Sunday, July 31, 2011


These days our lives often seem mired in "social" media with relationships being kindled, flourishing online. We've even developed acronyms (IRL) for friends and acquaintances we've spent physical time with. I've been feeling a bit like an anachronism lately for craving more in-person hang time and conversations.

An outing a couple of weekends ago only served to confirm the importance of meeting and getting to know our online "friends" in person. While having an online presence can let shy people have the opportunity to open up and be themselves, it's also all too easy for people to only give you what they think you want to see. Turns out charming, nice and seemingly caring online can be pompous and self-involved in person. Blatant calls for attention combined with constant commentary on body language and an attempt to "read" the rest of us at the table.

This isn't meant to be a rant. I've met some lovely people online. It's more a shout out for the genuine, small gathering. While I can't spend quality, in-person time with all of the people I love due to that pesky thing known as distance, taking time to connect and fellowship is where it's at*. I know I'm not alone. A group of mighty creative folks recently launched an online magazine in celebration of the small gathering. The debut issue of Kinfolk Mag is a beautiful homage to the communal experience. I was hooked the minute I read the first pull quote from the article by Saer Richards.

"It didn't take long for me to learn that my heart was endeared to small intimate gatherings, those that are defined by good food, great background music and honest conversation."

Let's hang out, shall we?

* Yes, that is a preposition I just ended on.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lovin' me some chronic bitchface

Chronic Bitchface by Kris Atomic, available for sale here

Kris is brilliant. For years I have suffered from this affliction but have never had an official diagnosis! Ah...the relief. I've always told people in an offhanded way that I'm just not a natural smiler. I'm happy, but you won't see me truly radiate unless you do something special. I wonder if I can get away with putting this on my office door. ;-)

Turns out I'm not alone in sporting the pursed lip more frequently than the easy smile. I really connected with an article in the latest issue of The Gentlewoman (smashing new mag) on Janet Street-Porter. She has lived such a full life and is at a point where she seems completely confident in who she is.

When asked whether her opinion columns were fueled by her displeasure, her response had me laughing out loud.
"Maybe, but I'm also in touch with what gives me pleasure...but you don't have to go around like a Moonie, fucking smiling about everything."

So there you have it. I'm Serena, and I suffer from chronic bitchface.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Trip prep: Rafting

I need a few things before I head out on a three-day rafting trip. Can you believe I don't have a backpack? More importantly, I'm guessing wearing skirts will be frowned upon. Not going to lie...shorts make me shudder just a little.

Yes, I'm a little more frou frou than most, but I say there's nothing wrong with a little color.

Rafting the Rogue

Old Navy striped top, $15
Old Navy padded bathing suit, $50
Old navy shorts, $15
White floppy hat, $25 Lacoste Stripe Croc Beach Towel: Everything Else, $26 Waves Scarf: Clothing, $49

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A fantastic fourth

I've never been really big on the 4th of July. I'm probably one of the less patriotic people you'll meet and grew up in the dry West Texas desert (i.e., chances for wildfires = fewer fireworks) and spent the holiday in front of the TV with the family watching fireworks in far corners of the country. This year turned out to be pretty special though.

South Riding fireworks

We began the holiday on Friday by grilling out at Ravena and Amanda's and followed it up with an attempted walk (later drive) to the cute little fireworks show in South Riding. It was the perfect length, and I forced myself to forget we were watching right by a bank and Giant grocery store. We even got a little crazy and set off some fireworks on of our own once back at their house. Kind of funny to see a group of 30-year olds make so much noise setting them off. I know the neighbors assumed it was a group of ne'er do well teens.

Big mouth girls :-)

Allie blew into town on Saturday, and Monday we headed down to Richmond to do some lounging along the James. What can I say? It was perfect.

Hanging by the water

Picking our way across the rocks. A minor water gun fight. Soaking up the sun.

Boulder field

We followed that with sushi at our favorite sushi restaurant (nothing says freedom like sushi) and a terribly painful showing of the new Transformers.

Jump, jump