Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Well, my time as an undergrad has expired. I am officially done with all of my classes and there are just 12 days left until I graduate from UVA. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions. It feels overwhelming to be entering a new chapter in my life (that is still unclear). Thinking about completing school - something I've been working toward for years - makes me feel happy, nervous, excited, etc. all at once.

Moving forward. Moving on. Moving away. Everything is so open. I've been thinking a lot about the past and it makes me melancholy for how fleeting it all is. It's a very strange sensation to be in this transition. I never thought it would get here. Now that it has arrived, I find myself not quite sure how to react.

(Image of UVA graduation 1947 courtesy of LIFE)

Saturday, May 1, 2010


One of my professors recently informed me of the Emily Dickinson's Garden: The Poetry of Flowers exhibit going on at The New York Botanical Garden. Fortunately for me, it runs through June 13, leaving me just enough time to scoot by there once I arrive in New York on June 6.

As an Emily Dickinson fan (I'm currently taking a class called "Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Poets"), I cannot wait to go to the Botanical Garden to see what her garden would have looked like. There are also marathon-readings of Emily's poetry during the exhibit. How cool is that? This is definitely on my to-do list for my time in NYC.

(Photo found here)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Empire State of Mind

I'm headed to New York!

I just recently found out that I've been accepted to the NYU Summer Publishing Institute. For six weeks, I'll be attending this intensive program to learn everything I possibly can about magazine, book, and digital publishing. I am so excited. I leave in a little less than two months (right after graduation)! It's always been my dream to live in NYC. Even if it's just for six weeks, it will be a complete thrill.

(Images via metroscenes.com)

Monday, March 15, 2010

French Milk

Sadly, spring break has come to an end. I should be finishing up an Anthro midterm and writing two English papers that are due tomorrow but instead, I find myself here.

Chance and I went to the Green Valley Book Fair this weekend. We came home with about $100 worth of books. He bought mostly Anton Chekhov and Oscar Wilde. I, on the other hand, loaded up on a random assortment including a collection of New York magazine essays and The Color Purple. Among the stash was this little gem:

Although I haven't read too many graphic novels, I picked this one up because of its adorable cover that faintly reminded me of a past post from A Cup of Jo. I started reading it on the way home and was hooked. The illustrations are so fantastic and the story is fun. The book documents Lucy Knisley's trip to Paris with her mom for several weeks in celebration of their birthdays. Lucy was turning twenty-two at the time (which is how old I'll be this year), so I could easily relate to her tone, mood swings, and fear of failure upon approaching graduation from college.

I love the book's journal quality as well as the mixture of illustration and photography. It made me feel like I was listening to my friend recount stories from her trip. Lucy was great company on a dreary day. I was actually disappointed when she was gone until I discovered more of her work here. Hooray for the wonders of the internet!

(Images via comicsreporter.com)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sprout Film Festival

Alison and I recently attended the Sprout Film Festival. This traveling film festival is supported by the awesome Sprout, a non-profit organization based in New York. The short films showcased during this event are made by and deal with issues related to people with developmental disabilities. This is one of my favorite films featured at this year's festival in my hometown:

This is a fantastic idea. On the rare occasions that people with developmental disabilities are depicted in film, they are often played by people without developmental disabilities (a la Sean Penn in I Am Sam). The films showcased by the Sprout Film Festival are making huge steps to make people view developmental disabilities in a different light. I so, so enjoyed the films at this year's festival. Please check this website to find out when the Sprout Film Festival will be in your area. If you don't see your home on the list, request it! Until then, I hope you enjoy this fantastic video as much as I do.


I know I have expressed my love of Nora Ephron before. Nonetheless, I must do it once again. I just recently finished reading her book, Heartburn. I picked it up and could not put it down. I just love Nora's witty, conversational style of writing. Her ability to turn a negative situation into an amusing and entertaining story is a true talent. I found myself literally laughing out loud at the depiction of Rachel Samstat and her deteriorating marriage (which, I know, doesn't sound the least bit funny).

After reading the book, I rented the movie version of Heartburn (1986 Mike Nichols film starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson). Although the movie is worth viewing, I found the book much more entertaining. If you're looking to add a book to your reading list, I would highly recommend it!

