Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Only when I'm around

I have to share two stories of "only me" hilarity.

1) Monday night, I got out of work at 1 a.m. and when I was pulling out of the parking lot, I saw the reflection of my headlights and noticed one was out. Needless to say, that's awesome, since I had to drive to Kentucky the next morning and the last thing I need the week of a holiday is car trouble.

So, since I live like, two blocks away, I figured I could go home and then drive home in daylight Tuesday and get it fixed in Wise. But of course, I end up behind a cop, who immediately does a u-turn, follows me a block and pulls me over IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE.

He takes my license, looks at the address and is like, "oh...." and I go, "yes, this is my house."

He says, "Did you know your headlight is out?"

I say, "Yes."

He says, "How long have you known?"

I say, "About two minutes."

Then he says I'm free to go, which is nice since I'm parked IN FRONT OF MY PORCH.
Luckily, this story has a happy ending. He let me go with a warning, and I was able to get it fixed for like, $5 within 10 minutes of arriving at Wal-Mart in Wise.

2) Mom was supposed to meet me at aforementioned Wal-Mart, but was running 40 minutes late, because as she was leaving, the Christmas tree tumbled over. The ornaments survived, but the (fake) tree literally broke.

When we got home, Anthony, Mom and I all worked on balancing the tree whilst duct-taping it. They got it to stand up and all seemed well, until I was talking to Sean on the phone, and suddenly the tree surges toward my mother, at which point I scream, "OMIGOD THE TREE!" Some ornaments broke, the tree was realio trulio broken and we had to redecorate. It was okay and we survived, but Sean must have been scared to death when I screamed. Gooooood times.

Friday, December 19, 2008

SNL TV Funhouse

A lovely, if perverse, tribute.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

life goals

My goals as of today for the next year:
* Read all the books currently required for Virginia SOLs that I didn't read. If 11th graders are more well-versed in literature than I am, that's a problem.
* Work harder to find creative fulfillment.
* Finally conquer time management!
* Finally take cooking seriously!
* Take baby steps toward a more active lifestyle. The bicycle should help.

Those are basically my goals every year. But I feel like I really need a change soon. Things just don't feel right and I hate myself for being jealous when it seems like everyone is living life and I'm busy documenting it in the newspaper. Time to live!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thank you!

Many thanks to my family and friends from whom I received:
* Awesomely colorful Pottery Barn sheets
* The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
* A portrait of Feist from the concert I saw (care of Ryan)
* A comfy cardigan from Urban Outfitters
* Nars Orgasm lip gloss
* Stila lip gloss aplenty!

Thanks everybody!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

back up off

So, this may be an unpopular thing to say, but I really dislike salespeople.

They rarely sway my decisions. And I have such a psychotic aversion to asking strangers for help that there is no way they can ever be of use to me.

But I guess this time of year, everybody's after a commission.

I was at Ulta, looking at Anastasia brow powder when a salesgirl literally hands me an Urban Decay brow powder and is all, "Oh, it has so much more product, PLUS mini tweezers PLUS a mini brush PLUS an eyebrow wax for just $10 more dollars!"

First of all, I went to Ulta with the Anastasia product in mind. Second of all, I hate Urban Decay make-up. Thirdly, DID I ASK YOU?!

I got so annoyed I eventually put both away and left her section entirely. I'm not sure that's what either she or I had in mind.

Maybe I'm just crotchety but it seemed extremely pushy to me.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

i got what i wanted. now what?

I am now the proud owner of an Electra Deluxe ladies' red cruiser 3-speed bicycle. Now we just have to find a way to get it home since the bike store guy says we shouldn't remove the handlebars, neither of us is willing to get a bike rack and between us, we know exactly one person who has a truck.

huh. maybe I didn't think this through too much. Also, braking is so tricky! I have to relearn how to ride, for serious. But I'm super excited and it is super hot.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

i want to ride my bicycle

Things are lovely at the moment in most cases. I'm currently driving a rental Kia Spectra while my car is in the shop. We just got a new employee, so I'm back to not only having two days off, but having weekends. I'm turning 24 on Saturday. And most exciting: Sean is going to let me pick out a bike for my birthday!

