Tuesday, December 21, 2010

... let the festivities begin

This evening, I'm going to the airport (you know how much I love airports) to pick up Auntie and Sinjin. Over the next few days, everyone will be here for Christmas... How glad I am. =)

So here's wishing you the coziest, most melodious and most heartwarming of surprise-filled holiday seasons. Thank you so much for all of your support these past few months as I've gotten my groove going here on starshine. See you in 2011!

and heaven and nature sing
and heaven and nature sing
and heaven and nature sing


just for augusta
Image courtesy of Simple Mom

Monday, December 20, 2010

christmas movies

I've been counting down to Christmas since early November (remember Mariah Carey's new album and the Tiffany box?), and now it's a mere five days away, meaning it's officially Christmastime and therefore time for Christmas movies. Here are my favorites:

Image courtesy of Yahoo! Movies.

It's fresh on my mind because Augusta and Lynn and I kicked off finals last week with a cozy Sunday evening viewing of this contemporary classic. It's hilarious, clever, quotable, and, unexpectedly, sweetly romantic. Let's let it be known now: I cannot get enough of Will Ferrell. Like, ever.

Image courtesy of AllMoviePhoto.com

If you don't warm up to this movie the first time around, just take it right back to the beginning and watch it again. (Karina refuses to do this... but my old roommate Laura and I used to watch it on repeat. Vaguely unhealthy, but such was dorm life.) I will be the first to admit that this movie takes a bit of acclimation. But once you start to get the subtlety of Ryan Reynolds', Anna Faris', Amy Smart's and Chris Klein's hilarious delivery, you'll be laughing out loud. Just believe me. Watch it twice and laugh the second time. It's completely worth it.

Image courtesy of MamaPop.com

Do I even need to say anything? This movie has spoken for itself Christmas after Christmas after Christmas. It's so ridiculously charming that even manly men will admit to loving it. I have the hardest time choosing my favorite storyline. I love the story of unrequited love with Keira Knightley, but then there's Hugh Grant as the prime minister, and he's just so endearingly lost, I melt for that one, too. And I love Colin's (completely realistic) American girl fantasy.

Image courtesy of FilmCritic.com

It has literally nothing to do with Christmas except there's snow on the ground. But one Christmas Eve, my family snuggled in our warm house with this sweet documentary & learned about the beauty of penguin behavior. I gotta tell ya— one of the best Christmas Eves I can remember. It's aesthetically beautiful— simultaneously scientific & artistic— and at the end, it's uplifting. Plus, it's a great motivator anytime to take care of this planet.

Image courtesy of FanPop.com

I've already demonstrated my love for Jim Carrey's version of the Grinch (ridiculous and lovable), and the visuals in this movie are gorgeous— the colors are saturated, the little Whos & their little Who homes are perfectly doll-like. Ron Howard did a great job of balancing the original Dr. Seuss poetry with references to contemporary times, like when the Grinch sits in his cave, crunching glass bottles and then looks over at his dog to say, "Am I just eating because I'm bored?" My friend Amy and I always loved the flashback to the baby Grinch— so cute!!

Image courtesy of CalendarLive.com

The fabulously talented cast (which includes Sarah Jessica Parker— who you know I love, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson and Claire Danes) of this quiet little movie weave together a story that feels almost uncomfortably real without feeling even a little contrived, but even so manages to not lose that Hollywood charm. It's heartbreaking, squirm-in-your-seat real, touching, thrilling & inspiring. This cast is completely top-notch; the acting is seamless. Seriously, they should make more movies like this one.

Friday, December 17, 2010

snow-covered fields

Here's a gorgeous quintessential winter scene to bring you a smile.
By Daniel Knight (okay. my papa.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I'm taking a little break this week since I'm all caught up in the heat of finals (final projects, final papers, oh yes and final exams). But here's a clever exam-themed ad for a lotto company, thanks to my pal Iryna.



Friday, December 10, 2010

come to bliss 4

If you're in Bloomington, there's only one place for you to be this Saturday night: Bliss 4! The talented and beautiful Chelsea Sanders (of Blueline Media Production) will once again put on the holiday party of the season in the Lodge on the Square! Come for drinks (+ Blu Boy chocolate...), live music (from The Gooden Plenty Project and DJ Junebug) and new art. + mingling with everybody who's anybody! The party starts at 7 and goes until you are too tired to dance any more! (Okay, actually until 1. But that's probably when you'll be too tired to dance any more.)
See the Web site for more information.

p.s. Remember Nut's awesome photos from Bliss 3? (click on each photo for bigger versions)

Sarah & Doug. Badasses.

Me and Augusta!

Nikki & Karl (they're expecting their first baby boy at the New Year! Congratulations!)

Nonie (from my 21st birthday) She's so ethereal

Me with Nut himself!

general merriment

Erika and Nonie

My Papa

Alisha, Chels, Erin

Erin, Chels

Leah and Laine Benthall (Gosh, I love these two!) (Check out Laine's jewelry on Etsy)

suntory time

Guess what? I'm in the heat of wrapping up the semester— final projects, final papers, final exams. And despite the fact that I got to take a fantastic trip Chicago just a few weeks ago and my suitcase is barely unpacked from Vermont, I'd love to just up-and-go.

In light of my current restlessness, I'd like to just deliver a little ode of honor to my favorite travel movie, Lost In Translation. Sofia Coppola perfectly conveys an often-ignored travel feeling of melancholy & numbness. When I'm on international trips, I find myself going numb, mentally, because of too much input:  the time change is so extreme, I've been in the air so long, & the new environment is so overwhelming. I love Bill Murray's character, but I relate more to Scarlett Johansson's. Even though she wants to be out exploring, she instead finds herself brooding about her relationship. She has this weird desire, after craving the adventure for so long, to just swim in the hotel pool. And even when she does venture out, it feels strangely incomplete. Japan has so much to offer, and in one day she sees one thing. I can totally relate to the introspection of being alone in a place where I can't speak the language. For some reason, this numbness is thrilling to my core.