(Images via trashionista.com and moviefone.com)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Go See Alice

Last night, Chance and I went to see Alice in Wonderland with my best friend, Alison. Although I thought the 3D made the price a bit steep, it turned out to be totally worth it. I have never read the Alice books and I did not particularly enjoy the original Disney movie, so I wasn't sure if I would like the movie; I ended up loving it. Johnny Depp is a great Mad Hatter (no surprise there) and I like Mia Wasikowska as Alice. Nonetheless, I find myself most taken with the Cheshire Cat and Bayard, the dog.

If you haven't seen Alice in Wonderland yet, I would most certainly recommend it!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Truman Capote

I am intrigued by Truman Capote. Did you know Harper Lee based the character of Dill in To Kill A Mockingbird on Capote, who was her childhood friend? TKAM is one of my all-time favorite books and I find myself thinking differently about it knowing that little fun fact.

Anyway - I decided to finally read Breakfast at Tiffany's as one of my fun reads for spring break. It's surprising how much the short story was altered in its transformation to film (SPOILER! for example, the writer-narrator remains nameless and does not have a relationship with a rich, older woman, Holly becomes pregnant and has a miscarriage, they don't get the cat back after Holly pushes him out of a cab, and the story does not end happily ever after with Holly and the narrator in love). Although the portrayal of Yunioshi expresses racist sentiments in the film, the short story also uses some less-than-p.c. language about homosexuals. The short story Holly makes me feel differently than the Holly portrayed by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film. I love comparing books and movies because they are such different mediums - it feels immensely interesting to think of all the differences between them and the varying methods used to express the same message (or, in this case, maybe a different message).

Oscar Night

Last night, my sister and I had the opportunity to attend Oscar Night America at the Paramount Theater thanks to my lovely boss at the magazine. We dressed up as if we were going to prom and then walked the mini red carpet, took a picture in front of a huge image of an Academy Award, sampled delicious treats, and sipped lots of wine. We got to watch the 82nd Academy Awards on a large HD screen in the ridiculously beautiful Paramount Theater. It was a great way to watch the Oscars and made me feel just a wee bit fancy.

In terms of the Oscars, I thought the ceremony ran a bit long. I adore Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin as a pair but I don't think we saw enough of them as hosts. My favorite ladies of the night were Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, Carey Mulligan, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Nonetheless, I thought there were more horribly dressed women in attendance than there were divinely dressed ones (hello, Sarah Jessica Parker and Charlize Theron?!). I most enjoyed Sandra Bullock's acceptance speech and the tribute to the beloved John Hughes.

Images via www.oscar.go.com

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hello, March!

How do you do? Come on in and stay awhile!

I am so glad to see February go and March come rushing in! I hope that the beginning of March means the end of snow (although there is snow in the forecast for tomorrow). I don't know about you but I am ready to see green grass, daffodils, and bright, sunny days.

This month feels more like a starting-over, new-beginning month than January or February did. There are lots of things I'd like to alter or improve about my life this year. I hope to get the ball rolling this month. Among other things, I'd truly like to start eating better. More vegetables and fruits, less starches. I want to try yoga or some other form of relaxing exercise because I feel really lackluster and down-in-the-dumps (I think that's the lack of sunshine and the lack of movement). I'd like to get some of my energy and motivation back. I'd also like to cut back on my bad TV intake and increase my good book levels. First on my list: Breakfast at Tiffany's and Heartburn. That's a rather daunting, general list but I think I'm on my way toward progress. We shall see!

(Image courtesy of www.wallpapersphere.com - I thought I'd share my current wallpaper with you!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Confession: I Have an Obsession

Do you ever watch DVD extras? I can't get enough of You've Got Mail (it's the movie I watch when I long for spring). I have watched it so many times that I broke down and watched the commentary with Nora Ephron. She is delightful and I can't get enough of her right now - after reading Marta's lovely review of I Feel Bad About My Neck, I am currently listening to the book on CD. I find Nora to be a witty, engaging essayist. I won't wax poetic for you as my review would pale in comparison to the gorgeous valentine that Marta wrote to Nora. Nonetheless, I can say that I know I love her because I can call her Nora. Authors that you can call by their first name are the absolute best kind.

