Friday, May 28, 2010

It's just a sweet, sweet fantasy, baby

Some friends and I saw Sex and the City 2 last night.  I liked it!  As good as the first?  No.  But still a fun summery chick flick with some sweet moments, some hilarious moments, and some completely inappropriate Samantha Jones moments.

In true SATC fashion, the movie is completely over-the-top and requires quite the suspension of disbelief.  The outfits, the plot...Liza Minnelli singing "Single Ladies" with a boys choir in a gay wedding with swans in the background while Carrie dons a tuxedo and a sparkly crown.  That said, sometimes life is tiring and boring, and I don't mind escaping into a few hours of crazy fantasy life one bit.  :)

I dreamed of living in Carrie and Big's apartment...

And of having Carrie's wardrobe...

And somehow, I am even dying to now go on vacation to the Arabian Desert.  That's kinda weird.

Have you seen SATC2 yet?  What did you think? 

(And were there any men in your theater?  Because there was one - we counted - in ours.  He was carrying three bags of popcorn.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Won't you be my neighbor?

At Gallery Church in New York last weekend, we played a little game.  Each person received a sticky note and was asked to complete the sentence, "If I could live next door to any fictional character, it would be _______ ."  I saw an Edward Cullen, a Tigger, an Anne of Green Gables.  I chose Harry Potter.  (I'm sorry, I'm just on a kick!  If you spent eight months of your life reading over 4,000 pages of story about one brave, beloved character, you would want to live next door to him, too.)

But I got to thinking...why stop at just my next door neighbor?  What about the other side?  And across the street?  And all the way down the block?!

So, here's my fictional character neighborhood.

Harry Potter
(and Dumbledore and Hermione and Ron and Ginny. I live next door to Hogwarts, you see.)
Kathleen Kelly
Atticus Finch
Liz Lemon
Carrie Bradshaw
Elizabeth Bennet & Mr Darcy
Chandler Bing & Joey Tribbiani
Elle Woods
Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Jim Halpert
the von Trapp family

Monday, May 24, 2010

Keep Calm and Carry On

Carry-on travel, as Greg Focker learned ("Shut your piehole and listen to me when I say that I am FINISHED with the checking-of-the-bags CONVERSATION.") is the way to go.  No hassle, no fees, no worrying that you're going to get to your destination and not have make-up or a toothbrush.

For years, I have carried on a Vera Bradley Large Duffel

embroidered with my initials and in the Bees pattern.  But then, one day on a flight from Atlanta to New York, the Bees Duffel got a big fat hole ripped in the side of it, which happens when you throw a cloth bag on an airplane, I suppose.

So now I need a new carry-on.  Here's the thing, though - I like duffel bags more than little rectangle rolly bags.  They're more versatile and easier to throw on my shoulder, take on a quick overnight trip or toss in the trunk.

Right now I've looked at this DVF bag...kind of half rolly bag, half duffel, which intrigues me:

and this LeSportsac bag, although I'm unsure of this particular striped pattern:
Any other recommendations for a durable duffel bag?  May not exceed 45 linear inches. :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James

Thursday, May 20, 2010

With gusto

gusto. (gŭs'tō) n. enthusiastic and vigorous enjoyment or appreciation.

I had a wonderful weekend in New York.  I'll post more later (once I collect some pictures to share!), but here are my thoughts, random as they may be.

It was great to be back in the city.  I am quite convinced that there is no city that will stir my soul the way New York does, at least on this side of eternity.  Actually, the more I imagine, the more I cling to the hope that the New Earth will be very much like New York City, only with rent-controlled brownstones in the West Village and family and sweet tea.

But for now, New York City has none of those things.  It simply has soul-stirring magic, wonder and charm.  It's an indescribable, bewitching energy.  In New York, to simply walk down the sidewalk on a Tuesday afternoon is to experience enchantment. (I think my vocabulary is currently under the spell of Harry Potter.)  And while I lived there, I attacked life with an uncomprising level of zest.

