The Lover, Marguerite Duras

  • The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

  • Tell Me a Riddle, Tillie Olsen

  • Nightwood, Djuna Barnes

  • Three Lives, Gertrude Stein

  • Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons

  • I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith

  • Possession, A.S. Byatt

Yikes. Not terribly well-read, am I?

5 Comments

I've read a surprisingly small number of these, as well. Aw, you haven't read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? I've loved that one since I was a kid. And Persepolis is amazing.

Easy reads to up your Feminist Canon score:

Valley of the Dolls
Tree Grows in Brooklyn
In the Time of the Butterflies
The Good Earth
Three Junes
Possession
Portable Dorothy Parker (which you will LOVE)
And Then There Were None
Delta of Venus (erotica!)
House of the Spirits
A Good Man is Hard to Find

I haven't read Persepolis, but I bet it's quick, being a graphic novel and all.


Wow, don't feel too bad, I think I've maybe only read 3-5 of those!

You are better read than I.

Wow.
I have a lot of reading to do!
Hope you do not mind, I posted this as well. with a link to you blog.

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Stuff I dig

| 1 Comment

It's been a long time since I have posted a list of things I am currently loving. And it's that kind of day, so...

ON ruched teeOld Navy Ruched V-Neck Tees. I am trying not to buy any new clothing (thrift only). However, plain colored tee shirts are hard for me to find in my size and in good shape. I think they're just something people hold on to, and they are made so cheaply that they don't last long. So, I sucked it up and ordered some shirts from Old Navy, and I love them. This style is very flattering, they come in tall so they are long enough, they are super lightweight but not transparent, and the colors are fantastic. They were also on sale for I think $7.50 each when I bought mine, so I got one each in hyper blue, French violet, bright guava, and brown earth. Sweet.

Weight Watchers. I never thought I'd be saying this, but the program works. I've lost 18 lbs in 9 weeks, I'm not feeling deprived (at least not very much), and I feel better about myself every day. I am not going to meetings, just using the online function, but it's amazing how helpful the points system is. Somehow it is easier and more intuitive than following calories on Fitday, even though it's based on the same stuff. I got a three month initial membership, which means I only have about a month left. After that, I'll have to decide if it's worth paying for more months, or if I should try to lose the rest on my own. So far, it's been very worth it.

English Premiere League Football. The English Premiere League season started last weekend (soccer-football, for the uninitiated). Mark's been following it for a few years, and recently I've gotten very into it as well. It's a great way for us to bond, and I am really looking forward to months of Saturday mornings sitting on our couch, drinking coffee, yelling at our respective teams (Arsenal and Liverpool).

hummus with pine nutsSabra hummus. Mark and I are both picky about our hummus, and we agree that Sabra with the roasted pine nuts on top is the best you can get at a store. It's also widely available and inexpensive. Can't beat that.


Audubon Birds.
I got a bunch of these little guys at the bins for $0.25 each the other day. They are stuffed birds that make natural bird sounds when squeezed (from real bird recordings). The dogs LOVE them. They aren't the world's best dog toys, as they have plastic bead pouches inside, so the pets have to be supervised when playing with them in case of disembowelment, but to watch the perplexed look on their faces when the birdies sing is worth it. The Purple Martin is my favorite.

hope solo in the goalHope Solo. The USA Women's national soccer team goalkeeper who saved the gold against Brazil. I will never be as cool as Hope Solo. My heart still belongs to Abby, but I don't know that I've ever even seen anything as cool as Hope Solo. Just her name is cool. Hope Solo.

Hearthsong Under the Sea Hideaway. I thrifted one of these little babies for $3 and it made me $61 on EBay this week. Love that kind of profit margin.

Chipotle. They're giving free burritos to all the employees of the university where I work today. Good promotion! The line was too long and the points too high, though, so I passed.

And so ends my list of cool stuff for now. What have you noticed being especially cool lately?

1 Comments

ooh good call on the shirts. I need plain work tees so bad!

I love love love bookmooch.com

and magnetic bookmarks.

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Blogs to watch out for

| 1 Comment

For reasons too boring to go into, I no longer have a blog roll on my blog sidebar. I do, however, love to read other people's blogs. I use a feed reader (Google) to keep up with them, and try to read new entries every day. I'm also working on making more comments, so the folks I'm reading will know that they have me as a follower.

Periodically, I'd like to share the blogs I am reading with you all, since I don't have them up full time. The point here is two-fold: first, maybe I can introduce you to a blog you haven't been reading and will enjoy; second, maybe you can suggest some things to me in the comments that are missing from my list?

Here are the blogs in my feed reader:

Craft blogs

Thrifting blogs

Shopping blogs

"Mommy" blogs

Misc blogs

Friends' blogs

1 Comments

A) Do those reasons involve Movable Type being a punk-ass?

b) Please for the love of all that's holy make this an actual list instead of just using line breaks. People with screen readers will thank you for it.

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The ABCs of Me

| 0 Comments

This is from Suebob.

Accent: Not much of one, but whatever the PNW sounds like when it lives in Texas

Breakfast or no breakfast: Breakfast, these days. Yogurt and granola is the staple. And always, always coffee.

Chore I don't care for: I will not, do not, cannot vacuum.

Dog or Cat: Both in my house, but dogs are first for me.

Essential Electronics: I currently have a Mac laptop through work that I lurve. I want one of my very own.

Favorite Cologne: I got Mark Burberry's' Weekend for Christmas, and I like it a lot on him. I don't usually wear perfume/cologne.

Gold or Silver:
Silver, though I think gold is better for my skin tone.

Handbag I carry most often: From here.

Insomnia: Almost never.

Job Title: Not something I find to be all that important.

Kids: I love other people's.

Living Arrangements: With Mark and the packpride

Most Admirable Trait: I am really, honest-to-God, trying

Naughtiest Childhood Behavior:
Too many to name--I was really awful

Overnight hospital stays: Never happened.

Phobias: Too many people in too small a space

Quote: "The degree to which you resist in the degree to which you are free."

Reason to smile: The pets

Siblings: Two, one XX and one XY

Time I wake up: Theoretically 6:45. In reality, between 7 and 7:15

Unusual Talent or Skill: Picking dog show winners

Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: Beets. Don't even talk to me about beets.

Worst Habit: Endless navel-gazing

X-rays: Chest, feet

Yummy Stuff: Rum cocktails

Zoo Animal I Like Most: Monkeys and elephants

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New Classics

| 2 Comments

Over on the future spinster librarian manifesto, there's list up of Entertainment Weekly's 100 "New Classic" films. How many have I seen? They're in bold.

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)
3. Titanic (1997)
4. Blue Velvet (1986)
5. Toy Story (1995)
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998 )
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
9. Die Hard (1988 )
10. Moulin Rouge (2001)
11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
12. The Matrix (1999)
13. GoodFellas (1990)
14. Crumb (1995)
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
16. Boogie Nights (1997)
17. Jerry Maguire (1996)
18. Do the Right Thing (1989)
19. Casino Royale (2006)
20. The Lion King (1994)
21. Schindler's List (1993)
22. Rushmore (1998 )
23. Memento (2001)
24. A Room With a View (1986)
25. Shrek (2001)
26. Hoop Dreams (1994)
27. Aliens (1986)
28. Wings of Desire (1988 )
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
30. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
32. Fight Club (1999)
33. The Breakfast Club (1985)
34. Fargo (1996)
35. The Incredibles (2004)
36. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
37. Pretty Woman (1990)
38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
39. The Sixth Sense (1999)
40. Speed (1994)
41. Dazed and Confused (1993)
42. Clueless (1995)
43. Gladiator (2000)
44. The Player (1992)
45. Rain Man (1988 )
46. Children of Men (2006)
47. Men in Black (1997)
48. Scarface (1983)
49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
50. The Piano (1993)
51. There Will Be Blood (2007)
52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988 )
53. The Truman Show (1998 )
54. Fatal Attraction (1987)
55. Risky Business (1983)
56. The Lives of Others (2006)
57. There's Something About Mary (1998)
58. Ghostbusters (1984)
59. L.A. Confidential (1997)
60. Scream (1996)
61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
62. sex, lies and videotape (1989)
63. Big (1988)
64. No Country For Old Men (2007)
65. Dirty Dancing (1987)
66. Natural Born Killers (1994)
67. Donnie Brasco (1997)
68. Witness (1985)
69. All About My Mother (1999)
70. Broadcast News (1987)
71. Unforgiven (1992)
72. Thelma & Louise (1991)
73. Office Space (1999)
74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
75. Out of Africa (1985)
76. The Departed (2006)
77. Sid and Nancy (1986)
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
79. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
80. Michael Clayton (2007)
81. Moonstruck (1987)
82. Lost in Translation (2003)
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
84. Sideways (2004)
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
87. Swingers (1996)
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
89. Breaking the Waves (1996)
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
91. Back to the Future (1985)
92. Menace II Society (1993)
93. Ed Wood (1994)
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
95. In the Mood for Love (2001)
96. Far From Heaven (2002)
97. Glory (1989)
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
99. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)

Yeah. I see a lot of movies.

2 Comments

Is there anyone who can read that thinks Spider Man: 2 was anything more than a worthless pile of crap?

Everything on there seems to do something right on a few counts.

Except Spider Man:2.

Man, fuck that movie.

I agree with Simon. Which rarely happens, so it must mean something.

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Women's library II

| 8 Comments

OK, next step. These are the books from the man's list that I'd put on the woman's list as well:

1. The Republic by Plato
2. Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
4. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
6. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
7. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
8. The Politics by Aristotle
9. Hamlet by Shakespeare
10. A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
11. The Stranger by Albert Camus
12. The Bible
13. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Broadly, these are a collection of books that I'd identify as being about human nature, the roots of human governance, and morality, and I'd think they would have a place on an essential reading list regardless of gender.

I'm sure there are a couple from that other list that I've left out that I shouldn't have. Readers? Any books on the previous list you'd like to argue for including on our 100 must-reads for women?

(Incidentally, looking over this list, I have read all or most of 12/13 of these books. Can you guess which one I've never cracked?)

8 Comments

I'm guessing you never read "The Divine Comedy"

Will you tell?

The Brothers K?

A Farewell to Arms.


I imagine you'd have held the gun for Hemingway out of ladylike politeness.

Please do tell which you haven't read.

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Woman's library?

| 2 Comments

My friend Jenny sent me a link a few days ago to this blog post, "100 Must-Read Books: The Essential Man's Library." Challengingly, she wrote, "care to try a female version?"

Oh do I.

But, to begin, let's have a look the books that post lists as "the top 100 books that have shaped the lives of individual men while also helping define broader cultural ideas of what it means to be a man."

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
1984 by George Orwell
The Republic by Plato
Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Master and Margarita by by Mikhail Bulgakov
Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins
White Noise by Don Delillo
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Young Man's Guide by William Alcott
Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy
Seek: Reports from the Edges of America & Beyond by Denis Johnson
Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
The Book of Deeds of Arms and of Chivalry by Christine De Pizan
The Art of Warfare by Sun Tzu
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Rough Riders by Theodore Roosevelt
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
The Thin Red Line by James Jones
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Politics by Aristotle
First Edition of the The Boy Scout Handbook
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
The Crisis by Winston Churchill
The Naked and The Dead by Norman Mailer
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Beyond Good and Evil by Freidrich Nietzsche
The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Essential Manners for Men by Peter Post
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly
Hamlet by Shakespeare
The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard
Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
American Boys' Handy Book
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
A River Runs Through It by Norman F. Maclean
The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells
Malcolm X: The Autobiography
Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
All Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarq
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans by Plutarch
The Strenuous Life by Theodore Roosevelt
The Bible
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
The Histories by Herodotus
From Here to Eternity by James Jones
The Frontier in American History by Frederick Jackson Turner
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

First, to be clear, I have not read all of these books (as I am not man enough). By my count, I've read 40 of them, seen the film versions of four more, and have at least a passing knowledge of about half of the remainder. Maybe that makes me like half man? Anyway, my confessed ignorance aside, some thoughts:

1. Of the 100 books on this list, 3 are written by women, and one of those women is Ayn Rand. Seriously.
2. This particularly disturbing because in reality, most of these books aren't about "being a man," they are about being a human being. This will become clear when you see how much duplication there is between this list and my list of must-reads for women.
3. Could this list possibly be any less original? Or repeat itself any more? There really are writers other than Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.
4. The obsession with Teddy Roosevelt freaks me out.
5. Some of these have to be a joke. The Dangerous Book for Boys? Essential Manners for Men?

So yeah, basically, I think there are a few keepers on this list that everyone should read, and maybe a few I really don't understand since I am not sufficiently manly, but mainly, it sucks.

Can I do better? Stay tuned to find out...

2 Comments

Care for suggestions? I'd love to help.

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It's Friday, what you have learned this week?

| 2 Comments

Third week in a row!

This week, I've learned:


  • The first two Indiana Jones movies are indeed as racist and sexist as you'd expect

  • Many Waldorf schools have dress codes forbidding the children to wear specific clothes, including anything synthetic or black

  • I really do like some of the t-shirt styles from Old Navy

  • How to felt wool (though I can't actually do it)

  • The soundtrack to Juno, which worked great in the film, is really annoying outside the film context

  • It doesn't matter if I hang up my clothes outside at night or during the day, the birds shit on them either way

2 Comments

what's the new interest in waldorf schools about?

also, half the songs on the juno soundtrack are songs i put on many, many mix tapes. eeriely so.

I've learned that I'm sad when you only post once a week!

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Ways in which I am not a virtuous hippy

| 3 Comments

Yesterday, I had occasion to have lunch with a group of people who are a lot different than the people I generally choose to spend social time with. This group was mostly older than I am by a generation or two, mostly had kids, and was mostly fairly "mainstream." During the course of the lunch conversation, it really began to feel like I had nothing in common with them. They talked about the rising price in groceries and which of the two national chains of grocery stores we have locally is better (Mark and I buy the bulk of our groceries at the local co-op). They talked about how to get toddler stains out of upholstery (we use natural cleaning products). They talked make-up (which I don't wear) and sitcoms (which I don't watch). Mostly, I kept my mouth shut unless asked a direct question--as I felt like anything I could say on any of these subjects would sound self-involved and holier-than-thou. Even so, the conversation ended with one person exclaiming that she had no idea I was so virtuous.

Virtuous? Me? As if. I know some absolutely virtuous hippies, people whose consumption actually matches their morals, who are really living lightly on the Earth. Me not so much. So, a list.

Ways in Which I am NOT a Virtuous Hippy


  1. I like fast food. A lot. And I don't just nostalgically look back on it, either. I eat it, frequently, generally while driving alone in my SUV.

  2. I may not have ever seen Lost or Desperate Housewives, but there is a flat screened TV at my house that cost more than my first car, and we have extended cable. No lack of TV watching.

  3. Gallons, tankard trucks, absolute rivers of Pepsi.

  4. I love modern medicine. If there is a shot or a pill that will make something unpleasant go away, I'll take it. If I ever have a baby, I want to do it while high as a kite on the best painkillers they can give me, and I want that baby to be fully and completely vaccinated.

  5. I don't exercise. Ever. And I cannot and will not ride a bike.

  6. I eat meat. I don't plan to stop.

  7. I believe that violence, while never pleasant, is sometimes necessary. I also find cinematic violence extremely entertaining.

  8. I have really really tried, but I don't like yoga.

  9. I consider my period an annoyance.

  10. I am scared of Waldorf schools.

  11. My dogs can't leave the yard without a leash.

OK. I feel absolved.

3 Comments

I have a similarly defensive feeling every time I tell people I "don't really watch TV".

HA ha!

I read your list and nodded at everything. Except I like Coke better than Pepsi and we sold the SUV because gas costs too much. New car is very efficient and way less comfortable. Bah. My junk food of choice is A&W. Yum, yum.

I'm curious though. Why are you scared of Waldorf schools??

I don't even know what Waldorf schools are? Did I miss you blogging about them? Is it somewhere that people are forced to eat lots of fancy salad?

I'm with you on everything, except I watch Lost and Desperate Housewives, I don't have a dog, and I like Coke.

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It's Friday, what you have learned this week?

| 3 Comments

Second weekly edition!

This week I learned:


  • Season 3 of Buffy really is as good as I thought it was.

  • No matter how many times I wear them, my cute high heels give me horrible blisters.

  • Three lemon bars in a row is too many.

  • There is a cute US-made alternative to Crocs (thanks, Krup!).

  • Etsy is a great place to buy cards.

  • The Duggars are having another one.

  • Gilmore Girls ended well.

3 Comments

Oh, I was so sad when Gilmore Girls ended. But considering how much the writing went downhill in the last few seasons, it ended well. I still miss it. :(

re: GG: i like that rory broke up with logan, but generally i didnt love how it ended--it didnt really go anywhere.

Oops. I think I totally copied you. Was purely accidental, I promise!

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Etsy while plus-sized

| 0 Comments

So. Are you more bored by my Etsy obsession or my Buffy obsession? Don't worry, I'm back to watching 2-4 eps of Buffy a night, so I'm sure those posts will be back soon.

In the meantime, I've been looking for plus-sized clothes on Etsy. And I've been pleasantly surprised at what I've found. Take a look:

sutara pantsSutara sells handmade clothing, including lots of hippy-style skirts with drawstring waists fitting up to 48" and wide-leg pants. My favorite of her offerings are the custom hippy patched pants show here, which she collaborates with the customer on in terms of size and style. They're $38 plus $7 S&H.

From the Fig Tree offers clothes made from mostly recycled materials (other clothes). Again, most of the clothes are drawstring "size free" affairs.

cinnascents apronCinnascents has a whole section of plus sized aprons, which (God bless her) look just like her other aprons, only bigger. I like the sunflower blues apron shown best. It's not a bad price, either--$19 with free shipping.

Sandmaiden makes sleepwear and lingerie in a wide size range, from 02/-18/20. It's a bit pricey but SO cute.

bon bon dressJane at Bon Bon is an actual plus-sized designer! She stocks some dresses in plus sizes, but most of her stuff is made to order (you send her your measurements), and it's the same price regardless of size. She's got a wide range of prices, depending on the piece. The amazing sun dress shown here is $89 plus $7 US shipping.

Miss Bombshell offers up super-cute vintage inspired duds, all of which are available from XS-XXL. Again, not cheap (most dresses are around $85).

flannel bloomersYodaMoon says that her clothing is "sized for real people." Things run from XS-XXL. I'll admit a fondness for her flannel bloomers--I think they'd make great lounge/PJ pants. They're $35 plus $6 shipping.

Panda Sewing is another site offering custom sized clothing, particularly dresses. Right now she has a couple of sun dresses available, up to size 24, for $46-$69 (depending on dress pattern, not size).

six gun sally tunicSix Gun Sally has a plus-sized section, mostly featuring shirts. This belted tunic is a 1X. It's $34 plus $3.50 shipping.

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It's Friday, what you have learned this week?

| 1 Comment

Someone on a message board I frequent posed this question today, and it seems like an excellent blog prompt. Maybe I'll start trying to do it every Friday, a la the Friday Love Lists Meg Fowler does.

Things I've learned this week:

  • Some people are actually annoyed by receiving paper thank you notes
  • If you piss Illy off, she'll bite you and draw blood
  • Garden of Eden blue corn tortilla chips are sadly salt-free
  • My new clothes lines hold more than one, but less than two, loads of laundry
  • My stimulus check should come in a couple of weeks
  • I don't mind drinking coffee black anymore.

What did you learn this week?

1 Comments

Why do people hate thank you cards?!?

I learned Dolly Parton can play at least 7 instruments. And Prince's childhood nickname was Skipper. And Jesse James left his pregnant porn star wife for Sandra Bullock.

I learned all but the first at work.

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Music from your birth year

| 1 Comment

Have you ever thought about what was on the radio the year you were born? I was actually born into kind of an interesting musical moment--disco was still king, but it was failing, there was still a punk undertone, but Sid Vicious died. And some legendary country songs were released, too. It's fascinating. I had no idea, until I started making this list, that 1979 gave birth not only to me, but also to London Calling and The Wall.

What about you? What was playing the year you were born?

1 Comments

Lots of my faves are in the top 100 of the year I was born

Joy to the World - 3 Dog Night
Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
It's too late - Carole King
The Night they drove old dixie down - Joan Baez
Signs - Five Man Electrical Band
If you could read my mind - Gordon Lightfoot
Proud Mary - Tina Turner
Sweet City Woman - The Stampeders
Wild Word - Cat Stevens

Gotta wonder about a list who has the Doors, followed by Perry Como. Ha!


Among the songs I love, there was some disco (BeeGees!), some sap (The Osmonds), and some annoyances (Tom Jones).

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Play List: Power ballads

| 1 Comment

This one is too funny not to share. I'll admit it, I love hair metal ballads. Love to sing 'em at the top of my lungs. You should try it. I know you remember the words.

1 Comments

Oooh, I love hair ballads! These will brighten my day with some 80s cheese. Thanks! ("Heaven" is def. one of my favorite sing along in the car songs.)

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TV shows that are worth watching

| 1 Comment

So inevitably, when I go on that rant about how great TV is, someone asks me what I mean about quality television. No, I'm not talking about Discovery and the History channel (though you can find quality shows on both of those networks). I mean that there is quality fiction on television. Television literature. It's even on the networks occasionally. And so, yet another list. These are only shows I have personally experienced as "television literature" at some point--I'm sure there are others.

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (duh)
2. Joan of Arcadia
3. The Wire
4. Gilmore Girls
5. M*A*S*H
6. My So-Called Life
7. Roseanne
8. The Shield
9. The Sopranos
10. The West Wing

1 Comments

I own the whole season/series of "My So-Called Life." I think it is one of the most interesting portrayals of high school life for girls AND it was so far ahead of its time. Which, in my humble opinion, is why it was discontinued...

