Friday, July 27, 2007

More Petticoat than Freudian

This blog is getting really frilly. All I'm blogging about these days are cats and home decor. I won't even mention the perfect loaf of bread I baked today (thanks, Minimalist!). But here's the latest on my settling in: my dining room with the vintage table and chairs (no they are not a set, they just go well together- thanks, Craigslist!) and the infernal pain-in-the-arse chandelier from London, which cost $60 to be rewired and took nearly three hours to install and a great deal of improvising on the part of the electrician. But now it works and it looks beautiful. And I will never, NEVER buy a chandelier in London again unless I already live there.

Here's a picture of my new beautiful living room rug, a kilim that my parents bought for me in Istanbul, helped by our wonderful, tasteful and wise Turkish friend. Look closely and you'll glimpse a guilty pleasure:


I know, I know, two weeks in a row of cat blogging. I promise I'll stop. But it's really difficult to photograph a black tortoiseshell cat with a digital camera, and in this photo Saffron looks like a Miyazaki character ("My neighbor Saffron"). When I write at home in the kitchen, this is her spot. She's kind of a spirit guardian of the laptop. More likely, it's because her food is located under the table.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Belated Friday Cat and House blogging

I'm in the midwest visiting my parents for a long weekend and I miss my cat. I almost never cat-blog but I have a cute photo of her in my new apartment and I miss her fuzziness and her little face appearing around the side of my laptop screen when I'm trying to write. The house is also gradually taking shape, so here's a double feature: cat photo and living room at night.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Little People

I've just discovered a new thoroughly addictive street art blog, which is feeding my procrastinastion. But I wanted to share it with you because it's so funny and because it's a great way of remembering London. It's called "Little People" and describes itself in a subtitle as "Little handpainted people, left in london to fend for themselves" and it's here.

See if I'm not right.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Still a Freak after all these years

The first time I took the Myers-Briggs personality type test I was 18 and heading off to New England for college. It told me I was an INFJ- Introverted-Intuitivite-Feeling-Judging. I thought I'd take the shorter online version just for fun. I felt I had truly become much more extroverted and rational and would probably become an ENTJ, fitting in more easily with the general population.

But I was WRONG! Thirteen years later and I'm still an INFJ, still part of the tiny .5%. I don't know whether to be happy or sad (that's the "Feeling" part kicking in), but I will say this: the test never lies.

Here's what it told me:

Your Score: Freak- INFJ

33% Extraversion, 60% Intuition, 20% Thinking, 66% Judging

"Well, well, well. How did someone like you end up with the least common personality type of them all? In a group of 100 Americans, only 0.5 others would be just like you. You really are one of a kind... In fact, I do believe that that's one of the definitions for the word "FREAK."

Freak's not such a bad word to describe you actually.

You are deep, complex, secretive and extremely difficult to understand. If that doesn't scream "Freak!" I don't know what does. No-one actually knows the REAL you, do they?

You probably have deep interests in creative expression as well as issues of spirituality and human development.

You've probably even been called a "psychic" before, because of your uncanny knack to understand and "read" people without quite knowing how you do it. Don't fret. You're not actually psychic. That would make you special and you'll never accomplish that.

You're also quite possibly the most emotional of them all, so don't take this all too hard. Nevertheless you most definitely have the strangest personality type and that's not necessarily a good thing. "

This mini-analysis is just there for acerbic silliness. I don't know about any hidden secrets or being hard to read- usually I'm told I'm gullible and guileless and that my thoughts and emotions write themselves all over my face whether I want them to or not (I usually don't want them to!). I'm not psychic, but I do tend to respond more to people's emotional states than to what they may be saying. I do sometimes have dreams that seem to reveal that my unconscious has been picking up on others' unspoken emotional states.

And I always thought I was easy to understand! Maybe only by other INFJs and by myself, though. Of course the part that may not fit with INFJ is that, no longer a pianist or actor, I still have a desire to perform. I'm not sure whether this falls under the category of extroverted or not, since performing for me involves intense focus and reaching a state I call "the zone" where time stands still and one is both communicating and retreating inside oneself. But everyone who knows me even a little bit would surely agree that I am not a "quiet leader" as INFJs are frequently described. I'm pretty outspoken, both a blurter and (on good days) a firebrand. Perhaps it's best not to give too much credence to Mmes Myers and Briggs, though it's fun like figuring out one's astrological signs. Speaking of which, I'm both a Piscean and a Fire Dragon, which seems contradictory to me. Hmpf. Go figure.

Take the test yourself:

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Can't . . . move . . . arms . . . anymore. And this even after hiring "Two Men and a Truck" (that's the moving company's name) to cart the heavy furniture on Monday. All that remains are books to unpack and pictures to hang.

Saffron has adapted quite well to the new place, lounging around on the floor, testing the stability of the dresser by jumping on top of it from the bed, sitting in the living room window at twilight and making tiny cackling noises at fireflies.

Here's a sneak peak at the interior as it stands now. Vintage dining table on its way.

I discovered a fig tree in the front garden with at least nine green nubby figs on it, hopefully more by the end of the summer. Yum and yay! There is also a little stream and water-fall fountain fed by a pump that meanders under the stone path leading up to the front, constructed by previous landscape designer tenants. My landlord has promised to set up the pump for me. In the picture to the left you can see a dark crevace near the center of the photo. That's where the stream runs under the flagstones. It then curves around to the left, behind the japanese maple, and continues down to a little stone pond. The pump sends it back up through the garden to the top.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

One Day Left!

I'm sorry if I've been out of touch for the past week- I've been gradually moving into my new house. It's so wonderful having a car and moving somewhere so close to home. It's much easier than the last four moves I made over the past four years, changing countries each time. I've made five trips with the hatchback packed full of material goods. I did manage to weed out some things I do not need and will be donating to Habitat for Humanity, but I still have so much "stuff" I think Marx would cringe. Still, it's quite nice to have carted and unpacked the entire contents of my kitchen, bathroom, closets, wall and window hangings. I feel mostly moved in- the only things left are books and furniture and kitty things.

So now please permit me to wax rhapsodic about my new house. And to gush about spending money on beautiful things I don't really need that nonetheless make me very happy. It is beautiful- I had the dining room and the sun room painted and both turned out really well. The dining room is a deep slate blue (Benjamin Moore's "Evening Dove") which looks charcoal grey at night and twilight blue during the day. The sunroom is a velvety cocoa brown with purple undertones (Benjamin Moore's "Desert Shadows"). Both rooms are matte which I think makes the rooms seem bigger and the color deeper. I'm sort of focusing on the dining room first because it is the focal point of the house. It's in the center, between the living room and the kitchen. The bedroom, study and bathroom are down a little hallway off to the right of the dining room. But when you walk through the front door, you're in the living room and your eyes are drawn to the dining room, though you can see all the way back to the kitchen. I'm not going to post pictures until after the furniture arrives (tomorrow), but here's a photo of the funky chandelier I bought for the dining room. Try to imagine it hanging in a slate blue room, the poppy colored kitchen just visible behind it.

I have also gone on a vintage furniture hunt. Last year I found four bentwood chairs by Thonet. I just purchased the perfect Heywood Wakefield table to go with them (hooray for Craigslist).

So imagine, if you will, a slate blue dining room, the poppy kitchen behind, the chandelier to the right hanging from the ceiling, and blond wood dining table and chairs (with a darker patina) in a lovely simple mid-century modern style. Decorating obsessed? Who me? I tend to work best surrounded by beautiful surroundings. So I'm only doing this to enhance my overall creativity, of course.