Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Anti-Resolutions

Posted By on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I hate New Year's resolutions.

Before you call me whatever kind of Grinch that makes me, hear me out. Obviously, anytime that anyone wants to make a positive change in their life, that's an awesome thing. But I believe the very concept of a New Year's resolution pressures people to make massive overhauls in unrealistic timeframes, therefore setting themselves up for failure. I also believe that it makes my yoga classes extra crowded for several weeks.

That being said, in the spirit of being open minded and trying new things — my girlfriends and I called 2012 the year of the "yes," and 2013 will be the year of "doing it for the story" — I'm going to make a few resolutions that I know I can stick to in the new year. Join me, won't you? It will be fun!

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  • Image via oprah.com


1. Eat more dessert at breakfast.

This should be easy, because as I'm typing this, there are three different kinds of cookies on my desk and something pink with nuts of questionable origin inside. Thank you, coworkers, for keeping the carbfest going strong, post Xmas. Anyway, there is actually research to support that this is not a bad idea. Seriously! Even Oprah endorsed it, so there you go. Results from this awesome study ran in O, The Oprah Magazine earlier this year:

"In the study, two groups of overweight and obese people were instructed to consume the same number of calories daily (1,400 for women, 1,600 for men); the difference was that one group ate a modest breakfast each morning, while the other went all out with a high-calorie (600), high-carb (60 grams), high-protein (45 grams) meal that included a sugary treat. (Imagine a scramble of cottage cheese and eggs—two with the yolk, one without—on whole grain toast, an eight-ounce container of low-fat yogurt on the side, plus a fudge brownie.)

After eight months, the dessert-at-breakfast group had lost an average of 38 more pounds per person than the traditional dieters. An interesting twist occurred halfway through the study: During the first 16 weeks, both groups dropped about the same amount of weight. But over the next 16 weeks, the big-breakfast eaters continued to slim down (losing another 15 pounds) while the small-breakfast eaters gained back more than 75 percent of the weight they'd lost. Why? They'd started to cheat—which makes sense given that they reported feeling hungrier and had higher levels of the appetite hormone ghrelin."

So, plan to cheat a little and then you won't cheat a lot. That does make sense. Which brings me to Resolution Number Two ...

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Local Fashion Everywhere!

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

So much about local fashion to buzz about today, and we're not just talking about playing "Is this Amanda Valentine or her evil twin?" Hmmm ...

Anyway, if you're lucky enough to have some Xmas cash burning a hole in your pocket, here are a few ways to spend it:

Three words every Nashville girl loves to hear: MASSIVE LEONA SALE!!!

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Is Nashville Designer Amanda Valentine a Contestant on the New Season of Project Runway?

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Screenshot from last nights Project Runway Season 11 teaser
  • Screenshot from last night's Project Runway Season 11 teaser

Project Runway may not be the most compelling reality show on television — not enough Go-Go Juice, for one — but it might be the one that we at Country Life will be most obsessed with come January. Eagle-eyed art director Elizabeth Jones screen-capped a teaser for the new season that aired last night, and from the looks of things Nashville is about to get even more televised in 2013. Amanda Valentine, the designer behind Scene-favorite fashion label Valentine Valentine, was coy and snarky in a few seconds' worth of teaser footage. The network isn't releasing the names of this season's competitors until Jan. 3, but we've got our eye on Klum & Co. already. Watch the Jan. 24 premiere on Lifetime, and check back with us for details.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

What We're Reading: Post-Holiday Edition

Posted By on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM

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Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, by Chris Ware
I’m rereading one of my all-time favorite books for next month’s installment of Country Life's Art Book Club (stay tuned for more details!). The story, in a nutshell: Jimmy Corrigan is a little boy with an overbearing mom who grew up to be a sad middle-age man. The tragicomic reunion with the deadbeat dad he never knew is interspersed with flashbacks to the sad childhoods of the men in his family, particularly the great-grandfather who was a kid during the Chicago World’s Fair in the1890s. But let’s not kid ourselves — the story is completely secondary to the graphics here, which have, in my opinion, changed the way people think about not just graphic novels but book design in general. Think super-organized infographics filled to the gills with small, quiet details like a drop of water developing, swelling, then falling with a "plink" on the windowsill below. Loneliness never looked so beautiful. —Laura Hutson, Arts Editor

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$1.5 Million Metro Public Works Project Begins, But Twist Gallery is Closing: The State of the Art Crawl

Posted By on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 6:30 AM

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Nashville's First Saturday Art Crawl celebrated its fifth anniversary last year, but just 17 months later, the event is experiencing growing pains: Its home on Fifth Avenue North is undergoing a major facelift that may make First Saturdays even bigger, while Twist, a pioneering Art Crawl gallery, has announced it will close next summer.

Sixteen years ago, Anne Brown's The Arts Company opened its doors, making it the first gallery on Fifth Avenue North. Brown remains an enthusiastic promoter of the Art Crawl she helped to found.

"We don't do it just to do it," Brown says, laughing. "We meet new people every month. We make new sales every month during the Art Crawl. But it's also a way to engage people in a visual art activity that's free."