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Stuff I am loving on Etsy

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Once again I am too addled to actually write. But here are some recent Etsy covets:

skiptomylou outfit1. Skip To My Lou Clothing has the cutest outfits for little girls. Shirt and skirt sets are in the $25-$30 (plus $5 S&H) range, which isn't bad for full handmade outfits! My current favorite, shown here, is a set with a chick motif in size 3/4.

boojiboo apron2. It took me a while to start appreciating the apron craze, but I'm on board now, and there are some fantastic vintage-inspired ones at Boojiboo. They aren't cheap (the dog print one shown here is $23.75 plus $3 S&H), but still, so adorable!

matte art owl print3. Matte Stephens' Brainiac art just kills me. In both subject and style, it's just wonderful. Limited edition prints run from $35, for an 8.5"X11" (plus $4.60 S&H) to $60 (plus $10.60 S&H) for a 13" X 14" print. Most are available in both sizes. I particularly love this owl.

hey peanut elephant4. Hey Peanut makes soft toys and shoes for babies, some with vintage fabrics, and they fantastic. For the most part, the booties are $18 plus $5 S&H and the stuffies are $25 plus $5. I really want to think of someone to gift this vintage plaid baby elephant toy.

glue and glitter lunch kit5. I really want a lunch kit from Glue and Glitter. For $40 (with free shipping!) you get a handmade, machine-washable tote, a stainless steel lunch box, five tote-coordinated cloth napkins, and a set of reusable utensils. How much does that make bringing your lunch to work?

simple song stationary6. Simple Song Designs is definitely on my list of potential gift sources in the future. The custom stationary products are classic and gorgeous, with just enough of a twist. This set of ten custom-made mod-style cards with envelopes is $12 plus $1.50 S&H, and for another $3 you can get your return address printed on the envelopes. Looks like Mother's Day to me...

courtney courtney dress7. Finally, I have to call your attention to the genius that is Courtney Courtney. Last time I did this, I featured dressme, a shop that makes one-of-a-kind tees and dresses for little ones out of recycled garments. Courtney Courtney is similar, with "entirely new, partially new, partially repurposed and recycled pieces" for kids and adults. The adult stuff doesn't really work for me, but the kids' stuff is fabulous. My favorite pieces are the embellished recycled tee shirt play dresses, like the one shown here. A 5T dress made out of a recycled Thai beer tee and custom screen printed sleeves? How could it get cuter than that? This one is $25 plus $2.15 S&H.

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Pearl River has a lot of lunch boxes like this, but cheaper:
http://tinyurl.com/2pmg3b

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List 21: Favorite dog breeds

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I got this meme from Sarahlynn:

What dog breed are you? I'm a Bulldog! Find out at Dogster.com

Not necessarily accurate, but funny anyway. And made me think, what are my favorite dog breeds? If I have to hold it down to say, 10, which ones do I choose? Thus, today's list.

Grace's Top 10 Dog Breeds
irish-wolfhound10. Akita
9. Rottweiler
8. Beagle
7. Otterhound
6. Great Pyrenees
5. American Staffordshire Terrier
4. Anatolian Shepherd Dog
3. Mastiiff
2. Bernese Mountain Dog
1. Irish Wolfhound

Gee, do you think I maybe have a type?

1 Comments

hah! i am a jack russell. just like prince...for whatever that's worth.

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List 20: 43 (or 20) things

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We are a cranky bunch around my house tonight. I don't think the dogs or cats are actually cranky, but the humans definitely are. Mark is having a back issue, and I'm just so tired and not quite not-sick yet.

So I am hard pressed to think of a list. Instead, I'll share with you the things that are on my "43 Things" list (broadly, my list of goals, which is always in flux).

1. Get out of debt.
2. Travel.
3. Get a Ph.D.
4. Get Lasik surgery.
5. Keep in touch with friends better.
6. Get lots of tattoos.
7. Learn to knit.
8. See Gustav Klimt's art in person.
9. Remember birthdays and send cards.
10. Blog every day (hey, I'm doing that--sorta).
11. Stop buying things I don't need.
12. Keep my house cleaner.
13. Save money.
14. Watch more movies.
15. Learn boxing.
16. Pay off my student loans.
17. Donate more to charity.
18. Stop biting my nails.
19. Publish writing.
20. Develop my own style.

1 Comments

I love your list; it freakishly resembles my own.

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List 17b: Songs from TV

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That last list got me thinking about great songs featured on TV shows I love. Here's a list of a few. Do you know what shows they are/were from? Put guesses in the comments. Shouldn't be too hard to guess--there aren't/haven't been all that many shows I like.

1. "Way Down in the Hole" by Steve Earle (originally Tom Waits) Theme song from The Wire, last season's version (Kelly Cat)
2. "L.A. Song" by Christian Kane
3. "Goodbye to You" by Michelle Branch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tabula Rosa episode (Amanda)
4. "Keep Me in Your Heart" by Warron Zevon
5. "Woke Up This Morning" by A3 Theme song from The Sopranos (Melinda)
6. "Out Of This World" by Bush
7. "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones My So-Called Life (Kasia)
8. "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley (originally Leonard Cohen) The West Wing, the episode when Simon dies (Frog)
9. "Teardrop" by Massive Attack Theme song from House, M.D. (Melinda)
10. "Have a Little Faith in Me" by John Haitt

6 Comments

5. is the sopranos, and 9. is house, md...not that i was ever addicted to it, nooooo.

1) The Wire (Steve Earle fan here)
10) Not taking credit for it since I didn't know, but googled it because I liked John Hiatt in the 80's and 90's. I can imagine Mandy Moore singing that song. But on *that* show?

Goodbye to You was on Buffy, wasn't it?

#8 was on The West Wing.

Rayanne and Jordan Catalano sang The Ramone's "I Wanna Be Sedated" in a My So-Called Life episode.

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List 17: Covers

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I love covers of songs. Love them. Never met one I didn't like. Here are some of my favorites:

1. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Tori Amos (originally Nirvana)
I don't like most covers of this song. I like this one.
2. "Tainted Love" by Marilyn Manson (originally Gloria Jones)
3. "Wild Horses" by The Sundays (originally The Rolling Stones)
Gah. The prom scene in Buffy. Always.
4. "Hurt" by Johnny Cash (originally Nine Inch Nails)
Still my pick for best. video. ever.
5. "Mad World" by Gary Jules (originally Tears for Fears)
And I bawl and bawl.
6. "Come On, Eileen" by Save Ferris (originally Dexys Midnight Runners)
This is just silly.
7. "Angel from Montgomery" by Bonnie Raitt (originally John Prine)
This song reminds me of "Into the Wild" now.
8. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by Cat Power (originally The Rolling Stones)
9. "Hazy Shade of Winter" by The Bangles (originally Simon & Garfunkel)
10. "Helpless" by k.d. lang (originally Neil Young)
I actually like Patti Smith's version of this song as well if not better, but I can't find it online.
11. "It Ain't Me, Babe" by Lucy Kaplansky (originally Bob Dylan)
I like her cover of Lyle Lovett's "God Will" even more, but I can't find it anywhere.
12. "He Was a Friend of Mine" by Cat Power (originally Bob Dylan)
13 "King of the Road" by Rufus Wainwright (originally Roger Miller)
From Brokeback Mountain. All the best covers are from movies or TV, seems like.

There are so, so many more...some of which I have told you about before (Patti's Smith's covers from Twelve, all the great Dylan and Leonard Cohen covers...). What are your favorites?

2 Comments

I love covers to. Two of my favorites are:

1. The Hold Steady's cover of Dylan's Can you please crawl out your window

2. The Gourd's (Austin band btw) cover of Snoop Dogg's Gin & Juice.

#4 and #5 are fantastic!

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List 14: Song lyric meme

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Same meme as Wednesday, only with song lyrics. These aren't my favorite, though, just the first lyrics from each of the first 10 songs to pop up in my iTunes. Guesses?

1. "I pulled out of Shaky Town, goin' up-country, sinking down."
2. "I walked into a honky tonk, just the other day." "Juke Box Blues" by Reese Witherspoon (originally June Carter Cash) (Delia)
3. "If I have to go, will you remember me?"
4. "Because I love you I get tongue-tied around you." "One Dance" by Dan Bern (Jenny)
5. "Life in the circus ain't easy." "Freakshow" by Ani DiFranco (Chips)
6. "Mamma Svetlana, I know you wanna, shriek at what your daughter done done."
7. "Well my friends are gone and my hair is gray." "Tower of Song" by Leonard Cohen (Chips, Nella)
8. "What is that you're saying, you roulette girl?" "Roulette Girl" by Mary Prankster (Melinda)
9. "Well it's early in the A.M. and I'm feeling kind of blind."
10. "Last night I stood at your doorstep, trying to figure out what went wrong." "Long Walk Home" by Bruce Springsteen (Amanda--close enough!)

7 Comments

7 is Leonard Cohen, Tower of Song. That's the only one i know though.

8. is roulette girl by mary prankster!

4. one dance by dan bern

5 is Freakshow, Ani D.
&
7 is Tower of Song - covered by many, written by Leonard Cohen.

Yeah! I never get these things.

the last one is springstein, but i don't know what song

#2 "Jukebox Blues", sung by Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line... so I'm guessing it was originally by June Carter Cash?

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List 12: Movie meme

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I am home sick today and not really up for thinking of a new list. So I'm stealing this meme from Bomboniera.

The rules


1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. Looking them up is cheating, please don’t.

My movie lines:

1. "Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessel's life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted." Fight Club (Noble Savage)
2. "...never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!" The Princess Bride (Marta)
3. "Sand is overrated. It's just tiny, little rocks." Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Jess)
4. "And then there were the crypto-homo rockers: Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, David Bowie--who was actually an idiom working in America and Canada." Hedwig & the Angry Inch (Jenny, Bomboneria)
5. "I'm the most dangerous man in this prison. You know why? 'Cause I control the underwear." American History X (Howell)
6. "Anybody not wearing 2 million sunblock is gonna have a real bad day." Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Skylanda)
7. "If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking and you beat love down." Romeo & Juliet (Melinda, Noble Savage)
8. "Speak for yourself. You may be a sinner, but I ain't yet had the opportunity." Brokeback Mountain (Ganymede)
9. "I'm just trying to be honest about being a misanthrope." Dazed and Confused (jaysee)
10. "I've always known I was meant to dominate your sex and avenge my own." Dangerous Liasons (Bomboniera)

OK. Guesses?

18 Comments

Is (2) The Princess Bride?

3. is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind!

7. is shakespeare...gonna guess romeo and juliet.

also for 10., i would guess either grindhouse or one of the kill bill movies.

1. Fight Club!

7. Romeo and Juliet?

Sorry Melinda, you couldn't be farther off on #10. The only person I can see getting that one is Simon...

#6: Terminator II.

Oooooh yeahhh...

okay, here's one from howell: he says #5 is from american history x.

4. Hedwig

10. Orlando?

#8 is Brokeback Mountain.

Wow, you all are tearing it up! Orlando is closer for #10, but still pretty far off the mark. I could tell you who says it, but then you'd get it too easily. And nobody has a guess for #9? It's a movie I'd bet you have all seen.

#10 - Dangerous Liaisons?

Woohoo! Go Bomb! Only one left!

#9 Dazed and Confused

I'm too late for this, but in reference to #10: I've never even seen "Dazed and Confused".

I hear it's a good movie, though.

Oh yeah - I totally have that movie memorized!

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List 11: Six words

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Have you heard of Six Word Memoirs? The concept is pretty simple--tell your life story in only and exactly six words. Some of my favorites:

1. I slept through most of it.
2. I asked God. He said nothing.
3. Hoping for just one extra day.
4. I'm beginning to think it's me.
5. Dotted i's, crossed t's, now what?
6. Inspired hired fired tired retired expired.
7. Suddenly, something happened... No, false alarm
8. Suggestions wanted for new interesting vices.
9. 78. 45. 33. 8-track. MP3. Next.
10. THIS IS JUST MY DAY JOB.
11. God Called, you have 1 message.
12. Being a grown-up is more fun.
13. Zoloft daily, beer often, fuck yoga.

I am trying desperately to think of a clever one of my own, but coming up totally blank.

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List 10: Rain Songs

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1. It is raining.
2. I haven't done a list yet today.
3. I haven't done a play list in a bit.

So, of course, a rain songs list. Now, rain is a pretty damn common trope in music (so emo, you know?), so I limited this list to songs about rain I actually like. Hence no Gene Kelly (I'm sure he's very upset). Please note my (judicious?) use of hair bands.

1. "I Remember You" by Skid Row
"Woke up to the sound of pouring rain..."
This was my oh-my-God-very-favorite song for quite some time in my teeny bopper years. Sebastian Bach was just. so hot. in the video! I'm happy, actually, to see that Sebastian Bach is at least kind of still around, and not so skinny anymore. And I still like the song. Sometimes, only a power ballad will do.

2. "It Can't Rain All the Time" by Jane Siberry
"It won't rain all the time/the sky won't fall forever."
From The Crow soundtrack! And at this point, I become a goth. For you kiddies, that's what we used to call emo. ;)

3. "Purple Rain" by Prince & The Revolution
"I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain"
The best line in the song, though, is "I don't want to be your weekend lover." I am not actually old enough to truly appreciate Prince for when he was hot, but I still love him. As a side note, Ani used to cover this song every now and again, which was fantastic.

4. "I Can't Stand the Rain" by Tina Turner
"I can't stand the rain against my window/bringing back sweet memories"
This song rules just for the way Tina sings "rain."

5. "Have You Ever Seen the Rain? by Credence Clearwater Revival
"Someone told me long ago theres a calm before the storm,/I know; its been comin' for some time."
CCR is probably one of those bands that proves my dorkiness. Oh well.

6. "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain" by Hank Williams Sr.
"Love is like a dying ember/Only memories remain/And through the ages I'll remember/Blue eyes cryin' in the rain."
Doesn't get much cooler than Hank Sr. Usually, though, I think of Willie Nelson when I think of this song.

7. "November Rain" by Guns N Roses
"Nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain."
Another one from the power ballad period. I can't help it.

8. "I Wish I Never Saw the Sun" by Beth Orton
"I wish I never saw the sun shine, then maybe I wouldn't mind the rain."
This song makes me bawl. Seriously.

9. "Rush Hour" by Ani DiFranco
"Rush hour/at the day's dawning/the rain came/and pushed me under the awning."
I love the sound of this song, it's intensity. And the very basic guitar line.

10. "Raining in Baltimore" by The Counting Crows
"It's raining in Baltimore, 15 miles east, but everything else is the same."
Another sad one. Surely I've mentioned before how much I LOVE this album?

11. "You Never Even Call Me By My Name" by Merle Haggard (and others)
"I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison/and I went to pick her up in the rain/But before I could get there in my pick-up truck/She got runned over by a damned old train."
This is a favorite of my mom's. She sings it. Often. Not this version, but the live Steve Goodman one. But I couldn't find that one online. And this one is pretty amazing. The perfect country western song.

12. "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today" by Nina Simone
"Human kindness is overflowing/and I think it's gonna rain today."
This song reminds me of Beaches, when Bette Midler sings it. This is Nina Simone's version, though. The whispered "lonely" just kills me.

13. "It's a Hard Rain Gonna Fall" by Bob Dylan
"And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard/And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall."
Another uplifting one. This is Dylan-as-poet though, and it's so lucid and beautiful. ("Saw a room full of men with their hammers bleeding.")

14. "Done Wrong" by Ani DiFranco
"It's a hard rain, it's a cold rain, the kind that you find in songs/Guess that makes me the jerk with the heartache, here to sing for you about how I've been done wrong."
I love the sound of this song, but it's the self-awareness and meta-ness of it that really kills me.

15. "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor
"I've seen fire and I've seen rain/I've seen sunny days I thought would never end/But I always thought that I'd see you again."
This song is cheesy and reminds me of Running on Empty and I love it.

16. "No Rain" by Blind Melon
"All I can say is that my life is pretty plain/I like watching the puddles gather rain."
I know, 16 is a weird number. But there wasn't one I wanted to leave out. So there you go.
Incidentally, I used to have a flannel with "Blind Melon" stitched into the back. Rad.

3 Comments

this is fan-friggin-tastic list that i am going to force upon my labmates asap. (except for the james taylor, but that's a small thing.) the only other thing i would have included is "sometimes" by james, and if you haven't listened to it ever, do it now.

What, no "Raindrops keep fallin' on my head"?!

You forgot to mention "Riders on the Storm" by the Doors! It's the ultimate rainy day song!

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List 8: Jobs

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Stealing a page from Eden's book today and listing my previous jobs.

Age 14-15: Arlene's Cafe. Started as busser/dishwasher and moved to waitress on slower shifts, or second waitress on busier ones. I worked only once in a while during the school year (my freshman year in high school) and I think four days a week over the summer. The job ended explosively in August when the boss man screamed at me and called me a very, very bad name for spilling some salad dressing, a story I've told here before.

Age 15-17: Tomaselli's Cafe & Pastry Mill I started just a couple of months after quitting my previous gig. Better food, better atmosphere. I had a lot of fun at this job (and sometimes it was a total drag too, obviously). Again I started as a dishwasher/prep cook/pastry maker and ended up waiting tables. This cafe still says family to me, and I am warmly greeted by the owner whenever I make my way back into it. Here I worked 2-3 days a week during school and full-time over the summer all through the last three years of high school, until I left for college.

Age 18: Reed Residence Life. My first year at Reed my work study job was in the office of Residence Life, which oversees all the dorms. I mostly filed and made copies, answered the phone when the full-time admin was taking a break, that kind of thing. It was part-time, but I can't remember exactly how much I worked there. I recall very clearly that I didn't like it--it was boring.

Age 18: North Douglas Parks Community Pool.
The summer after my first year at Reed, I lived at home and worked at a public pool in the next little town over. I don't know what my title was, but I did a little bit of a lot of things. I worked the early shift, getting there to open the doors at 5:30. I took money and scheduled swimming lessons at the front desk, cleaned the locker rooms (ew), and was done every day in the early afternoon, which left ample time for sunbathing and moping, which were the other two activities I engaged in that summer. Towards the end of the summer, I took a class and became a certified lifeguard, and then I worked a lifeguard/swim lessons shifts before returning to Reed.

Age 19: Reed College Pool. I spent what seemed like the majority of my second year at Reed sitting at the Reed College Pool, sniffing chlorine, watching people swim laps. It couldn't have been that much time, but it certainly seemed like it. I had a radio, I remember, and listened to the bulk of Clinton's impeachment proceedings on NPR. Still, it paid better than other campus jobs, and you could read if there was nobody swimming (which happened sometimes), so it wasn't too bad.

Age 19: Multnomah County District Attorney's Office. The summer after my second year in college, I interned at the DA's office. At the beginning of the summer, I got very, very sick with what turned out to be a pelvic/ovarian infection, and I missed three weeks of work, so it got off to kind of a bad start. It was a cool job, though in retrospect it was clearly more charity than work. I got paid well (for that time in my life, anyway), had to dress up, and had my own office. I helped misdemeanor trial lawyers with prep work and wrote briefs on new research in minority relations in DA's offices. I also created a promotional booklet about the history of the DA's office in the county. It was the first job I had where it became clear that this whole getting a degree thing was a really, really good idea. And I also learned that I definitely did not want to become a lawyer.

Age 20: Reed College Pool. Repeat age 19, only with $.25/hr more for my "experience."

Age 20: Reed College Annual Fund. I did a brief stint my third year at Reed of calling former students and their parents and asking them for money. I have seriously never done anything I hated as much as phone solicitation. And I SUCKED at it, too. I think it was politely suggested that I quit.

Age 20: Reed College Conference and Events Planning:
The summer after my junior year, I stayed on campus and worked as the "summer conference coordinator" for Reed. It wasn't a bad job, though being on-call sucked. I basically coordinated between outside groups who wanted to rent Reed facilities for their conferences or meetings and the Reed offices that they'd need to deal with (janitorial, food, AV, etc.). It was the most responsibility I'd had to date, which I enjoyed, but event planning was and is clearly not my calling.

Age 21: Reed College Prospective Host.
Not wanting to lifeguard again my senior year, and also not wanting to co-habitate with my boyfriend again, I wrangled my way into a job as a prospective host and got a free dorm room. Basically, I babysat prospective students, picking them up, taking them to dinner, showing them around, and having them spend the night in the other half of my split freshman-style dorm room. I averaged less than one student per week, so it really wasn't bad. I was pretty terrible at it, though--by that time I was so down on Reed and becoming so anti-social that I can't possibly have been any fun, or much information.

Age 21: Adjunct instructor I graduated into a really bad economy (2001 in Oregon), so the first job I could find was a two nights/week gig teaching business English at a technical/business college. It was a job for which I was way too young and completely unprepared, and I was worse at it than almost anything else I've ever done. To say I am not proud of that performance would be a vast understatement.

At this point we start jobs that are actually on my resume, and so I get a bit less specific...

Age 22: Art Museum. My first real post-college job. For the princely sum of $17,000/year, I scheduled school tours of the museum's collections, assisting in managing the docent program and the teen program, assisted in creating and distributing educational materials, etc. I worked with great people, with whom I am still in contact, and learned a huge, huge amount. I also learned that $17,000/year is not enough to live on.

Age 23: Medical School. My first and last true administrative assistant job. A huge pay bump (up to almost $30k, if I remember correctly) led me to take the job, and that was the right decision, as I really needed the money. The job itself, however, sucked in such a huge way I can barely articulate it. I spent a lot of time entering procedures performed by residents into a huge tracking database. I also typed dictation notes, made copies...the real admin stuff. Once I was there for a bit longer, I got to do a little more interesting stuff, including research for a breast health education project, but it was mostly pretty brain-numbing, and I was happy when we were leaving for Austin so I could quit.

Age 24: Non-profit. I started at the non-profit at about the same time I started graduate school. I was a "Research and Policy Intern." The work itself was fabulous, really interested and I learned a ton. And I met one of my best friends, The Princess, there (she was my supervisor!). There are downsides to working for a small non-profit, though, and some of them definitely came to my attention during my year there. Suffice it to say that I think I am finished with non-profit work.

Age 25-26: Contract company. This is the job I temporarily left graduate school for. It was a very well-paid (the most I've ever made) gig as a technical writer, working on a contract basis with a technical team at a state agency. One of the easiest jobs I've ever had. Never asked much of me and didn't give me much to think about, but it wasn't a totally unpleasant experience. The most frustrating thing about it, I think, was just the going-nowhere feeling it gave me. I just couldn't see what would be next from there.

Age 26-28: University.
This brings us to the present. I work at a University, managing grants. For the most part, I like my job. I've learned a lot and gained what I think is a very useful skill set. It's not my passion, but it doesn't bore me too much. I'm earning a very decent living, and next month I will have worked in the same position for two years, which (as you can see) is something of a record.

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List 6: To hell with Disney princesses

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As I've mentioned, I've been spending some time lately with Disney princesses. And wow, they piss me off. I mean, them pissing me off is why I started the subversive boxes in the first place, clearly, but now that I am looking for them I see them EVERYWHERE, and I really, really hate them.

Here is a list, chronologically, of the Disney princesses and why they suck.

snow white1. Snow White (1937). Disney's first princess. Stock story--wicked stepmother, Garden of Eden-style poison apple, handsome prince. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Then there's Snow White's turn as a subservient house maid for the dwarves, the racism implicit in the good character being "white" and the evil character "black"...What bothers me the most about Snow White, I think, is the sick emphasis on her "purity." It makes me want to retch.

