Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Color Me Clueless

Someone should explain what it means to match, because I thought it was about matching similar colors or like black/red, blue/white--obvious pairs--but lately I see girls wearing purple shoes with yellow blouses and green patterned headbands and it's so pretty but I never feel brave or smart enough to do it myself. Color stresses me out, in part because I love it so much, and I want to "get it." 

Once, in a most wonderful store called Accessorize in London, I was trying to find something to match an outfit I had bought that was all about brown.  And I was looking at a brown necklace, thinking I would get it, when I asked the sales lady and she said, in her perfect London accent, "No, no.  That's far too obvious."  Oh.  She helped me pick out something with green--green with reddish-brown flecks, and it was much better.

And I won't even talk about how I used to wear a purple shirt, plus a purple collared shirt, plus a purple sweater, PLUS a purple jacket.  I loooooved that outfit. OKAY, so I have a problem with layering, too.  And I would never do something like that now (I don't think.), but it seems like the color/matching culture has changed since then.  Is anyone else confused?  Especially in Boston, I keep showing up to work thinking I'm cute, only to look around and feel like I'm in 7th grade frumpalicious land. 7th grade was not a good era for me, people.

I went to H&M today and spent money on some bright accessories, hoping to, you know, spruce things up, wear green with my purple, or whatever they're doing.  But I'm afraid.  Can someone explain what they're doing?  It's like they all know a rule that I'm not privy to. I want to be privy!  And also, pretty!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oh, Boston

Walking through the common today on my lunch break, I had a lovely little moment.  It was gorgeous out, and everyone was lying on the grass, hands holding up books or sandwiches, other hands resting on the thighs or stomachs of their companions.  I couldn't hear their contented sighs, but they must have had them.  The entire park was sighing contendedly.

Well, all except a white tent on the far side of the common, which boasted a big banner that said "Old Fashioned Revival."  I wanted to see if I could hear the preaching and the wailing from the path I was walking on, so I took out my headphones.  The music I was listening to pulsed and buzzed distantly in my hands, and sure enough, I heard the preaching (no wailing, yet).  A man in a dark suit was shouting, "The fire downnn below! It never STops BURNNNING and Mark tells us ..." etc.  I thought about going and standing in the back, hearing more about this fire, but I pressed on.  Another song, aside from the one pulsing in my hands, came from deeper in the park, and I realized it was Michael Jackson's "Thriller," played on saxophone.  It turns out it sounds kind of classy like that.  

I was nearly bursting with all of this, delighted, in such a lovely mood and so happy with the city.  I came upon an elegant Asian woman walking a little gray and white kitty with a pink leash.  The cat seemed happy enough, slinking along the ground, smelling whatever cats can smell.  Thinking of our own cats on leashes, knowing they would hate their lives, I stopped and asked, "She lets you keep her on a leash?"

"Yes," she said.  "She more like dog."  

Someday, somehow, I gotta find a place for that cat in a story.  

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A House!

Well, we got it. And here it is. This isn't the Queen Anne Victorian. It's a condo we fell in love with when we first started looking, that we went back to look at four times, that we couldn't for the life of us get out of our heads. And so we'll stay in the same town, and live here, among all the wood and windows and sunlight. We couldn't be more thrilled. Come see us. There will be plenty of room.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Repost: Bonjouree, Paree

Remember how, a year ago, I was posting from Paris/London/Italy.  Yeahhhhh, I'm not this year.  But I've thinking of it, missing it, so I thought I'd repost a wee post.  Happy Friday, etc.

On a brisk walk this morning, in one last attempt to find something special before we trained away from Paris, I saw a little old lady walking her dog. And her dog was holding an umbrella in its mouth. It was scheduled to rain today, so this brilliant lady must have trained her dog to hold her essentials.

I wished for a dog like that as we waddled through the streets with all our stuff, heading for the metro. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but I found myself thinking what I always think when I have to carry my own junk: what IS all this junk? I begin to regret packing specific items, like my stack of ten (!?) books, a skirt I haven't had occasion to wear yet, my pair of black shoes, etc.

