31 January 2010

hil's the hoarder: random collections.

confession time: i need to cut up my credit card. BAD.  sales have been too good to be true lately and if one more package is delivered to my desk while i'm at work i think my coworkers are going to start judging.  after ordering a necklace with a key charm on it [more on that later] and receiving the latest edition to my closet [a pair of kelsi dagger flats that i'm absolutely in love with] i realized that i've got a few collections of some pretty random things.  with inglourious basterds on tv in the background, i had a baby photo shoot of said random collections on my living room coffee table.  warning: there are lots of photos all up in here.  so, without further ado, hil presents I COLLECT THINGS YAYZ:

blue suede shoes

this grouping is definitely an accident, but a happy one [and how can anything remotely related to elvis be a bad thing?!]  the first pair on the left, the flats with the ankle strap and bow at the toe, were scored at a sale at the urban outfitters on first avenue sometime during senior year.  the other two, the gola skate shoes and the kelsi dagger flats that look like they're wearing necklaces, are two real recent purchases from gilt groupe.  i didn't realize that i had not one, but THREE pairs, of blue suede shoes until the daggers arrived and i went to add them to my closet shoe rack.  i love my new sneakers and the detail on the dagger flats, but my first blue suede shoes, though a little dingy, will always be my favorites.

floral headpieces

this fascination started when i saw one of ban.do's creations in an issue of nylon, and i was thinking about buying it for myself last year for my birthday when los, best friend extraordinaire, made the gorgeous peach flower headband you see above.  that was followed by a poufy turqoise headband and then the gigantic netting/tulle pink flower i snagged at an anthropologie sale this fall.  i think that my obsession for floral headgear stems from my flamenco dancin' days.  i plan on rocking the pink flower at erin's wedding this june with a strapless, sweetheart cocktail dress [if i can find a navy/peacock blue one that'd be perfect].  i am constantly, constantly on the lookout for pieces like these and am still seriously considering grabbing the ban.do #10 if a special occasion pops up out of the blue.

vintage clutches

this collection is one that started with a few vintage clutches that my mom found in a client's house - basically, her client had an attic full of hand-me-downs, costume jewelry and antiques that were all in fantastic condition and the client just didn't care about them and was going to throw all that glorious stuff aWAY.  [shudder.]  the silver clutch and mustard clutch with the handle above were picked from the litter; the gold clutch and the black and white beaded clutch were found at poor little rich girl [which is definitely my pick for local vintage.]  because i love these bags so much, here's a close up of my two beaded babies:

and the most recent addition to the family: a clutch i picked up at london's absolute vintage, which is supposedly one of the best second-hand/vintage spots in the world.  their selection of bags, scarves and riding boots was enough to make me SWOOOOON and esme and i spent a good hour perusing through the goods until i laid my eyes on this little darlin.  i'm particularly obsessed with the zipper detail:

seriously.  love at first sight.  also, it holds a surprising amount of stuff - as someone who's constantly carting around a notebook, a wallet, a phone, a camera and a tape recorder on any given evening, the roomiest of this little bloke doesn't go unappreciated.


when i unpacked my suitcase upon arriving home after my year in argentina/spain, i had amassed a huge pile of postcards somehow and i have no idea how the hell i managed to grab one from pretty much every museum or random shop i stopped into while abroad.  i like pretty pictures, ok?!  anyways, when i moved into my apartment last november i knew that i wanted the postcards to play a part in my decorating as i've got two huge maps on the walls and thought the well-traveled theme would work out.  this bulletin board pictured rests on top of a bookcase in my living room.

and these postcards are hanging above my bed.

favorites: flamenco singers from granada, hungarian postage stamps picked up at a flea market in budapest [fitting those all into the frame wasn't easy], murakami postcard from the mori art museum in tokyo, promotional postcards for movies and vintage stores in lisbon and a photo from an exhibit at la MALBA [museo de arte latinoamericano de buenos aires] which is one of my favorite museums, ever.

skeleton keys

arguably my most active pursuit when it comes to collecting stuff: i try to pick up an antique skeleton key in every city i visit abroad.  this started in vienna at the naschmarkt, where i found the gold, ornate skeleton key [second one from the left on the bottom] and wore it on a long black chord for months.  pictured, we've got keys from budapest, istanbul, london, buenos aires, granada, tokyo, berlin, prague and vienna, duh.  i friggin' love skeleton keys, how they look, how they feel, how much they weigh... so naturally my key kitsch expanded and now i have two key necklaces, too.