Cinderella2. Cinderella (1950). My guess is that Cindyrella is Disney's most popular princess. You know the story: another wicked stepmother, this time with sisters to boot, another beautiful maid, another handsome prince. With freaky 50s class implications! The thing that pisses me off the most about it, though, I gotta tell you, is the conflation of big feet=ugly horrible woman and small feet=lovely perfect princess. Gah.

aurora3. Aurora (1959). Princess Aurora, also known as Sleeping Beauty, has the distinction of being the Disney princess who takes the longest nap. The wicked stepmother becomes an evil witch, but once again we get a wake-up kissing prince, this time one to whom Aurora was betrothed at birth! And requisite sexless protector women (the good fairies), whose vanity over whose signature color will reign ends up getting Aurora caught--they are the most irritating part, I think. There's also a weird class aspect here--Aurora has to give up her class/crown in order to be safe, and there's a feeling of "noble poverty" that bothers the shit out of me.

ariel4. Ariel (1989). Ariel is the Little Mermaid. I have no idea why Disney decided to pick the princesses back up after a 30 year hiatus, but when they did, they put her underwater. Possibly just so the princess could wear a bikini. Again we have a handsome prince and a stepmother/witch, and talking animals (they're a must in the previous stories too). Ariel is a bit different from the previous princesses in that she's more headstrong and has a bit more agency, but the script is really still the same. And still annoying. The man who saves Ariel is her dad and not her prince, but the stupid trope of falling in love with a handsome prince reigns supreme.

belle5. Belle (1991). Ariel was so successful Disney had to follow her up, so they kicked it old school with Beauty and the Beast, which is possibly the single most irritating and horrifiying Disney movie ever made. Belle isn't actually a princess, she's just a girl, and she is trades herself for her imprisoned father and is held hostage by the Beast. With whom she, of course, falls in love. Falls in love with her captor--yay. Then of course she "breaks his curse" and he becomes handsome and lovely. Because there ain't nothing worse than being ugly. Gag.

jasmine6. Jasmine (1992). Not only did Aladdin give Disney the chance to feature another navel-revealing princess, this time she got to live out basically the same story while being non-white. Yeehaw! Like Ariel, Jasmine is a bit spunkier than the early princesses, and she gets herself in all sorts of trouble. Jasmine's rescuer, Aladdin, is a commoner not a prince, and she never takes a big nap. The film also continues a trend away from female villains (the stepmother role), with Jafar. Which is all well and good, but it's still a racist piece of shit.

Pocahontas7. Pocahontas (1995). How excited were Disney execs when they realized how profitable non-white princesses could be? So excited that they followed Jasmine up with Native American princess Pocahontas! The story line does change up some here, with no evil older man/ugly dude/stepmother and a princess who doesn't get married and live happily ever after in the end. However, Pocahontas still bugs me, because it's racist and reactionary and historically inaccurate. It's almost progress, though.

mulan8. Mulan (1998). Disney continues its run of non-white princesses (and inaccurate co-opting of other people's legends) with Mulan, about whom I have lots to say over at Heroine Content. Again, there is almost-progress here, but not quite.

tiannaApparently, the next Disney princess will be Tiana, from The Princess and the Frog, upcoming in 2009. Unsurprisingly, Tiana will be the first Black Disney princess. My hopes were low to begin with, and only got lower when I saw Tiana's picture. I'm sure Disney will pat itself on the back for its cultural sensitivity (that's four non-white princesses in a row!), but will she possibly be anything other than another horrible stereotype (now with gender AND race!)?

tinkerbellFor the purpose of the boxes, I am also making a honorary Princess of Peter Pan's Tinkerbell, just because I hate her so much. Disney released their version of Peter Pan in 1953, and in it Tinkerbell was jealous, mute, and possibly stupid. Gah. To go along with the revenue-generating Princesses, Disney has built a Fairies franchise around Tinkerbell. Interestingly, the other fairies are new characters, young hot fairies from Neverland. The company didn't chose to incorporate its old fairy godmothers from Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Can't think of why that would be...

You can take a quiz to find out which princess you are here. I honestly wasn't sure which one to hope for when I took it. I got Pocahontas, which I guess is about as well as I could hope to do.

32 Comments

1. What about anastasia?

2. Anti-princesses for a different though valid reason here

I demand a more abstract reason for you hating Disney princesses, because:

A survey listing reasons each movie princess is regressive, reactionary, racist (or other R-word) doesn't break down the specific overall reason for hating them.

Not that I'm all super stoked on princesses. If we're going to barrage young girls with very specific gender programming, we should pick one that will have positive results in the long run - like porn stars (not their real lives, just their on-camera personas) or politicians (ditto).

I personally prefer the porn star route, but that's because I'm an awful, awful person.

Also, more hormones in the milk, please.

But seriously - gimme an intro and conclusion to your post, even if it's a seperate post entirely.

You wouldn't believe the shitstorm when I once stated my hatred for all things Disney on a private forum I frequent.

So, on behalf of sane women everywhere, sing it, sister!

Took the quiz - apparently I'm Pochahontas too.

I hate Disney most purely because I had much younger siblings and they would watch the same movie over and over again for a month or so at the time. So.damn.annoying.

I think Tinkerbell is a boy in drag.

I'm not so sure if the non-white princesses are really all that progressive. I think maybe it has something more to do with the old and still firmly rooted colonial mentality that sees foreign/ethnic women as exploitable sexual objects.

That and essentially all Disney does is stick "ethnic" faces on the exact same body with the same American ideals and actions.

Or maybe it's just that I'm a communication student so by default I hate Disney.

There is something wrong with you.

I have to admit, I am a huge Disney fan. Huge. But, since I've seen all the movies multiple times, I have to say that I HATE pretty much all the Princesses. My list is:
5. Ariel.
I like this movie, but Ariel is too subservient for my taste. And the way she gives up her whole life for a guy? Sure, she won't listen to her father, but she'll do anything for her true love, who is obsessed with finding the 'perfect woman' as evidenced by his determination to marry only the woman who can sing so well. Huh. Talk about sad.
4. Pocahontas.
No. Just no. First she talks to a tree, then she watches the 'strange clouds' float into the harbor, then she follows John Smith (who, inevitably, happens to hate 'savages') and right when he's about to shoot her, he has an epiphany; hey, we're all human! It would be wrong to kill her when she hasn't done anything to me! which is brought on, of course, by Pocahontas' beauty. Later, when her father almost kills John, she throws herself over him, saying "I love him!" Hello? The real Pocahontas was a twelve year old girl, and she only sacrificed herself because she realized what John's death would do to the two groups, and rightly guessed it would result in war. And don't even get me started on the second one. She stabs John in the back, ends up with another John, and basically becomes everything I hate. And the gigantic sacrifice she made (leaving her family) is lessened by the fact that she has guys drooling at her feet. Great exchange.
3. Cinderella
Now, this one is total shit. He only loves her because she's the prettiest one there, and then he only thinks she beautiful when she's dressed in princess-y clothes. Now what is that telling girls? 'Look, come back in a tiara and glass shoes, and we'll talk about it.' And, as with all Princesses that originated from fairy tales, you never find out the guys name. (Or, at least, I've never been able to watch it long enough to find out)
2. Snow White
Oh, God, spare us, please. I hate this movie a lot. It has absolutely no redeeming features at all, unlike 5 to 3. (Hey, I don't like Cinderella herself, but I think the singing mice are pretty cool.) She lives with seven men, yet still she is 'pure.' Hmm. That doesn't really make sense, when anyone else other than a Princess would be immediately labeled 'whore' if she lived with seven men. Also, it has a horrible plot, and Snow White is seen praying. That is totally not okay, at least in my opinion. It's basically saying, 'I'm pretty and sweet and innocent, and I pray, like all good little girls should if they want to go to heaven.' If this were anything other than a Disney movie, I wouldn't care about the whole 'God' thing, but girls strive to be like these princesses, and if they are saying that doing it Snow White's way is the right way, that's downright racist, which I guess we already knew Disney was.
1. Aurora
This is number one simply because I HATE HER. I can't really think of that many reasons, except that I'm pretty sure the chances of the person you mysteriously meet in the woods and fall in love with being your betrothed is so unlikely, it probably doesn't even register. And the way her fairy guardian people are so vain is really unlikely also; would the king and queen trust their baby to a group of idiots? I also hate the way her prince has to save her, but of course that is practically a requirement of Disney movies

Actually, I think you may have some good points buried in there somewhere...but most of this is exaggerated and unfair. A lot of your criticism has to do with the plot and racism, which is a problem because:

a) the plotlines, which would be okay if you were merely upset about Disney’s editing process, but you’re addressing the original stories as well, which were largely NOT by Disney. Also, most of the original stories were created so long ago that they WERE original back then, in fact they were THE originals, and the point of the stories was to teach a moral lesson. They were also trying to paint a dreamlike picture in which peasants and the like could escape and imagine that they if they were good enough people, they could end up like the princesses in the story – which was obviously untrue, but he, this was the middle ages, and back then it was good to dream without worrying about PC crap.

b) Racism and sexism. Again, the original storylines for these movies were written in an age where it hadn’t even occurred to anyone that racism and sexism were bad things – that was just how the world worked. Also, a lot of the older Disney movies were also RELEASED in a time when sexism was still okay. As for racism…well, it really isn’t as “there” as you seem to think it is. Just because most of these movies have an all-white cast doesn’t mean they are racist. Then, when the rest of the country went crazy and started shouting “RACISM” at everything, Disney attempted to remedy their pasty mistake…and got even more crap for it. But honestly, even when they started getting a little bit more diverse, it was never all about the races at all – it was about the stories, and the people who could only see the change in race instead of the actual story are the true racists, in my opinion.

And now:

1: Snow White. Mostly stuck true to the Brother’s Grimm tale, so any criticism on the plot should go to them, not Disney. Yes, Snow white has no realistic personality, but at least she was in character with the original plot. Also, there were no black people in Snow White. So how could the villain be black? And if you’re saying that the traditional SYMBOLISM of darkness=evil, light=goodness is secretly a racist comment….well that’s just silly.
Also, to Laura’s comments about Snow White praying – think about the era in which this was released. It was pretty much a common deal. I’m sorry if Disney failed to consider the widespread anti-religion America of the Future.

2: Cinderella. Again, it mostly stayed true to the original story, minus the parts about cutting off parts of feet and pecking out eyes, and of course adding Disney’s signature talking animals. So if you have any criticism on the plot, criticize Grimm, not Disney. Personally, I dislike this one as well, because in the Disney version Cinderella is SUCH a wuss. But hey, again you have to take into account the era this was produced in. She probably fit right in when she was new.
And to Laura: in the Disney version, the prince never saw her when she was without princess clothes, so how could he compare her with and without?

3: Aurora. I actually really liked this story, not because of Aurora, but because of the prince – Philip, the first Disney prince to have a name, and the most awesome prince of all the movies in my opinion. He doesn’t just show up last-minute to kiss the princess awake – he is captured while looking for her, escapes imprisonment, chops through a forest of thorns, AND battles a dragon to boot. But besides him – once again, it is not Disney’s fault that Aurora is gullible and naïve with little real personality – they were only following the original storyline.
To Laura: of course it’s unlikely. It’s a FAIRYTALE. They’re all pretty damn unlikely. That’s the point.

4: Ariel. In the original story, the mermaid falls in love with a human sailor(can’t remember whether he was a prince) and gets a witch to turn her human so she can marry him. However, as a human she is both mute AND it hurts for her to walk. To top it off, the man she loves doesn’t care for her at all and marries someone else, which breaks her heart and turns her into sea foam. Yes, here in Disney we have the tragic original plotline replaced with a happy ending and laced with talking animals, but hey, it’s s children’s movie. Give it some slack. They were attempting to be creative this time. If they failed miserably, at least they were starting to think out of the box.
To Laura: he’s only obsessed with the voice because that’s the only way he’s able to identify the woman who saved his life. It’s about the rescue thing, not the voice.

5: Personally, Beauty and the Beast has to be one of my favorite fairytales. The Disney version follows the original plotline fairly well – except they made her father a decent person and added a villain named Gaston. The prince goes back to having no real name…but at least they gave Belle an actual personality, as opposed to the two-dimensional Snow White-ish character in the original tale. Belle is the only Disney princess I’ve seen with a real brain. And the entire POINT of this story is that outward beauty doesn’t matter. Just because the guy changes back in the end doesn’t change it.

6: I tend to think the Aladdin story is a bit better than the Ariel story because this is the first Disney movie in which they fall in love over TIME instead of instantly(besides Beauty and the Beast). Except in this case they’re “overcoming” a class difference instead of an ugliness issue. I really don’t see a similarity to Ariel at all in this, except for both girls’ defiance of their parents and status. This movie also gets points because it’s the first Disney princess movie with a plot BESIDES the love story.

7: I cannot see how Pocahontas is racist. Please make that a little clearer to me. Is it because of the whole Enlgishman-verses-Indians thing? Because that’s not racism – that’s just how it was. XD And of course it’s historically inaccurate – once again, they were trying to make a children’s movie, not a historical documentary.

8: Yes, Mulan was historically and culturally inaccurate. So what? Once again, Disney isn’t there to educate people, it’s there to entertain. It would be nice if they tried a more educational view, I think but that’s not what they want to do, and it’s okay, because they are just children’s movies. You think a child will watch one of these and get all indignant because it isn’t culturally correct? I doubt many of them even notice, let alone care. They just like the story.

I won’t say anything about the new movie because I know nothing about it, and also I hate the new Tinkerbell thing, mainly because I dislike most of Disney’s attempts at uprooting the classics with crappy sequels, prequels and spin-offs.

No, I don't work for them. ^^; I just remember when I went through a jaded, Disney-hating phase in my pre-teens, and I was trying to remember if I had any valid reason for hating them. I have too much free time, so I went on a search of ANYONE who has a valid and non-fanatical reason to hate Disney Princesses. I came across this article.
Also, I happen to have a sore spot when it comes to throwing around the words "sexism" and "racism," so I apologize if I came on a bit too strongly.

I think who ever wrote these things hasnt any life what so ever. I'm guessing you are in your late 20's, early 30's and single. You have to be a sick and twisted person to dis a disney princess.They are the most innocent thing i can think of. My niece adores them. She then googles Disney Princesses and found this website. Her being able to read, she asked why this person was so mean. You need to watch what you say. May you rot in hell for saying such crude things about every little girl's favorite princesses. Remember, they are fantacy, not reality.

So to get even with Grace for making your daughter sad by saying crude things, you tell her to rot in hell?

Just a reply for Jenny, first comment - Anastasia is not a Disney film; it's a 20th Century FOX creation.

you are a pessimistic idiot who clearly is filled with self hate

when i was young i didnt pay attention to what race the princess was or all this other crap, they have good lessons

You guys are reading WAY too much into this. When the little 5 year old girls watch these movies, they just see beautiful women, like they think their mothers, pre-school teachers, grandmothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, and even themselves, are. They don't care about the race. They see beauty, fun music, a handsome prince, a lesson, and a happy ending. They don't care about all the negatives. So why should we??

I agree with the pro-princess people. these princesses are just fantasy here to show little girls that they are beautiful and that they are WORTH something and that they can be anything they want to be. Little girls need to know these things and unless they have horrible parent they shouldnt even bother wit sexism and racism at that age. its all about love, fantasy, and reminding them that they are ALL princesses

I do go against with the stereotypes of these Disney movies. But, given the time period that these movies were made, that was the fashion. For example, when Snow White was made, people still didnt fully-respect different races. It's wrong, I do say. Another thing is little children grow up with these stories. They grow up beleiving that they can become princesses. Lots of people see harm in their children being exposed to these stories, but honestly, why not let a five year old believe that she can fall in love at first sight? It gives her a positive outlook on her five-year life. When she gets older, she can be reprimanded for thinking a man completes her life, not when she barely knows how to tie her own shoes. So there is no harm, in my opinion, in these, somewhat stereotypical stories.
(sorry for going off topic)
-Molly

I'm liking the pattern of random races for Disney princesses. I wonder what's next...

Don't forget Esmerelda of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

I came here for a chronological list because the drooling preciousness being fussed over "Disney's first African American princess" was ringing very false, as a 48 y.o. father whose Disney watching days just started in the mid '90s. I knew she was far from the first non-white lead, and really.... how many princess stories are set in America?? Thanks for the almost-complete rundown.

@Molly
why not let a five year old believe that she can fall in love at first sight? It gives her a positive outlook on her five-year life. When she gets older, she can be reprimanded for thinking a man completes her life

Well said....

@Erin
Have to disagree that Sleeping Beauty, Mulan and Pocohantas are drawn as "ethnic faces on the exact same body." Nor is there really all that much commonality to the characters' actions and motivations (post-Grimm).

You have put into words what I have been thinking my entire life! Thank you! And no other princess but the African American princess spends half the movie as a frog or some other animal. What the hell? I agree exactly, however I do want to hear your opinion on Anastasia.

@Gwinna

Bravo. I applaud you. The first, in my opinion, well informed response on this site.

"inaccurate co-opting of other people's legends"

This isn't a racist thing--Disney is also inaccurately retelling their own legends (if we're gonna lump all white people together and say Danish fairytales also belong to Americans). Keep in mind, in the origional Ariel, she dies and turns into an angel at the end. And frankly, Mulan is less racist than much anime, which features blond-haired anglo-esque characters with huge eyes.

I love the wrath, and agree that there are some major skeevy aspects of Disney, but not everything is bad. If we teach our chilren not to be racist and use the movies to our own ends, any racist undertones dissappear because they're impotent.

There are so many things wrong with the messages Disney sends to our children. It's not just the Princess concept (or the pervasive marketing). Here's our reasoning on why Disney is COMPLETELY banned from our house. (And we have four girls.)
http://www.sparklingadventures.com/index.php?id=667

Ok, seriously, Everyone has thier likes and dislikes about disney and the princesses are no exception except for one important detail.

NONE OF THESE DISNEY STORIES WERE ORIGINALLY DISNEY'S TO BEGIN WITH. DISNEY MERELY TOOK THESE (Mainly Brothers Grimm) LEGENDS AND MADE THEM INTO CHILDREN'S STORIES, SO IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE PRINCESSES, DON'T KNOCK DISNEY FOR IT, THEY ACTUALLY MADE THEM LESS HORRIFYING THAN THEY REALLY WERE.

I just want to throw in some of what I think...

There are a lot of people who talk about why Disney would use situations the way they did within the movies, and how they relate to the time these movies were released...
But does a 5 year old kid really understand that? Can a kid watch these movies and think, "Well it's okay if Ariel gave up her voice to impress a guy because the time it was released was in a sexist era and that the original story she actually dies."
They don't comprehend nor care about any of that, they just see a pretty, skinny, make-up wearing, white girl who falls in love with first sight. Tell me, is that a moral you want your kids to have? Is that something you can see little kids doing? I understand that Disney did this unintetionally, but I don't like that even today this is still going. Our generation has changed, our morals have changed, our ideals have changed, our everything has changed since then.

My work here is done.

Personally I find the original Creator of this blog to be immature and only interested in causing a heated debate. But, over all you are incorrect on all of your assumptions on sexism and racism. And also, no small child really looks in depth into these movies at all, they enjoy the music and the characters (including talking animals) they honestly don't even notice the life lesson in the movie. Its an entertaining movie with songs they can sing and usually funny and amusing characters. I'm a 24 year old college grad, majored in child psychology . I promise you these movies will not in any way corrupt small girls.

Although I'm into learning about big bad Disney, with Walt Disney apparently being antisemitic and the fact that they're obviously a big money-grabbing business rather than some people who want to make little girls happy, these reasons for hating the princesses aren't very good ones. I don't really see how the non-white princess stories are racist, they only show children a snippet of how different places have different cultures and skin colors in a really simple way.
Yeah, Aladdin has his flying carpet which could be considered racist for example, but then it's no worse than any other cartoon.
Most of all, they're made simple because THEY ARE FOR KIDS! Children won't appreciate or maybe even understand the stories they are based on if they're historically accurate. You can say Disney make the stories lighter so kids can like them so they get lots of money, and it's true but that's not a reason to hate them. Do we really want the stories our kids watch to be upsetting and disappointing?

Also on a personal note, Disney's version of Pocahontas made me so aware of how precious nature is, i've grown up with that and I still think it's a beautiful way of showing kids a spiritual outlook on the way the world works. It's right there, it's made literal so they can understand it, that doesn't make it racist, it just makes it very simple.
But yeah the sequel was shit.

Ok,I LOVE Disney, and this crap is nothing! And I love Ariel too.Now about the crap you wrote.Ariel, put under water, probably just to have her wear a bikini. What the heck,would you like to see her boobs? And the stepmother thing, in the little mermaid there isn't a step mother, Ursula is her aunt. And we'll yea she's annoying, but she's a 16 year old! Why does everybody hate her because she gave up her life for a dude. Sure, that's bad but the was the first guy she saw, it makes perfect sense to me. She wanted to actually be a human for like, 10 years. I don't know but I would want to marry the human dude I rescued if I were a mermaid. Her dad is the one who saves her actually. Reasons why:1: traded his life for his daughter's.2: in the ending, he gave her the chance to be human. So dare I say, SUCK IT,JERK!

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List 5: Clothes clothes clothes

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So even though I've stopped taking and posting pictures of my clothes every day, I am still thinking a lot about style, about dressing in a more put-together way, and about reducing my wardrobe to fewer pieces that I feel better about. I'm still reading Allie every day, and taking her advice. One of the best posts she's written, to my mind, was not on her daily style diary, but on Wardrobe Oxygen, where she wrote a couple of years ago about staples for every woman's wardrobe. After reading the post, along with her updates "Wardrobe hints for warmer climates" and "Updating your wardrobe for spring 2008," I made a list (word of the month!) of things I wanted in my wardrobe, especially with spring/summer approaching.

I wanted to be able to get everything thrifted. But it's just not going to happen, so back to cheapie retailers I went, tail between my legs. I hope it's not always like this, but for now, I'm doing what I can.

