My Latest Score: The Water Filter
I wish my score this week was the Aquazzura Powder Puff slingbacks shown above, but, alas, NO. I’ve had to cut myself off from shoe purchases after going on something of a pearl binge. (And also…these.) But, I did find a less expensive variation on the Aquazzura flat in the #Shopaholic section below!
Onto actual purchases: I haven’t owned a Brita water filter since college, when they suddenly became all the rage — it’s like we were all walking around drinking tap water for decades and, overnight, became disgusted by the thought. The fridge in our new condo in NYC does not have a built-in water filter (you can’t have it all in New York — compromises, compromises), so it’s back to water filter land for the magpies. Though Brita is sort of the Bandaid or Kleenex of the filter space (i.e., the name brand), my trusty old Sweet Home blog recommended the Pur ($28), so that’s what’s up. (Incidentally, I’ve found a lot of great home and kitchen gear from the Sweet Home, including these pillows, which feel like down but cost much less.)
You’re Sooooo Popular: Your Next Trashy Beach Read.
The most popular items on Le Blog this week:
+The next trashy beach read on my list, after I finish these. Something about its premise reminds me of The Princess Diaries, which I’ve watched at least half a dozen times over the past few months while trying, and failing, to sleep, since it’s streaming free on Netflix or HBO or Hulu or one of the other subscription services we have. Anne Hathaway has such great physical comedy in it.
+Still getting a lot of attention: this J. Crew classic. (PS the bubblegum pink is a GREAT and universally flattering color!)
+Probably the most commented on piece of baby gear I own. (I.e., it’s the best.)
#Turbothot: Experiments with Language.
When I was little and one of us would drop something random and off-topic into a conversation, my mother would say, with a funny smirk-smile: “Now what does that have to do with the price of rice in China?” I found it a fetching, knowing phrase–something an adult would say over a child’s head–and I enjoyed the melodic chime of the “price” and “rice” rhyme, too (not unlike my affinity for the sound and shape of “the mayfly hatch on the roaring fork”). I remember trotting it out in front of my grade school friends every now and again, where it was nearly universally met with confused stares.
Ugh. I’ve long had issues with a semi-wanton use of phrases I have no business using. (I mean, put some mustard on it…? Although the lovely Mackenzie wrote to tell me her family used that phrase, too, so THERE!)
But, maybe this is the *plight* of the writer? (“Plight” used facetiously, bien sur.) To try on various and sundry phrases for size? To wander in the expanse of language?
I’m reading Mary Oliver’s Upstream and one of the contentions she makes is that language is, above all, suggestion. It is possibility. She stops short of making this claim, but I’ll say it: language is hope.
Great Renaissance painters aspired to yet greater and greater heights of verisimilitude, playing around with chiaroscuro to affect light in as accurate a way possible through the medium of paint. Centuries later, abstract artists made peace with the fact that art can never be — nor should it be — a 1:1 representation of the world: all is ultimately filtered through our own consciousnesses anyway; such exertion is futile. In their credo, there is no singular “Truth” in the world around us that we can set out to fix and freeze-frame on canvas: there are many truths.
Oliver doesn’t talk about Renaissance artists or abstract artists, so I’m placing her, perhaps unfairly, in dialogue with talents with which she does not set out to contend, but I found myself thinking of both and applauding her elegance in finding a middle ground between them. For her, in the hands of a talented writer, language can aspire. It can suggest. It can propose, advocate, encourage. Language is, therefore, never forceful or untoward or crude: its operations are more delicate.
Funny, to think about the wide world of language in this courtly fashion, especially when I have envisioned it as an occasionally cruel and divisive tool.
More to muse on this topic over time, but for now, I’ll cleave* to Oliver’s more optimistic view.
*Cleave used intentionally here, to further mystify the topic at hand. Cleave bears two completely opposite definitions: a) to split or sever (something), especially along a natural line or grain, and b) to stick fast to.
#Shopaholic: The Lucite Floor Lamp.
+Guys. GUYS. THIS LAMP IS AMAZING. AND IT IS $100. AND IT IS FROM TARGET. I LOVE YOU TARGET.
+These, in the hunter green. YES.
+I like the relaxed fit and oversized buttons on this.
+How amazing are these monogrammed kiddo PJs?!?! The whole Etsy shop is full of amazing, affordable finds, like this monogrammed jon jon, which looks like something from the more spend-y The Beaufort Bonnet Company.
+These pineapple hooks are perfect — Mr. Magpie installed some brass hooks in my closet in Chicago that I hung handbags on; these will be an even more artful variation for future homes!