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so recently i took a very abridged, very free version of the myers-briggs personality test online, and found myself to be an esfp.

 

if i am to take this cheap edited internet version of psychology to heart (which obviously, as a 20-something, i must), i must accept the fact that i am a person who feels a guttural need to be amongst other humans — but just so happens to be crazy anxious and neurotic about that sort of thing. a shy extrovert, is what i am, and i do suppose part of aging is trying to reconcile what we need (people! people all the time) with the personal tools we have to work with (a very self-conscious demeanor, currently enjoying itself on a latte + a bottle of wine).

 

this is all to say, i find myself hanging out with myself on a saturday night, having a grand old time but unable to let go of the need to tell everyone about it. here we go!

let's all ignore my tiny pinky nail

i am in my third hour of npr’s tiny desk concerts. have listened to first aid kit three times so far. so have my neighbors; i must assume they love folksy swedes as much as i do.

forest frolicking

 

i have also been watching a whole bunch of netflix, obviously.

 

tv shows: united states of tara, sons of anarchy, the x files (duh), law & order svu (duhhhh)

movies: take this waltz (love hurts etc etc), the future (ok i admit it i love twee shit and will never stop), cave of forgotten dreams (oh werner).

 

later when the wine wears off i will be launching myself headfirst into wolf hall by hilary mantel; i have never read any of her work before but haven’t stopped thinking about her since reading the hugely fascinating profile published in the new yorker a little while back.

 

and so, in conclusion. i hope you all are enjoying family/friend/me time right now as well! we are looking forward to bringing festo back from the dead and hope you will stick with us as we do so. 2013! here we come.

 

[ stefanie ]

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Shift! Shift!

Some people are so witty.

[diane]

the nytimes tells us that the L is the most romantic line in all the subways in all of new york city. in true scientific fashion, this info has been gleaned by scouring craigslist missed connections. an accurate and apropos scientific inquiry and methodology.

File:Satmar community Williamsburg brooklyn new york.jpg

 

there is some sexy williamsburg romance a-brewin under those payes.

[ stefanie ]

jenny holzer is designing a line of sneakers for keds, to sponsor the whitney.

they’re very simple, subtler than most clothes with words on them, and at $70, not insanely overpriced either (kinda). this is what they look like:

 

 

sorta cute, right?

 

either way i really like jenny holzer, she’s that artist who projects words and snappy sayings on a variety of surfaces. seriously snappy.

 

(at moma)

Jenny Holzer, Selections from Inflammatory Essays (1979-82), Survival (1983-85), Living (1980-82) (English)

 

Jenny Holzer, Selection from the Survival Series: Use What is Dominant...”

 

Jenny Holzer, You Are My Own(from artnet)

 

i can’t tell if she’s less angsty or maybe just more complacent about her angst, than barbara kruger. either way, reading her words always makes me say “hm” or “ph” or some other monosyllabic but pleasant thinking sort of noise. she’s in most every museum with a contemporary-type collection. recommend.

[ stefanie ]

have just finished reading half the sky by nicholas kristof and sheryl wudunn and i cannot cannot recommend it enough. i first heard about the book while reading this fantastic article in the ny times magazine last summer, and while the article definitely gets the point across successfully the book is still absolutely worth a read.

 

the book discusses sex slavery in southeast asia, rape and murder in the name of honor in africa, unimaginably high rates of maternal mortality all across the world, fistulas, female genital cutting, and the benefits of education and microloans; since studies have shown people respond with more compassion to stories of individuals than to mind-numbing statistics, each chapter is punctuated by photos and narratives of women’s lives. best of all, the authors don’t just present the sad state of affairs in the world today and then leave you to feel shitty all day — they repeatedly describe organizations and philanthropic efforts that WORK and also introduce opportunities for the reader to GET INVOLVED and SUPPORT SUCCESSFUL EFFORTS TO CHANGE THINGS. thank goodness, because it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed when faced with an overwhelmingly shitty situation.

( at one point while i was reading the book i was telling a friend about it when he scoffed a little and asked if endlessly talking about inequalities makes them worse rather than better — the whole ‘post-race’ argument that was continuously brought up during the 2008 election, that if we would just stop talking about black or white or male or female then slowly differences would fade from our collective consciousness. i think mostly he was trying to be a dick on purpose, but just in case, i definitely do not think that not talking about it is the solution. when women are honor-raped every day, when girls are systematically prevented from educating themselves, when female sex workers are kidnapped from their families and kept prisoner by beatings and drug dependencies, the absolute worst thing we could possibly do would be to not talk about it. i think a lot of us don’t quite know the extent of how difficult and dangerous it is to be a woman outside of america/europe/developed nations in general, and learning about the scary reality is the only way to motivate oneself to take action. )

while the authors respect legislators’ efforts to solve inequities through laws, policies, and UN bodies, they repeatedly point to overwhelming evidence that the far more effective route is one that emphasizes grassroots, localized organizations founded or run by local people who understand local culture and customs. microfinance, for one example, has been shown to be hugely successful, changing entire communities through $65 loans to individual women. so, here is a very short list of some websites and organizations mentioned in the book that are worth checking out and contributing to:

kiva.org

globalgiving.org

camfed

engenderhealth

novo foundation

global fund for women

of course there are tons more avenues to examine if you, too, are impassioned and eager to help. very worth the research. now go buy the book, now.

[ stefanie ]

holy shit, these shoes are so fantastic:

am also wild about this silhouette for the summer, from ysl resort 2011:

it’s like the grown-up version of low rise pants + belly shirt (i’m not the only one who wore some variation of that outfit throughout highschool, right?), a way to show summer skin without being summer trashy, and also is much more flattering than previous incarnations of midriff-baring ensembles.

a final thought, is that i recently started volunteering at a arts program for adults with developmental disabilities, and it’s really really wonderful, and has also gotten me back into making art regularly, which i haven’t been doing in a while. the emphasis at the program is about process and mindfulness, not a finished product, and while it’s easy to remember that it’s the making and not the thing that’s important when painting with low-functioning individuals (most of their work isn’t even a little bit figurative, it’s mostly swaths of muddy color and no one really bothers to take any pieces home), the rest of us tend to be really hard on ourselves. it’s bad elementary school art teachers’ faults, really, for conditioning us to create with an end result in mind instead of making art for the feeling and the experience. so, friends, i encourage you to paint with your eyes closed, to collage with color instead of form, to sculpt with your feet, and to embrace your inner pollack. it will come out ugly but it won’t matter, the best art experience is like meditation anyway. do it do it

[ stefanie ]

we miss you don

after bingeing on seasons 1-3 of mad men online, never having to wait a day for don draper because each episode was only a click away, the last couple of months have felt long, stupid, and empty (and full of hyperbole) while waiting for season 4 to start at the end of july.

 

thank goodness tom and lorenzo are actively analyzing every female character’s wardrobe to keep me occupied until new episodes begin. their insights aren’t crazily insightful, but appropriately gushy and entertaining nonetheless. full length and detailed photos of each and every outfit abound. oh yes oh yes

 

image

(midge will always be my favorite, although this quiz tells me i’m don draper and i am certainly not inclined to argue)

obviously mad men has been lauded for attention to detail since forever, and the costumes are most definitely a part of the show’s super fabulous production design. especially how characters rewear the same outfits over and over. thank goodness my parents pay for the cable.

[ stefanie ]