holiday funz

Mike and I had our own gift exchange time on the evening of the 23rd (back when we thought we would be gone all weekend). I love picking out and giving presents to people! It was fun to see what he got me too. Then we topped off the evening with a viewing of the How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Good Christmas times all around!

sofia so lovely

There is something very femininely dreamy and melancholy about all of Sofia Coppola's movies; watching them is like looking at an old blurry polaroid picture or a holding up a sheer piece of fabric in front of a window framing the late afternoon sun.

She is the director responsible for such films as Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette, and The Virgin Suicides. They are the kind of movies where there is so much more going on with each character than what's spoken in dialogue. The women are always mysterious- the way they are in real life.

"You're not old enough to understand how bad life gets."
"Obviously, doctor, you've never been a thirteen-year-old girl."

"Let's never come here again because it will never be as much fun."

"Letting everyone down would be my greatest unhappiness."

chicken fingers n clooney Christmas

Update on my last post: Mike and I didn't make it out to his fam's place due to bad Michigany weather! Boo! So we found ourselves with nothing to do on Christmas day. We had planned it so we didn't have food left (so it wouldn't go bad while we were gone...isn't it ironic don't ya think)... so then we were stuck with no plans and no food. We decided to hit up the only places open for miles- Denny's and the movie theatre!

We wanted to see a movie that was light, dark, hilarious, tragic, bouncy, brainy, romantic, and real. Guess we picked the right one.

A few friends joined us for our Christmas celebration.

We were sooo hungryyyy. This was amazingggg.

Meanwhile me and Nicky Twisp hung out...

...and then Mike handcuffed himself to Gerard Butler. Twas a crazy Christmas!

glory toooo the newborn kinggg

By the time you read this, Mike and I will be on the road out to the west side of the state to celebrate Christmas day with his family. My family has done the Christmas Eve celebration thing for years now. I love the way the lights stand out at night, and it just feels more magical and Christmasy in the evening.

So, for our Eve get-together, I made my annual holiday pot roast, and we exchanged gifts of course. I decided to try out a new project too. My dad suggested some original art as a gift idea, so I wanted to make something that was representative of all the outdoorsy things he and my mom do together. I came up with this:

I got a wooden plaque from Michael's and layered black and bronze spray paint. Then I mod podged this map on it that I got from the lovely Circle K. And then I just printed out some images of them from various trips on heavyweight paper. I used some metallic straight pins to attach them, and there ya go.

I hope everyone who reads this is enjoying a lovely Merry Christmas!

my Christmas mix tape

I wish you all a very merry indie Christmas! By now you may be thinkin 'tis the season for hearing the same versions of traditional holiday songs over and over again... Well, yabba dabba doo, Karen to the rescue! Here, upon request, is the track listing of my Christmas mix tape for you. Consider it an early gift. Download these songs to save you from repetitive background music torture. You get the beauty of traditional songs + a new take on them that you may not have heard before. So get on iTunes and get downloading!

Carol of the Bells - The Bird and the Bee
Christmas Time Is Here- Au Revoir Simone
Do You Hear What I Hear - Copeland
Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming - Feist
The First Noel - Weezer
We Wish You A Merry Christmas - Weezer
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Bright Eyes
I Saw Three Ships - Sufjan Stevens
Joy To The World - Sufjan Stevens
Kings 'N' Things - The Recital
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear - Sixpence None The Richer
O Come O Come Emmanuel - Belle & Sebastian
Silent Night - Priscilla Ahn
What Child Is This? - Kevin Max
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Coldplay
Winter Song - Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Death Cab For Cutie
Alan Parsons In A Winter Wonderland - Grandaddy
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) - Catherine Feeny

Here is my second gift to you... The opening credits for the best Christmas video ever. In 2006 my roommates and I (plus one-year-old Zooey) lived in an apartment we affectionately referred to as the Beach House. And it features one of the songs on my Christmas mixtape!

toasty warm

In the cold months of winter, my little spoiled kitty has it made hanging out right next to the heating vent at the top of the stairs. You can find her here most of the day, soft fur blowing in the warm air.

right on target

So apparently lil ol' Target has become quite the fashionista playground. All these high profile designers have been coming out with inexpensive collections exclusively sold at Target. I checked out some of the dresses from the Anna Sui for Target collection, only to find out that they only look good if you are a size 0 with no, shall we say, womanliness to your body.

ANYway, I got excited again when I heard about the upcoming Rodarte for Target collection because from the looks of it, it was much more up my alley... I just about died when I saw that amazing rib cage dress. I swear, my fantasy involves half of the time grunging out in skinny jeans (grey plz) and flannels on tour with my band and the other half twirling on ballroom dance floors at formal events where I get to wear mini poofy and/or lacy dresses with tights and gobs of jewelry. Heaven!

