Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What I found in my closet: history, Hungary, and Dave Eggers

Not my real closet

I'm true to my word and last night I began the odious number 37 on my 39 Things to do Before My Next Birthday list. I started with the closet in the guestroom/TV room/office/library.  It's also known as the Mister's closet. The Mister, being the exact opposite of  a clothes horse (what it takes to get that guy to buy a new pair of pants, I swear!) only needs half a closet.  The other half is relegated to, well all that stuff we think we need, but don't really want out and about: Framed art we no longer hang on our walls, a sewing kit, many old photo albums in various states of yellowing, all my beading paraphernalia left over from the '90s, a gazillion instruction books for obsolete electronic devices.  You get the picture.   
But here are some things I found that were kind of cool:

1. A list in my grandmother's handwriting titled "50 best paying markets for writers."  It's dated 1948 and includes a section called "Markets buying humorous greetings."  This reminds me so much of my own yearnings, ambitions and bouts of industrious list-making I almost can't stand it. 

2. Three crumbling copies of the Golden Gate Park News with advertisements for Dr. C. Bouvier's Buchu Gin health tonic, "fine lots" in Larkspur for $200 ($1 down, call Bush 541), and "knit to fit" underwear on Post St.  I can't for the life of me find a date on the thing, but it advertises the new Japanese Tea Gardens so I'm figuring they're from around 1894.  

3. This polaroid of Dave Eggers and some girl I've never seen before. By the way, check out his lovely if nervous acceptance speech for the 2008 TED award.  "The primacy of the written word in terms of nurturing democracy, nurturing an enlightened life."  Oh, Dave.  Sigh. 

4. My student ID from when I studied in Hungary in 1989.  Obviously it was before the whole eyebrow shaping phenomena.  Man, did we eat a lot of sausage back then. 

A thing I like
Getting rid of stuff.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Magnolias in bloom

You can buy this image here.

It's drizzly and gray again here.  We desperately need the rain, and yet, sigh, it's not exactly a mood elevator.  Except, of course, when you happen upon a Magnolia tree all bursting and blooming and gettin' crazy with huge pink blossoms.  My Magnolia calls them "Maggie trees" and whenever I point one out to her she nods and says, "Now open your eyes and look for an Olive tree for Ollie."  Isn't that magnanimous of little Magnolia? 
Speaking of twins.  If I lived in this Brazilian town, I would STAY AWAY from the water.

A thing I like
Photo originally published in Domino Magazine
I'm sort of addicted to decorating and home blogs (not the nerdy ones, just the room-porn ones).   I didn't used to be like this.  I used to take my ma's old castoffs (Hello, chipped lavender nightstand. Hello, dresser I've had since birth.) and call it a day.  Now?  Well now our little 1941 house in the Sunset is under constant scrutiny and in the throes of a hundred DIY projects.  It's all due to my job as a home editor at Sunset magazine, where pouring over beautiful homes is part of my job description. 
Anyway, right now I am, like everyone else, loving Design Sponge.  I especially like this little tidbit on how to go about remaking a room.  Personally I start by manically perusing Craigslist for used stuff, but some people, as I understand it, start with a grand vision. 

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