Friday, December 31, 2010

ladies is pimps, too...

it's almost 2011! let's continue with the middle to latter parts of 2010, shall we? because those were awesome.

in honor of the new year and wearing a strapless dress for the second time in my life, we have jay-z, "dirt off your shoulder."

pharcyde, "drop." this video was recorded in reverse. brilliant.

you can hate if you want, but she's so darn fun to watch. and the lyrics?! i mean, for REAL?! my co-worker's eight-year-old loves this song and really thinks she has a staff of some sort with a disco ball on the end. adorable.

and a beautiful song from my wayward youth. yo la tengo, "last days of disco."

well, shoot... one more... i may have posted this already, but it's amazing. and hopeful. and sad. and perfect for a new year. arcade fire, "wake up."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

oh, expedia... shame on you...

i am perturbed at the moment about something afoot at earlier today, i received a message saying that they were giving me a $50 credit on my account after a displeasing stay at a hotel in louisville, ky, this past february (the days inn central, to be exact). it turns out, the $50 is actually hush money because they also removed my review from the site. the first email reads, in part, "Please know that since the review you submitted was handed over to this department, it will not be posted to the site." um... why would it be removed exactly?

let's discuss this hotel, shall we? by "displeasing," i mean that we arrived at what appeared to be a prison, got to our tiny, disgusting room, and actually almost decided to eat the $75 or whatever we had spent just so we could stay at a hotel where we felt safe and didn't think our car was going to be robbed. bordering the fenced in parking lot are a highway, a liquor store, a convenience store, and a discount cigarette store. the area was sketchy, and i have stayed in some sketchy places. we tried to walk to a bar on the other side of the freeway, and we actually turned around after two blocks because we were afraid. i was with a 6'2", able-bodied man, by the way.

this was all before i realized the next evening that i also had bedbug bites all over me from the room. in short, if i were a person traveling alone, i would absolutely want to know about the safety concerns, and any sane person would want to know the hotel has bedbugs.

fast forward to today - apparently, expedia has a system for removing negative reviews from their site. when i tried to resubmit my review, it barred me from doing so since i hadn't stayed there in six months. gee, i wonder why it took them so long to get back to me on my negative review?

this is troubling, particularly in the case of a place that has bedbugs and safety concerns. after expressing this to expedia in a follow-up email, i received a "response" that basically says, "sorry you feel this way, if you need anything else let us know. glad you're a customer!" right... the $50 doesn't cover the cost of my very scary, bedbug-ridden room, and you're not even going to let me post an honest review for my trouble?!

long story short, expedia apparently buys people off instead of dealing with health and safety concerns of their featured hotels. following is my initial email back to and the response i just received from expedia's "customer service" about my concerns. remember, the review highlighted SAFETY ISSUES and BEDBUG PROBLEMS; this wasn't a "my room smelled moldy" kind of problem.

Message sent to, 12/9/10:
While I appreciate receiving a $50 credit to use in the future based on a bad hotel experience I had earlier this year, I am concerned that my review was removed from the site (Customer Case ID: E-******). People considering staying at the Days Inn Central/University in Louisville, KY, should absolutely know that we received bedbug bites while staying there, the rooms were awful, and we were afraid for our safety and our property. If I had been traveling alone, I would have turned around and left it was so bad, and I have stayed in some questionable places - as it was, even traveling with another person, we almost left because we were scared to stay there.

I have no idea why my review would be removed from the website. Again, if I were a single woman traveling alone, I would certainly want to know about safety concerns, and anyone would want to know about the bedbugs. I would appreciate it if you would put my review back online; I appreciate the $50 credit, but I don't know why that would require you to remove my review.

Expedia's non-response response:
Dear You,

Thank you for contacting Expedia about your hotel reservation.

We appreciate your thoughtful comments and we are sorry we disappointed you on this matter. We are also happy to know that you count on for your travel plans. We rely on customers like you to provide us with the information we need to continue improving our services. To this end, we will share your comments with the appropriate department. We hope you will visit us again, at

If this does not answer your question or solve your problem, feel free to reply to this message or call us at 1-800-EXPEDIA (1-800-397-3342) and reference case ID: M-******.

Thank you for choosing Expedia.
Expedia Customer Service Team

i'm guessing i won't hear anything more back. so let's recap, shall we?
moral of the story #1: never stay at days inn central in louisville, ky, unless you like bedbugs and fear.
moral of the story #2: stop using expedia or at the very least double-check user reviews of your planned hotels with an independent source, such as if you see one negative review on expedia, who knows how many more were deleted?

