I won a writing award from the Nevada Press Association (that’s me on the left side!), so Andrew and I hopped in my Fiat and drove down to Las Vegas for the weekend. I’ve been to Vegas a few times before but I’ve never made the drive–I drove once with a friend and her parents when I was a teenager, but I got the flu so I don’t remember the drive at all. There is very little to see on the drive except for a whole lot of desert. I love the desert and find it very beautiful and interesting (given the name of my blog). Rural Nevada is fascinating. If you’ve ever played Fallout: New Vegas, you know what it looks like. I’m not saying that to speak badly of the little towns along the way, but there are so many run down buildings and just plain odd things to see. At times it really does feel like the apocalypse swept through. It’s pretty surreal.
Somehow I missed this movie when it came out in 2004, but it came up recently when I was working on the sci-fi issue of Wildflower. I’m so glad I finally watched it. It’s one of those movies where it feels like it emerged directly from my imagination. Set in the late 1930s, it’s a fantastical adventure film about a young journalist (Gwenyth Paltrow) who pairs up with a handsome captain (Jude Law) to save the world from an evil scientists. It has robots, cool laboratories, international travel, airships, eyepatches and more–basically, everything I like is in this film. It’s pretty steampunk/dieselpunk in aesthetic. It does have a few plot holes and at times is a little silly, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it immensely.
It’s also visually stunning and incredibly stylistic! And the clothing is pretty much to die for. I especially want some aviation goggles like Jude Law.
I’ve been trying to catch up on the movies I didn’t see last year, including Drive, a film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. And holy cow, this is a fantastic movie. It reminded me a lot of the movie Brick, one of my all time favorites–it’s a bit noir, but modernized, and both films have unique protagonists who aren’t very emotional creatures, except when it comes to the women they care about. It also had some of those long, silent shots that made it more than just an action film–it was a story about consequences, too.
It’s also a beautiful looking film. The lighting is cleverly used in almost every shot, and I thought the soundtrack was a nice juxtaposition from the violence of the film.
I love these fanmade images based on the movie (click for source).
And just because Gosling’s style in the movie is so wicked, I put together a female-interpreted version inspired by the film.
I definitely need to get me some driving gloves. Are driving gloves acceptable for a VW Beetle driver?
What’d you think of the film?
Today was one of those Mondays where I just wanted to be outside hiking in the mountains or driving along the coast of California in the rain with a canteen full of hot chai… sigh. I’m actually having a pretty good day but I could really go for a nice rainstorm or something. I feel cooped up. So since I have to spend so much time staring at my computer screen, I decided to change things up on my desktop. Looking at great photos of nature often makes me feel calm, especially epic storms and grey skies. I know some people think it’s silly to have images of nature on a technological device, but as someone who is equally interested in both the outdoors and gadgetry, I find it’s a nice way to bring the two together.
I wrangled up a few of my favorite wallpapers that feature some epic stormy skies. They are all from http://www.wallbase.cc. Just click on the image to go straight to Wallbase and download the size that works for your computer. Enjoy!
That last one is just because I’ve been watching too much Top Gear. But doesn’t that look like the coolest thing ever? Driving through the stormy mountains in an Aston Martin? Yes, please!
If you end up using one of these wallpapers, take a screenshot and send it to me! I love seeing other people’s desktops and homescreens… which reminds me that I should do another Rainmeter post here soon.
P.S. After I posted this, a friend of mine sent me a link to RainyMood.com if you need a little help creating a moody, stormy atmosphere in your office or home.
The Valhalla Renaissance Faire this year, in Lake Tahoe, was great. I wish they held it more times throughout the year. The weather was beautiful, and the vendors had tons of great things to sell. One of my favorite things about Ren Faires is the attention to detail. Nearly everything is hand-crafted and well-researched, which makes for an authentic experience (until you see the Queen of England pull her iPhone out of her bosom… hilarious).
