Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oh, liebchen!

The Liebster Award in five easy steps:
1. Link to the blogger who nominated you - Thanks, Miemo! 
2. Provide answers to the eleven questions you were asked
3. List eleven facts about yourself
4. Nominate five blogs with less than 3,000 followers
5. Ask eleven new questions for your nominees to answer

Eleven vina Facts
1. I never capitalize my own name. If I do, it's all uppercase. VINA or vina. I like it when my name is all the same caps height. It's a graphic design thing.
2. I can't stand Ranch dressing. It's the stench of buttermilk. Gross.
3. There are twelve Twitter accounts (me, the restaurants, the bars, Chef Armstrong, Todd Thrasher, Chef's cookbook, Curd Nerd, and re:collective) enabled on my phone. I AM mission control.
4. Playing Freecell relaxes me.
5. Tangled wires really, really, really aggravate me.
6. I wear a lot of red, but my favorite color is blue. I could probably never be in a gang for this reason.
7. I hate what's become of Legos. Detailed diagrams, set designs...poppycock. Give me a big bin of Legos and I'm good for hours. You want a mansion? I got you, son.
8. Karaoke makes me uncomfortable.
9. I don't understand America's fascination with key lime pie. I mean, it's alright. Not my favorite.
10. I quote movies whenever I can. Shoot, there's a movie quote in #9.
11. My eyes immediately glaze over when people start talking IP addresses and coding. Horrible flashbacks of the first two years of college when I thought I was going to be in the IT world. Cisco networking and all that. My palms will start to sweat if you mention bus modules and binary codes. The horror...the horror. (Oh look, I just Apocalypse Now'd you.)

Bring it on. 

1. What is your favorite thing about blogging? This might sound self-centered—this is coming from someone with a self-portrait blog called vain vina so let's just take that with a grain of salt— but I don't particularly blog for other people. My blogs serve as an archive to my life, diaries for someone who has too much to say and not enough patience to write it all down. I like the idea of being able to remember that I didn't have time for breakfast in January of 2010 because I lingered in bed for too long (via vina) or listen to snoring pugs from my dogsitting days (vain vina). If other people are interested in my crazy life, that's awesome. I should bake you all a cake. 

2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Snooze my alarms, jot down my dreams, and check my social media like it's the morning paper. 

3. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be? I don't understand the question. 

4. What is your favorite day of the year and why? October 11, my birthday. Guaranteed cake, what's not to love?

5. Who knows you the best out of everyone in your life? Probably my sister. She gets me. 

6. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment and why? I once spent ten hours assembling an Ikea sideboard for my parents. I truly don't understand why I didn't get a medal for that. Not even a certificate of achievement? Come on, Mom and Dad. Even the kids with good attendance got a certificate of achievement. Y'all some ingrates. I apologize for those harsh words. 

7. Do you like where you currently live? Or do you hope to move somewhere else? Despite the unpredictable traffic and the cookie cutter suburbia, yeah I do. I grew up in Virginia, I love it here. That being said, I'm not opposed to moving. Charleston is one of my dream cities. Auckland would be dope, but mainly because I could have dual citizenship there. 

8. What is the craziest thing you have ever done? Iron Shannon and I once drove to Chelsea, NYC, for a Floating Lab Collective opening. Stuck in the car for close to eleven hours and in New York for three. Bullshit. We were stuck in freeway construction for over five hours on the way home with only Modest Mouse's We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank album. That's a great album and all, but not for five hours straight. No, Modest Mouse, I do not want to Fire it Up.  

9. How have you grown since January 2013? Leaps and bounds, darlings. I've learned plenty about other people and who I am as a person. That sounds ten shades of trite but it's true. I can also whip up a flyer in less than an hour but keep that under your hat, hear? 

10. You suddenly find yourself in a superhero film. What is your superhero power and superhero name? vigilante vina, OBviously. I could go around and fix bad design. Those characters are kerned too tightly! Your leading is too loose! NEVER FEAR, VINA IS HERE. Can I wear all black like a ninja slash artist? Yeahhhhhh, that's going to happen. All black catsuit with a lovely serif font with a double V logo in white. Hotness. Wait, I have to squeeze myself into a catsuit? Might need to rethink that one. 

