Not-So-Friday Links


I’m mid-viewing of There Will Be Blood and mid-studying after a kind of abortive trip to Paris.  Never trust when it predicts no precipitation. Always bring your umbrella.  Because if you don’t it will rain in the morning and snow in the afternoon.

  • The top Welsh names in Wales.  There’s something intriguing about Welsh names- from the enigmatic (to me) spelling and pronunciation to the Lord of the Rings- vibes.  Not to mention names like Angharad and Gwilym- characters from one of my favorite films, How Green Was My Valley.
  • Speaking of movies- an enjoyably extra idea for creating memorable movie nights for the family- themed invitations and menus.
  • Remembering Hubert de Givenchy, a brilliant couturier and the designer most associated with Audrey Hepburn‘s rise as a sartorial star.
  • This movie looks insane-in-a-good-way. Also excited to see Lakeith Stanfield in another role post-Get Out.
  • I would watch a Jared Kushner musical.
  • A visually beautiful article about the production of roses for Chanel No. 5. Via my Mom. (Also, I’ve been to Pegomas just this year!)
  • Am I the only person who’s thought about what I want done with my body when I eventually and inevitably kick the bucket? This natural burial ground in Tennessee is actually closest to what I’ve imagined.  Except god forbid my final resting place be Tennessee.
  • Surprise surprise: A huge MIT study finds that fake news stories are much more likely to spread and go ‘viral’ than real news stories on Twitter. Kind of expected but no less scary for that.
  • Having never been married and having no children of my own, I can’t realistically vouch for any of this advice- but I do like it.
  • The mysteriously adorable allure of maternity overalls.
  • Are intimately subtle, barely there perfumes having a renaissance?
  • Taking down the single versus spoken for binary. “Does the idea that people have to “love” — or simply feel any specific way about being single — give the concept of romantic attachment too much power?”
  • This French food waste law is changing how grocery stores approach excess food.

My Preteen Bedroom

Having shared a story recently about the hallmarks of ’90s and ’00s preteen bedrooms, I’ve been feeling a touch of nostalgia for my own (which I’ve since remade into the lovely and peaceful place it is today.)

In list form, the defining characteristics of my room, circa 2000-2008.

  • The most noticeable thing about my ‘old’ room, and the one that feels the most personally relevant to me today, was the wall paint.  My room was light blue, lighter toward the floor and slightly darker toward the ceiling, with lifelike clouds that may Dad and I (but mostly my Dad) painted.  I’m pretty sure that this was his idea, but I loved it very much and hope I didn’t break his heart too much when I suggested repainting my room around the time I was going to start high school.
    Home improvement projects with my dad are some of my happiest memories, and just as I remember painting our kitchen cabinets with him 4 or 5 years ago, so I remember painting the clouds long before that.  In my worn out Tweety Bird slide on sandals, putting a touch of gray paint toward the bottom to give that three dimensional feeling.
    Bonus: When I first moved into my ‘grown up’ room from my ‘baby room’ (which is now Mom’s ‘sewing room’), My Dad painted stars on the ceiling with glow in the dark paint.  They’re only visible at night and look like the night sky during the summer, the season in which I was born.  My clouds may be gone but the constellations have hardly dimmed.  It’s something I want to do, if and when I have a child.  So that means maybe we have at least one more father-daughter project. And I hope many more than that.
  • The inescapable bead curtains.  I credit my bead curtains with being my original instructor in the color spectrum.  The strands were each different colors of the rainbow with small beads and larger beads in the shape of stars, suns, and crescent moons.  The order of the colors- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, light blue, and purple.  I would sing them to myself ad can still list them in my head to the same tune- one that I unfortunately have no idea how to transmit via blog post.  And of course it’s only a short step from that to ROYGBIV, which we all know is of the utmost practical importance so far as preparation for life as an adult.
    Of course, the only problem is that sometimes the bead curtains fall down, especially if it’s in the doorway and a stampede of preteen girls are running through it during a birthday party, playing veterinarian (when time really is of the essence because those stuffed animals have to be SAVED, DAMN IT).
  • Speaking of stuffed animals, I had a couch full of them.  It was an old couch that we eventually replaced, and when we did replace it, it came up to my room and was covered with a white throw blanket sort of thing.  I had a completely obscene number of stuffed animals- a number that kind of shames me when I think back on it now.  But I would love to spend time arranging them on that couch, frequently in a giant pyramid, with attention paid to relative size, comfort, and which stuffed animal friends would make the most serendipitous neighbors.
  • Last but not least, I had a white gauze canopy over my bed (#IKEA) with a sensuously curved paper lantern (also #IKEA) hanging from the center. Also a bolster pillow which I believe was upholstered in a blue and black zebra fur cover.  I still have it but the cover is now white.

