Thursday, October 28, 2010


Gregory Maguire is a name that you may not be very familiar with.  It's one of those that you've probably heard a few times (like Mitt Romney or Barry Diller) but are not quite sure who they are.  Well, I have a word for you.  Wicked.  Wicked, to be more precise.  He's the author who inspired the hit Broadway musical with his version of the Oz tale.

Maguire takes classic children's stories and reworks them in a way that is fairly unique.  He usually throws in a dash of intrigue, a romance, and a deeper, more grown-up sense of magic. 

Lost was the last of his big-people books that I had not read.  (He also writes truly kiddy books, which I'm sure are great.)  It seemed to hold the same promise as his other stories, but it fell flat.  And quick.  It was sort of a pastiche of Ebenezer Scrooge, Jack the Ripper, and a modern-day writer who travels back to her ancestral home in England.  Quite simply, there were too many references and not enough cohesion in the storyline.  I did make it to the end, but I really didn't care how it turned out.  (See also: this season of Project Runway.)

Let me say that I really enjoyed the Wicked series.  Ok...the third book (A Lion Among Men) could have been completely left out, but the first two books more than make up for it.  I loved Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Mirror Mirror, too.  You can see his other books here.  I definitely recommend reading from his catalog, but don't start with Lost, or you may not get much further.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Iconoclastic Specs

Have you ever seen the show Iconoclasts on the Sundance Channel? 

It's great.  Robert Redford produces this show, which brings together two standouts in different fields who interview each other.  This weekend it was Cate Blanchett, one of my favorite actresses, and Tim Flannery, a fellow Aussie friend of hers who studies climate change.  This was right up my alley, but imagine my surprise when I saw Cate's crazy-cool specs.

I love them...and her.  Not everyone could pull off such a dramatic (ha) frame, but she is one of the few.  The show comes on Saturdays at 9 Eastern/8 Central, but they re-air episodes all the time.  The week before it was a re-run of Fiona Apple with Quentin Tarantino. 

Look out when Charlize Theron meets Jane Goodall.  It promises to be a (insert-clever-monkey-joke) time.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pop Chart!

I saw this link today on Daily Candy, and I got quite a kick out of it.  It's a poster called Grand Taxonomy of Rap Names from the company Pop Chart Lab.

It includes such jewels as Doodlebug, Lateef the Truthspeaker, and Krust.  If you click the link, you can roll over the image for a magnified view.  Be sure to look for categories like Familial, Virtues, and Audacious Misspelling.  I know some of my fellow children of the 90s will appreciate this as well. 

At 20 bones, I'd say it's a flippin' steeeeel, yo.  Yeah.  I took it there.  What?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Valet Says: Try This At Home

I usually read Valet each day during lunch at my desk, or if I go out, I may or may not read it while taking a mini-break from work.  They're sort of hit or miss, in terms of what is actually wearable and/or affordable for most American guys, but they always have something entertaining.

To wit:

Today it's an assortment of home decor items based on clothing style.  The post is called Try This At Home.  This collection is called "Urban Rake," which made me smile.  I'm sort of a mixture of three of the four featured styles.  Can you guess which one did not make my list?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Geek in the Pink

I'm mildly obsessed with Warby Parker and have been thoroughly enjoying my new specs.  Even though I probably won't be buying more frames any time soon, I still find myself perusing their website every few weeks. 

Here's the most recent discovery.

Isn't this awesome?  They've made a new version of their Japhy style in this nifty pink shade, and $50 from each sale goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Style and substance.  That's a rare combination these days.

Monday, October 18, 2010

WE (Still) Love

So I guess I'm somewhat of a creature of habit, but if lovin' West Elm is wrong...  Well, you know the rest.

I've had my eyes on this for a while.

And now it is mine.  It's a duvet cover, and the color is sea spray, which is sort of a blue-gray.  Go figure.  :) 

I had a coupon for 10% off, so I picked this up, along with the 2011 Linda & Harriett calendar.  It's so awesome that Liz from L&H is selling her calendar through a national retailer like West Elm.  You can find one at your local store or through her website

If you're thinking of buying one, though, now is the time.  Last year I don't think they lasted through Thanksgiving. 

I'm also going to try to pick back up with more regular blogging.  Things have been a little tricky lately.  I hope you're all doing well.

(pictures from and, respectively)

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag

Do you happen to remember this post on the first Flavia de Luce novel?  Well, I'm happy to report that I picked up the second book, and it was equally entertaining. 

Just like last time, Flavia is up to her old tricks, but now there's a new mystery afoot.  It all starts when a shady puppeteer and his mysterious female companion show up (or rather break down) in the town of Bishop's Lacey.  Of course Flavia senses that something is fishy from the first minute, and she's completely right.  Throw in some good, old-fashioned town gossip and a rich, visiting aunt, and you've got a few hours of entertainment.

Again, this is a fun story of intrigue, science, and humor.  Best line of the book: Boil me dry!  Flavia is always using really odd expressions, and I'm into it.  Alan Bradley continues to do an excellent job of writing from the perspective of a young girl, even as she begins to mature and see the world in two different ways. 

If you have not read the first book, then, really, what are you waiting for?  The weather is about to get cool, and these would be the perfect start to your hibernation. 

What are you reading now?  Do tell.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Let's All Go to the Lobby...

...and then promptly back to our seats to revisit some classics, especially after seeing these reimagined movie posters on the unfortunately named EveryGuyed.  I love the simplicity and the graphic punch, and even for the few movies in this lineup that I haven't seen, I know exactly what they're getting at.  Yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition.

I first saw these linked from Valet and then again over at Manifold Destiny, but that won't stop me from posting here.