Clothes for spring:

1. Wide leg jeans
2. Denim skirt
3. Two or three colored non-tee tops
4. Wrap dress
5. Light sweater
6. Two or three easy to wear skirts
7. Yoga apparel
8. Colored summer style flats
9. Long necklaces

Not a huge list, but a pretty daunting one if you are me. So I I've started shopping, mostly online, and here's what I have ordered so far:

1. Wide leg jeans. This one is still outstanding. These are both expensive and impossible to find in the correct fit. Might wait until after summer.
2. Denim skirt. Here again still outstanding. I know the shape I want, I think--something fluted, like this one from NY & Company, but I haven't tried that one on yet or found any similar ones.
3. Two or three colored non-tee tops. Here's where I've started buying. I ordered this purple cotton/silk belted top from Target, this blue faux wrap top from Target, and this wrap top, in rose, from Jessica London.
4. Wrap dress. Went with Jessica London here, too, since it was the only wrap dress I could find with short sleeves. I was inspired by Allie's post about color, too, and chose to get it in blue instead of black.
5. Light sweater. I was happy to find an ecologically friendly option for this purchase, and ordered the 100% organic cotton Cherub Sweater from Of the Earth in black.
6. Two or three easy to wear skirts. I went a bit wild here. My Libby Dibby skirt is probably going to be too heavy for summer in Texas, and I'm loving all the faux hippy runway looks right now, so I went that direction and ordered two fairly made wrap skirts from Butterfly Mama. The first is a long neutral one, the second a shorter, brighter one (sadly no longer on her site). They have arrived already, fit beautifully, and came with incense and a burner in their package. I'll order from her again for sure. Inspired by some of the funkier skirts on Butterfly Mama's site, which don't come in my size, I also ordered this shorter and swingier skirt from Jessica London, in kiwi.
7. Yoga apparel. You'd think this would be the easy part, but it's so not. I tried and didn't fit into short yoga pants from American Apparel and yoga tankinis from Danskin before going back to my standard Champion-from-Target yoga wear. Don't fix it if it's not broken, I guess.
8. Colored summer style flats. Still on the lookout for these, and might skip them and make due with what I have.
9. Long necklaces. I tried to thrift for these and failed, so I hit Ebay, where I bought this mid-length vintage glass bead necklace in earth tones, this extra long blue and white glass bead necklace, and this long silver necklace.

And that's where I am at with that. If everything I ordered fits, I should be set, but realistically I know that won't happen. So we'll see...

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March giving/List 4: Local charities

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In November, I posted about I Live Here, I Give Here, which is an Austin campaign to make people aware of local charitable organization and non-profits and increase giving. As one of my giving goals for 2008 was to increase local-level giving, it's a great resource for me. In honor of NaBloPoMo: The List Edition, here is a list of some places I'd like to give to this year, many of which I discovered through I Live Here, I Give Here:

1. Femme Film Texas
"Femme Film Texas teaches filmmaking and internet publishing to young women and girls through hands-on educational programs that promote media literacy and encourage self-expression."

2. Health Alliance for Austin Musicians
"The mission of the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians is to provide access to affordable health care for Austin's low income, uninsured musicians, focusing on prevention and wellness."

3. Rude Mechanicals Grrl Action
"Grrl Action helps teenage girls find voice and vision through the power of performance."

4. Seedling Foundation
"The Seedling Foundation supports public schools by encouraging and facilitating community involvement. Major program areas include a school-based mentoring program, which matches children of incarcerated parents with caring adults in the Austin area community and public school campus beautification projects at low-income public schools."

5. PeopleFund
"PeopleFund is a nonprofit financial institution that promotes financial opportunity and stability for low income people by assisting them to: build successful small businesses, purchase safe and affordable homes, achieve financial security and independence and, form prosperous communities through providing fair and just loan products, training in business management, financial literacy and homebuyer preparedness."

6. Breakthrough Austin
"Breakthrough provides a path to college, starting in middle school, for low-income students who will be first-generation college graduates. The program admits students as 6th graders and makes a six-year commitment to helping them graduate from high school and enter college."

7. Coalition for Emotional Literacy
"We believe there is a direct correlation between animal abuse, family violence, and criminal behaviors. We strive to increase positive behaviors and diminish destructive behaviors towards humans and non-humans through education programs. We also establish temporary shelters for pets of families fleeing abusive conditions and seniors that go in for extended care."

8. Girlstart
"Girlstart is a non-profit organization created to empower girls to excel in math, science, and technology. Founded in 1997 in Austin, Texas, Girlstart has quickly established itself as a best-case practices leader in empowering, educating, and motivating girls to enjoy and become more proficient in math, science and technology."

9. Truth be Told
"Truth Be Told is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing transformational tools for women behind and beyond bars."

10. People's Community Clinic
"People's Community Clinic works to improve the health of medically underserved and uninsured Central Texans by providing high quality, affordable healthcare. 1 in 4 Central Texas has no health insurance. We deliver a full range of primary care and wellness services to the 11,000 patients who call the Clinic their medical home."

There are, of course, dozens of other worthy organizations listed. However, I'm keeping it to 10 to highlight this month. For my own personal giving dollars, I am choosing Truth be Told for March.

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List 3: What's going on with me

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So I have all this stuff to tell you! And, in honor of NaBloPoMo's March list theme, I'll try to do it in list form.

blue cinderella box1. Remember those odd princess things I said I'd justify purchasing? Well, they are fodder for my new crafty project, Subversive Princess Boxes. My favorite one so far, the blue Cinderella box, is at left. It's actually part of a set, with the green Cinderella box, that I made for a swap. I've also made a purple Tinkerbell box and a larger pink Cinderella box. They get nicer with each incarnation. Making them is labor intensive, but fun. They may at some point be available for sale, but for right now they are for swapping/gifting only.

2. Speaking of sale, that brings me to my second new project, Crushworthy (huge nod to Turtle for the name!). Crushworthy is the Etsy shop I've opened to sell the homemade bath products I am churning out like a mad woman lately. I have no idea if this venture will ever be profitable, but it's fun and I think worth a try. Right now, all I have up is oatmeal bath. As soon as I get pictures taken, I'll add bath melts. Those are the only two recipes I have right now that I feel confident enough in to sell. I'm experimenting with making other things as well, though, including bath bombs and bubble bars. We'll see.

3. Last night, I made amazing curried chicken salad. We had it for dinner on toasted pita and will be having it for lunch today (and tomorrow).

I think that's all I've got. For now.

3 Comments

i am in lurve with the tinkerbell box. BRILLIANT!

Oh, no, a giant blow to the princess industrial complex!

Those princess boxes are brilliant!

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List 2: Sunday morning

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Top 5 things I love about Sunday morning:

1. Not having to get out of bed on a schedule.
2. Extended pajama time.
3. Really good coffee, consumed at my leisure, out of an actual clay mug.
4. Watching soccer on the couch with Mark.
5. Knowing that I have the whole day in front of me.

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List 1: Thrifing finds

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Okay, it's March 1, and that means it's time for my first list, as per this month's NaBloPoMo theme. Since I spent the better part of the day today hitting a string of thrift stores with my good friend The Princess, seems natural that my list should tell you where we went and what I thrifted!

tin recipe boxes1. Goodwill South Lamar was our first stop. This isn't a store I frequent often, since it's way out of my neighborhood, but it's a nice store and usually has something to offer. Today wasn't any different--our first stop was the most worthwhile, at least for me. My best find was the two tin recipe boxes you see here, for $.99 each. No idea what I am going to do with them, but aren't they great? I also came home with a brand new Bodum French press for $1.99 (and we don't really need another one right now, but given my propensity to break them, it doesn't hurt to have a spare), a shirt for Mark for I think $4.99, two of these great calendars for $.99 each (and again I am not totally sure what I am going to do with them), and a princess book for a project I'll tell you about later for $2.99.

cat tower2. Our second stop was Savers South Lamar. I am not a huge Savers fan, but it was very much worth my time to stop there today. I found the cat condo you see here being enjoyed by Atticus and Illy, which is brand new, for $25. I thought maybe I'd overpaid until I looked for something similar online and found prices around $90 for something not so cute. At the cats love it so far. I also got a couple more princess books and an Easter Seals calendar (I needed flower pictures for a project I'm working on), for $.99 each.

3. Stop #3 was at Thrift Town. I've reviewed this store before. Nothing there for me today, though I considered buying a big bag of cat toys for $4.99.

4. Next, we hit another Goodwill, the Cherry Creek one. I've reviewed this store before as well. Today it was better than last time, though still lacking in the organizational department. I picked up a bunch of princess valentine's for $.49/box (again, I will explain why at some point in the future), some chi-chi bath sets from Target for $2.99 each, and the world's cutest salt and pepper shakers, new in the package, for $.99.

Then The Princess had to go home and tend to her wee one. Boo hoo!

5. On the way home, I hit the Norwood Goodwill, a store I haven't visited in some time (though I did review it a while back). Like last time, the store was very nice, but didn't actually have anything I wanted. The only thing I even considered buying was a plastic ladle for $1.99.

6. Finally, I went by my weekly stop gold-standard store, the Goodwill at MacFarlane. There wasn't anything there for me today either, but that's not surprising as it's been less than a week since I last visited.

All in all, a very good day. Had a wonderful time, got good stuff, and didn't spend an exorbitant amount. I really like visiting the stores that are off my usual beaten path. Looking at the GW website, I remember my plan to visit every GW in the area. I still haven't been to the Balcones location or the one on Brodie, or any of the ones in the burbs. Maybe next weekend...Princess, are you up for an adventure?

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Cody says he'll keep the baby again next weekend, so sign me up!

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NaBloPoMo: March version

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So there's good news.

1. Eden has taken NaBloPoMo monthly.
2. There are themes.
3. March's theme is lists.

So the idea, then, is to post a list every day for the entire month of March.

I could not possibly be more in.

3 Comments

What's it like, doing it? I wanted to back in November, but I had a trip planned to North Korea and (rightly) assumed that my internet access wasn't going to work out. I think I might do this, though. It sounds fun and I could really do with a project.

I am TOTALLY suing Eden for stealing the lists idea. ;)

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Etsy round-up

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For reasons I will disclose in a later post (possibly even later today), I have been poking around Etsy a lot recently. And, of course, I've come up with no fewer than a zillion things I want. But I'm not gonna buy them. For real. I'm not. Instead, I'm going to share them with you.

cup cuddlerA fantastically named store, GracieDesigns, has lots of super-cool fabric products I am coveting, but none more than the cup cuddlers. The one shown here, in "At the Spa" pattern, is my favorite, but there are lots to choose from. At $6 each plus $2.50 U.S. shipping, it's not too spendy, either. Cute Easter basket addition for a coffee lover?

caughtredhanded pendantcaughtredhanded sells fabulous resin pendants and other lovelies. I can't pick just one as a favorite, but the pink teardrop shaped one shown here surely is lovely. It even comes in its own little tin (but with no neck cord, so be forewarned) for $12 plus $3 shipping.

gift tagselfrida makes gorgeous patterned gift tags. As well as the spring green shown here, they are also available in yellow, pink, red, powder blue, khaki, and brown. For $3.50 plus $1.25 shipping, you get 18 tags. Each is a 2" card stock circle with a small hole already punched in it. I'd love to put these on packages.

egg beater printI really want a print from studio mela. The one pictured here is called "I Love Your Egg Beaters," and it would be so great in my kitchen. She's also got "I Love Your Forks," "I Love Your Spoons," and "I Love Your Spatulas," as well as many non-utensil themed ones. The egg beater print is 8"X10", signed and numbered, for $20 plus $5 shipping.

baby shirtSome day, a child in my life will get a gift from dressme. Each piece is totally original, made of recycled clothing. Now there is a premise I can get behind! The shirt here, made from recycled t-shirts, is size 6-12 months. It is spendy, at $21.50 plus $3.50 shipping and handling, but for one of a kind wearable art, I think it would be worth it.

bird cardsBirdNerd makes collages and linocut prints on bird themes. She is extremely talented, and offers several sizes of prints, as well as postcards and note card sets. The set of five note cards shown here, which are prints of BirdNerd's collages featured birds on cherry bossom branches, are $15 plus $2.50 shipping.

flashcardelectricboogaloo has more potential small friend gifts, including the fantastic nerdy ABC flash cards shown here (A is for Atom through Z is for Zoological Oddity!). The full set of brightly colored 5"X7" printed cards is $18 plus $5 shipping. I'm so there.

ship stamp pendantReach for the Sky Designs is another fantastic Etsy jewelry maker, with the interesting twist of using Scrabble tiles as the basis for her pendants. I like several of them a lot, but this one, made from a $.04 stamp with a ship on it, is my favorite. It comes on a 18" silver plated chain for $11.50 plus $2.50 shipping.

bonsai teeAhpeele makes limited edition screenprinted t-shirts, and they are so damn cool. I'd wear just about all of them, but the pine bonsai one shown here is my favorite. The shirt is a longfit v-neck, available in sizes xl-xxl, for $28 plus $5 S&H.

spiral pendantFinally, one more necklace. I've been eyeing the lovely pendants at Ling Glass for months, particularly the stained glass ones, like the the spiral one shown here. The price, $17.50 plus $3.50 shipping, is for the pendant onlly, but the store also sells cords and chains for between $2.50-$4.

There. I feel better now.

8 Comments

I LOVE reading about people's favorite Etsy finds!

Did you know electricboogaloo is an amazingly hilarious blog, too?
http://www.electricboogaloo.net/wordpress/

I added some of these sellers that you've mentioned to my favorites. What is your etsy username so i can see what you've favorited? :) I'm mamamilkers.

The mama behind reachforthesky is a friend of mine. Her stuff is gorgeous! One of her pendants is my absolute favorite piece of jewelry. I am loving caughtredhanded as well.

Bring on Friday (payday)! I love Etsy.

If I had money to spare I would definitely have an Etsy addiction. There is so much lovely and affordable stuff there.

Mamamilkers, I am avengingophelia pretty much everywhere. :)

You might hate me for this, but have you seen this site?

http://www.novica.com/

Thanks for featuring my cuddler. I'm so glad you hear you like it. The 'spa' fabric is fun, I couldn't resist when I was feeding my fabric addiction.

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Oscar Movie project

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I do so love a project...

As I was watching the 80th Annual Academy Awards last night, I realized that there are a whole bunch of "Best Picture" films I haven't seen. Hard to call myself a film buff when that is the case! So, I decided to embark upon a new project (because really, what do I love more than a project?). I'll watch all the Best Pictures that I haven't seen, all the way back to 1929.

This list is off all the winners, with the ones I have already seen bolded:

1927/28: Wings
1928/29: The Broadway Melody
1929/30: All Quiet on the Western Front
1930/3: Cimarron
1931/32: Grand Hotel
1932/33: Cavalcade
1934: It Happened One Night
1935: Mutiny on the Bounty
1936: The Great Ziegfeld
1937: The Life of Emile Zola
1938: You Can't Take It with You
1939: Gone with the Wind
1940: Rebecca
1941: How Green Was My Valley
1942: Mrs. Miniver
1943: Casablanca
1944: Going My Way
1945: The Lost Weekend
1946: The Best Years of Our Lives
1947: Gentleman's Agreement
1948: Hamlet
1949: All the King's Men
1950: All about Eve
1951: An American in Paris
1952: The Greatest Show on Earth
1953: From Here to Eternity
1954: On the Waterfront
1955: Marty
1956: Around the World in 80 Days
1957: The Bridge on the River Kwai
1958: Gigi
1959: Ben-Hur
1960: The Apartment
1961: West Side Story
1962: Lawrence of Arabia
1963: Tom Jones
1964: My Fair Lady
1965: The Sound of Music
1966: A Man for All Seasons
1967: In the Heat of the Night
1968: Oliver!
1969: Midnight Cowboy
1970: Patton
1971: The French Connection
1972: The Godfather
1973: The Sting
1974: The Godfather Part II
1975: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
1976: Rocky
1977: Annie Hall
1978: The Deer Hunter
1979: Kramer vs. Kramer
1980: Ordinary People
1981: Chariots of Fire
1982: Gandhi
1983: Terms of Endearment
1984: Amadeus
1985: Out of Africa
1986 : Platoon
1987: The Last Emperor
1988: Rain Man
1989: Driving Miss Daisy
1990: Dances With Wolves
1991: The Silence of the Lambs
1992: Unforgiven
1993: Schindler's List
1994: Forrest Gump
1995: Braveheart
1996: The English Patient
1997: Titanic
1998: Shakespeare in Love
1999: American Beauty
2000: Gladiator
2001: A Beautiful Mind
2002: Chicago
2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004: Million Dollar Baby
2005: Crash
2006: The Departed
2007: No Country for Old Men

The question, then, is whether to start at the beginning, with Wings, or whether to start at the most recent end and work backwards. The benefit of the latter is that it will give me time to acclimate to watching older films. The benefit of the former is that it will take me much longer to get to Titanic that way. What do you think?

2 Comments

Why not random by what you happen to be into at the moment? I always find watching things I am in the mood for more fun.

Wow-I've seen more than I thought I had (41). I would start at whichever end you want and just skip Titanic. Heh, heh, heh. Actually, I think it'd be cool to start at Wings and move forward.

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Play list: Something blue

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(This is the final installment in the blog carnival hosted by the OTHER mother.)

C'mon, something blue? Of course I'm going to do a play list. It's just too easy. Especially if you happen to actually LIKE classic country.

1. "Blue" by Leanna Rimes
Remember when this came out? She was like 12 and sounded like Patsy Cline? It was amazing.

2. "Blue Suede Shoes" by Elvis Presley
This one is a gimme.

3. "Looking for Blue Eyes" by Jessi Colter
I love this song. I used to listen to it on the Outlaws album. Heh. I thought Jessi Colter must be SO cool, since she was the only girl in that bunch.

4. "Blue Hotel" by Chris Isaak
Chris Isaak has a lot of "blue" songs. Goes with the depressing wish-I-was-Morrissey persona, I guess.

5. "Pale Blue Eyes" by The Velvet Underground
This song gives me the creeps. The way Lou Reed says "make me mad" chills me.

6. "Blue Bayou" by Roy Orbison
Another gimme. This song always reminds me of the movie "Steel Magnolias," even though it wasn't actually this song in that movie.

7. "Tangled Up in Blue" by The Indigo Girls and Ani DiFranco
This is, of course, a Bob Dylan song, but like Chris Isaak, Bob Dylan has a lot of "blue" songs, so I decided to use a cover of this one. Always best to use a Dylan cover when you can anyway, I think. Plus I LOVE The Indigo Girls on this song. Can't you just see Amy Ray working for a while on a fishing boat just outside of Delacroix?

8. "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain" by Hank Williams, Sr.
Do you like this version better, or Willie Nelson's?

9. "Blue Skies" by Frank Sinatra
Heehee.

10. "Blue Highway" by Billy Idol
Mostly I just like the Frank Sinatra to Billy Idol transition.

11. "Blue Moon of Kentucky" by Patsy Cline
God I love Patsy Cline. This is not her best work, granted, but wow, I forget how amazing she is.

12. "Almost Blue" By Elvis Costello
An awful lot of my play lists seem to include Elvis Costello.

13. "Devil with a Blue Dress On" by Paul Revere and the Raiders
Remind me sometime to tell you about going to see Paul Revere and the Raiders at the county fair when I was a kid. It's actually one of my first really really clear memories.

14. "Famous Blue Raincoat" by Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen is another artist for whom I'll usually pick a cover, but I really don't like the available covers of this song.

15. "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" by Crystal Gayle
Oddly, this is the first song I thought of for this list. Does Crystal Gayle still have super-long hair?

16. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" by Bob Dylan
This would be the other Dylan song. Don't love it, frankly.

17. "The Grass Is Blue" by Dolly Parton
If you don't have this album, you should get it. Period.

18. "Bullet the Blue Sky" by U2
Apparently this list just wasn't depressingly pretentious enough.

19. "True Blue" by Madonna
OK, there goes the depressing pretention.

20. "Blue" by Joni Mitchell
Nice to bookend both ends with a song that's just "Blue," don't you think?

Clearly there could be 100 more songs on this list. What would you include?


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"Judy Blue Eyes" - it reminds me of my mom.

Also "Venus in Blue Jeans".

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Play List: Cat songs

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In honor of my kittens birthday today, I give you cat songs.

1. "Everybody Wants to be a Cat" from The Aristocats

2. "Cats in the Cradle" by Cat Stevens

3. "What's New Pussycat?" by Tom Jones

4. "Mean-Eyed Cat" by Johnny Cash

5. "Cat Scratch Fever" by Ted Nugent

6. "The Siamese Song" from Lady & the Tramp (as performed by Hilary and Haley Duff)

7. "Stray Cat Strut" by The Stray Cats

8. "Cat in the Window (Bird in the Sky)" by Petula Clark

9. "Leave My Kitten Alone" by The Detroit Cobras

10. "Cool Cat" by Queen

11. "An Cat Dubh" by U2

12. "Cats Without Claws" by Donna Summers

13. "All Cats Are Gray" by The Cure

14. "My Cat's Name is Maceo" by Jane's Addiction

15. "The Love Cats" by Tricky

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Songs to hate men to

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I'm going to have something more serious to say about this later, but in the meantime, here is my response, through music, to the claim that I hate men. Why on Earth wouldn't I?

1. "Letter to a John" by Ani DiFranco
"Women learn to be women/and men learn to be men/and I don't blame it all on you/but I don't want to be your friend."

2. "Goodbye Earl" by The Dixie Chicks
"Well it wasn't two weeks/after she got married that/Wanda started gettin' abused/She put on dark glasses and long sleeved blouses/And make-up to cover a bruise/Well she finally got the nerve to file for divorce/She let the law take it from there/But Earl walked right through that restraining order/And put her in intensive care."

3. "Polly" by Nirvana
"Polly wants a cracker/I think I should get off her first/I think she wants some water/To put out the blow torch."

4. "Ballad of Yvonne Johnson" by Eliza Gilkyson
"I didn’t have a language for the pain I suffered through/escaping into marriage, but your past just catches up with you/until I had three children and a ragged family/a desperate urge to keep them from the wolves that got to me, boys/wolves that got to me."

5. "Cell Block Tango (He Had it Coming)" from Chicago!
"He had it coming/He had it coming/He took a flower/In its prime/And then he used it/And he abused it/It was a murder/But not a crime!"

6. "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman
"You got a fast car/And I got a job that pays all our bills/You stay out drinking late at the bar
See more of your friends than you do of your kids/I'd always hoped for better/Thought maybe together you and me would find it/I got no plans I ain't going nowhere/So take your fast car and keep on driving."

7. "The Thunder Rolls" by Garth Brooks
"She's waitin' by the window/When he pulls into the drive/She rushes out to hold him/Thankful he's alive/Through all the wind and rain/A strange new perfume blows/And the lightnin' flashes in her eyes/And he knows that she knows/And the thunder rolls."

8. "Janie's Got a Gun" by Aerosmith
"They said when Janie was arrested/they found him underneath a train/But man, he had it comin' Now that Janie's got a gun/she ain't never gonna be the same."

9. "Luka" by Suzanne Vega
"They only hit until you cry/And after that you don't ask why/You just don't argue anymore."

10. "Behind the Wall" by Tracy Chapman
"And when they arrive/They say they can't interfere/With domestic affairs/Between a man and his wife/And as they walk out the door/The tears well up in her eyes."

11. "Caleb Meyer" by Gillian Welsh
"Caleb Meyer, your ghost is gonna/wear them rattlin' chains./but when I go to sleep at night,/Don't you call my name."

12. "Me and a Gun" by Tori Amos
"Me and a gun/and a man/On my back/But I haven't seen Barbados/So I must get out of this."

13. "Only Women Bleed" by Lita Ford (originally Alice Cooper)
"He lies right at you/You know you hate this game/He slaps you once in a while and you live and love in pain."