It's the perfect time of year to begin an obsession with Nora Ephron. In winter, I tend to feel extremely uninspired and, well, depressed. I'm sure you know this about me. Nora's book and movie really inspire me. She makes me want to take up a pen and write my own essays about my life and my own dislike of purses. I want to own my own bookstore and lead my own quaint little life with flowers, cardigans, and children's books. I love that. I love that a good book, movie, photograph, whatever can just heal your worn out little soul.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


For Valentine's Day, Chance and I are giving each other these:

Miniature terrariums from Tortoise Loves Donkey on etsy - they're cute, easy to manage, and inexpensive. Instead of wasting money on cut flowers or candy, we decided to go halfsies on a little something that we can both enjoy even after the holiday is over.

(Image via Tortoise Loves Donkey)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Family Trees

I've seen lots of modern ideas for Family Trees lately. The February Martha Stewart Living showcased Darcy Miller's inventive ways of displaying family mementos and an understated Family Tree that is downloadable here.

I am also taken with the innovative designs at My Tree and Me.

I love all of the different options for honoring your family history. These would make fantastic gifts for family members but I definitely want one for myself too!

(Images courtesy of darcymillerdesigns.com - thanks to marta writes for introducing me to Darcy Miller - and mytreeandme.com)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lazy Saturday

Yippee! I finally have internet access at the apartment. Chance and I woke up early this morning and sat on the couch, enjoying the snow falling out the window before the internet-mr.-fix-it arrived. The snow was just enough to make the surroundings gorgeous and give us an excuse to stay in all day.

For the first time in a while, it's been a quiet, relaxed day. No particular place to go, no particular thing to do. We've just been watching movies, eating, and enjoying looking up random stuff on the internet (such as http://www.sketchysantas.com/ - hilarious). I hope to do some homework later but will probably just end up watching Jon Hamm on Saturday Night Live.

I am going to try to be better about blogging now. I've seen lots of inspiring, creative things lately. If nothing else, I want to begin documenting Chance's meals. Fortunately for me, he has become quite the cook; he prepared mouthwatering steaks earlier in the week and is currently trying his hand at burgers and french fries from scratch. We're thinking about taking a cooking class together but I think that would be more for my benefit than his. Any good recipes we should try?

More soon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Catching Up

My internet still. isn't. working. Oh, the joys of apartment living. It should be working after Saturday. Until then, I have taken to blogging at work. It feels very unnatural, just to let you know.

Classes are going well. They are all quite homework-heavy, so I am keeping busy. I love my Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Poets professor. She's a published poet, her husband's a musician, and she's an all-around cool, laid back, insightful, interesting woman.

My internship is still lovely. There are fun things in the mix, so I can't wait 'til the the next couple of issues come out! In related news, I'm in the process of applying for the NYU Summer Publishing Institute. Cross your fingers for me! It sounds like a dream.

I've stumbled upon lots of new blogs that I want to share with you. Soon.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Final Semester Begins

Classes resume today. I'm starting my last semester as an undergraduate. Ever. It's a weird feeling. It's scary but thrilling. I'm faced with a lot of choices post-graduation and I'm not sure what to choose yet. I have all of these images of how my life could look swimming in my head. I just can't pin anything down yet. I want it all. Is that wrong? I know I'll need to make decisions eventually. Sooner rather than later, as they say. Right now, it's just fun to feel like this.

I'm only taking four classes this semester and just two English classes. Even though English is my major, I feel relieved to be taking two classes (and not three with required discussion) in the subject (Ethnic American Fiction and Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Poets are the courses - for those who have an interest). I'll be continuing my internship and required seminar, which is wonderfully exciting except for the fact that my seminar instructor is completely disorganized. I am still head over heels in love with my internship at albemarle, which makes up for the negatives of the seminar. I am also looking forward to my hopefully-easy-but-interesting Anthropology of Religion course. I'll report back after I've taken all my classes. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's the Future

I found this questionnaire at Happenstance. She found it here and it apparently first came from here. This blog is donating 25 cents to the Red Cross in order to help Haiti for each person who answers the questions below and links back to MannLand5. The time limit for this might have expired, but it's worth a shot, right?

1. Hair color..Au naturale..or not?
I'm not a fan of dyeing. I'm au naturale all the way. Brown forever and always!

2. If somebody has food in their teeth or lipstick on their teeth do you tell them?
Usually, yes.

3. Would you rather have a million dollars or your vision of the perfect body?
A million dollars, for sure. I can work on my body any old time. Plus, who wants "perfection" anyway?

4. Favorite magazine?
How could I choose? Well, albemarle magazine first and foremost. I also like everything from O (the Oprah magazine) to Real Simple to Vogue to Nylon to Vanity Fair and all sorts of magazines in between. The list doesn't end.

