Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
nothing like swedish bunnies, robots, and a limerick to start the day!
[j'aime diesel sweeties]
despite the fact that i find nothing more comforting than a soft pillow under my cheek, i sometimes wish that sleep didnt exist. too much stuff i need and want to do, and yet the sun persists to rise and fall to the diurnal cycles. i am wide-eyed awake and can probably work for a good few hours, but i know full well that taking bites off the sleep cycle is *not* the best thing to do when, oh, one's graduate thesis is on the line. [all-nighters aren't what they used to be.]
so yes, tomorrow and its corresponding joy + sorrow awaits with biting anticipation. but some news before i snooze...
i designed these personal business cards (with matching website, and knowing me, probably a handbag down the line) and received the box from the printers last week. i had the most challenging yet exhilarating time trying to come up with my title. i am very happy with them, though i might go with a local offset printer for the next batch. i think creative cognoscente fits me really well... if you'd like me to elaborate, please feel free to contact me!
more career gearing-uppage... i've joined the legions of socially networked professionals at linked in. you may check out my (ever-updating) profile on the sidebar, and can also click that big blue button above. the site actually seems pretty helpful, kind of like an industry goldmine (fleck fleck), recruiting cocktail party, and traces of friendster all in one. no flirting though; that little fact i could safely discern. :)
new sans serif for tonight; listen your tender pink brains out. the theme is remixes in the front, party in the back. in essence, don't get too comfy with your oh-so-adorable postal service, when cut chemist is right around the corner to knock some turntabling sense into you. tussled hair is in, anyway.
enjoy, rinse, repeat, and sleep.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
simultaneous blogging and watching the miss universe pagaent! don't be hatin'... it's only because of the *intense* project runway tie-ins... nick verreos (season 2) designs a gown for nancy o'dell, host; santino rice (season 2) is one of the judges; and kayne gillaspie (season 3) designs the evening gown for miss usa! project runway fevah, for sure...
now, as the swimsuit competition commences....
on friday night, i somehow managed to wheedle nick into joining me for a tango lesson + milonga on campus. ;) orkan and arzu are already tango enthusiasts, and invited us to join. now, i have always been a tango freak in spirit, and i took a year or so of classes and workshops back in college with my friend, carlos. we would practice on the sidewalks of harvard square, tango in the entryways in front of amused onlookers in our dorm. i love love love tango music, and desperately hope to travel to buenos aires one day!
CARSON KRESSLEY is hilarious!
the snap + turn!
i kind of miss him, ever since queer eye completely nosedived...
that night both of us were learning as if from square one; and it's amazing how easy it sounds to just walk in step with a partner, but it truly is harder than it looks. the dj at the milonga was a little wacked out, interspersing old-skool tango music with like, bhangra or disco interludes, but perhaps that's just the typical type of intercessions at these things. who knows? i had lotsa fun (thank you to both nick and orkan for the gracious dances!), and hopefully when i finally have some spare time, i can take some additional lessons and get back into the scene!
wait a second... miss puerto rico's officially listed interests include: weightlifting, watching reality tv, and yoga.
she may be pretty, but i think that says enough on its own...
last night, we went to two small get-togethers, one at a friend's in davis square, and then afterwards a birthday bash-ette for nick's roommate at zuzu in central square, cambridge.
zuzu is a lovely place for dinner, great drinks. they offer middle-eastern mezes, and the kebabs are delish. however, i've never been there for a nightscene, and it is altogether mindblastingly LOUD. plus, the dj was playing the dorkiest music ever (60s? oldies? ironic nostalgia?) in the name of coolness, and hipsters and their bad haircuts were cavorting in their vintage boots and striped H+M. anyway, i dont mind the indie crowd (they're cute! aww...) but it was so loud you could only hear the person directly next to you, and with screaming at the top of your lungs.
that said, i stepped outside often to take a break from the roar. am i getting old already?
do those girls have those sashes surgically attached to them, or what? they always have them on!
so, i've been rewarding myself for completed sections + chapters... by shopping! i have a fondness for shoes, cosmetics, and lately, earrings. i've never really got up to getting my ears pierced, and so i still have intact lobes. therefore, i can't really wear most styles because of the piercing issue. i'm a little miffed on filene's closing downtown because they had the best clip-on section (the 'monet' brand, which already is a little matronly sometimes), and the macy's selection is completely laughable.
