December 10, 2010

Clippings: Lotsa Cool Stuff

I must warn you: this is the giddiest I've been in a long time, writing wise.   I mean, I must be giddy if I used "lotsa" in the subject line...  Don't ask me why.  Something in the air.  LIKE THE FIRST SNOWFLAKE WHICH I JUST SAW FLOATING DOWN PAST MY WINDOW!!!  

A perfect two-weeks from Christmas quote, don't you think? via

+ 20 awesomely un-translatable words from around the world.  Including:
Tartle: Scottish – The act of hestitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.
Jayus: Indonesian – A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh
D√©paysement: French – The feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country.
More on words: who invented more Chaucer of Shakespeare? Turns out Stephen Fry was wrong.  (The Courtier will be glad to know.)

+ Speaking of The Courtier, he has a great post on Spanish Catalan Christmas Carols.  He also has a Kindle, so I am trying to decide whether or not I shall ever speak to him again. Oh wait...I am chipping in to buy my grandma a Kindle this Christmas.  I am a hypocrite. I know.  But here's an article against the Kindle, the posting of which makes me feel a little better.

+ Julie (who also has a Kindle!  Ack!) at Happy Catholic has a stunning little meditation on praying for the souls in Purgatory. Check it out.  This is serious, guys.  And lovely.

+ Line and Colors did a great feature on Ben Hatke's Zita the Space Girl. Which I love.  Go!  Read it!!  Then buy the book!!!

+ Two beautiful posts from Mr. and Mrs. Globe Trot: a beautiful old metal works shop in Greece, and the faces of Turkey.

+ Jenny hits another home run on Dinner: A Love Story when she talks about "Absolute Value"--and perfectly sums up my philosophy about spending money on food:
The marzipan bars (pictured above) were about the size of a small person’s index finger. They cost $3.25 EACH! To someone who had just skipped making the zucchini bread because she refused to shell out the cash for the jar of ground cloves ($5.99!), this was an astonishing price to pay for such a miniscule dessert. And especially after we were so careful about not spending too much on lunch!

But Oh. My. God. Were these bars good. The handcrafted chocolate always fresh and just the right balance between bitter and sweet, and the too-green-to-ask-questions marzipan was so Proustian and perfect for the short time it lasted, that my father never thought twice about the fact that our dessert came close to costing as much as our soups.

“You have to think about the Absolute Value of this piece of candy,” he’d say. “What is three dollars and twenty five cents in the big picture? Nothing.” For the amount of pleasure it brings you, he went on to say, there’s no better way to spend money.
I had to share this especially, because the girls at Little Gidding and I were talking about spending money on food--Stearns had made a pasta dish with blue cheese that was muy excellente, and then said that she didn't really think she should get in the habit of spending money on things like blue cheese, even though she really loves it. I, needless to say, whole-heartedly disagree. "What's the point of eating," I asked, astounded, "if you're not going to eat well?" "Are you serious?" she replied, " survive!"

+ If you live in DC/VA and haven't gotten your Christmas tree yet: go to St. James in Falls Church and support this great boy scout troop!

+ Lessons and Carols services in Washington are late this year.  There is a 7:30 concert at St. Matthew's Cathedral Sunday evening, and one at Christ Church Episcopal in Georgetown on Dec 19th at 5 p.m.

+ Pantone has released new color of the year: a bright but not hot pink that they call honeysuckle.  I have NEVER seen honeysuckle that is this color. And alas, this is my least favorite shade of bright pink. Personally, I think this is an uninspired choice; but they didn't ask me. They say this is an optimistic color. Thats what they said about Mimosa in 2009. Last year's turquoise was supposed to be calming--never mind that it was practically the same color as 2005's "dark turquoise". I suppose I am tired of optimistic colors; I would have preferred a shade of green.  Or a fiery orange.

In a slight non-sequitor: Did you ever notice that fiery is weirdly spelt? Why not firey? Also, Google Chrome Spell Check doesn't recognize "spelt"--which is both the past tense of to spell and an ancient form of wheat.  Come now, Google. You live in CA.  You might be nerds, but you must be crunchy enough to know what spelt is!

+ One thing I do not understand is why Hollywood piles up all the awesome movies at the end of the year.  I mean, I understand it in principle, but I really hate it.  There are, after months of barrenness at the movie theater, half a dozen movies I am dying to see, including: The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale; The Voyage of the Dawn TreaderMegamindTangled and Despicable Me (though I am certain I won't love any of them as much as I loved Toy Story 3); The King's Speech (which is still not showing in Washington.  Poops.); Unstoppable. And now the AFI Silver is showing The Apartment.  I don't have time for this, but all I want to do is sit in a movie theater, and live off popcorn. It's a must, gracious living-wise.

Ok.  That's enough.  Back to work. Don't forget to pop by the Little Lamb Books Bookshop for all your picture book holiday shopping.  And JAMS BY MAGS.


  1. re Honeysuckle (a/k/a bright pink), it's uninspired like fashion in general. I've decided to create my own colour palettes based on the season, my colouring & my mood.

  2. PS - happy to have found your blog.

  3. I will only correct your otherwise extremely generous, multiple kindnesses regarding my recent postings by noting that said carols are CATALAN, not Spanish.

    - The Courtier