I wrote the book on China.

Well, one of them, anyway. And only a foreword at that! But the pictures aren’t too bad either :)

This is why I left WordPress >_<; The book preview won’t embed, so to check out my book you’ll have to click here. (It’s worth it!)

Happy previewing~

P.S. Looking for my new stuff? Visit me at *fruitpunch.

All good things come to an end (and every end is a new beginning…)

Dear mom + internet friends,

I have an announcement! It may upset some of you, shock others and/or create a general state of paranoia on the interwebs. Or not.

After some time thinking about this blog and where it started/where it is now, I’ve come to the decision to stop posting on Kankan. I’m not deleting the blog, although I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll be shifting any of the content in the future. Since I’m sure you’re staring at the computer screen scratching your face saying, “Whyy is this happeniNg?!” I’ve got some talking points to explain:

1) I wAnt 2 have ALL the InTerNet’s bAbies!!

1) That first #1 was a joke. I’m switching from the WordPress platform to Blogger because of HTML coding and Google Analytics.

2) I envisioned Kankan as something other than what it seems to have naturally morphed into – I think Kankan was a better name for what I was doing abroad and what I was attempting to accomplish here before the realities and restrictions of a 9-5 job were taken into account. I’d like to stop adding to the content here so that the posts I created focusing on different spaces/places are available and not buried underneath things that are related, but not necessarily going in the same direction. This is not to say that original content focusing on local treasures is going away…it’ll just be re-formatted, so to speak.

3) I’ve been looking into other publishing platforms (oo la la! tell me more!) and I have high hopes that the original content I created here, specifically that related directly to Charlottesville, will get a second life…but more on that later. Don’t want to jinx anything!

4) Let’s be real. No one knows what the hell this blog is called. It’s an issue. (But still a cute name!)

5) I just like it when lists are at least five points long. Point #5.

My new lifestyle blog, which I have envisioned as a lifestyle blog and which will be awesome, launches Monday. If you have subscribed to this blog, which I sooo greatly appreciate (three o’s worth of appreciation!) you will indeed have to re-subscribe to the new blog. But who doesn’t love signing up to get new emails in this day and age?

To make a long story short (after telling you the long story already), I got a new idea and I’m running with it – it’ll be fun! Scout’s honor.

P.S. Ok, that last part is a lie, I was never a boy scout. But it’ll still be fun!

Color me loving it.

I found this interior over on The City Sage a little while ago and fell in love with it (click through for more information about the shoot). I think it’s funny that when it comes to interiors, white is to decorating as black is to getting dressed. Developing a style for a space or for yourself depends so much on the balance of color and hue! And I love me some preppy pops of bold color and oversized patterns – done so well here.

Things we bring in from outside.

I finally picked up some new flowers last weekend. They’re not much to look at, as I had to decide between buying enough to make some semblance of a bouquet and eating. I chose eating. I do like having flowers in my apartment, though, and one of these days I might get around to picking up more than a few stems…although the slim arrangement is also, in part, dictated by the narrow mouth of the bottle in which I choose to display it. I need a new vase…though this is rather pretty, no?


In other plant news, I decided to stop eating meat the other week after finishing Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals. Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t vegetarian, so it’s like I have to forge my own path or something. So far I’ve not had too much trouble avoiding land-based animals, but I haven’t given up fish since the Seafood Watch iPhone app handily informs readers what’s overfished and what’s aplenty. Bourgeois indulgence to the rescue!

My big moral dilemma is that, living as I do in a relatively rural area, I actually have access to meat that is raised outside the industrial agricultural system. (More than anything, although I am rather fond of animals and don’t necessarily want them to die, the environmental impact of meat eating is what convinced me to attempt a meatless diet once again – I can’t abstain from driving and declare oil, “like, the worst thing ever” if cow farts from my hamburger’s past life are a bigger hazard). What’s worse, my friend’s parent’s cow or Atlantic farm-raised salmon? *Le sigh* I realize, as one friend pointed out, that not eating meat, but still practically worshipping leather is a bit of a cross purpose. But…shoes! One day I’ll reconcile the issue, for now I’ll stick to vintage and veggies.

Agyness Deyn is James Dean all the time.

Agyness Deyn might be the patron saint of androgynous style and I love her for it.

Here, as James Dean in this month’s Elle (images 1, 2, 5) and in W four years ago (images 3, 4, 6).

