Wednesday, December 23, 2009

South of Beale

Want to know what I think of the hip-hop-happening gastropub in downtown Memphis? Click here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


This is a typical "before and after" when Tony is talking to Rister.

Tony in repose

Quizzical Tony

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Best Book Covers 2009! Vote Now!

There's still time to vote for the Best Book Covers of 2009 on Amazon and get a chance to win the winning books! Go! Now!

Here are my votes.

2009 best book covers amazon

Bad Decisions

This is a quote from Wedding Crashers performed by Vince Vaughn:

Janice, I apologize to you if I don't seem real eager to jump into a forced awkward intimate situation that people like to call dating. I don't like the feeling. You're sitting there, you're wondering do I have food on my face, am I eating, am I talking too much, are they talking enough, am I interested I'm not really interested, should I play like I'm interested but I'm not that interested but I think she might be interested but do I want to be interested but now she's not interested? So all of a sudden I'm getting, I'm starting to get interested...And when am I supposed to kiss her? Do I have to wait for the door cause then it's awkward, it's like well goodnight. Do you do like that ass-out hug? Where you like, you hug each other like this and your ass sticks out cause you're trying not to get too close or do you just go right in and kiss them on the lips or don't kiss them at all? It's very difficult trying to read the situation. And all the while you're just really wondering are we gonna get hopped up enough to make some bad decisions? Perhaps play a little game called "just the tip." Just for a second, just to see how it feels. Or, ouch, ouch, you're on my hair.

This may seem like a bizarre topic switch you probably know, there are a zillion cutesy handmade things on Etsy - many of which I would love to purchase. Here is a sampling:

Let's Get Drunk and Eat Waffles blank card.

Wiley Valentine's envelope grab bag.

I might make it to the shopping cart but usually bail at the "Place Order" stage. At that moment in time, I'm feeling just hopped up enough to make an Etsy Bad Decision. Just for a second. Just to see how it feels. Then I cancel the order, shut down my computer, and walk away. Quickly.

All but once.

Behold Katie's ultimate Etsy Bad Decision: a book necklace. Even as I write this, I have to recognize the craftsmanship of this piece and that it is - on paper - a clever idea. I didn't realize my horrible mistake until it arrived.

Book Necklace
photo by Black Spot Books

Don't get me wrong, I still love it. But what outfit goes with a book around your neck???

In related news, there is a hilarious site that a friend of mine directed me to called Regretsy. I'm betting you can guess their intentions by the name of the site. If you think Etsy is a time killer, check this one out.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I have not yet mastered the art of cooking so that I make up my own recipes. Thank you, Food Network. Here's what I cooked this year:

Ultimate Pumpkin Pie by Tyler Florence

Corn Casserole by Paula Deen

Apple and Pear Crisp by Ina Garten


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bad Romance

It may be obvious at this point that I've been on a Lady Gaga streak this week. Brilliant!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Photoshop mischief!

Bloggers everywhere are all aflutter over the recent cover shoot of Demi Moore. Check out her left hip. 'Shopped or not?

Who cares?!? Some vigorous Photoshopping won't hide the fact that SHE IS 47 AND LOOKS THIS GOOD. UNBELIEVABLE.

W Magazine Cover

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fun Photos

I just finished an art history paper. Rather than write more about it, I'll post some interesting pictures by the two photographers I discussed.

Julia Margaret Cameron
Alice Lydell by Julia Margaret Cameron. This is the girl that Alice in Wonderland is based on.

Julia Margaret Cameron
Whisper of the Muse by Julia Margaret Cameron

Diane Arbus
Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park by Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus
Blaze Starr at Home by Diane Arbus

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I know everyone has seen this video, but I just want to remind you of the brilliance that is Lady Gaga. You're welcome.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I want! I want!

Christian Louboutin's pink, Barbie-inspired heels. See video of a lucky girl modeling them here.

*November 14 update - I saw these in Nordstrom yesterday afternoon. Placed center stage and surrounded by lights like a runway model. They are better in person (and equally beautiful in black). I sat there holding the sample, slack jawed, until a salesman came over and said, "You know, it's easier to make a decision if you try it on." I shed a little tear, set it down carefully, and drifted back down to Jessica Simpson's fall line.

barbie shoe

Monday, November 9, 2009


Not in a too too fabulous mood this evening, so I perked myself up by posting an image I like of my lovely niece, Emma.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sand Animation

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I purchased a Holga 135 and blew a roll or two this past Monday to see if the thing really works. It's such an unassuming, dinky piece of plastic I was amazed it actually worked! I'm liking my new toy.

Train station spaceships
Train station steps
Vintage car
Downtown train stationDowntown train station IIGus
Go Green

I love Facebook

This is a Facebook update of someone with which I went to college who now works as a librarian. Bless you, Sarah:

Grad Student: Anything is fine, as long as it is in Europe.

Me: Here are a few from Spain.

GS: No, it has to be from Europe.

Me: It's okay, Spain is in Europe.

GS: No it's not. It's in North America.

Me: Actually, it is in Europe. Right next to France.

GS: France is in North America.

Me: OK, uncle. All countries are on those shelves. Good luck on your research...