wow, i LOVE miss japan's evening gown dress!!!!!!!!!!
she looks amazing! it's very very modern!
what i'm doing now is converting dangle-type hook styles into non-pierced versions through clip-on converters. i purchased some pairs, very reasonably priced, from colorfiesta on etsy. there's this place downtown called 'so good' (yay teenage girl squad!) that's just out-right plastered with accessories of all kinds covering every last square inch of a two-story roomy retail store. it's claire's, all done grown-up. it just *exudes* estrogen. in any case, here are the takeaways...
the first pair are a cool, basic but intricate, set. i love the flowers, they're almost like plum blossoms, with slightly dark purplish beads at the center. kind of handcrafted look and off-bent.
the second are kinda fun, and i *love* the aqua color. it's sort of matte and pure, like milky sea glass. although they're big, they're very light and airy looking.
and the last have so much movement! they are coloured like tortoiseshell, are semi-translucent, and the colours swirl in an organic variegation.
yay! i'm very excited, and also waiting on two custom orders from etsy from greentangerine. i can't wait to report on them, they're superb!
wow, kayne's dress looks amazing, and no major edits at all!
however, tara conner looked a little uncomfortable... nerves? hard to walk? constipated?
still love the design, though! comfort is overrated, anyway...
so one last thing. i'm terrified at the condition of my skin. it's just gotten worse and worse, and i am breaking out constantly. i dont know if it's stress related or what, but i want to see a doctor about it. i think i'll schedule an appointment at MIT, but i'm also considering seeing a licensed esthestician at a clinic downtown or something. my yarn pal, catmum, actually works as a medispa RN! i'm very grateful for her tips and advice, especially in this realm of questionable medical ethics when high promises and high costs are tossed around. i've ever so curious about the obagi skincare system, which is only prescribed by a physician. i mean, looky! i am most closely aligned with the case of the gal at the bottom.
right now i'm trying out l'oreal acne response acne system, a salicylic acid / glycolic acid sort of chem peel at home. we'll see how it goes, but patience is not one of my immediate virtues!
if anyone has any suggestions, or experience with skincare professionals in the boston area, please let me know! it would be lovely to not worry about all this, especially when the woes of adolescence should be long forgotten...
I'M ROOTING FOR MISS JAPAN! she's amazing! she answered her warm-up question in french *and* english. she studies french cinematography and flamenco dancing. she's the most 'real' and down-to-earth of the finalists (that's relative, sure, but at least she's not trying to pull off the collagen lip injections like some of them) and seems actually intelligent.
plus, her dress completely rocks. that settles it. :)
Friday, July 21, 2006
writing this thesis is killing me!
but anyways, as proof that i'm still alive, mostly in pictures:
1. artbeat at davis square last saturday!
weather was good and hooootttttttt, lots of fun vendors and stunts and events, and a 'pure junk' outdoors exhibits including some awesome pastiche clothing and metal robot sculptures by skunk, not to mention an enormous rug crocheted out of plastic bag strips and singleton shoe planters by miss bess paupeck. with all the craftsters, i wanted to buy everything and support it all! however, i and my pathetic wallet just left with a small toys to sew booklet by sewingstars teresa levy. her stuff always makes me swoon with cuteness!
then off to...
2. liusters in town saturday afternoon!
there's my mom, sister grace, and the twin tykes hunter and sofia. nick, good sport as always, joined our clan. what's amazingly about being in such a gaggle is that at any given moment, someone (including the adults) is either hungry, thirsty, tired, or has to go to the bathroom. it's unreal!
we went on the swan boats in boston public gardens, and then played on the ducklings between other tourist's kids' photo ops. there was a dunkin' donuts episode (my sis declared boston 'dunkin' donut land') where i learned that hunter's absolute favourite kind is pink with sprinkles. got it. sofia happily snarfed not one, but two, chocolate glazed donuts. atta girl!
i was pleased that the kids liked my small gifts to them (much much more than the knitted christmas gifts, i can safely say). sofia adored the hello kitty 'schoolgirl' plush, and we'll have to see if the hunter's comic book will instantly put him on the path to be comic book guy.
3. i got a haircut!
on one of the hottest days of the week, done at my usual digs, le gala hair group in chinatown. i've been going here for years, after realising it's the best.
i recommend this place to *everyone* (of all ethnicities, trust me) because:
- it's very modern and cozy, with an italian/asian sleekness, and flat-screen LCD screens *everywhere* (at every styling chair, at the shampoo sinks, by the waiting area) showing the very sparkly and bizarre footage from chinese pop concerts.