But we got here, to London, sigh of contentment. The train was speedy and it felt decadent to sit for so long on our behinds. I tried to read, but promptly fell asleep. Sam dithered about writing, worried he couldn't write, then wrote.

Turns out there's a subway-workers strike right now, so what should have been a quick hop and skip on the tube turned into waiting for a taxi in an enormous line, then sitting in traffic because everyone had to take taxis. Darn strikers.

But then, oh then, we got to our little place in the same neighborhood as the BYU Center, near Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. The place is small and we have to climb 4,000 stairs to get to it, but it's quiet and sweet and we've moved our clothes into a tall cabinet by the bed. Well, the few clothes that don't reek. As I type this, Sam is hauling all the clothes that do reek to a laundry mat, bless his soul.

We had dinner at this Lebanese place I went to hmmm, six years ago? seven? and have dreamed of ever since. It was the first time I had ever had Lebanese food and since we were young and American and didn't know what to order, they brought us out this enormous spread and it was one of the single-most wonderful dining experiences of my life. I had wondered if Sam and I could track that place down while we were here, and today, without trying, we stumbled across it and I wiled my way into going there and then pouted until we got a similar big spread with mostly vegetarian dishes. I tell you, it was nearly as good as I remembered. Love it when that happens.

That's it for now, folks. Wasn't a very eventful day. Tomorrow we'll figure out the bus system (yippee!) to go to the Tate Modern and St. Paul's. I can't think of a lovelier day.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Up. Date.

[family, draper temple]

I went to Utah last weekend, took hundreds of pictures of the nieces and nephews, went out to eat with friends, took a long walk with my parents and sister and her kids, had a sister/mama sleepover, and just generally soaked up the sweet home feeling.  Arriving, when the plane came into the Salt Lake Valley, I could feel my body relax.  It's so green now, so lovely and familiar.  I could pick out all of the temples and my parents' neighborhood, and I could hardly breathe, I was so glad to be there.

[Ari, jumping]

I don't have a cohesive story about being there aside from that.  But here's something I want to remember.  My niece, Ari, loves Sam.  When Sam comes to visit at Christmas, she shouts "SAM!!" and runs up and hugs him.  He's not exactly used to this sort of attention, and he likes her for it.  Everyone likes Ari for this: she's spunky, and she's good at making people feel like she's glad they're around.   

Sam stayed in Boston since it was such a quick trip, but at one point when I called him and Ari was in the backseat of my parents' car with me, she wanted to talk to him.  She wanted to ask him questions, which turned out to be: "How old are you?" (he told her 21); "How much do you weigh?" (i think he was honest, there); and, my favorite, "Did you know the Egyptians took peoples' brains out of their noses?"  Sam said he did know, and did she know they also kept their organs in jars in case they'd need them later?

All weekend after that, my father asked if her brains were coming out of her nose.  A classic tease-y grandpa question, no?   

A few other gratuitous niece/nephew pictures:

[Maggie, who is shy and has pink sunglasses]

[bubby (gavin jr), who is one of those happy, mellow babies]

[ms. savannah.  it took me about 100 shots (literally) to get one of her smiling.  she doesn't pass them out, but when she has one for you: ohh, boy.]

[the ever-elegant tia, jumping]

[mr kai (a gentle soul) and a silly ari (his sister)]

[and keaton.  oh keaton.  he keeps the whole world laughing.]

Are they not exquisite creatures, every one of them?  I wish, oh I wish, I lived closer.

But speaking of where we live, one last story: Sam and I went looking for condos (yes, stillll looking) and I asked, just before we walked into the first place, if we could maybe pray before we went, just so we'd be directed to the right house.  Sam said sure, and surprised me by putting his forehead against mine, right in the middle of the quiet street.  He held my head in both of his hands, his fingers tangled in my curls, and said the Our Father slowly and beautifully.  I could hear the birds singing as I listened to him pray, and we felt like a team, like the three of us (Sam, me, God) were in a sort of prayer-huddle.  That was a lovely moment.  Now if we can just get the pretty Queen Anne Victorian place I'm currently obsessed with ...  Or something else.  I don't HAVE to have that place.  I just wannnnnnt it. 

[P.S.  My guest post is up on Segullah today, on the subject of Sam, so take a look, if you'd like.]