And she later commented: "It was one of these women who walk up to the reference desk and preface the question with, "I'm working on my Master's degree and I need some information on..." Anyone who must start a simple inquiry with their qualifications has obviously not earned them."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Susan & John


I want to throw a party just so Susan & John can build a room full of paper flowers for me.

Cooooool. Girly. Cute dog, too. (Scroll to bottom of link to their site for pix)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Corner office? Corner this.

I am deeply, mortally offended by this book:

I know where Lois is going with this. Really, I do. I'm sure there's some good information here. I worked in a corporate environment for ten years and I know this goes on. This probably pisses me off because I DID some of this stuff.

She still rubs me the wrong way. If I want to bring doughnuts to a shitty meeting that wastes my time, I'll fill it with heavenly, heavily powdered calories. Lois be damned.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


If the concept of "sass" came in the form of a person, it would be my niece, Emma (center), on the rooftop of Alfred's right before attending the Miley Cyrus concert.

iPhone image courtesy of her mom.


Friday, October 16, 2009


As I was leaving school today, I found a little bird on the ground right outside of the back door to the journalism building. I'm pretty sure it ran into the building; it was jerking in a weird way and couldn't open its eyes half the time. It was so pitiful I scooped it up with a piece of matte board and took it to Central Animal Hospital for a mercy killing (they did confirm at the vet that it was very likely in pain and this was the best option). The little bird was very cute and quite sweet. And the folks at CAH were quite gracious.

Have you ever driven your car with a bird sitting on the dash? No?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cake rage

Cake rage

Several things come to mind when viewing this image:

1. I am not meant to be a baker. Or, in the very least, I will never decorate cakes.

2. It has been demonstrated again and again that folks with multiple personalities have different handwriting styles depending upon who they are at the moment.

3. Road rage, according to Wikipedia, is aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle. Such behavior might include rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions which result in injuries and even deaths.

I can say that,without a doubt, I experienced cake rage today. I started out all domestic and optimistic with the word "happy" and almost dug out the cake with my bare hands and threw it out the window by the time I got to "George." You can actually track my mood change here.

Take from this what you will.

Oh, and I promise those are neither (1) bleeding hearts nor (2) happy sperm. They are balloons.

Unconventional portraits

I love the fact that someone at the Library of Congress is scanning and uploading some seriously interesting things on Flickr. One of their collections gives us newspaper covers of the New York Tribune from 1909.

I love these portraits. Particularly: John S. Shea for Sheriff and Charles S. Whitman for District Attorney. And doesn't Mr. Mitchel have a smarmy air about him?

Weird portraits

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jules Verne

I'm studying for a history exam right now and came across this photo. I think it's a pretty great one of Jules Verne (1878 by Nadar). He has crinkly Santa Claus eyes!

Jules Verne

Friday, October 2, 2009

Photo Rhetoric

Muybridge's horses

Here's a blurb by John Jones of UT Austin addressing the "truth" of a replicated image and the relationship between photography and science. It is posted on viz, a site dedicated to studying visual culture and rhetoric.

Photography and science

When photography was introduced in the late nineteenth century, many thought it would be a way to exactly reproduce reality. Because of the fact that a camera must have something in front of it to create an image, the photograph was considered to be a scientific presentation of reality. Photography was used as scientific evidence, and photographs like Edward Muybridge's famous motion studies were used to settle questions about the natural world that seemed otherwise unanswerable. The process of photography seemed to guarantee that at the time the shutter was opened a certain reality existed, and the photograph was evidence of that reality frozen in an instant.

For this reason, Roland Barthes has argued that the photograph was intimately related to death, for the snapshot was always a reminder that the particular moment captured on film was dead and could not be retrieved. In Camera Lucida Barthes argued that this relationship to death prompted a feeling of nostalgia in the viewer, and he described this effect with the terms punctum and studium. The punctum is defined as being the one "detail" of the photograph that immediately attracts the eye, is personal to the individual viewer, and, because it is personal, is beyond analysis. The punctum is thus differentiated from the studium, or the standard, symbolic message of the photograph.

From photographic truth to Photoshop

As printing technologies developed it became possible for photographs to be endlessly duplicated. Though this ability to duplicate images was beneficial for mass communication, along with it came the question: what is the “real” image? Mass duplication also allowed for the manipulation of images, which in turn has led to the questioning of the “truth” of images. Techniques like double-exposure and painting on a photograph have served to undermine the claim that photography represents reality.

As digital imaging has become more prevalent, the scientific truth of the image has come increasingly under question. Since the introduction of photography, images have had their truth value challenged because, as Susan Sontag has argued in Regarding the Pain of Others, the form and composition of a photograph are easily altered so as to present false, or manufactured images. The use of digital tools to alter photos has made this concern more apparent because it allows for photorealistic effects to give the appearance of something that does not even exist. This new development in photography—troubling its claim for scientific truth—puts more focus on the way in which a photograph’s meaning is—and has always been—culturally negotiated and deeply rhetorical.



Scientists have announced the discovery of the oldest human ancestor skeleton ever found...predating Lucy by one million years. She is a 110 pound female nicknamed Ardi (taken from her species name Ardipithecus ramidus) found in Ethiopia.