14. "Ladykillers" by Lush
"So he talks for hours about his sensitive soul/And his favorite subject is sex/I don't think he even wanted it/But, Christ this guy's too much."

15. "I Hate Men" from Kiss Me Kate
"But I hate men./Of all the types I've ever met within our democracy,/I hate most the athlete with his manner bold and brassy/He may have hair upon his chest but, sister, so has Lassie."

5 Comments

I've been thinking a lot lately about hating men, and also about all the wonderful male friends that I have. Mostly thinking about how those things maybe seem contradictory to certain groups of people...but they really aren't.

Anyway.

Word.

I absolutely HATE men! I think they are worthless, selfish, inconsiderate bastards!! They have no respect, and think who the hell they think they are; when it comes down to the bottom line, they are worth NOTHING! Women are much stronger, and are able to live on their own. In my opinion, they do not need a man. Women should learn to be more independent and live by themselves; they would have a much better lifestyle and less CRAP AND AGGRAVATION! I am alone and independent, and have always been, and I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT! I do not miss having a man in my life whatsoever. Being along and lonely are two very d different things. I am alone, but I enjoy every single aspect of it. If men know a women is vulnerable, he will take advantage. It is better to give them the boot then to put up wiht their BULLSHIT!

To all the man haters out there.... I don't even know what to say, but I think it is bull. I bet you $1,000,000 that every one of you is not a political warrior, ,but rather a girl who has not been paid not been paid enough attention to by the boys you wanted, or has been the dumpee instead of the dumper, thus holding on to resentment ( we have all been the the dumpers & dumpees) So, you feel hurt and powerless, an take it out on all men. It couldn't possibly of been your fault? Lets just lump all my inadequacies in a convenient little man hating ball. That makes it all more simple doesn't it. Men are just one side of the coin. Men and women are two halves of the same whole. To make a blanket statement that you hate men, is like making a blanket statement that you hate "blacks". Im sorry if you aren't as pretty or deserving, or whatever your issues are. But don't blame your shortcomings on "MEN"(said with disgust). I tell you, some times I hate women, and I am one.

I don't hate ALL men. In fact I hate very few of them. But that is the GREAT thing about being a woman. When we are screwed over by one man (or a few over time) we can sit back and partake in the man hating game (that I am sure even your stuck up self, lizard, has enjoyed from time to time) that allows us to blame all our problems on the opposite sex, AND GET AWAY WITH IT. Its part of being upset, Lizard. And if you arent able to realize that then all of them fancy smancy analogies, comparisons, and every last bit of your grammatically correct rant do not help cover up the fact that your an idiot... Your distain for the women who are in man hating mode, and your pathetic attempt to get your point across makes me wonder if you are one of those women who are saving up for that big operation... But I suppose I have wandered a tad off subject. Let me end this by saying, women hating men... Its an exageration of a broken hearted woman... Plain and simple. SOOOOOO Lumber Jack Jane, you can pack it in a bit and let us be women you dumb dyke bitch...

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Clothes you can be proud to wear

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With some help from some of my online friends, I've been putting together a list of resources for buying clothes that are organic and/or fair trade. Thought now might be a good time to share them.

American Apparel: Probably the best known U.S. "sweatshop free" clothing manufacturer. They also have a pretty good sized line of organic cotton clothing. Unfortunately, they are also a horrifically sexist organization (as well as being union-busting?) and not one I am much into supporting.

bamboosa shirtBamboosa: Made in America bamboo clothing and baby products. Selection is not huge, and it's really basic, but the stuff isn't terribly expensive. I like the super lightweight long-sleeved v-necks. They are available in a variety of colors, xs-xl, for $26 (regular price).

Certified Jeans: 100% organic cotton jeans made in the U.S.A. Only a few styles available, $74-$88. Women's sized only up to 14, which a mark against them in my book.

Decent Exposures: Offers a huge variety of bras and some other basic clothing (tee-shirts, underwear, leggings) all 100% cotton and some with latex-free elastic. Everything is made in Seattle at a living wage shop. Some organic choices. Not hugely expensive (for example, most bras are in the $30-$40 range).

earth creation cardiganEarth Creations: Fair trade and sweatshop-free American-made natural fiber casual clothes. Pretty basic, hippy-looking stuff, but I really like some of the women's clothes that aren't screen-printed tee-shirts, and they aren't too bad price-wise. This cute kimono-style cardigan is a blend of hemp and organic cotton, available in three naturally dyed colors, sizes small-large, for $49.

fair indigo ballet topFair Indigo: Features fair trade clothes, mostly made outside the U.S.A. Has a line of organic cotton clothing. Neither cheap nor extraordinarily expensive, and the clothes are said to be well-made (I have no personal experience with them). Fairly basic, "pretty" stuff (think J. Crew or similar). Sales section looks to be pretty good. My favorite thing there right now is the wide balletneck top show at right. It is available in brown and berry as well as white and is marked down to $19 (originally $49). It was made fairly in Macau.

The Green Loop: A Portland (yay!) company that only sells things that are "made by conscientious companies who are committed to environmental stewardship and social responsibility." They also do carbon-neutral shipping. There is a large variety here, but it is definitely not cheap. Even in the extensive clearance section there isn't much I can afford.

hemp purseHemp Sisters: Large website selling clothing and accessories made from natural fibers, including and especially hemp. Focused on handmade and fair-trade items. Also sells bath/body products. Not too expensive, decent sale section. Currently they are having a 15% off sale on handbags, in honor of Valentine's Day. I like the fair trade hemp shoulder bag at the left, marked down to $33.99 from $39.99. I don't like that the website doesn't say where it's made, though.

blue canoe top.jpgLotus Organics: Very nice looking organic natural fiber clothing, made under Fair Trade conditions. I wish there were more information on the site as to where the clothes are made. Features clothing by several different manufacturers, including dressier clothing, exercise stuff, and baby/kids clothes. No separate sale section, but lots of stuff seems to be on sale. I like the Blue Canoe crossover top at right, which is available in a ton of colors and is marked down to $36 (originally $46).

maggies pajamasMaggie's Functional Organics: Sells "fair trade clothing and accessories made with certified organic fibers." The stuff is mostly loungewear, socks, and cotton basics, as well as stuff for babies and kids. Nothing high fashion, but it looks like good stuff and it's not extraordinarily expensive. I've seen the socks in person at my co-op and they definitely seem nice. There is also a good close-out/irregular section. The thing I am liking most at Maggie's currently are the lounge pants and camisoles sets at left. They are made of organic cotton, fair trade, in Costa Rica or Nicaragua. They are currently $30.34 (down from $37).

mantra socksNatureWear Organics: Organic natural fiber clothes made outside sweatshops by companies including Maggie's and Blue Canoe. Pretty basic stuff, but a wide selection and fairly decent regular prices (as well as a clearance section). I like the organic cotton blend Mantra Socks by Maggie's, selling for $7.65 (down from $9). They are available in five olors with corresponding mantras, including my favorite, the black ones that say "Just Breathe."

no sweat teeshirtNo Sweat: "Union-made Sweatshop-Free Casual Apparel." Not necessarily organic (though some things are). Basic casual clothing and some housewares, made responsibly, for decent prices. Mostly tees, socks, basic jeans, etc. I particularly like the funky Rosie the Riveter tee-shirt shown here. It's organic, made in Bethlehem by members of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, and sells for $18 in sizes up to 2X.

rawganique dressRawganique: Sells sweatshop-free, U.S., Canada, and European-made organic cotton, hemp, and linen clothing. Also sells paper products, bed and bath stuff, and books. Not cheap, but given the mission, how could it be? I'm especially impressed with the wedding line, and love the hemp and raw silk dress at left. It's available in sizes 2-24, in three colors (ecru, eggplant, and sage). It's made in Europe and costs $179.

Shirts of Bamboo: Bamboo clothing and body products, made by companies adhering to social accountability (SA 8000) standards. Fairly large selection of basic clothes, screen printed tees, kids' stuff, and bath stuff.

As always, used is best. But if you can't buy used, it's good to have options that are easier on the environment and supportive of fair labor practices, right? Please leave any suggested additions to this list in the comments.

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blue canoe sells their own stuff directly, too, and their customer service is great. like most of the places you posted, their stuff is spendy but sometimes the sale items are more reasonable.

You can also visit Inca Kids (www.incakids.org) this is a project I am running to support Peruvian artisans and their traditional lifestyle. We offer affordable FAIR TRADE and HANDMADE apparel, accessories and safe toys. Everything is made of natural fibers, 100% cotton or 100% Alpaca wool mostly.

Help us spread the word!

Gigi

Thanks for compiling this list. I knew about Green Loop and agree with you that it's expensive. I basically see it as a boutique, targeted toward people with $$$ who happen to want to live more green.

Another store to add to your list is Alternative Apparel (http://www.alternativeapparel.com). I haven't ordered from them yet, but they offer basic clothing similar to American Apparel, at similar prices, and their "Alternative Earth" collection is all organic.

Hi,
I am the owner of NatureWear Organics. I came across your blog today. Just wanted to say thank you for noticing us, and thank you for talking about organic clothing!

Peace,
Audra

I've also been looking for companies like these. I think the best i've found so far for ethics, variety and price is JERICO. Check out what seems to be an all around wonderful Canadian company - www.jerico.ca

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Play List: Ash Wednesday ash songs

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Today's play list is inspired by Ash Wednesday, and by the first song on the list, which is, to my mind, hysterical. All the songs contain ash references/imagery.

1. "Mary Catherine's Ash Wednesday Journal Entry" by Christine Kane
"Easter's just around the bend/Once again it is Lent/And my face is smeared with ashes/And either I will run away/Or I'll stay and sit through/Another hundred million masses."

2. "Ashes to Ashes" by David Bowie
"Ashes to ashes, funk to funky/We know Major Tom's a junkie/Strung out in heavens high/Hitting an all-time low."

3. "Ashes by Now" by Leanne Womack
"Baby, I can't go through this again/I don't need to go down more than I've already been/Just like a wildfire, you're runnin' all over town/As much as you've burned me baby, I should be ashes by now."

4. "We'll Sweep Out the Ashes in the Morning" by Gram Parsons
"We know it's wrong to let this fire burn between us/We've got to stop this wild desire in you and in me/So we'll let the flame burn once again until the thrill is gone/Then we'll sweep out the ashes in the morning."

5. "Northern Star" by Hole
"They run to the pines/It's black in here, blot out the sun/And run to the pines/Our misery runs wild and free/And I knew, the fire and the ashes of his grave."

6. "Ashes" by Rufus Wainwright
"But now there's ashes, from exquisite eyelashes/So far away, past the border, past the turnstyle/And even I know, and I do believe, and I do believe that there was a morning/I saw your true love burning next to me."

7. "Smoke and Ashes" by Tracy Chapman
"I've got a red hot heart/And your heart's as blue as the blood in your veins/I say there's fire down below/You say it's only smoke and ashes baby."

8. "All Apologies" by Nirvana
"Find my nest of salt/Everything is my fault/I'll take all the blame/Aqua seafoam shame/Sunburn with freezerburn/Choking on the ashes of her enemy."

9. "Ashes to Ashes" by Steve Earle
"And someday even man's best laid plans/Will lie twisted and covered in rust/When we've done all that we can but it slipped through our hands/And it's ashes to ashes and dust to dust."

10. "Ashes" by KT Tunstall
"Everyday, like a power station/You know it isn't good/I know you're burning too much wood/Oh, and you burn out/The twisted irony is/Your ashes come home to me."

11. "So Tonight That I Might See" by Mazzy Star
"Come up crash with the muses fells dust into ash."

12. "Ballad in Plain D" by Bob Dylan
"All is gone, all is gone, admit it, take flight./I gagged twice, doubled, tears blinding my sight./My mind it was mangled, I ran into the night/Leaving all of love's ashes behind me."

13. "Mexican Wine" by Fountains of Wayne
"He was killed by a cellular phone explosion/They scattered his ashes across the ocean/The water was used to make baby lotion/The wheels of promotion were set into motion."

14. "Self Evident" by Ani DiFranco
"Even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution/is still hanging in the air/and there's ash on our shoes/and there's ash in our hair."

What did I miss?

3 Comments

the refrain for "flood i" by the sisters of mercy (ha!) repeats the phrase "sackcloth and ashes." and the band 16 horsepower has an album entitled "sackcloth and ashes."

Only the first is Jesusy, but...

Tiny Cities Made of Ashes--Modest Mouse OR Mark Kozelek

Ashes of American Flags--Wilco
"I would like to salute
the ashes of American flags
And all the fallen leaves
filling up shopping bags"

Dancing on Ashes-- Robbie Fulks

I think that Gram/Emmylou song is the conclusive evidence that they totally got it on. I cannot believe otherwise.

you forgot ashes by pepper. not really an ash wednesday song, but hey, look at the title.

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Play list: Super songs

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In honor of Super Tuesday, and by suggestion of my friend Frog, today's play list is Super Songs:

1. "Superhero" by Ani DiFranco
"I used to be a superhero/no one could hurt me/not even myself/You are like a phone booth/that I somehow stumbled into/And now look at me/I am just like everybody else."

2. "That's Really Super, Supergirl" by XTC
"Hurt like kryptonite/Put me on my knees/Now that I've found out just what you're doing.With your secret identities."

3. "Superman's Song" by The Crash Test Dummies
"Superman never made any money/For saving the world from Solomon Grundy/And sometimes I despair the world will never see/Another man like him."

4. "Superstar" by Tegan and Sara
"Hardcore superstar by far/You're the ultimate star/Hardcore superstar by far/You're the ultimate star/Do you wanna be a superstar?"

5. "Super Duper Love" by Joss Stone
"Your love is super/Are you diggin on me coz im diggin on you/I'm just trying to tell you/Oh this love is super duper."

6. "Super Hyperspastic" by Sugarcult
"I'm super hyper spastic, yeah.I lost my sex drive and I'm holdin' out on you."

7. "Superfreak" by Rick James
"That girl is pretty wild now/The girl's a super freak/The kind of girl you read about/In new-wave magazine."

8. "Superman (It's Not Easy)" by Five for Fighting
"It may sound absurd/but don't be naive/Even heroes have the right to bleed/I may be disturbed/but won't you concede/Even heroes have the right to dream/It's not easy to be me."

9. "Super Trouper" by ABBA
"Super trouper beams are gonna blind me/But I wont feel blue/Like I always do/cause somewhere in the crowd theres you."

10. "Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)" by David Bowie
"Scary monsters, super creeps/Keep me running, running scared."

11. "Super Disco Breakin'" by The Beastie Boys
"Money Makin Money Money Makin Manhattan Super Disco Disco Breakin'"

12. "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" by The Kinks
"I need you, but I hate to see you this way/If I were Superman then we'd fly away/I'd really like to change the world/And save it from the mess it's in/I'm too weak, I'm so thin/I'd like to fly but I can't even swim."

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Play list: Songs for Monday morning

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I haven't done this in a while, but got the urge today. Go here to listen to my special Monday morning play list. Note that these are mostly songs that appeal to me as an office drone, not labor songs.

1. "9 to 5" by Dolly Parton
Doesn't get any better than this, ever.
"Its a rich mans game/No matter what they call it/And you spend your life/Putting money in his wallet."

2. "Manic Monday" by The Bangles
C'mon, like I wasn't going to lead with this one?
"But I can't be late/'Cause then I guess I just won't get paid/These are the days/When you wish your bed was already made "

3. "I Don't Like Mondays" by Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats
Not strictly about work, but hard to resist. At least I'm not using the Bon Jovi cover. Don't think I didn't consider it.
"Tell me why/I don’t like Mondays/I wanna shoot the whole day down."

4. "Take This Job and Shove It" by Johnny Paycheck, as covered by The Dead Kennedys
I love The Dead Kennedys covering this. Opens up a whole new world of funny for me.
"You better not try to stand in my way/As im a walking out the door./Take this job and shove it/I ain't working here no more."

5. "Come Next Monday" by K.T. Oslin
Again, not strictly about working, but I love this song and have since my mom had the 80s Ladies CD. Can't help it.
"Come next Monday/I'm going to bed early/I won't talk dirty for a week or maybe two/I'm going on a diet/Just like sugar, honey/Come next Monday/I'm gonna give up on you."\

6. "Welcome to the Working Week" by Elvis Costello
A classic.
"Welcome to the workin' week./Oh I know it don't thrill you, I hope it don't kill you./Welcome to the workin' week./You gotta do it till you're through it so you better get to it."

7. "Work is a Four-Letter Word" by The Smiths
I'll go on record not being a Smiths fan. Still, though...and ode to a lazy woman? How can I not dig that?
"I don't need/A house that's a showplace/I just feel/That we're going no place/While you say that/Work Is A Four-Letter Word."

8. "Rainy Days and Mondays" by The Carpenters
Could someone who actually LIKES folk music really leave this one off? Plus, it's actually a song about depression, which I'm all for (all for songs, that is, not so much all for depression).
"Talkin' to myself and feelin' old/Sometimes I'd like to quit/Nothing ever seems to fit/Hangin' around/Nothing to do but frown/Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down."

9. "Blue Monday" by New Order
Again, a shoo-in, even if it's not so much about work. Plus I need something to cheer me up after The Carpenters.
"Those who came before me/Lived through their vocations/From the past until completion/They will turn away no more."

10. "Except for Mondays" by Lorrie Morgan
I hadn't heard this for years before I made this list, and yet I still get it in my head regularly. I don't know what that means about it, exactly, but I had to include it.
"Except for Monday which was never good anyway/Tuesday I get a little sideways/Wednesday I feel better just for spite/Thursday and Friday take too long/Before I knew it,Saturday's gone/But it's Sunday now you can bet that I'm alright."

11. "Hey Julie" by Fountains of Wayne
Probably the best modern day "labor" song I can think of.
"Why must I spend my time/Filling up my mind/With facts and figures that never add up anyway?/They never add up anyway."

12. "Workin' for the Weekend" by Loverboy
Again, need some levity on this list.
"Everybody's workin' for the weekend/Everybody wants a new romance/Everybody's goin' off the deep end/Everybody needs a second chance."

13. "16 Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford
I know I said no labor songs, but I couldn't resist. Besides, the parallels to our modern debt-based system keep it relevant.
"You haul Sixteen Tons, whadaya get?/Another older and deeper in debt/Saint Peter don't you call me cause I can't go/I owe my soul to the company store."

14. "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" by Jimmy Buffet and Alan Jackson
Well, maybe it's just me, but Monday makes me want a drink...
"Gettin' paid by the hour and older by the minute/My boss just pushed me over the limit/I'd like to call him somethin'/But think I'll just call it a day."

15. "The Job That Ate My Brain" by The Ramones
Amen.
"Five o'clock rolls around/I feel so glad I kiss the ground/Ain't enough hours in the day/There's go to be a better way."

Happy Monday, y'all.

Editing to try to embed it...

2 Comments

May I suggest the Smiths' "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now?"

I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour/But Heaven knows I'm miserable now....I was looking for a job and then I found a job, and heaven knows I'm miserable now.

Brilliant. Duly added. :)

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Oscars

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So the Oscar nominations were announced the other day. Even more than usual, I've only seen a few of the films. But that doesn't keep me from having an opinion. So here are Oscars according to Grace:

Best Lead Actor:
Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Supporting Actor:
Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War

Best Lead Actress:
Ellen Page in Juno

Best Supporting Actress:
Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There

Art Direction:
Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Cinematography:
Atonement

Costume Design:
Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Directing:
There Will Be Blood

Best Picture:
There Will Be Blood

Writing (Adapted Screenplay):
No Country for Old Men

Writing (Original Screenplay):
Juno

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Some stuff I like

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I am inspired, today, to share.


  • One my career role models, Betsy Smith, has a new podcast focused on her job--thrifting and reselling. It's called Resale Queen, and the first episode just went up this weekend. Check it out.

  • Shutter Sisters is a new blog featuring the photography of some fantastic female blogger/photographers, including the supremely talented Karen (from Chookooloonks) and designer of my favorite ever necklace Andrea (Superhero Journal). Definitely worth a look.

  • The Wire. God help you if you haven't already been watching it, as this is the fifth and last season, and yeah, it's the best thing I've seen on TV. Watch it.

  • Mir at shopping blog Want Not tears it up on a daily basis with finding good deals. She recently found $6 organic PJs at Garnet Hill and king sized flannel sheets on Amazon for less than $10. I read her every day and you should too.

  • Several years ago, I read Charlie Wilson's War for a class. I very much enjoyed the combo of informative and entertaining (especially since most of what I was reading at the time was just informative). Yesterday, Mark and I saw the movie. It was more entertaining, but still fairly close to the book and definitely worth watching.

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Life is too short

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Once again, Karen at Chookooloonks has prompted me to blog on a day when I was really at a loss as to what to write about. She posted a "life is too short" list today, and I'm going to do the same:

Life is too short

...to drink bad coffee.
...to wear uncomfortable shoes.
...to try to hold in laughter.
...to pray to someone else's god.
...to worry about what you can't change.
...to stay with things just because you started them.
...to wear pantyhose.
...to settle for a substitute.
...to stay because it's easier.
...to try to be someone else.
...to not read voraciously.
...to spend too much time planning.

1 Comments

"to stay because it's easier."

HELL YA.

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Podcasts

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So I'm loving me some podcasts recently. I listen to them in the background for much of my work day. And, of course, I need more of them.

Right now, these are the ones I listen to regularly:

By Women, For Women (Seal Press): new episodes every 1-2 weeks, interviews with Seal Press authors
Croncast: Generally published three times a week, everyday ramblings of a married couple in Naperville, IL. Chris is a currently-unemployed tech-person, Betsy is a SAHM/professional thriferer/Ebayer, and they are both pretty damn funny.
F-Word Podcast: only two episodes so far, doesn't seem to be on a regular schedule. Feminist podcast from the U.K.
How Much Do We Love...: Weekly(?) podcast by two twentyorthirtysomethings, focused on the stuff that they are loving in a given week. TV, food, clothes, people, whatever. I haven't been listening long, but am enjoying it so far.
NPR: Movies: self-explanatory
On Point with Tom Ashbrook: daily NPR news program, focusing a lot on elections recently
On the Media: weekly NPR news program
Russell Brand: unbelievably funny BBC comedy program, featuring the new love of my life Russell Brand (thanks Susan!). I think it's weekly.
This American Life: old standby

Given that, do you have any to suggest? Any to suggest I avoid?

3 Comments

I listen to the Savage Love podcast a lot though more recently his misogyny has been pretty rife and I'm almost going to give up.

I love NPR's Bryant Park Podcast, and Pop Culture.


Also CBC's Definitely Not The Opera is awesome

I like Radiolab. http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/

Didn't know Russell has a podcast--I had been downloading his radio show as a torrent. Cool--now, I can be all legal and shit. :)

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My gifts

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Over at Chookooloonks, Karen has asked a really good and important question:

What are you really good at?

