11 February, 2010


I just figured out how to imbed youtube videos and want to try it out.  So... yep.

I have a question - why is Reader's Digest called Reader's Digest? Because when books are abridged they are easier to digest?  I cannot explain it.
Personally, I hate abridged books. If you're going to read the darn thing, read the whole darn thing, what?
And then you say, "Yes, you are right.  I bow to your wisdom."
And then I say, "Thank you." And then I say, "Come on, Barbie. Let's ride in your new Ferrari and go shopping."

P.S.  If you have never played Barbies with a four year old, the above conversation will not make a shred of sense to you.

P.P.S.  Clarification:  four year old girl.  Playing Barbies with a four year old boy is a very different thing.  It sounds more like, "And then her car goes KABOOOOOOOM! And she EXPLODES! WA HA HA! Bye bye, Barbie!  Now let's play legos." 

07 February, 2010

une femme élégante

The whole evening I've been taking quick - I hope sneaky - sniffs at the back of my hand. I'm not a freak (mostly); this afternoon, a friend and I took a stroll through Sephora and - during said stroll - liberally spritzed ourselves with Chanel No 5.  Gee whiz. It's been said before, but I'll say it too - that is one nice perfume.  Masterful marketing is not the thing which has kept girls worshiping it since 1921.  It just smells lovely.  

I did something sort of dumb tonight.  
Wait, no.  I told myself I was going to be honest on here - tonight, I did one downright idiotic thing, one moderately brainless series of things, and one sort of dumb thing.  Since I would like to preserve the illusion that I am a sparklingly clever girl just burdened with an excess of common sense, I won't tell you the downright idiotic thing I did (it involved car keys and the car the keys belonged to and a locked car and an evening spent wondering why, if the guys from triple A have those plastic pillow things they use to open your car door with, why can't car thieves or - more to the point - I get one too?  It would be very handy and save a lot of time.  For me and car thieves.), but I will confess the sort of dumb thing.  I encouraged my smart friend to start a blog and told her, in a moment of flustered idiocy, that if she started a blog, I would send her the address to my blog.  This is a serious problem for two reasons. 

1. I'm beginning to think that she sees through the thin mask of reasonable intelligence I've maintained for the past howevermany years.  The downright idiotic incident probably roused her suspicions, and if she reads this I'm through. Really, Kelsey, where was your head? ("Well, Kelsey, probably locked in the car with the keys, moron.")

2.  Her blog is going to be TOTALLY AWESOME.
Why? Well, let me tell you.
Also tonight, this friend and I made a stop at Anthropologie, possibly the only store on earth that manages to somehow contain not a single piece of merchandise that doesn't make me sigh my heart out and long to find a rich husband or invent, like, facebook or something and become revoltingly wealthy.  I know, I'm a pig - but I promised myself I would be honest on here.  Honestly, I covet it all.
But, back to the blog thing.  During our lengthy ramble, my friend picked up an etiquette book (the title of which I can't remember to save my life).  The finding of this book was a blessed miracle.  Every page is full of advice on how to sit properly, get in and out of cars gracefully, make small talk - everything, in short, that makes up a poised, elegant, charming woman.
We weren't simply delighted to find this book because it's clever and has some good advice here and there - we two are devoted to the pursuit of chic.  We are dying to be elegant and graceful.  And I'm not just saying that.  We watch old movies, and exclaim over Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Lauren Bacall and the like.  They just ooze grace - radiate it.  Always poised and perfectly groomed.  (Can you imagine Audrey Hepburn going out with chipped nail polish? No.)  They stand up straight, sit like royalty, and walk like... like... I don't know! Iconic movie stars! Did you know Katharine Hepburn sometimes had to do her own stunts because the doubles didn't stand up straight enough? I mean!  

My friend and I even googled finishing schools once.  We are that desperate.  When you've spent all your formative teen years reading Agatha Christie novels about charming heroines with perfect hair and deep red nails, you can't be indifferent to your own state.
But, back to the blog again.  
THIS is why her blog is going to be awesome - besides the fact that she's funny, a good writer, and can actually think about, you know, like, deep stuff - she's going to blog about going through this heaven-sent paperback.  How cool is that?
We plan to study the book this semester, so that when we transfer to our four year schools we will be staggeringly sophisticated.  We're going to stand straight and tall, actually tell people when they look great or we're glad to see them, smile, not text when with company, make eye contact, say "How do you do?", wear perfume, do our nails, learn ten French phrases to interject into conversation*, get out of cars gracefully, and be, officially, the most classy, chic, poised, charming, ladylike girls you could ever hope to meet.  Just you wait and see. 
I wish I had the stamina to write poetically about all this, but I'm too tired.  It'll just have to be me. So there.

(*This idea, however, came from An Education, which we saw together and both declared one of the best movies we've ever seen.  Brace yourself: If I'm reading the signs correctly, I believe a whole post about it is coming soon.)

9 Feb
Oh no.  Oh dear.  I've just seen the friend's blog and it's even worse than I thought it would be.  She's all, like, spiritual! And deep! And she's going to talk about poetry!  And her title is in French! What will I DOOOOOO?  Now that she's told me her blog address, I have to tell her mine!  We made a pact.  Rats.