"The fossil puts to rest the notion, popular since Darwin's time, that a chimpanzee-like missing link—resembling something between humans and today's apes—would eventually be found at the root of the human family tree. Indeed, the new evidence suggests that the study of chimpanzee anatomy and behavior—long used to infer the nature of the earliest human ancestors—is largely irrelevant to understanding our beginnings.

Ardi instead shows an unexpected mix of advanced characteristics and of primitive traits seen in much older apes that were unlike chimps or gorillas. As such, the skeleton offers a window on what the last common ancestor of humans and living apes might have been like."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Zip it!


Matt loves his tractor

Emma about to zzzzip line

Matt on ladder

Matt on ladder II

Matt on ladder III

Emma Ben Dad

Friday, September 25, 2009

Garbage Day

Awww, Barbie is so sweet to take out my trash for me!

Garbage day

So I'm not a Photoshop virtuoso (yet) but I still think this is hilarious.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tord Boontje

Good Lord, I ran into one of the most beautiful web sites ever today. Check out Studio Tord Boontje. Tord is a designer from the Netherlands now living in France. I like what he has to say about his work:

"The challenge and opportunity the Studio has long sought is a delicate marriage of design with emotion that is as broadly accessible as it is enticing. The Studio's work draws from a belief that modernism does not mean minimalism, that contemporary does not forsake tradition, and that technology does not abandon people and senses. The Studio's designs often temper edges with softness, borrow inspiration from nature, and employ a decor of forms and layers to engage and entice an observer's imagination and emotions."

Tord BoontjeTord BoontjeTord Boontje

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Me. George. Date at Hogwarts. Next spring.

The Harry Potter Theme park is scheduled to open in Orlando next spring. Considering the fact that George and I are venturing to Chicago this weekend for the (relatively dinky) Harry Potter exhibit before it leaves, you can bet your butterbeer that we'll be visiting FL next year with our wizard robes on (and, in case you're wondering, YES, I do own one).

Check it out!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

(500) days of summer

Has anyone seen this movie? WONDERFUL. Please go see it immediately. Among other things, it stars the utterly fabulous indie queen, Zooey Deschanel:


By the way, I heart her sister, Emily, too, as the star of the hit TV series, Bones:


Yummy wedding cake

My husband, George, took what I thought was a particularly good picture of the wedding cake from an event we attended in Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh Aquarium about a month ago.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Itty Bitty

Last week scientists at IBM Zurich took the highest-resolution image ever of an individual molecule using an atomic-force microscope, the hydrocarbon known as pentacene. This is part of an ongoing effort to someday build computing elements at an atomic scale, which would greatly reduce power consumption and fabrication costs. This is the first time they've been able to see through the electron cloud surrounding the molecule to look at its individual atoms.

Pentacene is made up of 22 carbon atoms and 14 hydrogen atoms. The image below is of five of its carbon atoms. They say the position of the hydrogen atoms can be discerned from this image...I'll take their word for it. It measures 1.4 nanometers in length. Teeny.

Kind of pretty, isn't it?

IBM Research-Zurich

Friday, August 28, 2009

Apple, goat cheese and honey tartlets

apple goat cheese honey tartlets

2 17.3 ounce packages frozen puff pastry (4 sheets), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend
6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (about 3/4 cup packed)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3 medium Gala aples, peeled, quartered, cored, cut into 1/8" slices
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup honey (preferably dark such as forest honey), divided
1/2 teaspoon (scant) ground allspice

Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out each puff pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to 11-inch square. Using 5" diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out 4 rounds from each pastry sheet, forming 16 rounds total. Divide 8 pastry rounds between prepared baking sheets; pierce rounds all over with fork. Using 3.5" diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out smaller rounds from center of remaining 8 rounds (reserve 3.5" rounds for another use), forming eight 5" diameter rings. Brush outer 1" edges of 5" rounds on baking sheets with beaten egg; top each with 1 pastry ring. Freeze at least 30 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen. Do not thaw before continuing.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix cheese, lemon juice, and salt in bowl; spread mixture inside rings on frozen pastry rounds. Overlap apple slices atop cheese. Mix butter and 1/4 cup honey in small bowl; brush over apples. Sprinkle with allspice. Bake until apples are tender and pastry is golden, about 35 minutes. Place tartlets on plates. Drizzle 1 tablespoon honey over each and serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe from Bon Appetit, October 2007, Jill Silverman Hough

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Absolute funniest thing I've seen. EVER.

Seriously. Funniest thing ever. Until I watch the NEXT advertisement for fall season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. My husband is officially tired of hearing me cackling and snorting like a loon.

I love this show.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A nice evening in

Gus and George

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Emma, Gracie, and Matt





Sweet Kent

Here's my new nephew, Michael Kent Thompson. Isn't he sweet?


Sweet, yes, but he is my brother's son...couldn't help but notice the resemblance to Dr. Evil* here. Perhaps he has plans for world domination? Such an ambitious child:


*August 24 2009 update: In case you're not familiar with the Dr. Evil reference, go here.

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