Also, just so it's on the record— Who doesn't want to be as cool as Scarlett Johansson? 

Image courtesy of The Glamorous Grad Student

Image courtesy of Eyes of the Victor

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

beky makris

In recent times, I've had to get some new jeans hemmed to fit my short little legs. Whenever I'm in need of a seamstress, I always pick Ms. Beky Makris. She's based here in Bloomington and she is so incredibly skilled— every single time she does a project for me, it amazes me how perfect it is. Beky doesn't just know how to sew— she knows how to see and how to style. So when I need trousers hemmed, she doesn't just make them shorter, like seamstresses in the past have. She actually seamlessly reattaches the original hem to the bottom, so they have the complete look that they did when I bought them. Way to be awesome, Beky!

Here are some shots I did of Beky a few weeks ago. Lots of fun!

Photos by Shanti Knight

blue box, red ribbon

As if Mariah Carey's new Christmas album and the fun decorations in the apartment weren't enough to completely distract me from school with dreams of Christmas, here comes Tiffany & Co., sending me emails with totally cute photos like this one.

Photo courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Good luck staying focused!


So sorry for the late posting! I've been feeling a little under-the-weather.

This past weekend, I brought in December with a visit to Vermont to visit Karina and our friend Charlie, who drove up from Philly to spend his birthday with us in the mountains!  We went to Bennington, where Karina goes to school in the foothills of the Green Mountains, and it was goooorgeous. The views from everywhere are just breathtaking— the mountains are grand and it's just so picturesque. On our Friday morning walks through the Bennington College campus, the town of Bennington and the woods, I just couldn't stop taking pictures. It all looked so Jane Austen!

The Bennington view

In Bennington, it seemed everyone was so environmentally aware! There are little stations with free coffee  all over campus, but no disposable cups provided. Instead, we took our mugs with us everywhere. When we went on a little hike, we left our mugs sitting on a little stone post next to the road— it was so sweet! And the funny thing was, carrying our mugs with us everywhere was no trouble at all.

After hearing one of Karina's friends, Stephanie, deliver a presentation of her recent research on newts, we went to Complaints Choir.

Complaints Choir involved the collecting of students' general complaints about life. Then a group of student singers composed the complaints into a song that they performed. Above is the room In the Bennington Visual and Performing Arts Center (VAPA) where Complaints Choir performed before walking campus (caroling-style) to sing the complaints. It was quite funny.

The ever-present mug.

In the afternoon, we met up with Karina's friend Lauren and Lauren's boyfriend Victor (visiting from Montreal) and went into town to look into the cute little shops and restaurants. At a local bagel company, we ate these apple-and-cheddar calzones. So very Vermont, so very tasty. I should say here that I was delighted to sample all sorts of awesome Vermont foods— in addition to apples, apple cider and great cheese (including an awesome sage cheddar), we ate our pancakes with real Vermont maple syrup. (Wow.)

Friday evening, Karina and Charlie and I went to Bennington Monument. It's a big obelisk on a hill above the town (the tallest structure in Vermont!) and it honors the Green Mountain Boys' Battle of Bennington during the Revolutionary War. Just after nightfall, we drove down the road a bit from the monument to Robert Frost's grave, in a creepy old cemetery. Karina and Charlie put pennies on Mr. Frost's grave (I was sad to not have brought any change) and we read lots of old tombstones.

In our dark drive back to campus, we managed to get supremely lost for a full 30 minutes in Green Mountain foothills. Back at campus, we went down to Karina's friend John's house for a fabulous party to celebrate her upcoming graduation! (Side note: John lives in Shingle Cottage, which is a house in which Robert Frost himself lived for a while.) Anyway, there were lots of cute decorations honoring Karina, including a poster with a fantastic drawing of Karina on which her friends wrote her sweet notes. On the whole, it was a ridiculously fun time, getting to talk to lots of Karina's Vermont friends, singing music and trying to contact Mr. Frost via a Ouija board.

On Saturday morning, we explored the campus some more, including a visit to the great campus library. The shelves are set to slide along tracks, so you can crank them together and apart and fit in more books. Totally cool.

Our Saturday morning walk took us to the cemetery on Bennington campus, which totally felt like Halloween. There were tombstones leaning into each other and falling over— even one being held up from behind with a stick!

Karina's pretty hair!

The lake on campus was partially frozen-over and so pretty.

Here's the three of us, right before Charlie left!

After Charlie left, Karina, Lauren, Victor and I went to nearby Brattleboro. On the way, we stopped at this beautiful look-out point.

As we got into town, we picked up Karina's boyfriend Jacob from his work. In town, we stopped by Clayworks, where my friend Claire used to work, and then explored a used bookstore, Brattleboro Books. We also looked in nearby shops and visited the food co-op and a coffeeshop. It was a charming little town.

Victor and Lauren

Jacob– photo by Karina =)

Sunday morning drive to Albany

Saying goodbye to Karina at the airport

the sky on my flight from detroit to indianapolis was unbelievable. It was so much more vibrant in real life. The stripes of color on the horizon showed the full spectrum.

What a welcome home. As soon as we got to our gate in Indianapolis, the pilot announced the Colts score over the PA system. When I got into the terminal, every TV was playing the game and there were huge crowds gathered around to watch.

See more on my Picasa page!