Sample of actual thought after typing the last two sentences, and more compelling evidence that my mental state might not be quite what it should:
"Oh, well.  She'll just not want to be your friend anymore, Kelsey.  You'll have to live with it."
"Kelsey! Where has this resignation come from?!"  
"Kelsey, you just spent three hours in British Lit discussing Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Put two and two together here." 
"I hated that book! And class discussion is agony! Tinky Winky of Teletubbies could give more insight, is more cerebral than some of my beloved classmates."
"Now, Kelsey, getting angry never solves your problems.  And you know the Teletubbies comment is unkind and untrue. You're even making friends in class."
"It's basically true!"
"This discussion is pointless.  I'm not going to argue with you anymore. I'm going to bed."
"well... fine! Go then!"
"Fine!  I will!"
long pause.
"But you, Miss Negative Meanie, are the one who writes mean, shallow things. Emily would still be my friend if YOU weren't here. Jerk. Goodnight."

04 February, 2010

Random is an overused word

I wrote this last night at about 3 in the morning.  Translation: so who knows if it makes any sense.

It is obscenely late, but I've got some blathering to do.
The reason I'm up this late is not because I drank a whole cup of Big Train Chai - a singularly delightful beverage containing 8,000 calories a cup and about a zillion hours of eye-twitching, caffeinated energy -  but because there are ten million great blogs out there which I must review.  If they are worth a read, they are also usually worth a comment too, and sometimes - this is rare but still possible - worth following as well.  Understandably, this reviewing process takes time. So it's all these other blogs' faults that I can't get to sleep at a reasonable hour.  I'd go to bed if I could. Truly.  But I'm resigned to my fate.

Recently, I have spent many a happy hour scrolling through baby name websites, recalling the names of favorite book characters and sitting on a log, bashing my fist against my forehead while shouting, "think, think, think!"
Why, you might reasonably ask?
Answer! Daily Double!

Because I recently realized that, if I ever become famous, I will need a stage name.  "Need" because no human being on earth can pronounce my last name.  At least, not with confidence or without butchering it.  Famous people - according to Wikipedia - usually change cumbersome names so fans will be able to say and spell without fear.  If I decide to become famous when I grow up - it's either that or own a bookshop with a Starbucks attached, I can't choose - I would probably need a different last name.   I can't reliably spell my surname; once, in elementary school, during an SAT test (not the best situation for me to begin with) I suddenly thought, dropping my pencil in shock, "what if I've been spelling my last name wrong all theses years and everyone else is actually right?!" I ended up agonizing over the PRINT NAME section for twenty minutes while all the other eight year olds gave me venomous looks, evil vibes steaming from their pores.
You have my permission to point and laugh.

02 February, 2010

A Severe Mercy

This is the only book, ever, that made me cry when I read it for the first time.  I bawled. Even sobbed a tiny bit.  I mean, who wouldn't cry! It's not just a love story - it's a story about a love.
Back cover: "Sheldon 'Van' Vanauken and Jean 'Davy' Vanauken were lucky enough to discover that radiant love so often written of in books, so seldom found in real life."

"Rather suddenly, without previous reflection on the matter, it began to appear to me that heart-shaped faces were perhaps the best kind.  She was not very tall, and I was; but now I wondered whether, after all, small girls were not more - well, more adorable, sort of.  Especially when they had shining brown hair and low lovely voices and beauteous eyes."

"Thus, rather improbably, began what I must call, judging by others I've known of, a rather remarkable love.  It's remarkableness lay, not in our falling quite desperately in love - many have experienced that glory - but what we made of that love."
"A beam of sunlight slanting through one of the tall windows fell upon my head and shoulders, turning my light-brown hair to gold. I was smiling at her. She paused in what she was saying, then said in a low voice: 'My golden one!'"

"The Shining Barrier.  The Shield of our love. A fence around a tree to keep the deer from nibbling it.  A fortified place with the walls and watchtowers gleaming white like the cliffs of England. The Shining Barrier - we called it so from the first - protecting the green tree of our love. And yet in another sense it was our love itself, made strong within, that was the Shining Barrier.
"But why does love need to be guarded? Against what enemies? We looked around us and saw the world as having become a hostile and threatening place where standards of decency and courtesy were perishing and loomed gigantic.  A world where love did not endure.  The smile of inloveness seemed to promise forever, but friends who had been in love last year were parting this year.  The divorce rate was in the news...We raised the Shining Barrier against creeping separateness, which was, in the last analysis, self.  We also raised it against a world of indecencies and decaying standards, the decline of courtesy, the whispering mockers of love.  We would have our own standards."

"Ten days later, in Miami, we were masters of a sturdy, teak-built, gaff-rigged sloop named Gull....We lived aboard and sailed the waters off the southern tip of Florida, exploring the keys and inlets..."
"When she (Grey Goose) was launched, Davy christened her, breaking a bottle of wine against the lovely-curving bow, and crying as the schooner slipped into the water: 'Keep us out of the set ways of life!'"

Oh dear.  Quotes can't convey even a smidgen of the loveliness of this book.  I could gush unintelligibly, but instead I will just strongly recommend that you pick it up if you haven't read it before. Heck, I would mail it to you, whoever you are!  It's so painfully good.