I really want a classic cruiser with a basket and a bell and a little dog and a baguette from a farmers' market. Hopefully, that will work out.

I'm also happy because even though there are always one or two things that aren't quite taken care of yet, I've been fairly productive. I ordered copies of my transcript just in case I need them in the future, I've bought several Christmas gifts already and I got a bunch of books to get me through the next month or so.

I read a terrifically inspiring piece about Bill Clinton's foundation and its work in Africa and I thought, "You know what? Times are hard, and I don't make a ton of money, but I could commit at least $100 a year to some kind of charity." So I think I'm going to do that. Donate at least $100 a year to something; lord knows they need it now more than ever since everybody is thinking the opposite. So for me, it will either be The Clinton Foundation or Harlem Children's Zone or something else that will probably lose funding as states make their budget cuts.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

burning down the house

MTV has loaded all of their vintage videos onto one site and I just spent an hour reliving childhood. SO GOOD! Find your favorites: MTV Music

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

No longer a partly cloudy patriot

Last night was a doozy, with lots of shouting and pizza. And around 11 p.m., a group hug and tears.
I can't wait to tell my children and grandchildren about the moment our presidential election ended.
About John McCain's gracious speech.
About the crowds that surrounded the White House.

I woke up this morning and turned on my computer.
I read stories in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post.
I looked at photo galleries and videos of people dancing in the streets.
And I listened to "A Change Is Gonna Come," bawling my eyes out.

Today, I am so incredibly proud.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

forgive the poor quality

Norfolk Obama Rally from Amber Lester on Vimeo.

But I thought you should know what it's like to be at an Obama rally, in Norfolk, when Kanye West is playing.

This is from my phone, so needless to say, we're not winning any Oscars.

Monday, October 27, 2008

ignoring siren songs

The last thing I need is this amazing, robin's egg/Tiffany blue mohair scarf that costs $50 at J.Crew, right?

Sigh. Right.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

let's blow all our money

these necklaces, found at Auto are all ludicrously expensive/ridiculously awesome.

1) Subversive necklace, $1400
2) Farrah Dragon necklace, $913
3) I. Ronni Kappos, $190

Sunday, October 19, 2008

an unnecessary extravagance

I can't imagine a more unnecessary extravagance during a recession than a $98 throw pillow embroidered with my initial.

But on the other hand, I can't imagine a more whimsical, lifelong love than a $98 throw pillow embroidered with my initial.

This lovely one is from Jonathan Adler

Monday, October 13, 2008

just in time for Halloween!

Urban Outfitters presents: The only leggings that could make one's crotch look like it's made of mercury!

OMG so scary.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Step 1: We Can Have Lots of Fun

Well, an 18-year-old wrong has been righted. I have finally seen the New Kids On the Block in concert. When I was a, um, 4-year-old, I planned on marrying that tap-dancing fool, Joey McIntyre, and living a life on the road supporting my man. Alas, it didn't work out, but when Jamie and I were in high school, we rediscovered her old NKOTB tapes and watched them, full of joyous nostalgia. Now, ten years after THAT, we saw them in D.C., surrounded by a sea of thirtysomething cougars wearing shirts they bought in 1988.

It was, seriously, the sweetest thing ever. There was a palpable feeling in the crowd, and even on the stage, that all of us were escaping the burdens of adulthood (no one there was younger than 23) and for one night, reliving our childhood. The New Kids completely played to this, wisely, even doing the original choreography for "The Right Stuff," "Didn't I," and "Step by Step." It was perfect. Sure, it may be hard for Joey to hit those notes, but boy he seemed to have fun. Donnie, no joke, wiped tears away as he thanked the crowd.

And it certainly didn't hurt that I think they look WAY better now that they're thirtysomething husbands and fathers:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Emmy Fashion

I think the Emmy's were like, epically awful this year and hopefully they'll be hiring me as a producer to clean this thing up.