ETA: this is probably fairly common - i mean, corporations in general are focused on making money, not the safety of their customers. however, i've always had the perception that i could at least use user reviews as some sort of baseline. apparently, not so much. seriously, it was so bad that we snapped photos out front before we sped away as quickly as possible the next morning. i probably would have looked even more pissed here had the bedbug bites started showing up that morning:
100313. our super ghetto louisville hotel.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

christmas time is here...

i love the charlie brown christmas music. it's so spooky and kind of... sad.

in honor of all things christmas-y and wintery, i give you this amazing video (which i can't figure out how to embed): melty japanese maple leaf.

some of my favorite ornaments:
20101205. my favorite ornament: hamburger!

20101205. sushi ornament!

and the raveonettes, "christmas song."

Friday, December 3, 2010

it's you and me...

kate bush is awesome, if you didn't know: "running up that hill."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

i dig you...

i somehow forgot about this song. oh, how could i forget about this song?! boss hog, "i dig you."

also, this woman is amazing. seriously - she makes things like this:

and this!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"guess what i wear as a hat? a lentil..."

i absolutely love marcel the shell with shoes on: "we only fight when provoked."

and i can't get enough of this song lately. i'm a sucker for harmony - iron and wine and calexico, "he lays in the reins."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

snoop dogg is my life coach...

bringin' it way back: drop it like it's hot.

other things i like: my worm bin and my pioneering worm, juanita:
20101109. pioneer worm, taking the road less traveled.

accidental reflections of red bridges that make me look EEEEVIL:
2010, fall. 100 acres, the ima.

dressing in fall-camo - can you even SEE ME in this pic?! i didn't think so.
2010, fall. 100 acres, the ima.

the storytelling chair at the nc botanical gardens...
20101030. nc botanical garden.

in which i tell stories like this:

Monday, November 8, 2010

doggies that look like muppets and obama in da club...

this guy's photography is fantastic: look through all his portfolios. the muppet doggies and delicate bat wings and elephant eyelashes are really making me swoon.

also, OHMYGOODNESS: obamas in the club.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

electric blankets and israeli reggae...

i heard reggae sung in hebrew today! and you know what? i liked it.

i also like this: "sleepyhead," passion pit.

and packing tape room design is pretty cool:

other things i like: TODAY. i like today. i spent the morning at the bloomington handmade market spending way too much money and the afternoon driving around town in the cold, clear sunshine with a good, good friend, chatting away, buying toilet paper and chocolate, and generally enjoying the world. AND i now am the proud owner of an electric blanket. time for snuggles!

speaking of snuggly, i finished a new hat on a whim. i needed some instant gratification, and this was almost too instant. i started it one night, finished it the next.
101028. fall leaves slouchy fat-ass hat.

other things i like: my new worm bin. they turn my food into magical, plant-nourishing worm poop!
101024. my worms! vermicomposting bin, begun.

my healthy army of green plants:
101024. new succulents, courtesy of may's greenhouse.

metal tree leaves: did i mention we took our first big trip out to north carolina?
20101030. the nc botanical gardens. metal gingko.

life-sized chess pieces: the horse was my favorite.
20101030. the nc botanical gardens. the horsie was my fave.

plants that eat meat:
20101030. the nc botanical gardens. ah, carnivorous plants.

flowers pretending to be globes:
20101030. the nc botanical gardens.

weddings of dear girls and boys:
20101030. "i now pronounce you husband and wife."

trees with gigantic leaves: i would like to read in a hammock under this tree every day.
20101031. coker arboretum, chapel hill. my favorite plant - chinese parasol.

blooming flowers in october:
20101031. coker arboretum, chapel hill.

the west end wine bar in chapel hill and this fantastic painting, which watched over us as we sipped:
20101031. i absolutely love this painting, found at west end in chapel hill.

adventures in crockpot cooking: butternut squash and pinto bean chili! YUM.
101023. butternut squash and pinto bean chili.

tonight, creamy potato stew is on the menu for the people:
20101106. food for the peoples.

and fresh fruits and veggies are on the menu for the wormies!
20101106. food for the wormies.

and, of course, in a list of things i like, let's not forget chris:
20101031. chapel hill auditorium.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

i love all things fall...

fall means leaves! and pulling out forgotten favorite scarves! and hats! and sweaters! and mittens! jewel-toned flowers and tiny gourds!

this essay pretty much made me chortle out loud - and, yes, i do feel this way about fall (warning: lots of swearing): "IT'S DECORATIVE GOURD SEASON, M*THERF*CK*RS," by colin nissan.

101016. 100 acres at the ima.

101016. 100 acres at the ima.

101016. 100 acres at the ima.