The context of this question was a bit more specific--what gifts do you have that help make the world a better place?

Since I have temporarily misplaced my Maggie Mason book, and since bragging on myself is such a good way tot start the new year, I thought I'd make myself a list of answers to that question here, rather than clogging up Karen's comments.

Things I Am Really Good At

  • Working with animals, particularly dogs.

  • Giving gifts.

  • Baking.

  • Writing something readable quickly.

  • Thrift shopping.

What about you? What are you really good at? What else am I really good at? We should all build these lists and look at them often, I think. Not only to make ourselves feel better, but also to remind ourselves what we we have to share with the world.

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43 Things, All Consuming

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In the spirit of New Year's goals/resolutions, I'm making a 43 Things list. It's here, if you are interested. I only have 14 things so far, but I imagine I will be adding to it.

And, on Jenny's recommendation, I'm going to use All Consuming to track my movie watching this year. So far, I've seen two flicks, and am about to head out to another one. Watching more movies is a goal for this year!

1 Comments

Hi!

I just saw your 43 things list says "have your picture taken by Karen Walrond" -- let's make this happen! Email me, and we'll try to figure something out. :-)

K.

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Shouting out

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Seems like as good a time as any to show you that I haven't just been writing this month, I've been reading as well. Here are a few of my favorite NaBloPo posts:

Chookooloonks is forever one of my favorite blogs, both for Karen's amazing pictures and her brief and thought-inducing writing. On November 20, she did a particularly good job with both the picture and the provoking of thoughts. I've been thinking about it since.

Dooce has added a new section to her blog, focusing on style in every day objects. I love it. My favorite entry so far is the magnets she featured on November 20 (apparently that was just a good blogging day).

My friend The Princess has been posting lists all month at Flooded Lizard Kingdom. My favorite is a toss-up between her November 24 "10 Things You Can and Should Buy At Thrift Stores Instead of Regular Stores This Holiday Season" and her November 22 "Three Reasons Each That I Am Thankful for Five People In My Life."

On November 26, Eden at Fussy, the mastermind behind NaBloPoMo, wrote a great post about her need for books in her life and living space. Totally something I could have written myself.

Lilysea at Peter's Cross Station can do no wrong in my mind. Still, sometimes she outdoes herself, as in her November 26 post about toxic toys and how just maybe this time it will be enough to change shopping habits to the good.

The Redneck Mommy from Attack of the Redneck Mommy isn't actually participating in NaBloPoMo, but she wrote one of the most moving blog posts I've ever read this month, and I would be remiss not to mention it here.

Finally, I have to shout out to Red Stapler's Suebob, who took an amazing photo in the airport and posted it on November 13. We so have the same sense of humor.

1 Comments

Thanks so much, Grace!

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Dog breeds

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Cyber Monday

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OK, so a list of Cyber Monday sales. I know there are people doing this all over the Internet, but I thought I'd get my $.02 in anyway.


  • Jockey: 25% off with coupon code 25TURKEY. Expires 11/28/07.

  • Coldwater Creek: $30 off orders of $100 or more with coupon code GIFT30. Also 25% off all jackets, ends Monday night.

  • Gaiam: 15% off with coupon code AP2A. Sale ends 11/26/07.

  • Lush: Several small sales. Use coupon code GREENGOODIE01 to get a free "green" item with your order of $65 or more including a wrapped gift; STUFFIT01 for a buy four get one free sale on bath bombs; STUFFIT02 for the same sale on bubble bars, and free shipping for all orders over $99, no code required.

  • Shoes.com: Code CYBERMONDAY for 20% off your entire order.

  • Overstock: Free shipping on everything, plus get $20 cash back when you spend $100 or more using Paypal.

  • Target: Spend $50 and get $5 off and free shipping, expires 12/1/07.

  • Fabulous Footwear: Buy one, get one 1/2 off, plus free shipping, plus 10% off your entire order with coupon code CYBER2007. Today only.

  • Potato Face: Spend $25 and get any pair of earrings for free--today only.

  • Claudia's Creations: 20% off entire purchase, today only--put "20off" in notes and wait for revised invoice before paying.

  • A Punkin Card Company: 20% off everything, today only. No promo code needed, just wait for a revised invoice.

  • Sweet Spice: Entire shop 50% off until 5pm EST! Put "CMS" in note to seller and wait for revised invoice.

  • Sierra Trading Post: At least 50% off everything on the site, plus free shipping for orders over $75. Ends 11/27.


We both know there are more--so, so many more. Add your favorites in the comments?

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thankful

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Maybe it's not exactly original, but I haven't done this yet today, and I think it's important. Today and every day.

Things for which I am thankful:

1. Mark. I don't talk about him or our relationship much here, but he is wonderful and things are good. I am truly thankful for him.

2. My pets. This I do talk about often, but I can't stress it enough--my dogs and cats bring more joy to my life than I ever would have imagined. I am a better person because of them, and also a happier one.

3. My creature comforts. This is maybe not something I should stress, but God is it ever good to have a hot bath, a soft bed, good coffee in the morning...my life is so, so lush, and I really am thankful.

4. The children in my life. I spent a good deal of time with two of my "small friends" (TM Frog) today, and I truly just love being around them. While I am still unsure about whether or not I want to parent myself, I know for sure that I always want children in my life, and I am very lucky to have the ones I do.

5. Blogging. Meta, maybe. Even stupid. But blogging has added a ton to my life. Not only have I met some wonderful people through it, but I've really gotten back into writing daily or near-daily, which is an absolute gift.

There's more--a lot more--but that's good enough for now. It's been a great day, but a very long one, and now it's time to veg.

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Sharing my Christmas list

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As I've mentioned, I'm a big, big fan of The Windowshoppist. More than once I have found stuff I really like there, and I've gotten present ideas there as well. So it was the first place I turned when forming my own Christmas list (I know, I know, but my mom asked for one, OK?). I was thinking, though, while making up the list, that I should share it with you, since you all might get ideas from it the same way I do from the great Shoppista. And so, here it is. My apologies to those who already read The Windowshoppist, as some of my Christmas wants definitely came from there!

Libby Dibby skirts (The image is of two skirts, one from the front and one from the back. Both are red and white cotton wrap-arounds.)

1. Libby Dibby Skirt. Why yes, I do already have one of these. I want another one. Badly. Right now, I'm partial to the "Hollywood" and "Original" patterns. Would someone on your Christmas list like one too? They're $69.95 plus S&H, which may sound like a lot, but when you consider how well made they are, and that they're reversible, it's a fair price.

broken plate pendant (The photo is of a smallish pendant made from a piece of broken plate. The plate is white with a light blue and brown floral design.)

2. Broken Plate Pendant. These are so damn cool, if I hadn't sworn off buying myself jewelry I would have bought on a long time ago. The crafts person makes pendants out of broken vintage dishes! I find it impossible to pick out my favorite, but am partially to the ones in browns and blues, generally. Most of these are around $30, too, so they're affordable for the funky-jewelryphile on your list.

sea glass necklaces(The photo shows three necklaces, all silver chains with three small sea glass circles suspended from each one. The sea glass pieces are a mix of greens, blues, gray, and white.)

3. Twigs & Heather sea glass pendant. Again with the gorgeous jewelry, this time made from sea glass. My preference is for the long skinny cobblestone necklaces, but really these are all beautiful. Prices start at $40 for a single piece of glass.

patchwork messenger bag(The photo is of a patchwork messenger bag with a monkey decal in the middle of it. It is very multi-colored, like a crazy quilt, and some of the patches are monkey-themed fabric).

4. Textile Fetish patchwork messenger bag. I'm kind of over messenger bags, to tell the truth, but I can't resist these patchwork ones. How cute and funky are they? I particularly love the one shown, with the sock monkey theme. These are reputably well-made and run about $50 each.

reading is sexy t-shirt(The photo shows a light yellow t-shirt with green cap sleeves. On the front of the shirt is a drawing of a girl looking over her glasses and the words "Reading is Sexy.")

5. Reading is Sexy t-shirt. I've wanted a "Reading is Sexy" t-shirt for ages, but I particularly like this yellow and green cap-sleeved version. I also like that it comes in an XL that would likely actually fit me. It's $14.95.

paper sculpture(The photo is of a multi-layered three-dimensional paper sculpture of an old van with trees and plants around it. It is mostly gray, black, and brown.)

6. San Fran paper sculpture. SanFran's paper sculptures are pretty much my favorite thing on this list. I hope someone bought me one before the ones that were up before were gone, as there is only one left now! The website says more are coming soon, though. They are $55 and I think they're absolutely wonderful art for that price. You can see more examples of work by the artist, Helen Musselwhite, here.

counter compost bin(The photo is of a stainless steel counter composter. It is cylindrical and has a lid with holes in it and a charcoal filtering system.)

7. Counter compost bin. We started composting about a year ago, and while the big Tupperware container we're using to collect scraps inside is perfectly functional, it's not very attractive. I'd prefer a nice stainless steel counter composter like this one, made by RSVP International. I'm not, mind you, suggesting anybody buy it from Amazon, but the price for it there is $37.98.

kitchenaid red tea kettle(The photo is of a bright red Kitchenaid tea kettle.)

8. Kitchenaid tea kettle, red. I have a weak spot that could only be characterized as pathetic for bright red KitchenAid appliances. I have the standing mixer and food processor, as well as some smaller things (spatulas, measuring cups, etc.) and I only want to collect more. However, we also do honestly need a bigger and less worn tea kettle. So, meeting our needs for both function and aesthetics, the red KitchenAid kettle. It's $39.99 at Amazon, but I'm sure could be found for a similar price elsewhere.

kitchenaid coffee grinder(Photo is of a bright red coffee grinder.)

9. Red Kitchenaid coffee grinder. See everything I said above, only replace "tea kettle" with "coffee grinder." $29.99 at Amazon.

kitchenaid coffee maker(Photo shows a bright red coffee maker.)

10. Red Kitchenaid coffee maker. Once again, see above, replacing "coffee grinder" with "coffee maker." And please note that we currently only have a four-cup coffee pot, and y'all, we drink more coffee than that. This model is spendy. It's out of stock on Amazon, but costs $99.98 at coffeemakers.com. I have no idea how much it would be locally.

And thus ends the KitchenAid portion of our list.

11. Small, durable digital camera. I have no specifics here, just a desperate desire for a camera that suck less than the one we have. The one we have is difficult to use and takes bad pictures. I'd like the opposite.

ling glass pendant(The picture shows a rectangular pendant made of red stained glass, with a simple silver outline and design on it.)

12. LingGlass necklace. Again with the fabulous jewelry! These necklaces are made from stained glass and sautered metal, and I think they are amazing. Once again, it's hard to choose just one. I definitely like the simpler, one-color pendants the best, and like the long rectangular ones (like the one shown) and circles ones better than the squares. From there, though...I dunno. These run anywhere from $15-$30, depending on which one you choose, and they don't come with chains, so buy those separately.

13. Small gold hoop earrings. Again, no particulars, I just want something small, gold, and self-fastening.

recycling bags(The photo shows four large square bags, one each in orange, silver, blue, and green, with logos on the front of them indicating if they for paper, glass, etc.)

14. Design within Reach recycling bags. This set of four heavy-duty tarp bags, pre-coded to separate recycling, makes me all kinds of happy. First, they are organizational tools, which I love on principle. Secondly, they are brightly colored, which I also love. Third, they look like they'd hold up and be easily storable when not full, which is great. As a bonus, they'd be a lot easier to clean out than the current plastic buckets we use to collect recyclables. They're also affordable--$22 for the set with free shipping.

15. Lavender & Honey body products. As is known far and wide, I'm a junkie for bath and products. Not makeup or that crap, but things to make my skin feel nice. Currently, I am really digging lavender and honey scents, and one line I'd like to try is Deep Steep.

So there you have it, some stuff I want for Christmas. What do you want? Anything I should know about for the people left on my list? Bring it on!

1 Comments

Ohhh! I pine for all these things too! Particularly the bag, the skirt, and the t-shirt. But I already got what I want for Christmas - two concert organizations sponsoring trips home next year, so hooray....

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Friday Love List

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ChocStout.gifOnce again, because I'm a big ol Meg Fowler groupie, here's my list of things I'm loving on this Friday.

*apples being in season
*Rogue Chocolate Stout
*a new foster dog coming tomorrow
*Tillamook Sharp Cheddar at Costco
*fitting into my pants
*a queue of exciting books to read
*less back pain, more good drugs to deal with it
*indulging in afternoon coffee
*lists, lists, lists, baby

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Online lists? What could be better?

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Yesterday, as I was whining about not having any place online to store a running list of books I want to read, I decided to try and find something. Everything exists online, so why not a list tool? Well, I didn't have to look very hard before I found Ta-da Lists, which is exactly what I'd been looking for. It's free, simple to use, and allows me to make multiple lists, which can be either public or private. Perfect!

My Books to Read list is here (also down on the sidebar). Check it out and tell me what needs to be added?

4 Comments

Ooh, have you checked out goodreads.com? I'm addicted to it, you can make lists of books you've read and rate them, put them in categories, and make a "to read" shelf. As well as see what other people are reading and review books.

I

There's also a Facebook ap that helps you keep track of books. I put stuff on my amazn wish list. Also, Shelfari and Allconsuming.net....

TMI!

Oh also, librarything

Oh my, so many choices...why didn't I know about these before? I LOVE LISTS!

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Play list: Patriotic songs

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With today being "Patriot Day" and everything, I thought a list of songs that are, to me, patriotic, would be appropriate. So...

Songs for America

1. "Kathy's Song (America)" by Simon & Garfunkel. My favorite America song ever. Makes me weepy.

2. "'Tis of Thee" by Ani DiFranco. Sad, sad stuff. Ani probably has a wider selection of what I think of as patriotic songs than anybody else. So she's on the list twice.

3. "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie. This one is a gimme.

4. "Bread and Roses" by Judy Collins (well, this version is). Nothing makes me feel patriotic like a labor song.

5. "Born in the U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen. Probably the most inappropriately used song ever.

6. "Across the Great Divide" by Kate Wolf (again, this version). To me, the US as an idea is intimately connected with the land itself. This song does a good job with that.

7. "Proud Mary" by Ike & Tina Turner. I dunno if it's normal to think of this song as patriotic, but I do.

8. "I Ain't Marching Anymore" by Phil Ochs. Truer now than ever. Gah. He's gotta be turning over in his grave to see the mess we're in these days.

9. "City of New Orleans" by Arlo Guthrie. American=trains. Clearly.

10. "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore" by John Prine. Some much needed clear headed levity.

11. "Grand Canyon" by Ani DiFranco. A look at history from a woman who loves her country. I approve.

12. "I'm Afraid of Americans" by David Bowie. It's a perfectly fair sentiment.

13. "Pretty Good Year" by Tori Amos. Again, sad, but rings true.

14. "Omaha" by The Counting Crows. Another band I could have used multiple songs by. This one really makes my heart sing, though.

15. "Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution" by Tracy Chapman. To end on a positive note.

As always, you can hear the list here.

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Friday Love List

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Meg Fowler suggests smoothing the transition from week to weekend by posting a blog list on Friday of things you love. This seems like excellent sense to me, and I share some of the loves Meg posted today, so here's mine:

Things I Love

Scrabulous. Oh god, yes. I'll even play against the too-smart-for-its-own-good robot.
The Farmer's Wife. Watched the first segment last night and can't wait to watch the rest. It's SO good.
Healthy plants. All of my at-home plants are droopy, but the ones in my office are gorgeous. It makes being at work a lot easier.
College football season. Started last week, and I will be sitting down to a healthy dose of it this weekend.
My trip home in one week!
Nutella. A gift from a higher power, especially since the quality of apples is improving.

What do you love?

1 Comments

I love this idea!

I'm going to steal it as well this Friday :)

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Play list: Friendship songs

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In honor of my fabulous weekend with my friends, the theme of today's play list is friendship. There are absolutely tons of great songs on this subject, several of which I sadly couldn't find on iMeem (including Ani's "If He Tries Anything" and Deirdre Flint's "King of the Rollerama"), but these are the 15 I chose. Apologies in advance for the cheesiness of some of them.

1. "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" by The Hollies. I love, love, love this song. It makes my inner hippy dance.

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where
But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

2. "Old Friends" by Everything But the Girl. Pre-electronic EBTG. Weird.

standing here with my arm around you, life's moved on
and all its borderlines are being redrawn
the winter has come the roads are white
everyone's home late tonight
may we stay or will it depend
as old friends
in the end , still old friends

3. "With A Little Help from My Friends" by Tori Amos. Yes, I know this is a Beatles song, but since I generally try to stay away from The Beatles, I included Tori's live cover. This song reminds me of nothing so much as "Life Goes On."

What would you think if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me.
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song,
And I'll try not to sing out of key.
Oh I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm I get high with a little help from my friends,
Mmm I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends.

4. "You've Got a Friend" by James Taylor. Oh, come on. Like I was going to leave this one off. Besides, I kind of love James Taylor.

You just call out my name,
And you know where ever I am
I'll come running, oh yeah baby
To see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You've got a friend.

5. "He Was a Friend of Mine" by Cat Power. Again, a cover version not an original. I like Willie Nelson's version (from "Brokeback Mountain") as well, but couldn't find it on iMeem.

He was a friend of mine
He was a friend of mine
Every time I think about him now
Lord I just can't keep from cryin'
'Cause he was a friend of mine

6. "So Far Away" by Carole King. I get this stuck in my head all the time. Then I feel sad. I'm using this instead of her more famous Gilmore Girls theme song, because this one speaks to me more directly.

One more song about moving along the highway
Can't say much of anything that's new
If I could only work this life out my way
I'd rather spend it being close to you
But you're so far away
Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore?
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
Doesn't help to know you're so far away
Yeah, you're so far away

7. "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd. Maybe not supposed to be about friendship, but like the previous entry, I get it in my head and then think about how far I am from my friends, so it's on the list.

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have you found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

8. "I See a Darkness" by Johnny Cash. Again, not the original, but a brilliant version of a truly sad song.

Well, you're my friend
And can you see
Many times we've been out drinking
Many times we've shared our thoughts
Did you ever, ever notice, the kind of thoughts I got
Well you know I have a love, for everyone I know
And you know I have a drive, for life I won't let go
But sometimes this opposition, comes rising up in me
This terrible imposition, comes blacking through my mind

9. "Alcoholic Friends" by The Dresden Dolls. On a less serious (at least for me) note...heh.

should I choose a noble occupation
if I did I’d only show up late and
sick and they would stare at me with hatred
plus my only natural talent’s wasted on my alcoholic friends
my alcoholic friends

10. "Outside of a Small Circle of Friends" by Phil Ochs. Sad and bitter truth, and a bit about political compatriots as friends.

Smoking marijuana is more fun than drinking beer,
But a friend of ours was captured and they gave him thirty years
Maybe we should raise our voices, ask somebody why
But demonstrations are a drag, besides we're much too high
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

11. "My Drug Buddy" by The Lemonheads. Another amusing one.

We have to laugh to look at each other.
We have to laugh cause were not alone.

12. "My Only Friend" by The Magnetic Fields. Another sad, and, IMO, fabulous one.

Billie you're a miracle and God knows I need one
Sing me something terrible
that even dawn may come
You and me, we don't believe in happy endings

13. "As Cool As I Am" by Dar Williams. This song may not technically be about friendship, but it gives me a stronger pro-female friends feeling than any other song ever, so I'm including it.

Oh -- I'm not that petty, as cool as I am, I thought you'd know this already,
I will not be afraid of women, I will not be afraid of women.

14. "We're All in This Together" by Old Crowe Medicine Show. This is a new one for me, and I'll be listening to it on repeat now.

Well my friends, I see your face so clearly
Little bit tired, little worn through the years
You sound nervous, you seem alone
I hardly recognize your voice on the telephone

15. "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor. Yeah, I know, I know...but I see the scene dancing in the kitchen in "Running on Empty" every time I hear this, and therefore it gives me fuzzy River Phoenix feelings and I listen to it. So sue me.

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again

To listen to my play list, go here. And tell me what I should have included in the comment.

2 Comments

The first thing that popped into my head was "Reach Out Of the Darkness," a sortof obscure oldie by Friend and Lover. I'm sure I'll think of a dozen more in the next few days ("In My Life"), but that was my first reaction.

Are you from Philadelphia? Deirdre Flint used to be in the same zip code as me on Mp3.com. I never knew her music made it out of the city.

No, I'm not from Philadelphia, but I was introduced to Deirdre Flint by a friend who is.

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Play list: Coffee songs

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I was sitting here this morning, sipping my coffee, thinking about what type of play list I'd like to make. So, I decided to go with the obvious and make one about coffee. You can give it a listen here. I know it barely scratches the surface of coffee songs--there are TONS--but it's a good start, I think.

1. "One More Cup of Coffee" by The White Stripes (originally Bob Dylan).
One more cup of coffee for the road,
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below.

2. "Dog Coffee" by Ani DiFranco. Ani actually has a bunch of songs that mention coffee, so I sort of picked one at random.
Would you like some dog coffee
It's all that we've got
You can have some
You can have not

3. "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega. An obvious choice.
I am waiting
At the counter
For the man
To pour the coffee

4. "Heartstopper" by Emiliana Torrini.
Coffee is pouring out my ears
It's the only thing they have in here
And my heart stops beating

5. "Cup of Coffee" by Garbage. This song is so sad. I had forgotten about it...just hearin it again was worth making this list.
You tell me you don't love me over a cup of coffee
And I just have to look away
A million miles between us
Planets crashing into dust
I just let it fade away

6. "Starfish and Coffee" by Prince. My mind must not be free enough, because this is just silly.
If u set your mind free, baby
Maybe you'd understand
Starfish and coffee
Maple syrup and jam

7. "Coffee & Cigarettes" by Michelle Featherstone. (There are other songs with this title as well, including one by Otis Redding.)
I gave up coffee and cigarettes
I hate to say it hasn’t helped me yet
I thought my problems would just dissipate
And all my pain would be in yesterday

8. "Black Coffee" by Black Flag. (Again, there are other songs with this title as well, including a Tricky track and an Ella Fitzgerald song.)
Who are you with, where have you been
Imagination turns thoughts, reason can't change
Staring at the walls, think I know what I see
Anger and coffee, feeling mean

9. "The Opposite of Coffee" by The Lucksmiths.
She often speaks so softly
She sends me to sleep
She’s the opposite of coffee
She’s the last thing I need first thing in the morning

10. "You Were Meant for Me" by Jewel. Couldn't resist.
I called my momma, she was out for a walk
Consoled a cup of coffee but it didn't wanna talk

11. "Black Coffee in Bed" by Squeeze.
The stain on my notebook
Remain all that's left
Of the memory of late nights
And coffee in bed

12. "Smoking Cigarettes and Drinking Coffee Blues" by Lefty Frizzell
Smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee all night long
Wondering how a love so right could suddenly go wrong
I'd take the next bus out of town but I gotta be near you
I got those smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee blues

13. "Taylor the Latte Boy" by Kristen Chenoweth. This is just too damn funny.
Taylor the latte boy,
Bring me java, bring me joy!
Oh Taylor the latte boy,
I love him, I love him, I love him…

14. "Intergalactic" by The Beastie Boys. Not exactly a coffee song, but a line that is reminiscent of how I take my coffee.
When it comes to beats well I'm a fiend
I like my sugar with coffee and cream

15. "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" by The Cranberries.
Come on now
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up
Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up
It's time, smell the coffee, the coffee

2 Comments

Great mix! I actually love "Starfish and Coffee" by Prince... sure, it's silly, but it has an infectious childish happiness that I love, and it is such a funny change from the themes of many Prince songs.