(the lock and key is from urban outfitters; the blue lanyard key necklace is by karin andreasson and was found at broadway market in shoreditch, london.)

vogue international

yeeeeah it's no secret: i love magazines.  love them.  and i love vogue.  and i love british vogue and spanish vogue and italian vogue and vogue paris and russian vogue and... yeah.  i started picking up vogue in whatever country i was in, if they had it, and my collection so far includes australian vogue, vogue UK, vogue paris, vogue españa, vogue brasil, vogue portugues, russian vogue [if i knew how to type that in cyrillic i would!], vogue deutsch [german, ja], vogue nippon [aka japanese vogue] and vogue hellas [aka greek vogue].  all i need copies from italy, china, korea and india, so if any of you plan on visiting those countries in the near future, pick one up for me :)  favorites: vogue paris and russian vogue.  ughhh. the parisian pictorials make me want to do nothing but drink wine and smoke cigarettes and marry a man named jean-luc with a rusty bike.

sooooo yeah.  i guess i'm kind of a packrat, huh?


18 January 2010

2009: Hil and the Year of Exclamation Points/Expletives

well! it's been 2010 for two weeks now, and the year has kicked off to an incredible start: my birthday was great, band practices have been great, writing for the dig has been great, my apartment's cleaner than usual and i've thoroughly enjoyed traipsing all over town in my new (WARM!) snowboots.  as happy as i am to leave 2009 in the dust, it deserves a look back, even in the form of a silly blog post.  i grew more than i thought possible in 2009.  i went through a lot of nasty firsts (first heartbreak, first layoff, first time i ever ran myself ragged etc) but the year had its high points, too.  found this rundown somewhere and decided i should give it a try.  if anything, it helps put the past 12 months in perspective and i feel more confident than ever that this year will be better than the last.  and the last year, overall, was a damn good year. if anything, the lows not only justified the highs, they made me appreciate 'em so much more.

also, 2010 is already the year in which i got a song written for me for my birthday, i saw my first fellini film (AND LOVED IT) and it's the year in which i'll venture out to texas with a rowdy crew of rockstars and one of my best friends.  that's not a bad start, seeing as we haven't hit the 20th day of the year yet...


1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
flew off to another country completely on a whim; got my heart real broke; got laid off; road a bike on city streets; attended a bunch of big name music festivals as a member of the press;  met, interviewed wrote stories on and even befriended some of my favorite musicians of all time (liiiiiiiiike the avett brothers. le sigh.)

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
the only resolution i ever make is to try to eat healthier and work out more.  throughout unemployment i was pretty good about getting to the gym every other day and kept that schedule up for a good five months... and then i found a job and my life turned chaotic and i had no more time for fitness.  as i'm currently a bit... softer than i'd like to be (i'm trying to avoid "fat" but 'cmon) as a result, i'll be making the same resolution.  vanity counts/kills.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
nope. no new babies this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
jolly old england.  i had a stopover in reykjavik for a good few hours in between logan and heathrow, so does iceland count?

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
a time machine.  there simply aren't enough hours in the day, period.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory?
january 23rd.  it's the day i got my nose pierced.   i have no idea why i'll remember it other than i distinctly remember writing in my planner "NOSE PIERCIIIIIIIING APT 8PM PINO BROS!!!" on the day of january 23rd.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
making my mom proud throughout a pretty painful, humiliating ordeal.  it may seem juvenile or silly, but i always (try to) do the "what would my mother think?" thing before i let loose on someone who's crossed a line.  i did this time around.  my mom's a resilient person who's been to hell and back so many times that she could draw the map to the route in her sleep, so to aim for her level of calm and class amidst the most tawdry of motives isn't an easy feat.  she says i made her proud; that's probably my biggest achievement.