Even so, New York City is not my home anymore.  And as much as I love the city and the people in it, I feel as confident as ever that Atlanta is where I am supposed to be right now.  So the question that I find myself wondering is this - not how to make my way back to New York, not when to plot my next trip, not if I made a mistake to move - but instead, how can I live my life here, now, anywhere and everyday, with that same sense of enchantment and enthusiasm that I experienced in New York?  Do I

learn French and plan a Parisian vacation
move to a bungalow in the Highlands and decorate it with charm
listen to Miles Davis all day long
train for a marathon
become an expert cupcake baker
take a calligraphy class
plan wine and cheese parties for old and new friends
curl up at a local coffee shop with a big book and an even bigger mug
buy a nice camera and figure out how to use it
write articles for Southern Living and mail them off with a stamp and a prayer

I don't know.  But I do know that I want to live a good story, and that my life in Atlanta deserves to be lived with as much gusto as my life in New York did.  There is much to be seen, much to be done, much to be experienced.  And I can either choose to dismiss this next phase of life as practical or simple or familiar or steady or affordable, or I can appreciate and enjoy all that it has to offer, create my own charmed life...and find the lovely in every day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I left my heart

Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but I think mine might very well be in New York.  That's why I'm off to the city tonight for a long weekend of glorious fun. 

I want to go to a show
and sleep in 9A
and drink coffee at Georgia's
and walk through the park
and see a morning movie
and worship at Gallery Church
and a million other things.

But mostly, I can't wait to just spend time with the people who I miss so dearly.

Hoorah!  Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 10, 2010

On pruning

In our yard, we have two crape myrtles. 

(not my yard)

Crape myrtles, as evidenced above, are beautiful, summery, colorful trees.  I love them.  I love when they bloom.

In the winter, though, crape myrtles require pruningI hate pruning.

Pruning means that every year in January or February, our yard guy comes by and chops off all of the leaves of our crepe myrtles.  Then they look like this:

(not my yard either)

Just a month ago, our crape myrtles still looked like this.  It was April, but they were bare.  They looked sad and lonely.  Thus, despite having watched this process every spring of my life, I was finally forced to ask my mom, "Are you sure the crape myrtles are okay?  I'm afraid they're never going to grow back."

So imagine my surprise when, just a few weeks ago, I suddently noticed that they are full and green again.  In fact, I think they're bigger and stronger and more colorful and, well, more beautiful than they even were last year.  Oh me of little faith.

According to Brent Wilson, pruning has two purposes:
  1. It will produce twice the number of branches and therefore twice the number of blooms as it did during the previous year.
  2. The new branches will be strong enough to support blooms.
And I couldn't help but think of how God prunes me in my life, is pruning me even now.  How he cuts me down, sometimes to the point of great pain, in order to someday produce an even greater number of blooms in my life.  How, without any pruning, my branches - my character - would not be strong enough to support blooms.  How the pruning season always comes before the blooming season.  Darkness before light.  Tears before joy.  Winter before spring.

The best part?  Wilson also says that "the best time to trim crapes in is late winter or early spring - just prior to new growth emerging."

And in that, I found great hope.  Not only is God pruning me for the right reason in the right way...He's pruning me at just the right time.  It's not in vain.  He is not slow to keep his promises.  No.  He prunes today to prepare me for new, abundant growth tomorrow.

So rejoice in your pruning.  God - the master yard man gardener - is at work, meticulously caring for us and joyously preparing for our blooms.  And they will be even more beautiful than we could ever imagine.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."
John 15:1-2

Friday, May 7, 2010

A haiku entitled WHY?

summertime is here
it's ninety degrees outside
but at my desk...brrr

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet

I love Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick Jr SO MUCH.  As such, I had high expectations for last night's American Idol.  I was mostly underwhelmed...until the last performance of the night.

Ohhhh Lee.  I adore you.  "That's Life" is one of my favorite Sinatra songs, and Lee rocked it.  I agree with Ellen - if last night had been the finale, I think he would have it locked up.

Who is your favorite Idol contestant this year?