Also, I think the fashion, as it has become lately, was also really boring. But here are my thoughts anyways.

BEST: Marcia Cross in Elie Saab. I want my wedding dress to look like this, ya'll.
NEXT BEST: Olivia Wilde in Reem Acra (who randomly had a big night; i think at least 3 people wore her dresses).
KUDOS FOR COLOR: Mary-Louise Parker in Roberto Cavalli and lipstick only she could pull off.
PLEASE STOP WEARING DARK COLORS: Tina Fey, who seems to be giving Jennifer Aniston a run for her money in the Boring Dark Dress category, in David Meister.
WORST: It's not even a bad dress, I just can't believe Julia Louis-Dreyfus convinced Narcisco Rodriguez to make something so garish.

p.s. it's Milan fashion week and for everyone who doesn't care, after Paris fashion week I will post my DREAM FANTASY SPRING WARDROBE! Get pumped. There's little else in life to be enthused about lately. lol.

manic monday

So, life update:
I will be resigning my lease for six months, at which point I will move to Hampton Roads no matter what.

I'm going on vacay for all of next week; more than half of that time will be spent in D.C. with Jamie and maybe later, Sean and Ryan.

I had a feverish obsession with drawing and painting until I got sidetracked with job panic, but now I'm going to try to return to the drawing and painting. It was good for me, I think.

I really, really want a bicycle. I really, really like the chill in the air.

Sean went skydiving and lived to tell the tale. I don't really see the appeal in my case, but for him, it was perfect.

I'm currently working six days a week and I got a raise, so hopefully I can save some money in these troubled economic times.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

what i've been up to...


and panicking about my chosen profession.

and working a whole lot.

I also, for the first time in my life, bought a pair of shoes twice. I bought the first pair of sandals in March at Target and by last week, I had worn completely through the soles and rocks were stabbing my feet. Needless to say, I loved these sandals, enough to destroy them in a few short months. So when I was at Target the other day, I saw one pair, in my size, on clearance and I bought them all over again. I'm like those old ladies who stock up on Revlon Red #6 lipstick in case they ever cancel the color.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

doom and gloom

Because life and career are so very doom and gloom, I treated myself to a honeycomb necklace very similar to this one from Stone and Honey

Also, I would like to note that I have cried watching the Olympics on multiple occasions now, I hope to marry Michael Phelps, I adore Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, and I think "Nastia" is the most fun name to say out loud ever.

Monday, August 4, 2008

if i had a lot of money...

I would commission a fleet of these handmade ships from Ann Wood
And then when I got married, I'd hang them from the trees.
And then when I had children, I'd hang them from the ceiling.
And then when they grew up, I'd let them take one.
And so on and so on.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

life's little pleasures

Cures to summertime blues:
A) Crepes
B) Farmer's market flowers: phlox, Queen Anne's lace, lavendar and more
C) New vase from Space in Staunton; it looks like a dinosaur egg when it's empty, with pink high gloss paint inside white ceramic.
D) Splurge for August! Shoes from Design at Nine.

art fool

So I am very slowly teaching myself Photoshop and today I drew this portrait of Sean. I did not draw this freehand; I drew over his face and then deleted it. I'm going to assume that's how most people create realistic portraits in Photoshop, but I'm sure there is someone out there who does it the hard way. I'm a cheater.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

color me pumped

That has to be one of the most badass trailers I have seen in years. SO pumped. And, apparently, Lil Voldemort is played by Ralph Fiennes' nephew.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

and you may ask yourself, how do i work this?

Thank you to everyone who voted about my future! It looks like most of you agree that I should go back to some form of school and get some form of graphic design education. I'm pondering this very seriously, but taking in many very difficult variables:
B) Location
C) Potential career track damages (if I get off the train, will it be hard to get back on?)
D) What type of degree to get (associates, masters, certification or — God, I hope not — another B.A. or B.F.A)

I think doing it could really broaden my horizons and make me as versatile as I could hope to be. I would have training in writing, editing, designing, printing processes, typography — pretty much all of my interests. Plus, I'd make a lot more money.