101016. 100 acres at the ima.

fun new knitted articles of clothing!
101015. ridiculous leftover yarn top (which i kind of love).

sweater dresses! my first "real" sweater dress (i.e. wool, turtleneck).
101015. sweater dress, all done!

goofing with the work ladies!
101012. then we found the hardhats.

hotel bed jumping tests!
101008. the requisite hotel bed jumping test.

and i've been stuck on this beautiful, sad song. mirah, "archipelago."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

wishes for the universe...

oh, AND - this whole blog is amazing. here we have a commissioned piece of knitbombing - a skirt for a rocket, upon which people pin their messages to the universe: my fair isle.

simply amazing.

x-ray vision, apple picking, and crockpots!

i've been amassing "things that are awesome" lately. i think it's just because, in spite of killer allergies, fall is finally here.

first, though, take a look at the x-ray visions of one nick veasey (the bus is my favorite): do i look fat in this?

next up - apple picking at anderson orchard!
100926. anderson orchard.

we also found loads of these, which i discovered today is the pod for the american chestnut. talk about evolution! on a side note, i was trying to figure out what to google to find out what this was without getting *ahem* answers i decidedly did NOT want at work. "seed sack" didn't seem quite right.
100926. anderson orchard.

in food news, i just ordered a crockpot! and a vegetarian crockpot cookbook! and a whirley-pop popcorn popper! CAN'T WAIT! and i WANT THIS NOW:

and finally for this disjointed little entry: scout niblett and will oldham, "kiss." i love this video.

Friday, September 24, 2010

sometimes there are entire weeks that are pretty darn good...

this be one of them!

things i REALLY, REALLY like today:
- this amazing time lapse project of various locations in chicago - 5,300 pictures. beautiful! it makes my heart hurt! i love chicago.

Summer Sped Up (A Chicago Timelapse) from Josh Kalven on Vimeo.

- friends from long ago getting in touch to tell me they found TONS of new wool yarn for, like, 50 cents a piece at a thrift store, all in varying shades of green, thinking of me, then going back to buy an entire shopping cart of yarn to ship to me! seriously, it just made my day.

- an entire set of amazing origami on flickr, including things like this:
Thirteen Kawasaki Roses

Thursday, September 23, 2010

violently happy...

things are good! i may have a freelance gig, which is uber cool. i'm going to squirrel all that extra moola into a "christie fun fund." or maybe a "greece or croatia or italy or istanbul or germany or scotland or ireland fund." or a "moving on up to the east side fund."

and there are tons of other things i love, like my ridiculous cat and his lazy tongue:
100922. boombox and his tongue.

going to see shows and loving the opening band even more than the headliner. here's s. carey, who was amazing on tuesday here in sleepy bloomington.

nasa declaring last night's harvest moon "extra harvesty." see: the nasa blog.
100922. "extra harvesty" harvest moon (according to nasa).

100922. "extra harvesty" harvest moon (according to nasa).

Monday, September 20, 2010

the whole world is a song...

my song o' the day: brandi carlile's cover of bryan adams' "heaven" and its utterly bizarre video.

sponsored by MY NEW PRINCESS LEIA HEADPHONES! now i can ignore eileen (my favorite co-worker who, rest assured, i really don't want to ignore. i just like giving her a hard time).
100920. what an exciting day in the office. PRINCESS LEIA HEADPHONES!

also - i'm bustin' out the fall colors again! and SCARVES! ohmygoodness! (i'm also knitting a wool dress, but that's a story for another day). tonight, we bake apple pie - even though, ironically, it is 90 degrees today. whatever, indian summer.
100913. i like your colors.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

things i like, the recap...

i haven't done one of these in a while! things i have liked as of late: knitting ridiculous garments of clothing with leftover yarn.
100909. i am knitting a ridiculous sweater.

whales named mr. splashy pants!
100911. mr. splashy pants!

collecting wrist bands.
100911. indianapolis. post-bike get-together, at which i collected wrist bands.

grand monuments you can climb to the top of.
100911. soldiers and sailors monument. look at the little ships way up there!

finishing sweaters.
100908. printed silk cardigan.

camping with my nephew who doesn't, in fact, hate me (he was in need of a nap here... really).
100906. last morning!

washington state. i want to hike the pacific crest trail now.
100905. hike to the pct.

reflections on clear, clear water.
100906. our last morning. takhlakh lake, wa.

did i mention i think my nephew is the cutest thing on two legs?
100903. kisses for ben at mt. adams.

also... the tulip train trestle.
100828. rail walking.

20100828. shadows and bright, bright light.

also also, i don't have pictures of these things, but: seeing four moons of jupiter using binoculars. hanging out with neighbors on stoops, talking about movies. watching the international space station zoom past overhead. watching planet earth on impromptu sleeping bags on the living room floor. breakfast burritos. and cuddling.