- during the shampooing, they give you a 5-10 minute head massage. i mean, not only the massage/lathering of the normal sort, but honest-to-goodness fingertips in your scalp, your hairline, your neck. it's surprisingly intense, and somehow manages to be simultaneously relaxing and invigorating. this is my *favourite* part of the whole deal.
- they offer any beverage (water, soda, tea, coffee) once you sit in the chair. small favor, but so hospitable!
- a pretty thorough haircut. scissors, razors, blades, all sorts of tools here and there. i feel like the work is very detailed.
- a *second* shampoo to make sure all the loose hairs are outta there!
- secondary finalising cuttings, and then blowdry and serious styling with product.
- it's obscenely cheap. $30! in boston! with all the perks!
i recommend stylists jimmy (the owner) and sam (broody-but-tender from hong kong). i mentioned as i was leaving that 'haircuts here are the best deal in boston!' jimmy let me in on some insider scoop that 23 years ago he was working on newbury street and did haircuts for $30. whoa. (and now they're all like $100+). also, most of the super hip asian people go to hot gossip, which hosts a number of too-cool-for-you sleek japanese stylists with prices to match, but apparently michael (owner of hot gossip) used to work for jimmy! whoa.
so, what i'm saying, is that le gala is the best deal in boston, ever. with scalp massages. and tea!!!
i am the best evangelist for this place. if you go, tell them i sent you!
4. when things at smg get too quiet...
we just try on each other's glasses. we're just so creative.
Friday, July 14, 2006
it.is. so. HOT.
i'm sitting in my apartment, dazed, sighing into my window fan as my laptop gets ready to fry an egg. even with the sky cloaked in blackness, it is just absolutely *roasting*. it started innocuously this weekend as grey humidity, and then accelerated into full-blown knock-socks-off heat-wave. i dont even want to think about socks. or fur. or fabric. or pretty much anything that involves energy. getting up and dressed to go takes eons of lugubrious effort. i've survived summers in boston with only fans and the errant cross-breeze, but it's not a pretty kind of survival. last summer i was spoiled with central cooling at that asylum-esque on-campus apartment. that was its only redemption. but now i am suffering. my computer literally whimpers as it blows hot air into hot pillow into hot legs into HOT.
a/c a/c a/c a/c a/c a/c. soon. so soon.
* * * * * *
new sans serif from tonight. i'm happy to report the mix is one of my better shows! the first set is a bit dancefloor to loosen one up, and the second set glistens with iciclic minimalism and glitchy gloss. even the studio at the radio station suffers from faulty air; stuffy. i need all the help i can get to cool down, so this mix is a chiller. just grab a glass and go. pink paper umbrella optional.
postscript: i'm so excited about the new plaid and kammerflimmer kollektief and venetian snares releases. they deserve a good listen + a posted review soon. [psst.. you can hear tracks from these releases on tonight's radio show...]
* * * * * *
re the last bloggy week: i may be silent, but i am not absent!
lots o' stuff going on. thesis continues to loom (until august 11 -- can i get a collective whoop + holler when that day comes?). i'm cranking hard on the get-a-job mission. my mom and sis and wee cute kids came to town this weekend. last week has been subsumed with other projects: the new chitchatclub website which i designed (and should be live soon), and two days spent at a simplicity event at the lab. reviews of yummy times at atasca, tapeo, and red bones are pending.
* * * * * *
on to sleep, to escape this heat. believe me, what this city needs is a nice long siesta...
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
you can feel it.
THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM.
IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH...PREPARE IMMEDIATELY FOR DAMAGING WINDS
...DESTRUCTIVE HAIL... AND DEADLY CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING.
PEOPLE OUTSIDE SHOULD MOVE TO A SHELTER... PREFERABLY INSIDE A STRONG
BUILDING BUT AWAY FROM WINDOWS.
can i even visualise the glass in my office shatter from destructive hail? i'm tempted to go over and stick my nose against the window against all warnings.
