Oscar Films

9 Feb

Over the weekend we saw A Single Man. Clearly one does not need my opinion to vouch for the fact that the film was excellent – given the fact that Colin Firth was nominated for an Academy Award for his role. Also, Colin Firth. The review should end right there. Except to mention that there is other male nudity as well.

In fact the dreaminess is not from him alone, but from the costuming, set design, visuals and cinematography. Not that I know a thing at all about those elements – simply that they were so well done that they shone so brightly it was impossible not to notice. I am guessing it was because this man – Tom Ford – was in charge of them.

See. He oozes sophistication and style and that translated 10 fold to the screen. Plus he was at Gucci. Again, Gucci, enough said about style. Everyone’s clothing, the style of the homes, the exquisite attention to detail are all impeccable. They also really make me want to invest in some hairspray, dark eyeliner and a teasing comb. My god the 1960’s looked like a ton of fun. Julianne Moore’s home had orange trees in the middle of it and her eye makeup was so dramatically silly it was envious.

The movie was thought provoking and interesting and of course at times wholly sad. (Theme for Oscar movies this year – you are born alone, you die alone. Anyone? ) But it left us wanting more and spending the majority of the rest of the night dissecting it over soup and salads. We also would kill for Mr. Ford to style our house (forget our wardrobes) – though the running joke is he would suggest burning it to the ground first.

For real though our big home improvement project of the year will get underway this coming weekend – we are going to pick out some hardwood floors. We feel it is high time that the Ginger-stained carpet in our living room be retired (don’t get us started on retiring Ginger) and that a more sophisticated (and less urine soaked) floor take it’s place. Will it meet the impossibly gorgeous standards of the home in the film? Hell no. But it will make us unreasonably happy.

Also on the agenda, more Oscar films – next up, Crazy Heart. I hear this will lead us to want to download some songs from the soundtrack. This seems a lot more do-able than say rebuilding our house. Or moving to the 1960’s.

Mr. King and King Cake

2 Feb

I read this at the end of Peter King’s veeeeery long article in last week’s ESPN column:

“The great thing about P.J.’s Coffee in New Orleans? People go there to read, to have civil discussions (I heard a local politics discussion among five retirees in the P.J.’s on Maple Street near the Tulane campus Friday morning) and to work quietly. It’s what coffeeshops should be. And right across the street is a Starbucks. Both times I’ve been to P.J.’s, the stores have been more crowded than the nearby Starbucks.”

I immediately e-mailed this clip it to several people who would also read it and nod out loud and say, “YES”, because it is so spot on true. What stuns me is that Mr. King picked up on this after only a handful of visits. I call that PJ’s magic.

That coffee shop chain, and the one on Maple Street in particular totally represents what a local coffee shop is and should be. I spent over a 100 times eating their bagels, drinking their coffee and generally hogging tables for hours on end. There was a lot of studying to be done in those seven years, and plenty of time of not so much studying. It was where we dissected relationships, got hangover food, wasted time while our laundry dried, and ran into peeping tom’s in the bathroom – but that is what we call Lagniappe. What is also true – no one in New Orleans goes to Starbucks. I know that the on one Jefferson didn’t re-open after Katrina and that is telling.

More about New Orleans culture – like everyone else in the country, outside of Indy of course, we are having a NOLA themed Super Bowl party. Lucky it coincides with Mardi Gras season. Doubly lucky if you live in New Orleans – it is already a festive time of year, throw in a winning football season and it is bound to be insane this time of year. Also, perfect to have such a easy built in theme for a Sunday afternoon party. Magoo loves to use the Le Creuset and needs no better excuse than a big pot of gumbo.

For us, here, I also have to go out and find a proper King Cake. Last year I procured one for an Oscar party that also coincided with MG. Sadly it didn’t have a cream cheese filling and I like my King Cake with a gooey center – not plain and not with a cheery filling. It mattered not to Ginger who stole a piece right off of Ashley’s plate, ran around on her sugar high, and passed out all in a short two minute time span. But for us of the non-4 leg variety, I prefer my cake with the cheesy center and heavy on the green/gold/purple frosting. Short of spending $60 to order one from Gambinos I have to seek one out here in Tampa – which is not a bad mission to have.

