Wednesday, March 26, 2008

new music

This is new music I like. Some of it is new, some of it is something I've liked and somehow lost track of, and some of it is really old but new to me:


This really simple video is so obviously made in Paint but it's my favorite from my search for The Rolling Stones' "She's a Rainbow."


I like that this song sounds like it was recorded over the phone or in a pool locker room.
Dntel - Roll On (ft. Jenny Lewis)


When looking for more information about Las Vulpess, this post at Edu's Worthless Blog was the only information I could find in a language I understand. Fortunately, everything written in that post is awesome and reveals how kickass Las Vulpess was as a group, if ever so briefly. Yeah!


Oh, FYI, almost 5/6ths of anything good I ever listen to has come from this blog: buscate un novio. I don't really understand the text (like, at all), but the artists featured are so regularly awesome that I don't really worry about that anymore.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Since being back from Delhi I've been trying (even more than I did before) to get a lot of India in America. I'm lucky because there is a big desi population in the Twin Cities area. That means being able to buy ajman seeds at the grocery store and eat fresh, puffy puris at restaurants and watch Bollywood movies in real theaters(!). It's not quite warm enough to be wearing a full salwar-kameez, but I have instituted Kurta Mondays when I'm at school. Please come soon, Spring, I'd like to be able to wear full suits and air dry clothes again!

One time about a year and a half ago my friend Leigh told me she buys mehendi cones and has her eyebrows threaded in the Indian area of her old neighborhood. I told her I had never heard of threading and she was surprised in a way that made it seem like I had been missing out on something amazing like raspberry lemonade in summertime or Prince's Purple Rain album real loud on the record player or Freaks and Geeks dvd marathons with oreos dipped in milk. And since I really like all of those things I started searching the internet for a place to try having my eyebrows threaded. It took a long time, but eventually I found a huge list of women in my area who thread and apply henna and cut hair and do pedicures and all sorts of things you'd have done by the beautician in Delhi, but instead of having the beautician come to your house in India you go to their house in the States.

Turns out Localfiles serves as a sort of bulletin board for desis in a few different regions of the U.S., including Minneapolis. It's got a name like a singles network or something, but Localfiles is actually how I know about most Indian things in my area, like Bollywood at the discount theater or Curry Up Deli's sweets counter (which I still haven't sampled because sweets outside India are notorious for being a let down and I do not want to be let down). I don't mind a little awkwardness (you know, showing up to a stranger's house with hairy eyebrows), so I think threading is a really great deal. I've had my eyebrows done for $4-5 and that is crazy cheap, especially compared to having them waxed at a salon (at least $10) or even buying a waxing kit (around $10 maybe? and scary). I'm awful at shaping while tweezing, so I don't mind how painful it is to thread. Plus it reminds me of hanging out at my friend Caitlin's auntie's and chitchatting with her animated beautician, who is really beautiful herself, or my auntie's beautician, who told me her husband is just "thik hai" ("ok"), but that her children are really great.

This video shows one method for threading. It's different than the way I've had my eyebrows done (with the beautician holding one end of the thread in her mouth), but it does work. I don't mind the thread-in-mouth method because the whole thing is a really casual process. My friend Reeta told me that she would thread her friends' eyebrows for them while they were at university in Delhi. She learned from watching other people thread and then she just picked up a spool and tried it and figured out better types of thread to use from there and started threading her friends in her hostel (hostel is the term for a dorm in India). Sometimes I wish I were cool with rocking the unibrow like Kajol or Frida, but I'm realizing that I actually sort of enjoy having them threaded. It's comforting for me, or reassuring maybe?, knowing that women all over South Asia and the Middle East do the same thing. I really miss beautician days in Delhi.

Lykke Li - Little Bit

This song might be old but I still like both of these videos.


This one reminds me of my pals and the crummy coffee shop where I work and where my friends sometimes play music. It makes me think of fun times playing with maracas. I really like the part where she adds percussion by dancing so the instruments she's wearing strung around her neck clang together.