So we'll see. This could be wayyyy off in the distant future or maybe next fall, for all I know. In the meantime, I'm teaching myself at home, doing the chapters in my Photoshop book and teaching myself parts of Illustrator. I'm beginning to understand the printing process a lot better, but much of it is still a mystery to me.

In other news, I'm going to Florida at the end of next week and I haven't flown in two years, so I'm freaking myself out about what to pack, how to avoid provoking the ire of security guards and how to keep my hard-earned $15 and not check my bag. Any advice, oh frequent fliers? I could use it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

you're my only hope

Well, it's been about a week since I posted the poll and only three people have voted. Thank you for your votes, friends, but it's locked in a dead tie between me becoming a teacher, designer or wedding planner (which I wasn't entirely serious about, lol). So, I implore you, scroll down, find the poll and cast a tie-breaking vote! Otherwise my career choices hang in the balance!

In other news, I've been staying up late teaching myself Photoshop and Illustrator and I'm starting to feel really fired up and I really, really miss painting, so maybe I'll get my artsy on soon.

Also, that stupid Moonbeam clock hasn't rung once since I've owned it. It lights up, yes, but never, ever rings. Not good.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

new careers all over!

In the spirit of my previous post (which by the way, please vote so that I know what to do. Right now it's 50/50 to become a teacher or wedding planner!), we need to find a new career for Sean.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I totally bought this print from Ashley G. on etsy today. It's the first time I ever paid for original art! That sounds untrue, but it is. It cost 20 whole dollars. lol.
It's like it's me, but in a print.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

When I grow up

I think we all are aware that the journalism industry is struggling. I think it's prudent to come up with some back-up plans, but I'm feeling very torn and divided about what to do with myself and I certainly don't want to waste any time/money/life becoming trained in something I ultimately may not want to do.

SO! Here is my poll, open to the public:

Saturday, July 5, 2008


So, after the millionth morning of waking up and noticing my alarm clock wasn't even set anymore (the little light that shows that the alarm is set literally flickers) I broke down and ordered my dream clock: the Westclox Moonbeam from LL Bean. It lights up before it rings to ease you into waking up.

Of course, after I dropped more than anyone should pay for an alarm clock, I read a person's blog entry who said it was like waking up to an ambulance. Um, awesome? We shall see.

Friday, July 4, 2008

second-floor living without a yard

Happy Fourth of July!
I have to work tonight, so for the first time in maybe ever, I don't think I'll be seeing fireworks tonight.
Most of you know that fireworks are my favoritest thing and the Fourth is my most treasured holiday. But I'll get holiday pay, soooooo I guess it's kinda worth it?

Wherever I live next, I really hope I can get a porch, so I can do this:

That is a homemade trellis made from IKEA shelves found on Ikea hacker I think that's about the coolest thing ever. What a good way to spruce up those lame balconies that apartments have nowadays.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today I want...

1) Schwinn Pink cruiser from Target

2) Hedgerow pillow sham, $80, Dwell Studio

Saturday, June 7, 2008


I was on the Virginia Press Association web site today and thought I'd dig up my award comments before they get lost to the Internets. It's good to hang on to compliments for rainy days, isn't it?

For a business story:
"Lester pulls the readers in with great anecdotal leads and then keeps them with detailed business info. She also is excellent at providing context for her stories -- providing a local example of a national story."

For features portfolio:
"Lester is the kind of writer who makes a newspaper fun to read -- breezy, upbeat, often outright funny but never silly. Her vignettes of the life and times of Harrisonburg read almost like something out of Lake Wobegone."

how nice. stuff like that makes me miss writing. But I will say, I also dug up the comments from our general design make-up award this year and it said, "Good A1s, especially on Dec. 9." TOTALLY one I designed. hehehe.