9. What was your biggest failure?
letting my feelings get the best of me, generally speaking.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
i got a naaaaasty case of food poisoning that put me out of commision for a week.  other than that, my pride took a brusin'. (haha.) that's it.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
my first cashmere sweater ever; a plane ticket to london

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
my friends are the most hilarious, loving, beautiful and fiercely loyal people i've ever met.  their behavior always merits celebration!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
it's really, really not worth getting into. take my word for it.

14. Where did most of your money go?
sadly, to material things.  having a full-time gig and money in the bank is dangerous for a girl with a newfound love for cashmere, hand-tooled leather boots and vintage goods.  my cashmere sweater count for 2009 is now up to 5, thanks for the sale package i just got from j.crew today.  [granted, i got  those sweaters at an average of 50% apiece, but still.]

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
spring and summer in the city.  i wouldn't take anything back about the bike rides, lake house trips, rooftop barbeques and sweat-soaked dance party adventures that took place in the spring and summer months.  and the UNION SQUARE FARMER'S MARKET. OH MY GODDDD.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
2009 will forever be the year of GAGA. [i was hesitant and late to the bandwagon, but i have arrived.]

17. Compared to this time last year, are you
i. happier or sadder? happier.  last year around this time i was in an interesting spot. haaa.
ii. thinner or fatter? softer. i'm SOFTER. (in the belly/butt region.  ok so i'm fatter.)
iii. richer or poorer? richer. in friends, in life, in wisdom, in cash, whatever, i'm richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
taking care of myself, honestly, be it sleeping more or making sure i've got my own back covered.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
i wish that i'd put WAY less energy into resenting and loathing the existence of people who hurt me, even if they were terrible and even if their transgressions were severe. i absolutely could've handled myself better in those situations and i'm not proud of how i dealt with disappointment, heartbreak and humiliation in that regard.  2010 is the year of turning the other cheek and cutting hurtful people out of my life.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
christmas eve at dad's, christmas eve at mom's.  pretty great at both houses.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?
noooo no no no.  i started 2009 in a bit of a haze falling for someone who had absolutely no business being in a relationship with a girl like me and it was the first time i had ever really opened myself up to the possibility of being a real girlfriend.  as awful as it sounds, i was waaaay too busy throughout 2009 to even THINK about love, let alone search for it or allow it to find its way into my life in a romantic sense.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
MAD MEN.  Joan Holloway, you're an inspiration to us all.  (i've never wanted to be a redhead so badly before in my life.)

24. What was the best book you read?
crime and punishment. yup.  dostoevsky and i get along famously.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
i'd go out on a limb and say lake street dive.  i love their music so much, and rachael, bridget, mike and mike are great people, to boot.

26. What did you want and get?
a week in london with some of my favorite people on the planet; a year full of fantastic music; the opportunity to work with and chronicle the works of great artists and musicians living in/passing through boston on the regular; absolutely incredible nights dancing and reveling and loving my life with my very, very best friends.

27. What did you want and not get?
looking back on it, i guess i really wanted my relationship with dan to work at the time.  that's changed.  i also really wanted to salvage some friendships that pretty much self-imploded.  that's changed, too.  either way, i'm starting 2010 with the attitude that i've left those relationships in 2009 and that's where they'll stay. i feel infinitely better as a result.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
pirate radio.  good god that movie was brilliant.

29. What did you do on your birthday?
it was pretty chaotic and frenzied and glorious - ten or so of us went to dali for dinner, and then we went back to my apartment, where boyfriend of the moment had made an AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS red velvet cake from scratch.  i blew out my candles surrounded by about 25 of my closest friends, and then we went to the inman bukowski.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
i dont know if it would've made 2009 more satisfying, but i wish that i had invested in a camera and dabbled with photography more.  i take decent pictures and spent a good half of the year hanging out with people snapping photos all the time wherever we were, so i regret not using that as a learning experience to gain some insight as an intro to photography.  with that said, i do plan on buying a new fancy camera before austin, portland and spain this year so that i can document my trips as i've never been able to do before.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
i think i threw out "urban bohemian" once and it stuck, so that.  i also like "that cambridge asshole": too put together/intellectual for allston, too hipster for back bay/beacon hill, a little more formal than your run-of-the-mill davis/union sq attire.