Monday, July 10, 2006
news: cmliu.com got a makeover. [finagling bits of chartreuse always provides a great deal of amusement.] nothing too elaborate, but i felt like i needed a bit of a dramatic electronic entrance. an anchor-tag-peppered anteroom of sorts? please let me know what you think. perhaps my witty-self-talk echos inanely when not read or written at two o'clock in the morning.
sadly, my review of the psapp / juana molina / jose gonzalez show has to be postponed yet again. for a rainy day, perhaps. i wish to write it with reasonable extensiveness... all i can dispense is that it was fantastic! it gave me renewed faith that live performance by real flesh-and-blood musicians are not yet dead.
Friday, July 07, 2006
so the lovely 1950's style sewing pattern (the belted shirtdress with the unmistakable collar on the left) calls for approximately four yards of fabric. ladies and gentlemen, here are the finalists:
chrysanthemum garden - pink
fiona - cinnamon/turquoise
lotus leaf - red
paperweight - lime
sock monkey dots - lime
wallpaper flower - pink
i am intentionally staying away from stripes or anything tricky to sew up (like the cute but unfortunate jersey mini giraffes and satin poly kimura kuties). i'd need to improve my skillz a bit for that. i'm also planning to shorten the hem to make the skirt fall around knee-length, midi a-line. i want a fun fabric, but nothing that will make it overkill with the obviously vintage silhouette. if you have another suggestion, please let me know.
any thoughts? other than i like green and pink a whole lot? ^_^
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
blerg. i am having serious issues with my domain management. apologies for those attempting www.cmliu.com versus cmliu.com, it is bizarrely routing to an 'ok' page. i swear i know what i'm doing with domain dealings! i sent an email to joker to see what's up. i've never seen anything like this, and googling 'ok joker source domain' does no good.
in other news, last night we were treated to a front-row seat to the fireworks thanks to the river-facing apartment and balcony of dbdbking and his roomies.
there were hours of thai karaoke:
a gorgeously laid skyline:
lots of super asian food (the homemade curry was aMAZing):
and lots of trendy eyeglasses:
james + me + francis + nick geek it up in celebration.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
happy 4th. one of the best perks of living in cambridge is the fireworks tonight! :)
enjoy a sultry tuesday holiday with the playlist from last night's red-hot sans serif show. crank up the speakers that are wired to your iWhatever, climb into a hammock (no falling!) and wait for the corn to get off the grill, all a-butter.
listen here. teaser: there's a thievery corporation track with sarah mclachlan! without her i would have never survived my highschool days. whee. actually, i would get her bloom remix album in a heartbeat, except... wait, what's this? sony/bmg content copy protection? ugh; ruinous.
well, chin up. good music and art still persist. and there is some relative freedom in the world. but if anything, it's a day to push forward for freedoms that are yet to be defined and protected, for us and everyone.
Monday, July 03, 2006
a hodgepodge purge of the system...
and i'll let the photos do most of the talking...
discovered in a lonely aisle at pearl paint in central square. can you believe this stuff is still around?
$0.59 for a 3-pack (all identical, but 3! not 1, but 3!) of cake ideas. plus, a bunny on the front. he looks nonplussed to be baked and magic molded.
my personal favourite is the spaceship. or the fish.
pattern: snake scarf
yarn: jade sapphire KEJA cashmere in hot lime (from one skein pal)
needles: size 3 inox dpn
the zen of the washcloth.
pattern: ball-band dishcloth in mdk
yarn: lily sugar n cream (in stash since krsp3, can you believe it?)
needles: size 8 bamboo
mods: 12 green stripes instead of 13 (it's square enough)
texture: soft and spongey! this is post-machine-wash.
the pink + yellow version is coming along, thanks to the gracious delays of the mbta. i think i should plaster their headquarters with scores and scores of T-enabled dishcloths. by the way, thanks for your negligence leaving me behind at davis square, and profusely 'apologizing' for a needlessly long delay due to 'medical emergency' last night when i had one last nerve fraying at the seams and an empty stomach furious enough to engulf the sea. so anyway, yes. a plastering, a zen plastering.
shopperificism, part deux.