Sadly they didn't have the rib cage dress there (where would I have worn that anyway?), so I tried on a few other Rodarte pieces and absolutely fell in LOVE with this little baby blue dress. I have decided that it must be featured in the next photo shoot. So now to complete the concept I just have to wait for blankets of snow and a good hair day!

PS: I also got a totes adorable bathing suit top (ruffles + flowers + cherries + bows!)- I know it's December but it was the cutest thing I've ever seen and I had a gift card anyway! Six months or so isn't that long to wait...

ol' floppy limbs

Dude, this cat just kills me. One second she's all aloof, but then she has those moments of total snuggliness where she just melts into your arms... and just lets it all hang out.

Doesn't she seem like such a person in that last one? There's something going on in that mind of hers...

metric really is better

Did you know that the U.S is one of only THREE countries in the world not to adopt the metric system?

But more importantly, did you know that Metric is like one of my all time favorite bands everrr?? This is mostly due to the musical allure of Emily Haines, lead vox and synth player of said band. She rocks!

They put on an awesome live show, and a lot of their songs are pretty dancey rock, which gets the crowd super amped. Then you've got Emily who has some of the best onstage rock moves I've ever seen. Love!

Some songs to check out:
"Twilight Galaxy" Plug In Plug Out
"Sick Muse" Fantasies
"Combat Baby" Old World Underground, Where Are You Now
"I.O.U." Old World Underground, Where Are You Now
"Monster Hospital" Live It Out
"Empty" Live It Out

one last recital

A couple weeks ago my big bro Chris O's band the Recital celebrated their 10th anniversary (to the very day) by playing a big farewell gig and breaking up. Their friends Thunderbirds Are Now and Zoos of Berlin opened for them, and like all the indie kids Chris has ever known were in the crowd. Seriously, pretty much every dude there had thick rimmed glasses and skinny jeans. I felt like I was returning to my homeland.

Anywho, the show rocked. It was really cool to see people come out (some people were from out of state and made the pilgrimage just for the show!), and it was mostly cool to see them singing along super excitedly to all the words and dancing like crazies. I was like dude my brother wrote that song that you are super into right now. And that song. And, well, all of them actually.

They played an hour and a half long superset, but (in such a Recital moment) when the crowd chanted for an encore, they kinda sheepishly confessed to the crowd that they hadn't anticipated that kind of excitement and they played all the songs they practiced. "Repeat a song then!" the crowd yelled. So after asking what they requested, they obliged... this time with a mic in the crowd for the eager fans to sing along.

In the end, they totally proved their show poster wrong ("Commemorate 10 years of empty rooms with an empty room?") because the place was packed and the energy was awesome. Sad to see it end, but how many local bands really get that kind of a send-off? Thanks for the great decade, Recital!

Check out this article in the Metro Times!

grey anatomy

The other day I was feelin rather dreary. I also happened to be wearing like 8 pieces of grey clothing. I never knew I was so literal.

By the way I don't know what's up with my emo-y posts lately. Apparently in the internet world I'm kinda a downer this week. Oh man I can't believe I let some sad-ish song lyrics slip out yesterday. It's like it's 2002 all over again and I've got Dashboard Confessional excerpts in my AIM profile...

they echo me in circles

Sometimes I want to get swallowed up in a song. Not even always the words but the sounds. Usually at one part that I keep rewinding and wanting to hear again and again just because it is so perfectly crafted. Do you know what that feels like? We should be friends.

Knight of Wands - Au Revoir Simone
Calculation Theme - Metric [i wish we were farmers i wish we knew how to grow sweet potatoes and milk cows i wish we were lovers but it's for the best]
Maybelline - Ida
Radiator - Ida
Twilight Galaxy - Metric [i know all the demons that you got if you're not all right now baby i'll pick you up and take you take you where you want]
Cheerleader - Grizzly Bear
Lisztomania - Phoenix
The Good That Won't Come Out - Rilo Kiley [i do this thing where i think i'm real sick but i won't go to the doctor to find out about it 'cause they make you stay real still in a real small space while they chart up your insides and put them on display they'd see all of me all of it all of me all the good that won't come out of me and all the stupid lies i hide behind it's such a big mistake lying here in your warm embrace]

Um and also this amazing cover of Paramore's "Misguided Ghosts":

the snuggle sessions

For your next photo shoot, may I interest you in a couple of professional models for hire?...

We can give you pensive.

We can give you intense.

We can give you sassy and/or dead looking.

We know how to rock a photo.

WARNING: Cat model is 93% of the time antisocial (may claw or bite), 7% of the time snuggly. Hire at your own risk. Girl model also may claw and bite if provoked.

my name is karen

and here you will find things that i make and see.

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