I needed that after the last few weeks of utter chaos.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I want to be that famous.


Today I want...

The newly introduced Airia desk by Kaiju Studios for Herman Miller, as seen on Not Cot

Isn't that the most gorgeous post-modern desk you ever did see? It has cork-lined shelves and cable storage to keep unsightly cords organized. Sigh. I'm in love.

It costs $2,315. I think my current desk cost about $30.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New hairsdo!



I got a new hairsdo! The hair stylist says she probably cut between 6 and 7 inches off! I am so pumped about it. I was more than done taking care of long hair. It's way too much work in the morning.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

fugly or fabulous?

Is it weird to be really, really attracted to these nail polishes? Are they chic or shitty? I just don't know. I do, however, know that they cost $16.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

today i like...

"Under the Same Moon." I seriously cried from start to finish, and basically sobbed at the end. It was just incredibly beautiful and heartfelt. It's the story of a little boy in Mexico who crosses the border on a mission to be reunited with his mother, who has been working in the U.S. for four years, trying to save up enough money to bring him to L.A. The little boy is so cute and courageous and such a good little actor, I just want to hug him every time I see him.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

today i like...

Goldfrapp's "Happiness" video. I just want to know how that guy was able to walk the next day.

Apparently, this is a direct homage to this Peter Wolf video from the '80s: 

Saturday, May 3, 2008

O, Pittsburgh: Fallingwater

So, on April 18, Sean and I went to see Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, just 90 minutes south of Pittsburgh. It is wayyyyy back in the boonies, ya'll. The drive was nearly identical to the drive to Pound. 

But anyways, for those who don't know, a short history:
Fallingwater was the home of Edgar Kauffman, the proprietor of Kauffman's (Pittsburgh's equivalent to Macy's). It was built in the 1930's for about $160,000, which would be comparably to $2 million today. It was extremely over budget (the Kauffman's planned to spend $30 to $40,000).

It is built above a waterfall and is arguably the home that most fully realized Wright's vision of organic architecture. The rocks in the living room (which we weren't allowed to photograph) are river rocks, waxed to always look wet. Even the foundation was built into the side of the ridge. It is really amazing and inspiring, and for $16, I think everyone should see it.

The best part of the tour was our fellow tour members: a group of about 7 non-English speakers from Uruguay. It was pretty classic. They blatantly ignored the no cameras rule and when one of them was forced by the tour guide to translate, she couldn't find ways to explain canopies, cantilevered roofs or how the owners could be short, but not fat, even though their beds were so wide. 

At the end of the tour, our tour guide said, "Many celebrities came to Fallingwater!" and the group translator said, in awe, "More famous than Frida Kahlo???"
"Yes! Albert Einstein stayed here," he said.
The Uruguayans (???) ooohed and aaahed and then our tour guide says, "But a couple years ago, two REALLY famous people came — BRAD PITT AND ANGELINA JOLIE!!!!!!1"
And I'm not kidding, the Uruguayans could not have cared less. The translator gave him a Look that said, "More famous than Frida Kahlo????"

today i like....


Penguin Classic's items on sale at the Bloomsbury Store, which is unfortunately in England. I can't really think of anything I want so badly that I'll pay to have it shipped for England. 

But then again, I imagine chilling in my secret garden on my "Room of One's Own" lawn chair and I find myself resisting the urge to make a currency conversion.

Friday, May 2, 2008

today i like....

I think they are just incredibly romantic; they look like upside-down tutus, and have real personality. Open and yet demure at the same time. If someone really wanted to get on my good side, peonies would do the trick, every time. hint. hint!

By the way, Pittsburgh update forthcoming. I'm a loser and I've been way busy and I'm doing stupid stuff like leaving my cell phone at Sean's!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

today i like....

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

The book is about a period after the author's divorce when she went on a soul-searching trip to Italy, India and Indonesia.

Totally chick-litty, and kind of corny and a guilty pleasure, but you know what? It was great and now all I want to do is move to Bali and meditate with ancient medicine men.