Lesley's List: This Week's Five Small Obsessions (Featuring COCONUT!)

Please help me find a selection of silk chiffon robes to wear while pretending my built-in-2006 beachside condo is a MAGICAL ANCIENT CASTLE.

May 18, 2012 at 12:00pm | Leave a comment

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Oh, it's like Mazzy Star never broke up and the 90s never ended.

1. Summer Footwear Preparations

I know longing for new boots in May makes me a bit of a weirdo -- not so much because they're unseasonable, as because I have a completely embarassing collection of boots already -- but I’m embracing that. I probably won’t buy them, I just wanted to show them to you. Aren’t they preeeetty?

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Good shoes for sitting in a cemetery and reading sad poetry in.

These would be FAR more responsible.

In preparation for more warm-weather-appropriate footwear, I have been exploring the world of miracle-promising foot-moisturizing products. For giggles, I even tried two types of gel-lined socks. These are just what they sound like: slipper socks lined with some kind of moisture-exuding gel substance that you wear to soften up winter-boot-sad feets.

The first pair came from Target, available in a range of ugly pastels, and they are truly revolting. Wearing them feels like squishing around in cold Jell-O. I’m not even going to link to them here because they’re such a bad scene. 

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This is where I realize that remembering the 90s so well makes me kiiiiinda old.

The second effort took the form of these heel “sleeves,” which are basically partial socks with gel-lined bits focusing on the heel area. They seem to work even better combined with an intensive moisturizer (I like Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Creme because COCONUT EVERYTHING) and they don’t feel like they’re filled with tepid pond scum. 

(Of course, if I bought the boots and wore them all summer, this wouldn’t be necessary. Sometimes I am my own best enabler.)

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This is going to work, I just know it.

2. Vegan Ice Cream Experiments

No, I am not vegan. I do a lot of vegan cooking, nevertheless, because while I enjoy a tasty animal product now and then, I still think there’s much to be gained by eating a mostly plant-based diet -- at least for me. 

I also have a very nice Cuisinart ice cream maker, a rare kitchen gadget which I purchased semi-impulsively and wound up using all the damn time. I enjoy good old-fashioned dairy-based ice cream, but lately I’ve been a little obsessed with the idea of making ice cream with coconut milk (I told you: COCONUT EVERYTHING). Or other, less interesting non-dairy milks. (Sorry, almond and soy, I'm sure you'll both be lovely.)

So I did what I always do: I bought a book about it, specifically "The Vegan Scoop," by Wheeler Del Torro. 

I haven’t ACTUALLY had time yet to try any of these concoctions out, even though I have now read quite a bit about them (flavors I am currently interested in include sweet potato basil; eucalyptus; honeydew; sweet curry coconut). But I am optimistic that I will succeed in my non-dairy ice cream efforts. And even if I fail, my backup plan is to develop the perfect raspberry sorbet, because I could probably eat that every day for the rest of my life and not feel like I’ve missed out on anything by it.

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Basically me at 21. Only I had less cool hair.

3. Ross Campbell’s “Wet Moon”

Ross Campbell is an independent comic person, and I recently ran across "Wet Moon" the same way I discover basically all my comics -- by wandering aimlessly through a comic book store picking things up. 

"Wet Moon" follows the adventures of a bunch of (mostly goth-flavored) college kids in its titular Deep South town. This is not exactly an action-packed comic -- much of what happens is encased in circular dialogue that’s a little eerie in how closely it resembles my own social life in my early 20s. There is a lot of awkwardness (we all know how much I love that) and also a lot of insecurity. I keep waiting for it to get irritating, but Campbell strikes a pretty good balance, writing about the outer and inner lives of a bunch of young women and their complicated friendships with an incredibly sharp perspective.

I finished volume one in an evening and immediately went online to order volumes two through five. I think that's an endorsement.

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I want everything in this picture to be my life.

4. "I Capture the Castle"

The film version of "I Capture the Castle" (adapted from Dodie Smith’s 1949 novel, which I now plan to read) was released in 2003, but I only recently discovered it via Netflix. Set in pre-WWII England, the story follows the troubled Mortmain family, living in poverty in a crumbling ruin of an old castle. It takes shape as the recollections of Cassandra Mortmain, a 17-year-old girl who longs to be a writer herself even having watched her somewhat unstable novelist father suffering a 12-year bout of writer’s block, the reason for their lack of fiscal solvency. 

Romola Garai stars as Cassandra, with Rose Byrne as her desperate-to-marry sister (also named Rose, funnily enough), and Bill Nighy as broken novelist dad. The whole family is terrifically eccentric, and I’ve been especially obsessed with the look of the film. They may be half-starved and freezing but the Mortmains know how to dress.

Early on, Rose in particular makes a habit of swanning around the castle in a silk printed robe and I’m currently fixated with acquiring something similar -- leading me to hunt down options from this ridiculous opera coat to a far more reasonable impulse buy from Target’s recent collaboration with Miami’s Webster Hotel. 

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You too can swan around in this robe for the low low price of $30.

I’m not the only one who watches movies and then wants to go shopping, am I?

5. The Copenhagen Philharmonic Plays Peer Gynt on Public Transportation

Finally, enjoy this Danish "flash mob" advertisement for classical music. No really, it’s kind of great, I promise.

What were you up to this week?