32. What kept you sane?
hours of conversation over dinner, subway rides, movies, albums, packs of cloves and bottles of wine with lianne.  afternoons on the couch with indian food, bad tv, cookie dough rolls and introspectives with marcy.  grounded, perspective-changing chats with maya. and the occasional "we love you, honey" from mom/dad/stepdad/grampa/broskie.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
this question is silly! i have no idea.  not robert pattinson.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii have absolutely no idea.

35. Who did you miss?
everyone i left back in new york.  visiting in october was such a painful/lovely reminder that i had a great life there and that i'm eager to return to it sooner rather than later.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
tall order!  i was so fortunate in the friendships i made in 2009.  that list is miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiles long.  you're all the best.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
don't let the bastards get you down. 

38. Quote a lyric that sums up your year.
"every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."  i could've gone with the whole "one door closes/another opens" thing, but semisonic is so much more badass than julie andrews, let's be honest.

39. What are your plans for 2010?
world domination, one snappy interview at a time.  i also plan on using my kitchenaid mixer more as that sucker is a culinary dream come true for me.

16 January 2010

the irrationally happy list, saturday evening version.

i love this photo, which was taken by this adorable girl cecilie over at bakerby.  her blog is so great, and also on my "this makes me irrationally happy!" list.  also, she totally makes me want to book a trip to copenhagen so i can check out all the amazing cafes and streets she talks about.  go check her out!

things that make me irrationally happy:

+ terry's chocolate oranges.  i just made dinner, and now i'm drinking a glass of malbec and savoring the last "slices" of the last of my chocolate oranges that i brought back from the UK in early december.  this is my favorite candy ever.  too bad they don't have them readily available all year!  (actually, my waistline is very grateful that they're not readily available all year...)

+ impromptu saturday day dates.  jen, aka one of my absolute favorite people aka jen of fantastic boston band static of the gods, and i opted to try zumba this morning.  we had a BLAST and the class was a fantastic workout and i would absolutely recommend it to any and everyone who likes to shake it in any capacity.  after the gym, jen and i hit diesel for a caffeine boost [not that we needed it after zumba, but it was pretty necessary for the taste buds], and then we opted to go on a bit of a domestic adventure.  jen's got the band van, see, so we drove up mass ave to arlington to penzey's spices and spent a good while sniffing jars of vietnamese cinnamon and chipotle pepper blends and cardamon and coriander.  afterwards, we continued on to wilson's farm in lexington and i was NOOOT ready for the hugeness that's wilson's.   i always went t wilson's as a kid in the fall only, for haunted houses and caramel apples and the like, so to go in as a hungry grown-up in need of groceries... yeah it was pretty awesome.   i came home with the makings of a proper feast and ate grilled chicken, portobello mushrooms and eggplant either grown on the premises or procured from local farms.  delicious and good for the local first movement, woooo!

+ the brattle theatre is showing la dolce vita tonight at 8.  james and i are going and i've never seen a fellini film, ever, so i'm pretty stoked for it.  we had originally decided on avatar, seeing as we're the only two friggin' people on the planet who haven't seen it yet, but fellini on a saturday night on the big screen? perfect? yes. i think so.

+ iiiiiiiiiiii could not be more excited to go see freelance whales at great scott on tuesday night with jess and amanda.  "generator ^ first floor" is my favorite song of 2010 thus far and i'll put money down early that they're gonna be the talk of SXSW.