For those looking to add even more New Orleans to the mix – chicory coffee available from CC’s in your grocery store and WWOZ jazz stream live through your computer.

LOTA rears it’s ugly head

1 Feb

Hey look at that – it has been two weeks! What’s more a whole month of 2010 is done and gone. What do ya know? Reference some time flies thing. And throw in some lame excuses about being busy. You get the picture. We are Lame Old Tired Asses. You get the drift.

Truly though two weeks? I have no recollection of those past 14 days and sadly, very little to share as to our whereabouts.

In contradictory news we have both simultaneously tried new restaurants and been on a very strict diet for several weeks. Makes sense right?

The diet started before the holidays and includes basically this – eat lots of meat. And cheese. And throw in some vegetables. An Atkins type thing that I maintained solidly for over a month and now am practicing hard core during the week and then going CRAZY on the weekend. By crazy I mean I have some sugar. WOHOOO – watch out. Anything more lame and old and tired than someone who cuts out sugar and carbs from their diet? I mean especially when those things cause your tummy to hurt. Given that I have the digestive system of a very fragile 89 year old – I would say that totally counts as lame and tired. Also, bonus, the diet means I have lost almost 20 lbs. BONUS.

In an attempt to counter this image we have been taking some nights on the town. Trying Ellas and NOHO bistro and even making a date with another couple. And no, none of these were for the early bird special. Crazy times up in these parts. Cah-razy. Of course following dinner last Friday night our friend and her new manfriend wanted to meet for a drink and we were all, “A drink? At this hour? Are you insane? Have you seen the fog out there?” People it was TEN O’CLOCK. But, it was totally foggy. Totally.

In another move to secure our spot as presidents and CEO’s of the LOTA club – we skipped Gasparilla this year. You know the one day of the year where you can party and drink all day and no one gives a shit. That day – we were all, eh that sounds horribly tiring and long. And plus it was going to rain. RAIN! I mean we may melt.

Who would want to stand outside in the rain? Give me some ovaltine and a Murder She Wrote marathon. At least that is what we should have said. For real though the rain pushed us over the edge in the decision to skip out on South Tampa’s yearly pirate festival. And for real we felt we could have a more productive weekend if we didn’t spend 12 hours on Saturday drinking. For real, WE DID! We totally did too. Re-arranged our bedroom furniture, cleaned our entire room, bought Ginger a new dog collar, shopped at IKEA, exercised, and drove really slowly down the highway because we are SO OLD AND LAME. Naturally I feel like a big fat cop-out for skipping such an institution but at the same time holy mother of productiveness – my nearly 31 year old self felt really good.

Which is a sure sign that we are LOTA.

Some Wahhhs

19 Jan

I came home from the beach last night with a bit of the blues. Sadly not these blues:


Though a direct result of them – these blues were from the wahhh vacation is over and wahhh it is back to work and wahhhh. I was throwing a bit of a pity party for myself last night. The nice thing about having a wedding anniversary so close to the holidays is that it gives you a nice break after all the craziness of the season and it helps prolong that back to work feeling of January. Well I prolonged it until today and now IT IS BACK TO WORK. Wahhhh.

I think we all experience this let down from time to time, especially after the holidays are over. But for us it is exceptionally pronounced because this week also marks the start of busy season. Not only is Magoo back to work but it is SERIOUS all caps kind of back to work. He has work to do and is expected to do the whole face time thing – getting in early, leaving late, working weekends for the next three months. Meaning the vacation is literally over until April 15th.

Good thing I booked us another vacation then. Until then I call myself a tax widow. Wahhh.

A Year

15 Jan

My one year wedding anniversary is this weekend. We don’t have the left over top of our cake because I accidentally left it in our hotel after our wedding night. It’s okay – I never much thought stale, 1 year old cake would taste very good.

Instead I got us lemon cupcakes – our cake was lemon flavored.

