Category Archives: Thumbs Up

Art & Literary Hankerings

Art, to me, is this erratic release of self-expression that I’ve always let rampantly course through my veins whenever an internal fit of inspiration insisted on tangibility. Like wild fire, the artist in me has never been predictable or tame. Writing, for me, has been a temperately crafted skill, and in my college years it became more of a labor and less a love. The substance of my intellect is made up of art and writing, and while the quantitative relation between the two has always fluctuated, I was an artist well before I ever considered myself to be a writer. Will I ever consider myself to be either, and equally?

I found an artist, Brian Dettmer, that has created the perfect metaphor and physical representation of my – sometimes conflicting and usually overlapping – passions. Check these babies out.

Photos Brian Dettmer’s work accredited to Eugene’s blog post: “The Book Surgeon.” Eugene also provides an explanation of Dettmer’s process.

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Isle of Tune

My darling boyfriend shared this music-making site with me today called Isle of Tune. If you like music and aren’t too tone-deaf, I recommend playing around with it. You make these cute little paths which you can decorate with houses, lamp posts, trees and flower patches-each have a corresponding sound effect, beat or note you can customize accordingly. Up to three cars follow along the layout you’ve created and plays each element to a steady rhythm. It’s quite impressive listening to some cover tunes people have already made. I tried my hand with the fun, online program and this is what I came up with:

“Let Go” – Imogen Heap

Some of my favorites were:

-“Bed Intruder
-Theme song for Pixar’s “Up
-“Beat It” – Michael Jackson

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Guten Tag, Theo

I can’t stop looking, staring, gawking and admiring this Berlin artist’s paintings. Theo Altenberg, my God, man. Your paintings are these fabric lookin’ dreamscapes, sort of Rorschach ink blot test-y, watery, flowing, drape-y, mind-trippy, flag waving in the wind, cleverly ruched, kind of abstract-ish dashed with a bit of still-life dissolving before my very eyes, something somewhat sand dune-ish, calculated yet spontaneous pieces of art that make me do a wiggle dance of happiness with the paint brush of my heart. These paintings look so edible and so toxic, I don’t know what to do with them. Is this the visual equivalent of a writer’s stream of consciousness? If so, then keep on talking, sir.




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Pipes Like Whoa

I’ve been into this Jessie J character, discovered her recently, and couldn’t help but bop along to her music video, “Do It Like a Dude,” as well as appreciate her punky, pants-less demeanor. I checked out her live videos and was completely blown away by the auditory power that came out of her mouth, lungs, body, heart-all of her.


Here’s the dirty version:



Here’s the acoustic:



Whether she’s dressed up in studio magic, an epileptic frenzy of video editing, or stripped down and raw, she brings it.



Quit hoggin’ all the crazy female vocalist, you hear me, Britain? Buy Jessie J, Pixie Lott, Adele, Ellie Goulding and Imogen Heap a flat in Boston so they can sing me into selfish bliss.


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Aggregative Happiness

My morning routine consisted of hitting “snooze” on my cellphone alarm until it wouldn’t allow me the option of snoozing anymore. That’s right, my cellphone was more responsible and had better things to do besides getting stuffed further under my pillow every five minutes as I ignored its frantic tones for an hour. When I finally did rise to seize adulthood, I robotically made the bed, fed the cat, prepared much-needed java and then systematically settled my bum on another plush platform, my desk chair, where internet-infused Phase V occurred. Life was oh so predictable.

October 30th, 2010, all this changed.

DealGator is a deal aggregation site that makes me leap from slumber, excited for new ventures and possibilities, and is transforming the very city where I reside into a playground! I can try new restaurants, activities, products and services I might have never known existed and at a price I’ll always appreciate. Why, just the other day I took home $40 worth of marinated steak, chicken and turkey from a new Butcher up the street. Did I mention everything only cost $20? 50%-off has never tasted so good.

I was always fond of sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, but I grew impatient of the limited flow of deals these single sites offered and the bombardment of emails I ended up deleting from multiple site sign-ups. DealGator does all the legwork for me while asking for nothing in return-it shows me current deals from every existing deal-site, and I’m actually able to filter the types of deals I want and/or don’t want to see.* And, if I choose, I can get a daily email notification and can even personalize my deal preferences in my inbox. DealGator is more expedient than stumbling across a clingy wish-granting genie with amnesia, but without the immoral implications.

*Like anything related to “sports” or “fitness” or “gym membership”. I can torture myself and sweat for free, no offense, DealGator.

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Meet Hebe

Today my boyfriend and I scooted to Mahoney’s Garden Center and picked up two pots, organic potting soil, an adorable owl carved from stone and a Hebe (hee-bee). We might have a new green addiction and it doesn’t help that Mahoney’s has an incredibly eye-catching selection of plants, pots and accessories and extremely helpful and friendly staff.

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Weak Spot

The Butcher Shop‘ in the South End has thee most delicious chocolate mousse that tastes exactly like the mousse my mother makes from scratch. From now on, if ever I miss home, you might find me at 552 Tremont Street.

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