Apartamento Living: Flower Arrangement No. 2

I know it’s not much of an arrangement, per se…but it is pretty! These are Allium seed pods I picked up at the farmer’s market Saturday. The vendor who sold them to me (forgot to get her name…next week) said these would be much harder to kill than other varietals (am I using that word correctly?) so fingers crossed. The “vase” is an old water jug/jar thing my parents had in the basement. I’m really loving the household-objects-as-vase look. And I love how art deco the seed pods look….a bit more masculine than my hydrangea/lilac arrangement and definitely more minimal – nature’s nod to the sunburst!

Piqued of The Week: He Wears The Short Shorts

This post topic has actually been piquing my interest since last week, when I read a post over on The Man Repeller about male style faux pas. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Repeller details the different ways in which women’s high fashion trends repel (straight) men. The post focused on decidedly down market trends (Ed Hardy) and just general misfortunes (flip-flops and shoes, plumber crack), because, frankly, straight men don’t do high fashion so much. (Generalization, I know, but I’m speaking generally…) I was interested in the high fashion trends that are too outré for most heterosexual women to consider their partners wearing that might also be necessarily “woman repelling.” Let’s discuss.

When I was younger I took it for granted that shorts were just what one wore during the summer months, but as I’ve grown older I’ve come to realize that there’s contention regarding these seasonal staples.  Tom Ford declared them only appropriate, “on the tennis court or on the beach,” and an intrepid T reporter detailed the mixed reaction to his below average inseam when putting the new lengths of men’s shorts (short) to the acceptable-in-America test. Personally, I think most men wear their shorts too long and too wide – and don’t even get me started on the ills of cargo shorts! I always try to find pairs that fall above the knee, as that works best with my proportions and I prefer a super slim cut. I have two pair from Phillip Lim that I’ve fallen out of love with over the years – a rolled-up style that I had hemmed because they were too long, but then the roll got wonky, and a corduroy pair that needs to be trimmer. I bought two pairs of shorts at H&M simply because they had my size, but then I spilled on them…and the most recent pair I purchased have an unfinished hem, which I cut myself to get the length right and now they seem to be unraveling. Needless to say, shorts and I don’t necessarily get along. But I support them, and I support them being short. If you wanted to be guaranteed of a pair of shorts’ woman-reprelling power you could wear the oversized bow-front version, as seen at Duckie Brown, or tuck your over-the-knee lace-up sneaker boots into them á la Givenchy. When it comes to bling, most of the post commentary seemed to lament thumb/pinky rings and things like chokers, which I see as a styling niche of skaters and surfers (and which I haven’t seen since leaving California.) But what would one say of jewelry designer Philip Crangi?
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When design majors go unemployed…

So I switched up the game (again) and redid the blog design…the old one was beginning to annoy me. This design is slightly more sophisticated/complicated so it’s going to take some figuring out…I also still have the lil’ tumblr thing going on, because tumblogging is different from regular blogging, right? So if I don’t do both then I’m “out of touch” and “totally square” (or is that “radically square”?)

Hopefully I’ll like this…and be able to make it work. If you hate it, let me know! Thoughts are appreciated!

xoxo gossip girl

I mean Thanks -SEAN

Success! The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

As I mentioned yesterday, the Wall is divided up into multiple sections that tourists can freely visit. There are other, off limits sections, but I didn’t go hardcore and seek them out. I visited Mutianyu, the second-most touristy section of the wall. It was a bit more refurbished than I’d wanted and was definitely seeing too much foot traffic for me to feel all adventurous and Tomb Raider-y, but the weather was absolutely perfect. Can’t complain about that! Especially in Beijing…

Note the tiny person standing on that section of the wall (click to enlarge).

The views were pretty spectacular. Um, obviously.

The characters on the hill (which you can’t really see here, top left corner) say “Loyalty to Mao,” according to a conversation I overheard on purpose.

This is a film crew that was setting up for “an event.” I hope it was another Great Wall bikini fashion show like the one we watched on the coach ride out. What else is the Wall for if not hawking swimwear?

The view coming down the mountain in the cable car.

Fun things worth noting about my visit to the Wall:
1) Worst footwear choice: embellished flip-flops. On the Great Wall of China.
2) Best alternative to cheese: the tourist group having their picture taken that yelled, “Jesus!”
3) The Wall is damn steep in some parts. It was SUCH a workout, I felt really healthy actually. It was really good for my calves!

To get to Mutianyu: Grab the 916 or 916 express from Xizhimen (or was it Dongzhimen?) station and ride it out ’til all the other white folks start getting off. From there, take a car out to the wall, which should be about 25RMB/person. I think. It was for me.