Expensive Simplicity = Two Steps On The Water


character sketches
Originally uploaded by steverolston

I still haven’t chosen a guiding aesthetic for Austin 3.0 — I’m still rolling with the fin-de-siècle Burbank chic concept, but I’d like to add in some serious Martha Stewart/Nigella/Becks & Posh/Grub Report carelessly-louche expensive-simplicity vibes. I assume this means I’ll be infusing things with other things in great jolly thick glass bottles. I am looking forward to that.

It also means I’m going to have to learn to cook. Not many people know this, but I am obsessed with cookbooks. Cookery books. At my father’s house and my grandmother’s house I would sneak out of the bed and sit in the kitchen for hours, reading them. I’ve never cooked anything in my life and I don’t have any physical experience, but I can talk you through basically anything. I’ve got more recipes in my head than vicious comebacks. The other thing I love is making things look beautiful. I like decorating cakes and stuff like that. That’s another secret. So basically, I have to take this austere — necessary — environment, and at the same time make it Martha Stewart-y.

This is what happens when you visit amazon.com — fucking artistic notions.

So but that’s still not a life, that’s just a bunch of crap that will get old and fusty and I’ll have to throw it out. The more surfaces you have, the more you have to dust. Or somebody does.

The whole human skin thing was like a timebomb in my mind. I knew it my whole life, and then one day it became JUST TOO MUCH. Like blood diamonds.

…Kind of, I mean. Only worse, really, because they’re in your house. And in other ways, not quite as bad.


Okay, how about this? Have you ever had this thought?

Wow, I really got a lot accomplished today. I cleaned the house really thoroughly, I balanced my checkbook, I reordered this and that, I bought a thing I really needed for the last month… I’m feeling really effective. Or OH MY GOD WHAT IF THIS IS A MANIC EPISODE AND I AM NOW BIPOLAR?

Only a truly lazy, naïve person would assume that a clean house was an indicator of mental illness. I am this person.


I’m still listening to Ra Ra Riot nonstop in the hopes that my last.fm profile will reflect this obsessive behavior. Lord knows that thing holds a grudge like a motherfucker — you leave the new Tori Amos album on at home, accidentally, for one fucking day, and it thinks you’re the biggest Tori Amos fan of all time. It really messed my last.fm up but I don’t want to start over. So I’m just trying to listen to music that I honestly love. That’s right, in order to fool a computer program into thinking I’m cool, I have to do what I was going to do… but like to an extreme degree. If you do everything to an extreme degree, possibly that is the secret to coolness.

Those food blogs I linked above (“Becks & Posh” is Cockney for “Nosh,” dig?) are so great. (The Grub Report blogger is a good friend of mine, actually, because we work together and are of a mind on many topics. She’s neato.)

Food blogs usually have the best photography. Why?

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