Thursday, December 29, 2005

Lipstick & Magazines #41: Observe

As the new year starts, entertain your inner voyeur:

As NYC social columnist Jeannette Walls is being driven to a swanky function, she spys her homeless mother dumpster diving. Curiosity piqued? Walls' memoir of growing up as a terribly functional and level-headed child with terribly dysfunctional fantasy-land parents, The Glass Castle is riveting family reading. Or reading about a family, rather. Highly recommended.

Postsecret is an online community art project, featuring homemade postcards with the oft-unspoken secrets. Apparantly the exhibition will end soon (a new book is out) so take a look while you can.

If you can get yourself in the mood to see a really powerful, albeit incredibly depressing film, seek out Down to the Bone, which has recently been playing at SF's Roxie Theater. An incredible performance by Vera Farmiga as a young mother trying to kick a coke habit in gray upstate New York.

Found Magazine - at your local good mag stand.

I'm often compelled to buy books just for the inscriptions inside - how could they have gotten rid of this, you say? Similar instinct to finding old photo albums in thrift stores. Dedicated to the One I Love posts some found inscriptions, with commentary.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Lipstick & Magazines #40: December

Sweet offerings: Food bloggers are offering up the goods for A Menu for Hope. For a $5 donation to support the Kashmir earthquake victims, you can bid on a pretty stellar line-up of goodies (from "meet your fave food blogger for ice cream"-style opportunities to food baskets to food photography lessons.) Ends on December 23 so get your bids in if you see something you like!

Cute Overload: No explanation needed really. (thanks Katey!)

Appliances that make things cute: Sandwiches with a Hello Kitty face or toast with a "Pop Art" symbol.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Lipstick & Magazines #39: Lists

As the year comes to a close, everyone seems to like to pull out their pencils and start making lists, lists of goals for next year, lists of books to read or re-read, lists of presents to buy, treats to bake, etc. Lists, lists, lists. If you're tired of writing your own, here are some lists of eclectic origin to inspire you:

A list of the 50 Greatest Independent Films, by British film magazine Empire.

Post-cookie gorge, check out this list of truly good-for-you recipes from The World's Healthiest Foods website. Use the recipe assistant to make sure you're getting all those nutrients lacking in the cookies.

A most excellent list from Chowhound of food-related books. Less cookbooks, more great regional cuisine titles, food reference guides, etc.

No, books aren't a prescription for solving social ills, but if you would like to form a themed book group with a "social conscience," as Arthur I. Blaustein describes in his piece "The Reading Cure," you will appreciate both the commentary and annotated list of books to start with here, from Mother Jones.

A bibliography (very fancy list) of crime fiction set in the Bay Area, thanks to UC Berkeley librarian Randal Brandt.

Not quite a list, but a clump of KCRW podcasts. I'm addicted to "Good Food," and "The Business" (entertainment, that is) has been highly recommended to me.

And finally, a refreshing "Not-To-Do" list from 52 Projects, an inspiring site dedicated to "project ideas, projects to create, projects to check out, and projects to participate in. DIY projects, homemade projects, writing projects, photo projects, projects, projects, projects... And more projects.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Lipstick & Magazines #38: Warm

Time to snuggle up. Sustain yourself with:

An Elizabeth Noble novel. Noble writes witty, warm, satisfying, chunky British novels about women's friendships. So far she's come out with The Reading Group (available) and The Friendship Test (out in January) and I loved them both.

The first season of Project Runway, recently release on DVD. If you didn't catch this on Bravo, you will have the joy of watching it basically straight through, as Josh and I did. The "characters" on this reality fashion design show are fabulous and some of the competitions are truly challenging. And lots of cat-fights!

A stunningly pretty rib-knit cashmere throw from Garnet Hill in buttercup or apple green. (No, haven't bought myself one of these yet...will when I can!).

Friday, December 02, 2005

Lipstick & Magazines #37: Easier

Save some time, keep it simple. Try these tools to make life a little bit less complicated.

It's lovely to be able to do banking and bill-paying online, but you still have to call annoying run-around phone systems every once in awhile. Software entrepreneur Paul English has put together the IVR Cheat Sheet so that you can immediately type in the right code to bypass the automated lady and the elevator music and get directly to a human being. Thanks Paul!

If you take full advantage of the fabulous joys of your local library(s), you may occasionally owe late fees, have books on hold so long that they are taken off hold, or experience other annoyances that detract from your experience. Library Elf lets you keep track of your borrowings, your due dates, and your holds on one page. You can also sign up for email or RSS updates related to upcoming dues dates etc. Pretty neat, if you're the kind of person who can benefit from this. Save those fines!

Search multiple sites and find the top-rated recipes with recipe search engine FoodieView. Nice selection of categories, including celebrity chefs, single ingredients, and holidays.