Honorable mentions: lava lamps, embroidered table runners on dressers, the tiny castle with battery powered fountain, the super annoying flower shaped electric doorbell, horse figurines all over the floor always, my framed Vincent Van Gogh sunflowers print, and one of those things where your name has been colorfully painted by a nice man in the street- I never see those anymore.

Words When You Go To Museums


I’ve been falling back on word posts fairly often recently because they’re easy to churn out and I’m lazy- but when you’ve been hitting a lot of museums it’s also the case that there are a lot of fun and exciting words coming to your attention.

Like stevedore.

  • stele: a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected in the ancient world as a monument
  • pyx: is a small round container used to carry the consecrated host to the sick or those otherwise unable to come to a church in order to receive Holy Communion
  • stevedore: a person employed at a dock to load and unload ships.
  • gussy: as in, to ‘gussy up’
  • bodhisattva: a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so through compassion for suffering beings
  • catafalque: a decorated wooden framework supporting the coffin of a distinguished person during a funeral or while lying in state
  • capricious
  • chalice
  • parure: a set of jewels intended to be worn together
  • rife
  • phalanx


  • cuivrer: to copperplate
  • chameau: camel
  • guêpe: wasp

  • acéphale: headless

  • bouffon: buffoon

  • épingle: pin (n)

  • sciure: sawdust

  • saule: willow

Grasse is Always Greener


I think the real hallmark of a good pun is when you feel secondhand embarrassment for the person making it.

Today I’m taking a trip in the way way back machine to the three day field trip (+bonus weekend) my class took to Grasse back in February.  Since coming back we’ve had many tests and a two week break, which will maybe explain why I’m only getting to the Grasse lowdown now.

For those who don’t know, Grasse is a region of the South of France instrumental to both the development of the perfume industry and the production of many raw materials today.  IFF, which sponsors my training program, has one of its LMR centers there, which coordinates the production of high quality natural raw materials around the world (including in Grasse).  We’ve smelled many of these materials as part of our course.  Granted, because it was February, there was very little in bloom and not much ready to be harvested- except the mountains and mountains of mimosa, which was absolutely spectacular and perhaps the pivotal experience of our visit.  Not to mention that the city was beautiful, we were lucky with weather, and it wasn’t snowing like it was in Paris and Versailles.  Plus meals were included.

On Day One, we took taxis from our school in Versailles to the Orly airport.  There was a little singing on the ride and some playing of Contact, a game I’m pretty fond of.  Of course, because it was snowing, our flight was delayed by maybe an hour, but it wasn’t too late when we got into Nice airport and I slept on the flight anyway.  We then took a hired bus to our hotel in Grasse, Hotel le Patti, and promptly collapsed in our shared rooms.

Breakfast at the hotel was provided and opened at 6, which was excellent for me because I always wake up too early, even if the breakfast wasn’t too exciting (or at all vegan friendly).  That day we visited the LMR facilities and listened to a talk about their purpose and practice.  We split into two groups for a tour of the factory and the smelling of some raw materials.  Lunch was brought in for us.  Though we had been asked about our dietary requirements (and I identified myself as vegan/vegetarian), the choices were fish and chicken.  Which caused me to have a bit of a hunger panic attack.  After more smelling we left LMR and were left with a free evening.  Somehow (everyone accepted my suggestion based on frantic vegan research) we all ended up at a little Vietnamese restaurant, which was great fun.  Then groups of us splintered off for exploring.