This is actually my boyfriend Andrew’s latest EDC acquisition, but he let me check it out so I could do a write-up. The Clip is essentially a multitool keychain that works as a money clip, bottle opener, earphone holder, and yes, keychain. It’s made by LittleBonsai, a new company that held a Kickstarter fundraiser for the Clip. I like that they make environmental sustainability a priority, too.
First impressions: this is a pretty sleek little keychain. I’m always amazed by great engineering–making a tiny item so versatile and useful. I also thought the packaging was simple and well-designed, which aligns with their sustainability mission.
The clip is made out of stainless steel and feels both light and durable. I’m a big fan of titanium so I would love a titanium version, but the stainless steel works well. I don’t wear jeans very often so I would probably clip it to my bag or maybe to the band of my skirts, and on LittleBonsai’s website there is a picture of someone wearing it on their pants while jogging, which is pretty clever since I hate bringing bags with me to the gym. This would also be useful while travelling, since the clip holds tight around material but not so much that it will tear through pockets (which some knife clips are known to do).
For just $15, this is a nicely designed keychain multitool and great for those who don’t like to carry a lot of things in their pockets.
I was going to make some stupid Limp Bizkit “Nookie” reference but I refrained. Anyway, I’m making progress on The Battleroom. I’ve had a few set backs, and have completely reimagined parts of it, but overall I’m pretty happy with how it’s coming along.
One of the areas I was stuck on when we moved in is this little nook in the corner of the room. It’s not quite big enough to put a desk or anything substantial, but it’s not small enough to just ignore it. Originally I had planned to build my bookshelves there, but I opted to put them in my closet instead (more on that later). Luckily, I have a smart boyfriend who suggested making it into a crafting/hacking area, which is what we did.
I had originally bought the yellow paint for the inside of the closet, but this worked out better as an accent wall. The color I chose is Valspar’s dandelion chain.
I chose a pegboard since I plan to use this area for building things, and I didn’t want to shove the tools in my filing cabinet. Plus I think they look cool.
The surface is made out of fence posts I bought at Home Depot, and also used on the bookshelves I built. I like that they look unfinished, and I also don’t mind if they get scratches or paint on them (because they most likely will).
I’ve had the filing cabinet for a while, as well as the chair, which we got as a pair at a thrift store a few years ago. They were supposed to be our kitchen table chairs but we got a new dining table and chairs last year, so now they serve miscellaneous purposes. When we got them, we painted them and reupholstered the cushion. It fits pretty perfectly in this spot.
I want to use the wall on the left for project ideas, but for now I put some Portal stickers and some pages I liked from National Geographic.
I’m pretty happy with how this area turned out. It’s nice to have another surface in my office besides my computer desk.
The “Planning my battleroom” series is now “The Battleroom.” Follow progress on my workspace here!
I present to you… the battleroom!
Okay, it doesn’t look like much now. But it’s getting there. (Also, it’s not yellow. I think I took those pictures around midnight yesterday.)
The first thing I needed to do before I did anything else to this room was get the accent wall painted. If you remember the pictures I posted for inspiration, nearly all of them had a grey wall, and I’ve been hooked on that idea ever since.
I picked Dark Mink for my wall color, since it felt more on the warmer side than some of the other greys I browsed.
These pictures really don’t do it justice, but it really looks great.
Phase 1: Complete!
Holes is, without a doubt, my favorite movie of all time. It was one of my favorite books as a kid, and when the movie came out in theatres several years ago (okay, almost a decade ago), I saw it on opening day and fell head over heels in love with it. It then became the movie I used to watch all the time with my little brother (seven years younger than I, who just turned 16) when I lived at home. We still consider it “our movie” and can recite almost the entire thing. I’ve probably watched it more than 100 times… and that is not an exaggeration.
As I was working on Electric Desert the other day, I was thinking a lot about Holes because the setting of the story is very important. My favorite books are ones where the environment is just as important of a character as the people. And I’m just a sucker for good adventure stories. This movie is like a western, a romance, and a bildungsroman all in one.