What's not free is the $1.5 million Metro Public Works project that has rechristened the block the Fifth Avenue North Arts District, and will bring with it a newly paved street, wider sidewalks, public art, bike racks, pedestrian seating, new landscaping and shimmering curtains of LED lights.

"I think it's a major shot in the arm for the Art Crawl," says Brown, who feels the makeover will shine a new light — literally and figuratively — on visual art in Nashville. "It's going to make it the Art Crawl-plus."

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While the redesign will affect the Fifth Avenue galleries the most, it will also impact the art spaces across the street in The Arcade. And there's another change coming to that side of the avenue.

Twist Gallery's Beth Gilmore helped organize the inaugural Art Crawl, and some of Twist's first exhibits were unsalable installations that immediately set it apart from its more commercial neighbors. This paved the way for The Arcade's other contemporary fine art galleries, such as Coop, 40AU, Open and Blend Studio. These spaces consistently program the smartest, most challenging — and often most beautiful — work at the crawl, but its hard to imagine the scene existing if Twist hadn't provided an anchor. But despite her pioneering success, Gilmore is calling it quits after July.

Read the full story here.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Enter the Void: Vertigo Opens Hitchcock Retro Today at Belcourt

Posted By on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 8:43 AM

As an appetizer for The Belcourt's Hitchcock retrospective, starting today with what many consider the Master of Suspense's greatest film — the greatest film, period — here's a clip of philosopher Slavoj Zizek from the 2006 film essay The Pervert's Guide to Cinema dissecting the fantasy fulfillment at the center of Vertigo.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Xmas!

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Still not feeling in the holiday spirit? Well, if a visit from Peter Claus doesn't fix that, you're a hopeless Grinch.

Happy holidays from our little corner of Country Life. And Peter Claus and Pugsley.

The Best Trailer You'll See All Week: Chasing Ice Opens Tonight at Belcourt

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 11:24 AM

As we wrote earlier in the week, The Belcourt has called off its showings of the slasher movie Silent Night, Deadly Night this weekend, saying that “the timing seems off for midnight movies about serial killers and childhood trauma.” Not to worry: If your holiday season won't be complete until you've seen Santa meathook some coed on reindeer antlers, it's still showing tonight and tomorrow night at Logue's Black Raven Emporium in East Nashville.

The decision to cancel Santa's slay got complaints from some Belcourt patrons and gratitude from others, but Facebook friends rushed in to vote a replacement. So goodbye killer Santa, hello Cousin Eddie and the Griswold gang: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation screens tonight and tomorrow at midnight.

And if it’s a white Christmas you’re wanting, the closest you’re likely to get is Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Ice, one of the most visually spectacular and troubling nature documentaries of recent years. In it, photographer James Balog and a team of young adventurers set out to chart the melting of Arctic glaciers, with lamentable success. It opens tonight at the theater for a week's run; read more here.

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Last-Minute Gift-Giving Back at Room In The Inn

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Before you completely check out into holiday brain, why don't you take the opportunity to do something nice for those in need in our community? Fortunately, Room In The Inn, Nashville's complex of services for homeless people and those in transition, is making it easy for you.

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Tomorrow, they're inviting you to come to the Room In The Inn campus, where former New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn will donate more than 60 pairs of shoes to the nonprofit. Shinn, a new Nashville resident, extols the holiday spirit of giving back, and has been dedicated to helping the less fortunate for years.

“For the past 22 years, my family has provided a hot lunch to thousands of New Orleans senior citizens, collected and distributed shoes and socks to hundreds of New Orleans residents at substance abuse facilities and brightened the holidays for hundreds of underprivileged children with shopping sprees or new bikes,” explains Shinn. “Our hearts go out to those who struggle and have significant need this time of the year. My wife Denise and I wanted to continue that same tradition here in our Nashville community and are so delighted to have discovered the tremendous ministry The Room In The Inn provides Nashville’s homeless. We are honored to help provide these shoes this upcoming Saturday in hopes it will help these resilient individuals to get back on their feet again.”

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Apocalypse, Pow! Sharon Needles Defies Mayan Doom Tonight at Play

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 9:44 AM

It was a relief when Sharon Needles won the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race — not just because she was the most intriguing and bizarre competitor, but because she wasn’t aping the fashion-model-glam drag that previous champions had exemplified. There are many subgenres of drag performance, and up until Needles won, the show’s insistence on runway model varieties of drag performers may have made for easier assimilation. But it was doing a grave disservice to the comediennes, big girls, camp artists and gothy girls who help make up the rhinestone rainbow of the modern drag experience.

With her macabre tendencies and elongated, Modigliani-esque lines, Needles brought a whole new aesthetic into the game, with elements of Morticia Addams, Grace Jones, Elvira and Marilyn Manson in the mix. If you heard Needles’ moody and effective cover of Ministry’s “Every Day Is Halloween” a few months back, you know this isn’t some habitual lip-syncer parading around the same material over and over again. Our girl Sharon is the real deal, serving spooky glamour and sick humor in giant, heaping spoonfuls.

What better way to spend the End of The World than with America’s current reigning drag superstar 9 p.m. tonight at Play on Church Street — particularly since this diva knows her way around whatever apocalyptic turns the evening may take?

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