We are bringing them with us to Amelia Island, for a long nice getaway. We are also bringing a bottle of champagne we got as engagement present, tennis rackets, bathing suits and not much else.

We are going to relax and enjoy the resort even if it does rain. It has been a long but sweetly wonderful year. I could not have made it through without my excellent partner.

Last weekend we finally saw Up in the Air. Quite a bit of it hit close to home – but the true gist of the story really struck me – the part where they interview the real life people who have been laid off. Not to spoil the movie by any means, but they say that the most important thing to them in the end is the love and support they have from their family, and not the actual job they lost. This is so true. This past year has proven hand over fist just how true that has been. It has been a hard year, but I am lucky to have a family that supports me and holds me up, which is also how I can say that this has been a really great year. I know my marriage can survive these hardships and I know I have someone to count one and depend on. Learning that has been a fabulous gift.

Happy Anniversary – to many more!

I’m Re-Decorating (your house)

7 Jan

I would say we need a coat stand but as we all know it is not normally this cold for this long. (But OH MY GOODNESS it is going to get colder this weekend. Impossible I say!) (Second side bar – thank goodness it didn’t do this last year at this time because I would be freaking out about having a wedding in the arctic tundra, er I mean Florida.)

Though if we were of the home that needed a place to store coats on a more regular basis I would buy this from Urban Outfitters. Love the pop of orange. Though it comes in other colors if bright orange is not your cup of tea.

Did you realize the bastion of all things ironic, hipster, and flimsy has decently cool furniture as well? Check out this chair I personally think ikat design is pretty cool. We don’t need another chair – but maybe you do?

(Side note on ikat – Anthropologie makes these adorable ikat bowls in three colors. I think they are better to decorate with than to eat out of. Think on a buffet table or to hold your earrings.)

(End side bar. Back to UO.)

Or this side table. I’d love to stick a pair in our TV room and replace the beat up ones we have (ditto for the coffee table). However, that is not going to happen this century. The mid-century design is spot on and makes for a great space saver, especially in a smaller apartment.

I saw this orange! Ikea rug hanging in the store a few weeks ago and kind of really love it. The problem is that it is totally impracticable, especially for where we need it – under our dining room table and chairs. It is heavy and tufted and would not at all accommodate moveable furniture. But I LOVE IT. Sigh.

Now that I am done re-decorating your house in urban hispter I will leave you with this positive message – which would be great in a girl’s bedroom or even just your bathroom as a daily reminder!

From etsy seller: dazeychic

Our Outfits of the Night

3 Jan

As of today we have over 10 months until our next wedding. 10 months! I mean seriously what do you people do with your weekends when you don’t have weddings to go to, plan for, recover from, wash, rinse, repeat? I’ll tell you this weekend we tried to rejoin the masses and take in a measly little movie on a cold Saturday night and learned first hand that THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE DO. Apparently they go to movies – because they were all sold out. We have to relearn how to just be normal.

For now lets do a wee recap of the New Year’s Eve wedding.

As expected for an event hosted on such a night it was quite grand. Plus when you throw in black tie, the Ritz Carlton, and some fancy people – you have a very nice night.

I shamelessly stole some photos from a facebook page of a woman I do not know:

This didn’t cover the white leather couches at the after party, or the extra white dance floor brought in, or the white flowers lining the entire room and covering the stage with the 10 piece band. Winter Wonderland to the nth degree.

But more importantly – how did we do? We had to spend some serious time getting all prettied up. Considering earlier in the day my husband seemed surprised when I told him that cargo shorts are shlubby. This was news to him. So cufflinks and black suits are a nice step up.

Us before hand:

NYE fancy wedding attire

Magoo lookin’ very fine in his black suit:

Black Suit: DKNY

Silver Tie: Calvin Klein

White Shirt: Brooks Brothers

Black Shoes: Kenneth Cole

Glasses: Burberry

The dress:

Dress: BCBG

Watch: Michele

Well behaved straight hair:


Earrings: Banana Republic

Hair: courtesy of some very low humidity

Hair Pin: Anthropologie


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