11. What is your favorite blog to read? (You can only pick one… this one is really hard!) Shit, Sophie's Choice up in here. At the top of my head, Pink Robot Boogaloo. I don't know if that counts since she is my very good friend, but she is an excellent writer and I like the things she posts. She's vegetarian and will even post meat photos that she thinks I'll like. In fact, she made me homemade bacon/maple butter the other week. It's legit when a vegetarian tells you that she wants to make bacon butter for you. 

And 5 bloggers that I hope will answer my 11 questions…

Fàbio Lopes of Engineering Dreams
Stephanie T. of Pink Robot Boogaloo
Thomas Rossmeissl of Incogneko
Justin Raphael Roykovich of JRRoykovich
Rachel Semenov of Rachel Draws

1. How do you navigate a restaurant menu?
2. What do you like to eat on rainy days?
3. Scariest movie you've seen?
4. What would be in your post-apocalyptic pantry?
5. What is your your preferred method of murder?
6. You're going on a six hour road trip. What's going in your playlist?
7. What's your current favorite word?
8. What do you think about when you're alone in your car?
9. What kitchen utensil would you be?
10. A panda walks into a bar. What does he order?
11. If I came to your house for dinner, what would you make?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hello, Danny. Come and play with us. Come and play with us, Danny. Forever…and ever…and ever.

Behold, he hath stared into the face of madness.

Michael B: Nothing in my hospitality career has prepared me for the stone-cold lunacy of 50 geriatrics on a bus tour descending on a breakfast buffet at 6:30 AM.

Waldo Jeffers had reached his limit.

While I don't claim to be a Velvet Underground aficionado, The Gift holds a very special place in my heart. It brings me back to days in the printmaking studio, of Daniel Dean's beard and fedora, stenciled posters, and congealed acrylic inks. The Gift is one of my favorite car songs, especially on long, hot summer days. If I'm going to be stuck in traffic on 95 south, in what appears to be the ninth gate of hell, then for damn sure the neighboring cars are going to hear all about Waldo Jeffers, how he made Marsha smile, that she needed him and he wasn't there (awww). 

Ride into the sun, Lou Reed.

Coming soon to a summer near you

Photo by Liz Edwards, sometime in 2012
“You should open an ice cream shop. Sanani-Kone Soft Serve.”

Justin has the best ideas ever. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

the colors! the percussion break!

Digging this cover of Madonna's Borderline by The Flaming Lips & Stardeath and White Dwarfs. The trippy color projections remind me of when we saw The Stepkids live, aka “this would be so much better if I were high.” Only joking, of course. Could you imagine me high? Yeah, me neither. I'd probably want to cook everything. Or nap. Shoot, I always want those things. Side note, I like his orange puffy jacket. He's definitely not getting shot by a hunter wearing that jacket. You go 'head, Wayne Coyne. You stay alive in the woods with yo puffy jacket. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hmm, I haven't changed the Lemonade Lists banner in awhile. I could do that real quick.
...hour and a half later.
me: Something I'd never thought I'd say: this iceberg lettuce salad is pretty good.
Stephanie: Why, are you eating it with Ranch?
me: Man, my mind just shuddered.
Stephanie: What if that's your husband's favorite?
me: Imma go in the shower and cry whenever he has it.

True story. Ranch is disgusting.

Nathan Miller Chocolate

Damn, I love package design. Nathan Miller of Nathan Miller Chocolate stopped by the Fair with samples of his Hispaniola and Boxcar Coffee Bar chocolates and I all but ambushed him to see the logo design on the handmade (or maybe it was recycled? Don't remember, but it had a great feel.) paper. Definitely gushed about my printmaking days for a hot minute. Stole said samples and paper for fun photo times. That Boxcar Coffee chocolate is amazing. You need to find it, taste it, and love it. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I'd like to write eloquently about how much I enjoy the morning, but it is bedtime and that's just crazy. 

Hol' UP, Childish.

Listen to these two songs and tell me they aren't the same. Come on, Donald Glover. Not only are you dealing with life issues and all that, but now you're jockin' on someone's steez? Plagiarism's not a good look, buddy. Didn't you read any syllabus in college? Maybe 3005 is a deliberate imitation slash remix of Kendrick Lamar's Hol' Up, for which I apologize for not doing my research. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pick your head up and show your teeth to them, honey.