5. Bra style..lacey or plain?
Usually plain.

6. If you walked into Victoria's Secret..would you most likely come out with something sexy or comfy?

7. Do you fake and bake?

8. What's your favorite body part on a man?
I really like eyes. In terms of Chance - I love his eyes, his strong arms, his hands, his lips, his everything! I guess it just depends on the man.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

She's a Winner

May I just say congratulations to the lovely Ms. Drew Barrymore for her Golden Globes win. I have a soft spot in my heart for her. I really looked up to her when I was a little girl for her ability to bounce back from difficult times. I just think she seems so genuine and sweet. I loved her adorable, nervous acceptance speech.

I also loved the speeches given by Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock. I love strong, beautiful, and unusual women. Thank God for them.

(Image via cdn.buzznet.com)

Monday, January 18, 2010

When the Going Gets Rough

Sorry for falling off the face of the earth. Obviously, I didn't get through my 31-day blogging goal. I was so close but I lost internet access at my apartment, which made it impossible for me to blog. I am sad about not being able to complete the 31 days. Maybe I'll just incorporate it more into my routine instead of forcing myself to stick to a plan like that. Nonetheless, I do think one of my flaws is my poor follow-through. I hope to work on that in 2010. I do need to set goals and see to it that I stick to them.

It was rather strange to be without internet. I can't believe how much of my routine involves hopping on the computer to check email, read blogs, etc. I do get a lot of inspiration from reading what other people put out there. At the same time, I think it's easy for me to waste time on the computer. I'd like to work on that too.

I've had a hard time getting adjusted to the apartment. It's finally starting to feel more comfortable but it does not feel like home. I don't know what I was expecting but I was startled when I couldn't just settle in. I'm hoping that things continue to improve. It's just a big change that it is more challenging than I anticipated.

I think this week will be better. Classes resume on Wednesday, which means that I'll go back to being a busy bee. Clearly, I need to be busy in order to feel normal. Things just don't feel right unless I have twenty things on my to-do list.

It's hard to feel bad for yourself when horrible things are happening in the world. Massive tragedies have a way of putting things in perspective. If only disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti did not have to occur. My heart goes out to the people of Haiti. I pray that some sort of relief will come soon to the people suffering from this tragedy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Difficult day.

The couch comes tomorrow. I'll be sure to tell more soon.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Moving Day

Chance has been constructing our new furniture while I've been washing all our dishes, putting things in place, etc. And that's after hours of moving all of our junk. We are both really tired.

More later.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tomorrow is the big day. Chance and I will be up bright and early for our move.

I'm quite busy with preparations, so this will be a brief post. See you on the other side.

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What a day!

I left the house this morning intending to go to two furniture stores - one local store and an IKEA that's about two hours away. I came back this evening with a couch, two end tables, a coffee table, a TV stand, and various other random household goods. I thank God for my fantastic mother who is nice enough to help me furnish the apartment. The local store was wonderful (a little old man offered us Coca Cola in a glass bottle, presented me with a free lamp after my couch purchase, and called me "sweet lady"). I must say that IKEA is exhausting. Between all of the people scurrying around in competition for various pieces of furniture and the screaming children who just want to go home, I could hardly get through the store. It is so good to be home and especially good to know that I finally have plenty of stuff for the apartment. Now I face the task of getting it all in there, assembled, and put into place. What an exhausting time! I can't wait until I can just relax. My visit to IKEA reminded me of this scene from (500) Days of Summer:

Just so you know, my experience was nothing like this.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Well, it's a new year and a new decade. I hope you had a fabulous New Years Eve celebration. Most of my New Years was spent on the road headed back from Alabama. I had a fun time visiting family, eating good food, and doing a little shopping. I also got the opportunity to finally watch Up, which I really enjoyed. I especially loved the "Married Life" montage.

As my father says, it was good to go but it's also good to get home. It is a relief to be home so that I can really tackle my to-do list. Chance and I are moving into our new apartment on Monday, so there's lots to do. We did have a relaxing New Years with fireworks, champagne, and the entertaining Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper before the craziness begins.

I don't generally make resolutions but I do have high hopes for 2010. I'm excited to share an apartment with Chance, finish my last year in college, and hopefully get an enjoyable job. What are your hopes for the year?