i'm usually a black-shoes-only kind of person. it goes with everything, especially my hair (silly but foolproof), and doesn't easily show wear or stains. i mostly wear basic hues and blacks, but i've started to acquire some more brown pieces in my summer wardrobe that begged for some better-matching shoes. a needless worry, but the whole trying to match black-with-brown thing sometimes makes me all out of sorts. you know what i mean... would you wear a brown dress with black shoes? doesn't that make you squirm? don't you just want to go and do something, like slap on a black cardigan, or trade the whole mess for something else entirely? either i'm crazy or you're too shy to admit it bothers you too. :)
anyway, i've been hankering for a pair of brown sandals ever since it's gotten warmer, and so saturday afternoon i skedaddled to thom brown on newbury (there's also one in the cambridgeside galleria, which is convenient to mit, just in case), and tried to keep an optimistic view of the world while i tried on endless pairs of shoes that did not fit my poor hot soles. it's really difficult to keep going when it's blazing out, your feet get squished in the most wrong ways, and there are dozens of jangly gum-smackin' lamé-wearing women all around. after lots of frustrating moments with impossibly-constricting straps and pancake-thin lasts, not to mention lots of sizes out of stock, i did manage to bring home with me a couple friends...
they're low-heeled leather peep-toe sling-backs by enigma. i have no idea at all about this brand, other than it seems it's an offshoot from luichiny shoes. i love the style so much, since i find most summer footwear ghastily tacky, a repetitive flip-flop, or boast 4" heels which proof unwalkable on the streets of cambridge. or, of course, they're out of my price range. these cute things are both playful and yet a bit ladylike. i absolutely love the stitched motif along the toe.
although i do find them a smidge narrow, i hope the leather will stretch out a bit. i'm still good for a full return of unworn merchandise within 7 days. there's also the heel strap thing that's kind of flappy, but i think that's just the mechanics of the shoe to get used to. otherwise, they're great! i asked the girl who rang me up which brands they carry generally run the widest. she confessed that she too has trouble getting into narrower brands (like luichiny and chinese laundry), but she suggested seychelles, naughty monkey, and sugar. yay, some guidance! i have to confess i tried on the seychelles habit forming in next-door jasmine sola, and not only did the size 8 medium (that is a size smaller than i usually wear!) fit perfectly, but i completely fell for them. so comfy (there's serious padding in those soles) and dolled with a gorgeous vintage finish. mmm yummy. even though it was payday i couldn't justify two new newbury-worthy shoes in a day! ;)
saturday was shopperific!
(this is like part 1.)
remember that yard sale i was raving about? i used up all of $5, and here's evidence of my bounty (not to mention some mod kresge-esque candlestick holders and an offprint from the v+a circa 1970)...
better homes and gardens creative ideas presents... needlework + craft ideas magazine! from 1979. this wondrous issue includes everything from stitched dollhouses, to 'quick-knit' sweaters in bulky yarn, to a whole sewn pillow set starring henry the 8th and all of his respective wives. (oh yes they did!) btw, i thought the colourful styling of this lionbrand pattern set looked amusingly familiar...
family circle magazine! from 1967. cover's cheery and yellow... and aren't we in the thick of birdiness these days? here are some sample spreads, but there are also included recipe cards (!) and those classic comic-strip-type ads in the back pages. the mod brit look sends me swooning every time... vive la mary quant!
lady's circle magazine! from 1970. is this title out of circulation these days? it's like the lovechild of ladies home journal and family circle. there's everything from cooking tips to make-your-own-fashions, such as the crochet lovelies above. i will be indebted to the first person willing to make that ridiculously textured tunic thingy.
i couldn't pass these up. they seem to be a set of tips and recipes that one would 'send away for', probably with a couple UPCs cut from jell-o boxes and a SASE. the cards are sturdy and handily numbered, for at-fingertip speed for endless gelatin-related ensembles and delectable ombre-hued drawings of gender-normative families. some of the baking recipes seem quite tasty, with traditional ingredients and homemade honesty. i'll have to make the chocolate brownies (only with swan's cake flour!) soon and report back. take that, buttercup bake shop.
whoever was selling this stuff (a middle-to-upper-aged man) probably was unleashing the stash of a very crafty person, perhaps a mother or an aunt. oh, oh, save the best for the last!
check.it.out. vogue patterns from 1954. they're immaculate. they're unused. they're outrageously authentic.
the packaging's falling apart a bit, but the tissue inside is in mint condition, and there's even a pamphlet tucked away in there to send off for a subscription to vogue patterns! i love how the price of the pattern is 60 cents, in canada 65 cents. i'm like between this vintage size 14 and 20, but i think with a bit of finagling sticheroo it can be tailored accordingly.
i'm already scoping out fabrics on reprodepot. look forward to a voting spree. :)