Get ready to guac and roll.

No, they're not real tattoos— 2 out of 3 of them anyway, since you can see a portion of my actual tattoo—but it's been fun seeing a random avocado when I sit down to write my daily list. My goal is to get my big tattoo sometime in the next year. It's going to hurt like a bitch. I'm so ready.

Monday, October 21, 2013

me: You got a new guitar? How much was it?
Dad: ...I can't really say since your mom is right next to me.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

She turned me into a newt!

...I got better.

Said scene starts at 16:45, but you are most welcome to watch the entire movie. In fact, I highly recommend it.

Me and Jenny was like peas and

me: Look at this carrot I bought at the farmers market. (shows her the entwined carrot)
Russian Rachel: It's so scraggly! Like a tall, thin, Frenchman. He would wear pants that are rolled so you can see his skinny ankles. Cute. 

Seems a shame to waste such pretty greens. I think I'll sauté them, they can't be THAT bitter. I've eaten mustard greens straight from the ground, I think I can handle some carrot tops. Not that Carrot Top though, he's crazy. 

The electronics of your heart, see how fast they fall apart.

I should separate out that beat (2.00) and listen to it when I run uphill. 

peaches and coffee


1. Peaches and raspberries chilling on the balcony before they became a crostata.
2. Steph drawing with coffee and a knife. Did you hear me? Coffee and a knife!
3. I was shooting them for Society Fair autumn things, but we all know I went h.a.m. on that board after.
4. The youngest Semenov sister visiting from Christopher Newport.

I can usually be bribed with food, but not not when there are ghosts involved.

Justin: You should take a spontaneous trip!
me: Drive five hours to keep you company in your haunted house? After you piss off the ghosts with a paranormal team?
Justin: We can get brunch on Sunday!

I watched three Jason Statham movies in a row today (Blitz, Safe, & Parker) so I feel like a change of pace is in order. Quill, however, looks like a crying movie and that's just not going to happen. You can't fool me with that adorable puppy, Netflix. I learned my lesson with Marley & Me, or as I like to call it, “that movie that made me cry so hard I got dehydrated.” Not to mention that it's hard to get things done (laundry, organizing, all that jazz) when subtitles are involved.  

Have I ever mentioned that I on the sneak love Jason Statham movies? The first Transporter came out on my nineteenth birthday and the man has not aged a day since. Fuckit, let's go for a fourth. Killer Elite? I hate the word elite, but ok, let's do this. 

...my life is more than food, movies, and funny things that my friends say, I promise.

There was a period of time where I was all about the guitar. Not that I don't already have a million and a half things on my plate, but I'd like this to happen again. Now ask me if I remember how. (not that I ever really did.)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

turned up the music just as loud as it could go.

I sometimes get the urge to spill my guts and dish everything that's happening in my life, but then I remember that this is not that type of blog and, for as many blogs as I have (and believe me, the number is well over twenty at this point), I don't particularly care for verbose venting of the online variety. Until that day comes, please enjoy the ever so rockin' Eddie Money and the deliciously 80s Appollonia. Hah! Purple Rain. 

and the award for text of the day goes to...

Stephanie: Man fuckit I'm gonna make myself nutella empanadas.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sir, I can see those shoes from space.

I'm almost positive he saw me taking his photo. I give no fucks.

Take your hands off my lobby boy!

Yes to Wes Anderson. Yes to The Grand Budapest Hotel. Yes to Ed Norton. Yes to the entire cast, actually. Yes to cinematography that looks like pure art. Hell yes to those Archer (why the change from Futura, Wes?) ligatures in the opening title.

Side note, I went and saw Machete Kills on my birthday (I have such great taste, don't I?). No to Machete Kills. No to Mel Gibson pulling a Doctor Doom/Man in the Iron Mask. Also, and please don't judge me, but how is Robert Rodriguez going to have Danny Trejo, Antonio Banderas, AND Alexa Vega in the same movie and not make a Spy Kids reference? Poppycock. That is clearly Gregorio and Carmen Cortez. (To quote a Mr. Holden McNeil: The Internet is a communication tool used the world over where people can come together to bitch about movies.)