This one reminds me of different pals who are real good dancers and always look great. I really like the overexposure. My room last year would be sunshiney like that a lot. This year around 4 o'clock I get some nice overexposure sun if I happen to be around.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

rock 'n roll and r&b

I picked up a CD from the Listening Room of my library a few weeks ago. It is one of those compilation albums of rock 'n roll songs from the 1960s and it is so great. It is so great mostly because it introduced me to Bobby Freeman:

Not only do I love songs that promote a lot of flailing around and having fun, I LOVE songs that introduce new dance moves. Sometimes instructions within a song can go really wrong, but this is just perfect. It is a little uncomfortable watching the audience look so bored but it's actually in a funny way. Why are you just sitting there? Bobby Freeman is teaching you to do the Swim! At least the girls performing are awesome. You can tell they are thinking about how awesome they must look, being stony-faced and badass.

Some of my friends recently linked to the new Gnarls Barkley video for his single "Run." It is also great (both song and video), I think, and it really builds off of this dance show tradition.

As a longtime *N Sync fan (I'm not ashamed, I would totally be at a reunion concert), I really like the Justin Timberlake opening. Even without that, though, it is such a good video and song. There needs to be more dancing like this! Even if it is a spoof of Graffiti Rock.


I've been trying to be a vegetarian for over a year now. I've been pretty successful since last June, but I also haven't purchased many shoes since last June. I've purchased two pairs, I think, and one of those I wore out during my time in Delhi.

I've found it difficult trying to find really beautiful, well-made shoes that aren't leather. I especially like to wear shoes that fully cover my feet, because the two places I spend most of my time nowadays (Minnesota and Iowa) are both rather snowy, wet, or muddy for most of the year. Plus, since I'm looking for everyday shoes, I prefer flats. That's even trickier. I've been told I could just capitalize on the synthetics used for bargain shoes at Payless, Target, and those sorts of places, but I want things to really last, you know? This hasn't been too troubling for me yet, since I haven't had to buy shoes, but my favorite old pair of purple Campers are going to wear a hole in the heel and that means I need at least one pair of new shoes. For now I'm trying not to buy so much in general, so I'm hoping to maybe pick up some nice shoes at secondhand stores (I feel ok about reused leather) but I've had a few pairs of secondhand shoes fall apart in the past. So buying new might be better? I'm still deciding, but for now I present the fruits of my hours-long vegetarian shoe shopping search:

The Irregular Choice website was pretty crummy when I last looked at it (sometime last year), but now it is fancy and full of three seasons' worth of amazing leather shoes. They have a few, well, fairly ugly veg shoes, but also a few cute pairs.
Irregular Choice Juniper yellow canvas boot, $71.25

Irregular Choice Stripes Ahoy maryjanes, $45; Irregular Choice Lea Rama red canvas flat, $39.50; Irregular Choice Jump Around satin flat, $42

Camper Casi 20783-002 synthetic leathers wedge, $105

Camper Camaleon 18036-004 cotton and rubber shoe, Camper Camaleon 20488-004, each $90
(This is the same shoe model as the first first photo, but in a faint pink and a bright red)

Camper Peu 20775-001 grey cotton and rubber maryjanes, $75

Camper Peu 20772-005 fuschia cotton and rubber sneakers, $90

Shellys London Summer Skimmer, $29.99 and Neopolitan D'Orsay Peeptoe, $29.99

These are SO Orla Kiely inspired. I'd like to have them both.
Old Navy Canvas Ankle Strap Skimmers, $7.99 and Old Navy Canvas Ballet Flats, $12.99

Old Navy Printed Satin Flats, $15; Old Navy Canvas Skimmers, $16.50; and Old Navy Canvas Skimmers, $12.99

AE Print Espadrille Ballet Flat, $19.95 and AE Springtime Flat, $14.95