"Five Cups of Coffee" by the Jayhawks, back in the day. "And the long black dream is over / as the snow falls on and on / and it takes five cups of coffee / to come down before I sleep."

(Some say "calm down," but I like "come down" better and that's what I sing when I sing along.)

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Birthday list

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I have been asked to provide a list of things I would like for my birthday. And you know, I really don't hate presents. So I'm happy to comply. In no particular order, here is some stuff I wish someone would buy me.

1. Timbuk2 Cargo Tote
I'm partial to the olive and lavender combo.

2. Badass original woodcut print

3. Brilliant wrap dress from Alight (1X)

4. Alternatively, this other brilliant dress from Alight

5. Amazing hand painted pendant by Ruby

6. Sea glass pendant from Twigs & Heather

7. Recycled ad bag

8. Just about anything from the Broken Plate Pendant Company

9. Nikki McClure crow t-shirt (XL)

Big big thanks to my friend The Shoppista for pointing me towards everything on this list.

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Top Five Hottest Men in the Prem

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I don't know if any of my readers follow non-American football (i.e. soccer), but at my house, it's a big deal. The Premiere League has been up for a couple of weeks now, much to Mark's constant joy and my typical irritation and occassional amusement. And as excited as Mark has been about watching both games and (endless) highlight shows, I've realized something myself: there are some damn fine men in the Prem. In that spirit, I give you the Top Five Hottest Men in the Premiere League:

Robin Van Persie5. Michael Essien, Chelsea

4. Jonathan Spector, West Ham United

3. Kasper Schmeichel, Manchester City

2. Xabi Alonso, Liverpool

1. Robin Van Persie, Arsenal

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More pre-birthday musings

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As I continue to feel vaguely uneasy about my upcoming birthday, I thought it might be therapeutic for me to make a list of things I am surprised/impressed about when it comes to my adult self. I may not be everything I want to be, but I'm a few things I never expected. To whit:

1. I can now tell the difference between a bad cup of coffee and a good one, and, to a lesser extent, between a bad glass of wine and a good one.

2. I am no longer paralyzed with nervousness when I have to drive somewhere I've never been before.

3. I've learned to keep plants (mostly) alive.

4. I no longer have doubts about my employability. I may not always be able to find a job I like, but I can always find a job.

5. I don't apologize for my music taste anymore.

6. I am completely at ease describing myself as a feminist.

7. I've been involved in the rescue of nearly two dozen dogs.

8. I can now appreciate where I'm from while still being honest about how much I hated it when I actually lived there.

9. When I look back at high school, I'm not angry anymore.

10. I have a passport. It may not have any stamps on it yet, but I do have a passport.

1 Comments

Ha! You're a feminist! Ha!

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Songs they see you in

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I woke up this morning, for whatever reason, thinking about the songs I've been told I remind people of over the years. I can actually only think of three (should there be more?), but I think it's an interesting list. And it would make a good meme-type question, so readers, comment or add this to your blog? What songs have reminded people of you?

The first time I remember being compared to a song, it was Soul Asylum's "The Sun Maid." (Their album, "Grave Dancers Union" was very popular at the time.) Here are those lyrics:

The Sun Maid
Tell me how you get that shine
You must polish all the time
Though I know your job is thankless
They will thank you up in heaven
Oh the Sun Maid
Looking for the shade
Though they say she's not too bright
She takes care of all the light
Without you it's cold and stark
We would all be in the dark
Without the Sun Maid
She never gets paid
Searching for the shade
Oh the Sun Maid
You are so taken for granted
With each and every seed that's planted
And the earth is so demanding
All the young girls are out tanning
The Sun Maid
She's such an old maid
She never gets laid
Oh the Sun Maid
Now you're tired, your day is over
Now the moon is one day older

Now you tell me what that comparison was about...

A few years later, a slightly less insulting song brought up thoughts of me--U2's "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?" (From Achtung Baby, also very popular when I was in high school.)

Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?
You're dangerous 'cause you're honest
You're dangerous, you don't know what you want
Well you left my heart empty as a vacant lot
For any spirit to haunt

Hey hey sha la la
Hey hey

You're an accident waiting to happen
You're a piece of glass left in a beach
Well, you tell me things I know you're not supposed to
Then you leave me just out of reach

Hey hey sha la la
Hey hey sha la la

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna fall at the foot of thee?

Well you stole it 'cause I needed the cash
And you killed it 'cause I wanted revenge
Well you lied to me 'cause I asked you to
Baby, can we still be friends?

Hey hey sha la la
Hey hey sha la la

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna fall at the foot of thee?

Oh, the deeper I spin
Oh, the hunter will sin for your ivory skin
Took a drive in the dirty rain
To a place where the wind calls your name
Under the trees the river laughing at you and me
Hallelujah, heavens white rose
The doors you open
I just can't close

Don't turn around, don't turn around again
Don't turn around, your gypsy heart
Don't turn around, don't turn around again
Don't turn around, and don't look back
Come on now love, don't you look back!

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna taste your salt water kisses?
Who's gonna take the place of me?

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna tame the heart of thee?

I have to admit that one remains my favorite. Makes me sound exciting, don't you think? Incidentally, this is the only one that WASN'T suggested by someone I was sleeping with/someone who was trying to get me to sleep with him.

The most recent comparison, which has still been a number of years ago, was to "Swords" by Leftfield (off the album of the same name). Also a bit strange...

Swords
Danger, in every corner.
I have become pure water.
I can identify.
I close my eyes.
I wear my sword at my side (x2).
Cleanse me.
Deep in the fire.
I have become pure water.
I wear my sword at my side (x4).
I have become pure water (x2).
I have become pure water (distorted and echoed)

So those, such as they are, are mine. What are yours?

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I wanna...

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I had really hoped I'd get more than four days into not shopping before I started a list of stuff I want to buy, but I am who I am, and so the list begins. It will probably get long.

Things I'd buy if I weren't not shopping:

1. Obama merch. My favorites are this sticker, this one, and this one. But I have to admit there is some small part of me that would love to display this one somewhere on my person.

2. Spring shoes. I really, really want spring shoes. Something cute and flat. And some sandals. I'm digging the Earth Echelon and Allure, the Dunham Juniper Mary Jane, and these incredibly cute New Balance yoga shoes (think I could pull those off with skirts?). I also really like these Red Wing Cosmos flats. For sandals, I'm tempted by a number of the Clarks styles, especially the Twill, but what I want more than anything is just some really nice, comfy flip flops, like these by Columbia or these by Simple.

I'd also love to get some boots for next year when they go on sale...

3. The Windowshoppist is giving me all sorts of stuff lust. In particular, I am nutso about the retro print laptop covers by Nanda (particularly the Stella green) and the truly fabulous Broken Plate Pendant Company jewelry. I'd have a hard time choosing just one, but right this moment I am lusting over the Peacock Broken Plate Pendant.

7 Comments

OMG - I totally want that shirt! I'd wear it to karaoke.

The truth is that the only way I am going to get myself out of debt is to stop fucking shopping. Just stop. Completely, at least for a while. And as the season of Lent is upon us (though I am starting a day early), the next 40 days seems as good a time as any. So that's the goal--no shopping for 40 days (aside from grocery shopping).

Based on this list, I'd argue that you are still shopping. You just aren't buying. If your goal is to get out of debt, no harm, no foul. If your goal is to get your shopping under control, I fear this list is setting yourself up for a binge at the end of Lent.

It might help you to think of how you are going to reward yourself at the end. Come up with something that doesn't involve shopping. This may help shift your focus. (I know when I did a strict diet thing years ago, it was really hard for me to come up with non-food-related celebratory behaviors to mark my successes.)

Shit, you're probably right. My ultimate goal is to not WANT to shop. So I'm probably not doing myself any good.

I hate this.

Buddhists call this "fanning the flames of desire." Well, some Buddhists do... :p The desire feels kind of yummy, but it tends to result in suffering. Just something to think about.

I like what Siobhan said, too.

I'd have to agree with Siobhan...if you want to stop wanting to buy things, you have to stop looking at things to buy. If you don't window shop, you won't have a list of things you want, because you won't see things to want. Sure, you might feel like "oh, I want some spring shoes" but that's a much easier feeling to deny (at least IME) than "I want THOSE shoes."

I know that shopping becomes a form of entertain ment and such - maybe you need to find other activities to replace it?

Anyway, good luck! I know its hard...I am making a bit more money now, and really enjoying spending it! It's hard to get that under control, even when I know I have to save for car repairs, etc. :\ what a tough habit.

If you really like those laptop cozies - make one - they look pretty easy and you probably have fun looking fabrics (old sheets, old shirts) around to use.

Yikes... that Windowshoppist site is deadly! There are so many things I want showcased there.

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Best of 2006

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Here is a list of some of my favorite things in 2006.

Top 5 Books
5. I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris
4. My Life in France by Julia Child
3. The Class Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls
2. The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue
1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Top 5 Movies
5. Wordplay
4. The Science of Sleep
3. V for Vendetta
2. Little Miss Sunshine
1. Kinky Boots

Top 2 TV
2. House, Season 3
1. The Wire, Season 4

Top 5 CDs
5. The Be Good Tanyas, Hello Love
4. The Little Willies, The Little Willies
3. Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
2. The Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way
1. Roseanne Cash, Black Cadillac

What'd I miss?

1 Comments

I just blogged about Wordplay and Kinky Boots. I really kinda hated Kinky Boots, though...

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Naming the goals

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I wasn't planning to write up a list of New Year's resolutions this year, but I was just listening to some podcast that was talking about how much more successful people are in meeting their goals if they (1) write those goals down and (2) share those goals with others, so I figured I'd better.

Basically, I want to get in control of heath and finances this year. Those are my broad goals. But the program also said that the more specific your goals are, the better suited you are to obtain them. So, more specifically:

Financial goals:

1. In 2007, I will completely pay down my credit card debt. I will not take on any new credit card debt.
2. In 2007, I will make regular payments to my student loan.
3. In 2007, after my credit cards are paid, I will put the same amount per month into savings as I was putting into paying them.

Health goals:

1. Make a new health-related goal every two weeks and work on that goal, trying to keep up with previous goals as well. (Example: for the first two weeks of the year, I am working on giving up soda.)
2. Walk the dogs. Take them to the park. Enjoy the fact that I live somewhere with really freaking good weather.

So that's it. Those are my goals. Consider them written out and shared.

1 Comments

Thanks so much for that comment about the good weather. I blame you for the 1/2 inch of ice on our driveway and the icicles hanging from the deck railing and the trash can.

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Resolution Check-In

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Inspired by Frog, I am celebrating the (more or less) halfway point of 2006 by checking on progress with my New Year's Resolutions.:

1. Get back on a 4-5 day a week gym schedule.
Haven't done it. Haven't even tried. Have to get on this one.

2. Get back on a 2 shots a week allergy shot schedule.
I actually bagged the whole allergy shot plan, and I'm fine with that, so this one can be crossed out.

3. Get my finances under control, including upping my savings percentage and IRA contributions.
This one is in progress. I have a plan, and I'm following it, but I'm not out of debt and saving the way I should be quite yet.

4. Get some writing published.
Thanks to Karen, this one is done.

5. Read for pleasure during the school semester.

I think I did this during the spring semester, but I can't completely remember. At any rate, I'm doing it now.

6. Learn enough calculus to finish my graduation requirements.
Done!

7. Start writing letters on paper again, rather than just emails.
Haven't done as much of this as I'd intended, but I did order some new stationary, so hopefully that will inspire me to get on it. I'd like to write and mail 1-2 letters/week.

8. Divest myself of unnecessary posessions, and don't replace them.
I think I've made progress here, but not as much as I'd like. Have to keep working on it.

9. Commit myself to finding a more challenging job.
Did it and feel very good about it.

10. Volunteer.
I have submitted several volunteer applications, but haven't been able to get anything yet. Need to start working on that again, I guess, but it's very frustrating.


11. Think about writing less; write more.
Another one I've made some progress towards, but need to continue working on.

12. Remember birthdays.
For the first half of the year, I've done very well with this one.

3 Comments

may i ask what is working for you other than shots? I would LOVE to know. ~J

Nothing. I'm taking a double dose of Zyrtec and suffering. But the shots were a huge PITA and weren't helping much either, so it doesn't seem to make much difference.

ah. thanks! ~J

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In/Out

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Over at Frog's place, she has a People style list of what is "In" and what is "Out" for her in 2006. I like the idea so much, I'm stealing it.


OUT
: Plastic: plastic crap, plastic food, plastic emotions.
IN: Healthy, natural food; less general accumulation; more time to process real feelings.

OUT: Getting wrapped up in other people's drama, especially online.
IN: Spending more time in communication with my friends and family.

OUT:
Spending too much time in idle pursuits, especially TV and excessive Internet use.
IN: Making time to read, excercise, play with my pets, and generally take care of the mental and physical health.

OUT: Target.
IN: Local stores, secondhand shopping.

OUT: Complaining about my job.
IN: Putting the time to good use.

OUT: Coffee.
IN: Tea.

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Couple of things

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My thanks to the always amazing Karen for both of these things.

Thing the first: Mosey on over to the Best of Blog (BoB) Awards and nominate me nominate some of your fave blogs, or just check out the nominees that are already there and maybe find some new reading.

Thing the second, a cool meme:

7 Things Yet To Do With My Life

  1. Skydive (but I'm going in January!)
  2. Get a Ph.D.
  3. Visit a country that is not the U.S. and not connected to the U.S. by land
  4. Speak a second language
  5. Be succesfully self-employed
  6. Play a musical instrument
  7. See Klimt's and Kahlo's paintings
7 Things I Can't Do
  1. Sing
  2. Make things grow
  3. Draw
  4. Read Greek
  5. Skateboard
  6. Wiggle my nose
  7. Cry on command
7 Things I Admire About my Spouse Partner
  1. He's so, so smart
  2. He's a great cook
  3. He really loves his family
  4. He can save money like nobody's business
  5. He can play the guitar
  6. He's sure about his (lack of) faith in God
  7. He's a great driver
7 Things I Say Most Often
  1. "Damn!"
  2. "Atticus!"
  3. "I love you."
  4. "...darlin'."
  5. "You think so?"
  6. "Oh my God!"
  7. "Yeah?"
7 Books I Love

  1. The Clown of God by Tomie de Paola
  2. The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America by Ruth Rosen
  3. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  4. Our Bodies, Ourselves by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective
  5. Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs by Caroline Knapp
  6. Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey
  7. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
7 Movies I'd Watch Over and Over Again

  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  2. Dazed and Confused
  3. The Princess Bride
  4. Edward Scissorhands
  5. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
  6. Goodfellas
  7. Barton Fink
7 Songs I Can't Get Enough Of
  1. "God Will" by Lyle Lovett
  2. "Pancho and Lefty" by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard
  3. "Irresponsible Woman" by Mary Prankster
  4. "Some Girls" by Adam Brodsky
  5. "What If No One's Watching?" by Ani DiFranco
  6. "Man in Black" by Johnny Cash
  7. "Righteously" by Lucinda Williams

1 Comments

Hi from blue_pete. Liked your review of Broken Flowers, which has just opened in South Africa (SA). As for your resolution to visit a country that is not the US and not connected to the US by land, you should consider visiting South Africa. It's a beautiful country but also interesting in terms of being both First World and Third World. We are quite critical of US foreign policy but also look to the US as the leader in business, politics and of course entertainment.

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10 Wishes

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I got these meme instructions over at Frog's place, and I think this is a really good one. Join me?

Instructions:

Step One
Post to your blog with a list of ten holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and interest-related ("I'd love a Julie Andrews icon that's just for me") to medium ("I wish for new Playmobil pirates") to really big ("All I want for Christmas is a new car.") The important thing is to make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.

Make sure you post some version of these guidelines, or link to this post so that the holiday joy will spread.

Step Two
Surf around your blogroll to see who has posted a list. And now here's the important part:

If you see a wish you can grant, and it's in your heart to do so, make someone's wish come true. Sometimes someone's trash is another's treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don't want or a gift certificate you won't use--or even know where you could get someone's dream purebred Basset Hound for free--do it.

You needn't spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn't to put people out, it's to provide everyone a chance to be someone else's holiday elf--to spread the joy.

There are no guarantees with this project, and no strings attached. Wish and it might come true. Give and you might receive. And you'll have the joy of knowing you made someone's holiday special.

My ten wishes:

  1. I've love to get something homemade. I used to get a lot more homemade presents, when everyone I know had more time and less money, and I miss it.
  2. I'd like some of my favorite Trader Joe's stuff--I miss Trader Joe's, especially the Honey Mango shave gel and the excellent dried fruit.
  3. I really, really want a Superhero necklace.
  4. I'd love for people to donate to their local animal shelters or rescue organizations if and when they are doing their end-of-the-year donating. They really, really need us.
  5. I saw some of this art today, and I'm in love with it. I would adore something from this collection.
  6. This is something I need so badly that I even want it: a calculus tutor.
  7. It would be great to find some new magazines I could look forward to every month. I get and enjoy Bitch and Bust, but there has to be more out there, right?
  8. It would be fantastic if folks made an effort to do their Christmas shopping (assuming they are last minute types) at local and independant businesses. It would be even better if this was the start of a year-long commitment to do more to support local and indie business.
  9. I desperately want some cowboy boots.
  10. I want someone to nominate me for TLC's What Not to Wear. I am all over being humiliated on national TV for the sake of $5,000 in free clothes and a haircut by Nick Arroyo. Carmandy would be a problem, though...
What are your wishes?

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Celebrity gossip round-up

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As is becoming par for the course, I can't sleep. So I'll share with you all the things I learned while in line at the supermarket today:

1. Nick and Jessica are splitting up.
2. Brad is adopting Angelina's kids.
3. Kevin and Britney might be splitting up.
4. Ben and Jen named their baby Violet.
5. Oprah has a new diet.
6. Tom and Katie are having a boy.
7. I can fit into my skinny jeans by January!

To these nuggets of information, I have the following responses:

1. This could be good for Jessica's career. If I were her dadager, I would suggest she try for full-on country cross-over with a cover of "D-I-V-O-R-C-E." And date Johnny Knoxville. Or maybe a Nascar driver.
2. The weird thing about this is the copy of a legal-looking document changing the kids' names to Maddox and Zahara Jolie-Pitt. Jolie-Pitt has to be the worst hyphenated name ever. It sounds like a national monument of some kind. "And on the left, you'll see Jolie Pitt." Seems to me Brad has moved from one woman who was too good for him to another. But at least he's not Billy Bob.
3. I hope so. Poor Britney. At least there's no place to go but up. And hey, Nick's single...
4. By a Hollywood standard, it's not a terrible name. I think it would have been funny if they'd name her Jennifer, though. Wouldn't it make things easier for Ben if all the women in his life just had the same name? I wonder if his mom would be willing to change her name too? How weird and surreal would that be?
5. How can they honestly still be printing this? Leave the poor woman and her diets alone. Jesus Christ.
6. How virile Tom must be, siring a man-child! Maybe they will name him Elron. That would rule.
7. January of what year?

Celebrity culture is so weird. For a long time, I had a free subscription to Us magazine. As I like to read drivel in the bathtub, most weeks I read it, so I was pretty much in the know about the celebrity goings on. This is, for example, why I know the names of the actresses and characters on Sex and the City, even though I've never seen it. However, that subscription has been run out for several months now, and I was realizing in the line today that I am not up to date anymore. It was this strange feeling, like I had been kept out of the loop of my friends or family or something. I felt oddly betrayed. I had no idea Kevin and Britney were even having problems! It's the same feeling I get when I watch an episode of General Hospital. I'm somehow insulted that life in Port Charles went on while I wasn't paying attention, and that things are as weird and fucked up as ever. How strange to feel that way about the lives of real people, though. Or at least mostly real people (my jury is still out on the possibility of the Jessica-bot).

I don't really know where I'm going with this, except to say that it's strange. Strange to find these things out, strange to care. With the exception of my skinny jeans, none of this applies to me. These are stories only removed by fiction by a tiny step, about people manufactured and sold as characters in their own lives, and yet they are part of our cultural fabric, staring at us from supermarket lines and TV screens. What's it for? What is it about their lives that keeps people interested? And what kind of a people are we that we are so alienated from our own lives, and from the real art around us, that we substitute real feelings and real interests for interest in and feelings about manufactured people's manufactured lives?

And what about the manufactured people themselves? Do they have real lives? When they stand in line at the supermarket and look at those magazine covers, do they see themselves?

1 Comments

This post is hilarious. I'm sitting here laughing my head off. :)

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Where next?

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Mark and I had a discussion over the weekend about where we should next call home. This is all completely dependent on where he can find a good post-doc, of course, but as it is too early to know about that, he asked me what cities appealed to me. I honestly haven't given this much thought, so I decided to do some research.