What was I even talking about? Ah yes, The Grand Budapest Hotel. I am excited for this. Also, iTunes started playing Christmas music during this little post and, if we're being completely honest, I have not shut it off yet. I love Christmas music!

You like that? You like that? We went from Wes Anderson to Mavis Staples. Welcome to my brain. 

I laid down on the couch to rest my eyes for fifteen minutes. Woke up two hours later. It is now one in the morning. I could go to bed, should go to bed, but I have to complete weeding out my books to donate tomorrow. Random late night sushi craving. Do I really need this book about 70s films? Yes. Should I hold onto this book about Adobe CS3? Using CS6 now, so that's debatable. Why the hell do I own so many coffee mugs? My plans for Saturday were canceled so now I get to do nothing. I love doing nothing. There aren't enough hours in the day for all the nothings I want to accomplish. You do realize, of course, that this post serves entirely as procrastination for getting up and going through my books, right? You're so smart and I adore you. Now watch me work. 

Photo via Touch of Evil

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

vinstagram: ballin' at blackout bingo.

I won $8 in a round of Blackout Bingo in a garage at a Filipino luau. 

Do the chickens have large talons? Yep. 

Y u so sad, trailer?



And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder. One of the four beasts saying, “Come and see.”

The introduction of this song scares me so much and they (asshole genius filmmakers) are constantly using it in horror movies. I've been watching a lot of Sleepy Hollow before bed and it was in the pilot episode, right before Moloch the demon flash-lunges at the camera. 

A. I don't know if there's a proper term for what I mean. Flash lunge? The thing where it's a split second and all of a sudden they're closer than they were. Come on, that scene in The Ring where Samara comes out the television. Yes. That. 

B.  I kept typing lunch for lunge. One track mind, you know how it is. 

C. It doesn't really help my argument that this song is terrifying when the thumbnail for the Soundcloud widget is a happy-ass dandelion. Thanks for detracting from my statement entirely, Soundcloud. 

Balvenie on the Bloc

I've been angrily designing a Thanksgiving poster/flyer/all that jazz for Society Fair for the past few days, the kind of designing that has made me question whether or not I'm a good designer. I've redesigned that damn poster at least six times in the past two days. I'm over it. This TNT flyer for our upcoming scotch tasting in November, however, took me less than an hour and I like it a hundred times more than the other one. I had probably just been staring at it for too long. On another note, I switched between Bloc Party's Helicopter and Coheed & Cambria's Welcome Home for a good three hours today. Whatever gets me through creative block, man. Don't even get me started on the time I listened to Ms. Jackson all day. I am fo' real. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

when you kiss me I just gotta, kiss me I just gotta, kiss me I just gotta say

The Ramones - Baby I love you

late Monday afternoon

sounds like: whatever gets me through my design anger. The Ramones, Frank Ocean, Johnny Cash, and Lorde. Donald Glover episode of Adventure Time. Chef Larry slamming cooler doors because he's half in the weeds and frustrated. I know that feel, Chef Lar Bear. 

tastes like: Coffee and a good amount of it. Turkey, bacon, and pimento cheese on toasted batch loaf. Tomato soup. A piece of Andouille sausage. I like that spicy life. Dinner with the Baker Nathan & the Chef Margaret tonight - the food of my people! I photographed caramel apple bars, but didn't actually eat a caramel bar. Does it count if I licked cinnamon off my thumb? Sure, it totally counts. 

feels like: I've been designing this Thanksgiving poster for damn near five hours. Mind tired now. 

smells like: Falafel cooking in hot oil. I sit next to the line now. 

image via Pink Robot Boogaloo

Thursday, October 10, 2013

and I won't have my sister, who was once the Queen of the Mardi Gras, sit at a table with a pickle-shooting train!

I tried to explain Nothing But Trouble, one of my favorite movies, to someone today. It did not go well. 

“Oh! It's this great movie with John Candy, Dan Akroyd, Chevy Chase, Demi Moore, even one of the Baldwin brothers, 2PAC IS IN IT! Chevy Chase and Demi Moore go on some road trip and they end up at this crazy jail/courthouse/funhouse situation. Dan Akroyd is this super crazy-ass old judge, some druggies get chomped in this wild can-crusher thing, there are these twins, Bobo and Lil Debil. YOU JUST GOTTA WATCH IT OK!!”