The next day was my favorite.  After another early wake up and early breakfast, I took about an hour to wander around the city of Grasse on my own, which was absolutely beautiful.  I love discovering new cities.  When it was time to leave, we departed for the mimosa harvests.  We visited a small shelter that was housing already harvested mimosa and took an hour’s break for a photoshoot, wine, and nuts.  I may have stolen a lot of leftover cashews.  I may not yet have finished them.  The bus then took us on a tour through the mountains and Tanneron, the mimosa city.  the whole place was covered with blooming yellow puff bubbles.  Lunch was a fiasco similar to that the day before.  This restaurant did make me a special vegetarian meal- unfortunately it was fish.  Struggles.  I had a lot of table bread. After lunch we visited the LMR experimental field to see what was growing and being worked on.  It was definitely not the season for it, but I imagine in later spring and summer it must be very interesting.  We returned to the hotel and once again converged on the same place for dinner (once again a place I had suggested- Achiana, a fantastic Indian restaurant that I very much recommend if you’re ever in the area).  But there was a bit of a SNAFU in the form of a very dramatic house fire that almost entirely blocked the path.  It was an amazing and terrible sight.  After dinner we frolicked in the city and got up to mischief.

Friday was our last day, and the most rushed.  I followed my pattern of the day before of an early breakfast followed by a walk around Grasse.  By the time we left I was starting to get familiar with the area- the city center is pretty small, but very varied in elevation.  We visited the Perfume Museum in Grasse, which was pretty cool but very rushed.  Highlights included a mummy hand, a mummy foot, a toilette case that had belonged to Marie Antoinette, many gorgeous old bottles, and a visit to the greenhouse where we were shown labdanum, among other things, which I was later able to identify when I visited my grandparents in Spain over vacation.  We were given free time for lunch and splintered off in smaller groups for the first time.  I was with a group that had a very splapdash meal at Achiana- because we couldn’t leave Grasse without going back!  But of course we didn’t have time to finish. Thankfully I got to carry some food out to eat later.  We visited the museums gardens after lunch, which were somewhere between Grasse and the Nice airport.  Again, February was certainly not their peak season, but there were a few interesting things to see.

Many of us had decided to stay in Nice for the weekend and made our way to our respective abodes after being dropped off at the airport.  Because I don’t have any notes or a schedule from the weekend, I’ll just rattle off some memorable moments- walking high up to view the city, seeing a beach for the first time in forever, riding the ferris wheel (it was Luis’s first time!), waking up to see the sunrise over the water, and just generally exploring the city.  I have to admit, Nice isn’t really my cup of tea.  My classmate George says it reminds him of Florida, his home state, and that’s pretty accurate to me.

Links for the two test week


It’s been such a week so I’m just going to throw some links on here and run. Seriously, right from vacation into double killer exams.  When it feel like a long week and it’s only Tuesday you know you’re in trouble.

But I bought my flight home, wheee!

  • A children’s book to teach about the huge and overwhelming emotional spectrum. Hooray for raising emotionally literate and empathetic children.
  • It’s Luckyscent’s 15 year anniversary- and they’re welcoming some cool store exclusives!
  • This instagram account makes beautiful patterns from everyday objects. One step up from freakebana?
  • My favorite Oscar speeches!- Guillermo del Toro and Frances McDormand (I just watched the latter again (for the fourth time? Still so powerful. #InclusionRider).
  • I shared an essay about Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon a week or two ago- and he seems pretty charming in person. And he has a cute belly.
  • Wait, are they going to make a film from Chekhov’s The Seagull? Because that would be amazing. Also, how many films is Saoirse Ronan in this year? Also Annette Bening.
  • Heartwarming story of the week: A tiny little girl transfixed by the National Portrait Gallery’s portrait of Michelle Obama meets her idol.
  • My favorite, sent to me by my college roommate (whose birthday was yesterday, Happy Birthday, Lily!)- the largest ever analysis of film dialogue by gender. It reminds me of how my Mom has stopped watching films exclusively about white men (she made a recent exception for Call Me By Your Name) and now finds that most films she watches are about black men. The lack of substantial female roles in the film industry is really astonishing.

Links: But also it’s OSCAR DAY


My life is dark and full of terrors but also pretty good. I’m still getting over my stomach bug/food poisoning, my landlords are creatures from the black lagoon, I have an exam tomorrow and an exam on Friday and I am NOT PREPARED (Constance the Perpetually Unready) but I had a lovely time in Spain and Malta over my break.

What can you do?

I woke up at 3 am for my flight back to France and I’m a mess trying to gain the energy to shower and study, but today is Oscar Day and I have some time-sensitive links that should go up. And also procrastination.


Links 2/26


Happy Friday Monday!

I haven’t been posting much/at all this past week because I’m traveling and on break and in Spain (and tomorrow I’ll be meeting my parents in Malta).  But this evening I’m being antisocial and hanging out in my basement room, and I have a few links to dispense with.