+ today felt like spring.   i know that it isn't even february yet, but we're through the worst of winter! (watch me jinx this by merely typing this and then i'll be dressed like an eskimo from here on out 'til april. ohhh new england.)

yeah.  today was such a beautiful, wonderful day.  i don't think my happiness is so irrational after all :)

10 January 2010

story for a sunday afternoon...

it's gorgeous out, so of course i woke up from sunbeams to the face at 9am. karen, best friend from a lifetime ago in spain, surprised me with a weekend visit and we spent the past couple of days catching up and celebrating friends birthdays and eating delicious things and drinking cups of tea upon cups of tea upon cups of tea. pretty heavenly. now, marcy and i are making thin mint/oreo brownies and watching clueless. yessss. sunday, it could be love.

i've been leaving this blog in the DUST because i've been so busy, so here's a brief recap of what's been keeping me away...

what hil's been up to lately:

+on a whim, i used up all of my remaining vacation days for 2009 and booked a last minute ticket to london on the cheap to go visit esme, a dear friend who i had worked with at an arts camp in maine a few summers ago. it literally feels like not a single day has passed since the last time we hung out and we're the definition of friends who can pick up where they leave off. esme has a beautiful flat in hackney [east london], so i spent about a week tagging along with her, shopping in shoreditch, making pizza while watching the x factor finale, getting lost/completely overwhelmed in top shop, scoping out the pop life exhibit at the tate and belting out amy winehouse's "valerie" in a rock-e-oke contest in covent garden. [i won said contest, prize being a £100 bartab, much to our friends' delight.] the trip was all i could've asked for and more and delivered exactly what i was looking for: a little jaunt out of boston, a little time away from what's happening in these parts, a lot of time to reevaluate some stuff going on/get my priorities and sanity in check. i'm looking into grad school in london and i can't wait to go back. londontown is officially another city to hit the "we get along famously and i could live here!" list, after buenos aires, chicago and lisbon.

+moved on from my post at TPB and am now an arts & entertainment contributing writer at the weekly dig, which is a move i couldn't be more thrilled about. i've been an avid reader of the dig for quite some time now, so to be a part of that editorial team is all walks of awesome. also, i wrote my first ever big paper feature, and i'll be covering SXSW in march for the dig which is kiiiiiind of a dream come true. (i mean, really. i'm gonna be all gonzo about it and i'm potentially going to be a band van stowaway.) here's a few of the pieces i've done so far -

-my feature on boston carnival rockers Mighty Tiny

-defend yourself! Q+As with Mystery Roar, Sidewalk Driver, the David Wax Museum, and my very own junior prom date Garett Hawe who just happens to be one of the featured ensemble members in the touring production of 101 Dalmatians: The Musical.

-a review on the DVD box set of Dawson's Creek. (guys, WB 90s teen dramas are totally emotional.)

-an exit poll or two, including one with my dad after thanksgiving dinner.

+ i turned 24, and had an absolutely wonderful day dancing, drinking and stuffing my face alongside my favorite people on the planet. look to the previous entry for the rundown.

+ i'm making music again. more on this development later, but it involves guitar and fishnets and 80s hair-dos and a debut at the lizard lounge early this spring.

+SXSW. I AM SO EXCITED. i can't wait to get my butt to texas.

those are the big things anyway. whenever i start writing these "oh hey hi it's met let's catch up lists" i always lose steam halfway through and forget important things. those are the biggies, though. it's nice to be back.


08 January 2010

i turned 24 and it was lovely.

(this is the famous key necklace found in shoreditch while i was in london last month, by the way.
it's my new favorite thing.)

this weekend, it's all about blogging/detailing the crazy things i've been up to since the beginning of november. i PROMISE. i will not neglect OH HEY! any longer. i promise i promise i promise.

in the meantime, these are shots from my 24th birthday party, which was an 11-hour marathon of goodness that started with brunch and ended with dinner and manhattans at trina's with a homey dance party/sit indian style on hil's floor and drink narragansett and sing party in between. i wouldn't have had it any other way. it was perfect.

the photos are all by jess, one of my oldest and dearest friends and my partner in crime/photographer for SXSW this coming march. [that's a sneak preview on the "what i've been up to" front.]

in other news: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAYA! you're one of the best friends a girl could ever hope to have. i can't wait to dance my face off with you and los and cristina and a bunch of our other favorite people tonight in honor of you you you!