I don't care if Nothing But Trouble won a bunch of awards for being the worst movie ever. I love and quote it all the time, especially that pickle-shooting train line. Ah, that gets me every time. 

Slowly but surely, STL.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Well played, Feedly.

Feedly has cute minions asking if I want to upgrade to Feedly pro.
I must be honest, Feedly. That tie was half the battle.
(I didn't upgrade to pro.)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My baby!!

My car's name is Boris (KGB license plate, naturally, but Boris as in Natasha, not Yeltsin), but I never named my bicycle. I'm thinking something ridiculous, like...Gunther von Snow Cone. Hah! That's awesome, let's go with that.

Monday, October 7, 2013

and I've worn out all the reasons to keep on knocking at your door.

The forecast WOULD call for rain my entire birthday week.
As long as it doesn't rain on Saturday, then we're good.
Side note, rain means I can hold an umbrella for my shoot for Alexandria Stylebook!
Did I tell you about that? Your girl was asked to be featured in Alexandria Stylebook's Street Style.
BOOM! Wearing dresses with pockets and cowboy boots DOES pay off!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Billows Feeding Machine

Peter Lee: What are you reading?
me: Oh, that's a dvd. It's Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times, one of my favorites.
Peter Lee: Man, even when you namedrop it's nerdy.

Side note, beef stroganoff is one of my comfort foods. I have it about twice a year — that gave me pause, why don't I make it more often? Oh wait, I know how much butter went into making it. — and it always brings me back to childhood, though I don't remember having it often. Must be a winter comfort food thing. I also wanted to caption the photo with a nice stroganoff pun, but yeah, they were all very inappropriate. 

The Billows Feeding Machine, also known as why this movie is wonderful.

hello, weekend

I would just like to say hi and that I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

(Photo taken last Sunday at the Torpedo Factory while I was gallivanting with Stephie T.)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cake hog

me: (link to autumn cake on Society Fair's eStore)
Mark Levy: I'm going to order that. and I am going to tell everyone that I am bringing it as dessert for a dinner party. but I wont. It will be all for me.

(I can't judge, I just blogged about doing unspeakable things with that buttercream.)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's my point of view

Stephanie just called so I could listen to her play Grimes' Oblivion on the keyboard.

“How long have you been working on that?,” I asked.
“Oh, I just figured it out last night,” she said.

Amazing. I'm in awe of my talented friend.

One of my BFFs is three years old. I know y'all jealous.

I actually have TWO three year old BFFs. My friend Reesa and my friend L.
Both of them dress way better than I do. It's ok, I'm not hatin'.

...maybe a little bit.

I think I got it, I think I get it, and I don't regret it.

Spirit Animal's Kingdom Phylum out today, folks! Get at it.
I just deleted over 1,000 emails. It feels wonderful.
You know what I'm doing on Saturday and Sunday? Not leaving the house, that's what.
I'm going organize, I'm going to iron, I'm going to read, and I'm going to nap.
No lie, I'm pretty damn stoked about it.
As much as I love being social, I immensely enjoy being antisocial.

Don't furlough your brow, October's here.


sounds like: Lorde's Pure Heroine album. Danced all day to them jams. Waking up with Aloe Blacc. Cold War Kids, I've Seen Enough. Born Again Floozies rockin' that Street Music. Speaking of, how accessible are they? Can we invite them to play this song in my favorite Old Town tunnel? Cookin’ up some music video ideas with the ST. 

tastes like: Homemade maple bacon butter. Life is legit when a vegetarian makes you bacon butter AND pancakes with the leftover buttermilk. I ate sweet summer cherry tomatoes while I designed a poster about autumn. Baker Bri brought me a spoonful of brown butter buttercream. I'm trying to do unspeakable things with that buttercream, y'all. It's that decadent. 

feels like: Oh hey, I turn 30 in ten days. I don't feel older in the slightest. Jacket weather is imminent, I'm not feeling it. Our government just shut down. Sucks for my government job friends, but party hearty for my service industry peeps. Every day is now a weekend. Let's do this. 

smells like: Celery bitters, bourbon, and apple. The bitters all wear little hats

Photo of the little 90¢ incense cat that I bought at the thrift store a few months back. He makes me smile.