Since I can safely start with knowing that I don't want to live anywhere too small, my starting list will be the 50 largest U.S. cities. The 50 biggest cities in the U.S., in order of size, are:

  1. New York, NY
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Chicago, IL
  4. Houston, TX
  5. Philadelphia, PA
  6. Phoenix, AZ
  7. San Diego, CA
  8. San Antonio, TX
  9. Dallas, TX
  10. San Jose, CA
  11. Detroit, MI
  12. Indianapolis, IN
  13. Jacksonville, FL
  14. San Francisco, CA
  15. Columbus, OH
  16. Austin, TX
  17. Memphis, TN
  18. Baltimore, MD
  19. Fort Worth, TX
  20. Charlotte, NC
  21. El Paso, TX
  22. Milwaukee, WI
  23. Seattle, WA
  24. Boston, MA
  25. Denver, CO
  26. Louisville-Jefferson County, KY
  27. Washington, D.C.
  28. Nashville-Davidson, TN
  29. Las Vegas, NV
  30. Portland, OR
  31. Oklahoma City, OK
  32. Tuscon, AZ
  33. Albuquerque, NM
  34. Long Beach, CA
  35. New Orleans, LA
  36. Cleveland, OH
  37. Fresno, CA
  38. Sacramento, CA
  39. Kansas City, MO
  40. Virginia Beach, VA
  41. Mesa, AZ
  42. Atlanta, GA
  43. Omaha, NE
  44. Oakland, CA
  45. Tulsa, OK
  46. Miami, FL
  47. Honolulu, HA
  48. Minneapolis, MN
  49. Colorado Springs, CO
  50. Arlington, TX
My first step, obviously, is to remove Austin, as that's where we are now. I then take that list and cut all of the ones that I know have weather I could not handle, I end up with:
  1. New York, NY
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Houston, TX
  4. Philadelphia, PA
  5. Phoenix, AZ
  6. San Diego, CA
  7. San Antonio, TX
  8. Dallas, TX
  9. San Jose, CA
  10. Indianapolis, IN
  11. Jacksonville, FL
  12. San Francisco, CA
  13. Columbus, OH
  14. Memphis, TN
  15. Baltimore, MD
  16. Fort Worth, TX
  17. Charlotte, NC
  18. El Paso, TX
  19. Seattle, WA
  20. Denver, CO
  21. Louisville-Jefferson County, KY
  22. Washington, D.C.
  23. Nashville-Davidson, TN
  24. Las Vegas, NV
  25. Portland, OR
  26. Oklahoma City, OK
  27. Tuscon, AZ
  28. Albuquerque, NM
  29. Long Beach, CA
  30. New Orleans, LA
  31. Cleveland, OH
  32. Fresno, CA
  33. Sacramento, CA
  34. Kansas City, MO
  35. Virginia Beach, VA
  36. Mesa, AZ
  37. Atlanta, GA
  38. Oakland, CA
  39. Tulsa, OK
  40. Miami, FL
  41. Honolulu, HA
  42. Colorado Springs, CO
  43. Arlington, TX
My next cut is places I have been and know I could not live in and remain sane. This leaves me with:
  1. Los Angeles, CA
  2. Houston, TX
  3. Philadelphia, PA
  4. Phoenix, AZ
  5. San Diego, CA
  6. San Antonio, TX
  7. San Jose, CA
  8. Indianapolis, IN
  9. Jacksonville, FL
  10. San Francisco, CA
  11. Columbus, OH
  12. Memphis, TN
  13. Baltimore, MD
  14. Charlotte, NC
  15. Seattle, WA
  16. Denver, CO
  17. Louisville-Jefferson County, KY
  18. Washington, D.C.
  19. Nashville-Davidson, TN
  20. Portland, OR
  21. Oklahoma City, OK
  22. Tuscon, AZ
  23. Albuquerque, NM
  24. Long Beach, CA
  25. New Orleans, LA
  26. Kansas City, MO
  27. Virginia Beach, VA
  28. Mesa, AZ
  29. Atlanta, GA
  30. Oakland, CA
  31. Tulsa, OK
  32. Miami, FL
  33. Honolulu, HA
  34. Colorado Springs, CO
  35. Arlington, TX
If I next weed out places I've heard a lot of bad things about and have no personal evidence otherwise, I then have:
  1. Los Angeles, CA
  2. Philadelphia, PA
  3. San Diego, CA
  4. San Antonio, TX
  5. San Jose, CA
  6. Indianapolis, IN
  7. Jacksonville, FL
  8. San Francisco, CA
  9. Memphis, TN
  10. Baltimore, MD
  11. Charlotte, NC
  12. Seattle, WA
  13. Denver, CO
  14. Louisville-Jefferson County, KY
  15. Washington, D.C.
  16. Nashville-Davidson, TN
  17. Portland, OR
  18. Long Beach, CA
  19. New Orleans, LA
  20. Mesa, AZ
  21. Atlanta, GA
  22. Oakland, CA
  23. Miami, FL
  24. Honolulu, HA
A final weed, to take out places that just do not in any way appeal to me, for one reason or another, leaves me with:
  1. Los Angeles, CA
  2. Philadelphia, PA
  3. San Diego, CA
  4. San Francisco, CA
  5. Memphis, TN
  6. Baltimore, MD
  7. Charlotte, NC
  8. Seattle, WA
  9. Nashville-Davidson, TN
  10. Portland, OR
  11. New Orleans, LA
  12. Atlanta, GA
  13. Oakland, CA
That seems like a fairly reasonable list to start from, I think. What do you think?

Edited to add:
I just did a cost of living comparison between Austin and my list of cities. Things don't look good. The calculator showed me what percentage of salary increase I would need in order to maintain the same cost of living:

  1. Los Angeles, CA +37%
  2. Philadelphia, PA +14%
  3. San Diego, CA +36%
  4. San Francisco, CA +52%
  5. Memphis, TN -13%
  6. Baltimore, MD +15%
  7. Charlotte, NC +4%
  8. Seattle, WA +29%
  9. Nashville-Davidson, TN -9%
  10. Portland, OR +9%
  11. New Orleans, LA -7%
  12. Atlanta, GA +17%
  13. Oakland, CA +47%

It ain't pretty.

12 Comments

I lived in Atlanta for a while while in school, and I still love to visit there. My biggest problem is that you need a car to get outside of the downtown core, although there really is plenty to do via MARTA and buses if you can plan for that going into the city. I'd also suggest that you add Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina to your list. It seems a lot more interesting that Charlotte, and while none of those city are directly on the Top 50, I think the whole Research Triangle area would qualify. I'm heading out there in a couple of weeks to visit friends that moved up there from Atlanta, and they really love it.

what bad things have you heard about columbus?!

I have friends from Portland who moved to Columbus and hated it so much that they moved back within a year, without jobs or a place to live or anything. From their descriptions, it sounds like a circle of hell.

My sister lives in Louisville and absolutely loves it. She and her boyfriend/fiance, who have very small salaries, just bought a house. The community is surprisingly progressive (for Kentucky!) and they live in a nifty neighborhood in the city where walking is an acceptable mode of transportation. But why isn't St. Louis anywhere on the list? It's bigger than many of the other communities on your list, and it's possible to find a good post doc in almost any specialty here. In my opinion, St. Louis only has three flaws: 1) No mountains/ocean (though there are beautiful rivers and the Ozark "mountains") 2) Not enough snow 3) Too Catholic.

hmm. i am saddened that smell-a made it through all the lists (my sister was not a fan) and boston was axed right away. the weather's not that bad! but i could work with seattle...

I'm also suprised that boston got cut due to weather, and denver made it through. (not that i have an ulterior motive or anything.. ) I would second the positive comments regarding the research triangle area- it's kind of like the austin of NC.

Isn't Boston one of the coldest cities in the country? I like Boston, y'all, but between that and the cost of living there, I just don't think I could handle it. But, as you well know, there are more prospects for Mark in Boston than in lots of other places, so you never know... Mainly, I just want to go home.

SEATTLE! What can I say? My west coast heart is true.

I have a friend that lives in El Cajon which is right outside of San Diego. Check out her blog at vjgreetings.blogspot.com She posts a lot about her town and if you e-mail her, I'm sure she would be glad to tell you anything you needed to know.

Out of curiosity, why is New Orleans still on your list? I'd brave cold winters over periodic devastation-by-hurricanes any day, and it doesn't look like it's going to have much to offer anytime soon.

Philly BAD! BAD BADB BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD! It is, without exception the worst place I have ever lived, including socal. Under no circumstances would I recomend anyone to move there. It is the most unfirendly place I have ever set foot. People will walk right by you and ignore you when you ask for directions. Seriously, it is horrible, do not move there. Plus, about 75% of the people grew up there and don't believe in making firends with anyone other than people they went to high school with. Learn from my mistakes, DON'T GO!!!!!!

New Orleans: I am hoping it will be rebuilt by the time we are ready to move, and I'd prefer a hurricane threat to cold weather. Philly: I really liked it when I visited...

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For these things I am grateful

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I was just thinking about how many things I have to be thankful for, and how seldom I write about them here. I guess 'tis the season for that kind of stuff. Anyway, I know I spend too much time complaining and not enough time rejoicing, both here and in my day-to-day life, so I want to make a little list of things for which I am very, very grateful:

  • Baths. I am grateful that I have the time, the safe living space, the clean water, etc. that allows me to take a hot bath every night if I want to (and, several nights a week, I do).
  • Mark. There is no way I can ever describe how lucky I am to have someone who knows me so well, loves me so much, respects me so much, and shares my life. I am incredibly grateful for Mark.
  • My house. I am really grateful to have such a nice, comfortable living space, and to have almost no stressors when I am at home. My house truly is a refuge, and having lived without that, I can't overemphasize how important it is.
  • My health. I complain a lot about my health maladies, particularly the allergy issues and the depression, but really, it could be so much worse, and I am so grateful to have a strong, healthy body and mind.
  • My job. OK, so I really don't much like my job--that's true. However, I recognize that I am damn lucky to have it. It requires little of me and pays well, and it gives me the opportunity to do something that I am good at and to develop some skills/experience that may be useful later.
  • Leo. Leo is actually what started this. I was brushing him earlier, and telling him what a complete gift from God he is. Especially given what happened with Chance, and how fragile Mark and I were, I really feel that Leo was the perfect dog at the perfect time, and it doesn't stretch my mind to imagine that someone sent him for us, and sent us for him. It doesn't get any better than that.
  • My friends. I don't have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have are such fantastic human beings, and I am blessed to have been allowed into the lives of each and every one of them. I got a surprise email today from a friend from college to whom I haven't spoken in some time, and it made my whole day. Then, just now, my email notify let me know an email had come in from my best high school friend. Getting email from my friends makes me so fucking happy.
  • Coffee. Maybe it's evil and consumerist of me, but I am really beginning to appreciate a nice foofy coffee. So sue me.
  • Veteran's Day. It's been kind of a tough week at work, and today basically sucked, and I am so grateful that tomorrow is a holiday and I don't have to go in. I don't even care that it is unpaid.
  • Girls' Night. Every Thursday, S. and I have Girls' Night. We generally go to a movie, though we once in a while see a concert or go to dinner or something else. Tonight, S. couldn't make it. Not that I haven't had a lovely evening with Mark, but I am definitely feeling how much I appreciate the weekly night out with S.

There is much more, but Atticus (for whom I am also grateful) is biting my fingers, so this will have to do for now.

1 Comments

Nice foofy coffee is sometimes the only pleasure I get in my day. They can take it away from me over my dead body. :-) www.aliciawebe.blogspot.com

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Meme the first: What's in your pockets/purse?

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Today, I will likely do several memes. This one is taken from Bitch, Ph.D.:

Erudite Redneck wants to know what's in your pockets. Being as I am a femmey woman, I tend not to carry things in my pockets, so in the interests of equal time, here's the list of things in my purse.

  1. A paperback book, The Working Poor: Invisible in America
  2. An allergy shot receipt
  3. A pot of Cake Kiss lip gloss
  4. A Zyrtec
  5. A blue pen
  6. A black pen
  7. Sunglasses
  8. Keys
  9. Cell phone
  10. My calendar
  11. A National Security Series lecture brochure attached to my calendar with a mechanical pencil
  12. A small notebook
  13. My wallet
  14. A coin purse with two tampons, nail clippers, and tweezers in it
  15. A mini lint roller
  16. A generic asprin bottle with generic Advil and migraine pills in it
  17. Two tubes of chapstick, one Cool Cherry Softlips, one from my dentist
  18. A Starbucks receipt
  19. 20 pennies, 3 nickles, 3 dimes, 4 quarters

I should really carry less shit.

Your turn. What's in your pockets and/or purse?

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The ghosts of costumes past

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In honor of yesterday's holiday, Wendy over at Pound shared recollections of some of her past Halloween costumes. I had so much fun reading them, I decided to write my own. Years are approximated to the best of my recollection:

1985, Care Bear: I was the red Care Bear with the hearts on its belly (Tenderheart Bear, Google tells me). My mom made the costume out of footsie pajamas. I believe there was a headpiece involved as well. My brother, who was about six months old, was another Care Bear, as was my cousin Jessie, who was around 4. I think Jessie was Grumpy Bear. She was pretty cranky at that age. I saw some Care Bear costumes for kids when I was at Target the other day, and my mom's were vastly superior.

1986, Minnie Mouse: Another mom-made costume, this one included a polka dot skirt with matching suspenders, which I wore to school for the next year. I was so not a cool kid.

1988, The Secret Garden: This was probably my mom's most impressive costume for me (though the ones she's made for herself over the years have been even better). She used some kind of big box and drew the cover of the book (the old skool cover, as shown) on it, coloring it all in with pastels. Then I dressed in a green leotard and tights underneath, with my hair up in a top ponytail and sprayed green (I was the bookmark, see). It was a great costume. Massively uncomfortable, though, so I spent most of the night running around in just the bookmark part, and people thought I was supposed to be a blade of grass.

1990, pirate: At this point, it became uncool for my mom to make my costumes, and so I began making them myself. All I remember about this pirate costume was that included an eyepatch, a sword, and spandex. What made think pirates=spandex, I cannot tell you. The most memorable thing about this Halloween was my acquaintance, Jenny, who dressed as a Playboy bunny. Who the hell lets their 11 year-old dress as a Playboy fucking bunny?

1994, Nicole Simpson: Of all of my Halloween costumes, this is the most horrifying one. A few months after her murder, I actually dressed up as Nicole Simpson. I have no excuse for this, other than that I was 15 and I sucked.

1997, devil: My first year in college I dressed as a devil. Not a particularly enlightened costume, except that it was based on a my freshman prom dress, which was a wide-skirted knee-length red number with a halter top, and was the perfect basis for a devil costume. I also had just bleached my hair platinum for the first time, so the effect was kind of frightening.

1998, showgirl: Again, not a particularly enlightnened costume. However, I was mostly just an accessory anyway, as Simon (the ex-boyfriend who bears a striking resemblance to Johnny Depp) dressed as the Las Vegas-era Hunter S. Thompson that Johnny Depp portayed in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. My costume was mediocre, but his was truly great. Also, my showgirlness was accented by the fact that I was at that time sporting inches long magenta hair.

1999, Medusa: This was my best college Halloween costume. I got these really cool shiny colored stretchy rubber snakes from The Discover Store and made a wig out of them. I don't remember what else I wore, but man that wig was cool.

2001, Vince Neil: I believe this was the last time I dressed up for Halloween. Perhaps the experience was so traumatizing that I'll never dress up again? My roommates, Natalie and Jenny, and I, as well as Mark, were heavily under the influence of the Motley Crue biography, The Dirt, and decided to dress up as Motley Crue for our Halloween party. Being, at that time, blonde, I was Vince Neil. My costume included a leather vest with no shirt underneath it. Vince Neil does not have breasts. I do. it was an ill-advised costume choice.

I need to start dressing up for Halloween again, though, because I really love costumes. I think I get it from my mom. Her costumes are something to be reckoned with. My mom and her three sisters, as well as her mother, generally dress up together for Halloween. One year, my mom and her sisters with the four queens from a pack of playing cards (my super-artistic mom made sandwich boards with card front and backs on them, then they dressed in all black or all red and wore Burger King crowns) and my grandmother was the joker. Another year, they did the Wizard of Oz. Mom's sister Joan was Dorothy, because she had red shoes; Pam was the scarecrow, Lisa was the lion, and mom was the tin man (she spray painted all of her clothes silver and had a funnel on her head, as I recall). Grandma was the wizard. Another year, Pam was Cinderella and the other sisters were evil stepsisters, with grandma as the fairy godmother.

And mom gets it from her mom. Besides being involved in all of the costume schemes above, my grandmother ALWAYS dresses up. She has a clown costume and a Mrs. Claus costume she pulls out for some occaisons, but when I was a kid, she used to dress up as Uncle Remus, complete with black face. Horrible, I know, but if you knew my grandmother, you'd see that she meant it in the best possible way. And, blessedly, she had stopped before I was old enough to figure out what the problem with it was.

So I come from a long line of costumed women. I have to remember that next year.

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I think my mom and your mom would have gotten together and opened a shop if they knew each other. I also went as Minnie Mouse one year, the Sea, and the Statue of Liberty.

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What a Grace wants

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My darling Sofiya has written a lits of her wants on her blog today (or perhaps it is from yesterday, but I just read it), and as I'm suffering allergy-related brain freeze (and a miserable fucking sinus headache), I'm a gonna copy her until I think of something more insightful to write about.

Places I Want to Visit:
Damn near everywhere, but here are some top contenders...
1. The Mediterranean. I just saw a movie where a main character spends the summer in Greece and it produced all sorts of longing.
2. New Zealand. To visit said darling Sofiya, of course!
3. Scotland. I want to see where my people come from.
4. The Netherlands. Ditto.
5. Vietnam. I've been intrigued by Vietnam for years, but Tony Bourdain really has me falling in love with it.
6. Cuba. The closest thing around to successful Communism. I want to see it while it's still there.

Clothes and Accessories I Want to Own:
1. Jeans that fucking fit.
2. Work-appropriate but still semi-casual shoes. Something Mary Janesque.
3. A greater variety of soft-knit, jewel-toned vee-neck and ballet-neck tshirts.
4. Even more dangly stone and silver earrings. And some copper ones, too.

Other Stuff I Want:
1. Beauty treatments. It's just awful. Give me a manicure and I want a pedicure, a full facial, a lip and and eyebrow wax, and a new haircut. I'm a monster.
2. Bath products from Lush.
3. A job that pays what I am making now, for the same number of hours, but is doing something that fufills me.
4. Someone to do my classwork for me until this headache goes away.
5. Clam chowder to be vegetarian.

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Yes! I strongly encourage this train of thought. Though I think NZ should be no.1 on the list. It's better than the Mediterranean - the sea's cleaner, and no one will pinch your butt. *adopts whiny tone* cooooommmme to New Zeeeeealand!!! Right now! While the weather's nice! We'll do a road trip, just like Thelma and Louise, except without the driving off a cliff thing.

Have you tried corn chowder?

i've had that thought about clam chowder too. and have been known to eat my grandmother's homemade stuff in spite of it...

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Home

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It has not escaped my attention that the extreme majority of what I have posted here lately has been silliness, song lyrics, and pictures of my pets. It's not that I'm brain dead--really!--I'm just...dulled, recently.

That being said, I have an interesting exercise. In my Family Policy class a couple of weeks ago, we were asked to list all of the families (or, if you prefer, households) we've ever lived in. Basically, just make a list of all of our living situations. The point that was being illustrated was about lack of family structure stability, but I sort of found making the list useful in and of itself--I hadn't realized how many situations I've been able to call home.

So here's my list:

ELKTON:
1979, for a few weeks (months?) post-birth: Lived with my mother and my grandparents, at my grandparents' house
Fall 1979-Summer 1983: Lived alone in a house with my mother.
Summer 1983-Spring 1985: Lived in a house with my mother and stepfather.
Spring 1985-Summer 1997: Lived in a house with my mother, stepfather, and brother.

PORTLAND:
Fall 1997-Winter 1998:Lived in a college dorm room with a roommate, C.
Winter 1998-Spring 1998: Lived in a college dorm room alone.
Summer 1998: Lived with mother, stepfather, and brother again.
Fall 1998-Spring 1999: Lived in a college apartment with two roommates, J. and M.
Summer 1999: Lived in a duplex with three roommates, B., S., and K.
Fall 1999-Spring 2000: Lived in an apartment with my then-boyfriend, S.
Summer 2000: Lived in a college apartment with my then-boyfriend, S., and another roommate, J.
Fall 2000-Spring 2001: Lived in a single dorm room by myself.
Summer 2001: Lived in a duplex with two roommates, J. and N.
Fall 2001-Winter 2002: Lived in a duplex with two roommates, J. and N., and Mark.
Winter 2002-Summer 2002: Lived alone in an apartment.
Summer 2002-Summer 2003: Lived in an apartment with Mark, a roommate, E., and a cat, Potter.

AUSTIN:
Summer 2003-Spring 2005: Lived in a house with Mark and Chance.
Spring 2005-Summer 2005: Lived in a different house with Mark and Chance.
Summer 2005: Lived in a house with Mark and Leo.
Summer 2005-present: Lived in a house with Mark, Leo, and Atticus.

So what does this all tell me? I'm not sure, other than I haven't spent much time living alone. I've moved around a good bit. In 26 years, I've lived in three "cities" and 15 different locations, by my count. Two boyfriends and eight roommates. Two dogs and two cats, not counting my childhood pets (which I don't count because they lived outside and weren't really pets). Some of these living situations were good, some had big problems. A few had really big problems, mostly on the neighbor frontier (see Won't You Be My Neighbor?). I'm sure they all taught me something, though I'd be hard-pressed to tell you what.

Actually, maybe I'm not so hard pressed. I think what they've taught me, and what looking back on them is teaching me all over again (because, you know, I can't just learn something once and be done with it), is that there are many, many ways to be home. I still miss Portland, and refer to my upcoming visit there as "going home," but in truth, Austin is home now. Specifically, Mark is home. The house we're buying together is home. My dogs--first Chance, and now Leo--are home. Atticus is rapidly becoming home. And all three stanky dorm rooms I lived in where home, as were both even stankier Reed College Apartments (TM). The studio apartment I rented by myself, so proud and my mom so scared of the "bad neighborhood", was home. And the falling-down house in the little town where I spent my incredibly painful formative years will never be anything but home.

Maybe as we get older we collect concepts of home. Maybe this helps us be more at home where we are, or at home with who we are. I hope so.

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"Maybe as we get older we collect concepts of home. Maybe this helps us be more at home where we are, or at home with who we are. I hope so." I like this idea, and I think you're on to something there!

My concept of "home" is intensely rooted in geography. It is the "island off the coast of America" where I was born, where I have spent the past 23 years on one block, in two apartments. It is where I learned to walk, where my heart has been broken, where I have become who I am.

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Also by way of Frog

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A list of music I have seen live in concert, in the order they pop into my head. To be edited many times, I'm sure.

Ani DiFranco (somewhere around 12 times)
Dar Williams
Dan Bern
Adam Brodsky
Kris Kristofferson
Willie Nelson
Bitch & Animal
Hamell on Trial
Maceo Parker
Paul Revere and the Raiders
Leanne Rymes
Allison Krauss and Union Station
Emmylou Harris
Eliza Gilkyson
Toshi Reagan
Sweet Honey in the Rock
Holly Near
Utah Phillips
Dave Carter and Tracey Grammer
The Cherry Poppin' Daddies
Faith No More
Carolyn Wonderland
Ruthie Foster
Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irian
Dale Watson
Michael Franti
Laura Love
Hole
Marilyn Manson
Blues Traveler
The Dave Matthew's Band
Lenny Kravitz
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Peter Wilde
Katie Henry
Greg Brown
Billy Bragg

Curious about the circumstances under which I saw any of these folks? Please post in the comments--I love to tell concert stories!

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