15 December 2018

15/365

48

things that absolutely delighted me this week:

rosemary living in my kitchen window sill
christmas cookie recipes in my mom's handwriting
the most golden of magic hours on december eleventh 
a fortune from zoltar
a mixtape my brother made me
a mixtape, you understand
a cassette tape, is what I'm telling you
old home movies from my southern illinois childhood in which I sound like a hillbilly
lin-manual miranda on the radio talking about the saddest song
questlove on instagram talking about nancy wilson
ava's painting of this photograph of the two of us
ezra's pencil drawing of the sun
the way my family ate my inexplicably very dry red velvet cake with nary a complaint
the way my husband took such care with me on my birthday
every single time we plugged in the christmas lights
every single time, I tell you
mirrors and lights
lights and mirrors

(yayoi kusama forever)

14 December 2018

14/365

people and things in which I have the highest of hopes:

weighted blankets
the one legit coffee shop in our neighborhood
the third season of atlanta
time-release melatonin
every bra I've ever purchased

13 December 2018

13/365

places from which I have banned myself:

webMD
any site even remotely similar to webMD
the medical aisle at any and every book store and/or library

12 December 2018

12/365

the jar of magical thinking


things I keep in jars:

cloves
pennies
water from the pacific ocean
water from the atlantic ocean
portland rain, collected the day we moved
secret candies
bits of magical thinking

11 December 2018

11/365

48

things I did on the first day of 48:

slept in
drank all the coffee
felt alive
I mean, really alive
ate breakfast in bed with confetti
did not read the news
did not watch the news
wore a little crown made of sunflowers 
put on my reading glasses to read ezra's card 
tried not to cry
cried anyway
baked the red velvet cake
let the kids help
had soft pretzels and cherry limeade for lunch
stood in a room full of mirrors and lights
stood in that room for thirty seconds
wanted to stand in it for thirty hours
bought myself a little paint set
felt hopeful
tried on coral lipstick
felt hopeful
took a freight elevator to the rooftop
looked out over the city
closed my eyes
made a wish

10 December 2018

10/365


easy if you try

things I did on the last day of 47:

overslept
went to a thousand grocery stores
actually, two
bought cake flour, red food coloring, buttermilk 
wondered how many years I have been baking this cake
looked at my eyes in the mirror
googled eye cream
looked at my neck in the mirror
googled neck cream
did a thousand loads of laundry
literally a thousand
actually, seven
actually think seven might as well be a thousand
wondered how my laundromat is still in business
counted the number of machines marked out of order
counted eight
stepped over a washing machine turned on its side, guts and wires spilled out
wondered if they've just given up
listened to a couple argue in russian
listened to the sound of my friend's voice
wondered what I would have done without her this year
cut onions and garlic nice and fine
taught ezra how to saute 
contemplated vacuuming
decided against it
looked at the haircut I gave myself
I mean really looked at it
apologized to my hair
put fresh sheets on the bed
felt victorious
surveyed the mountain of towels and clothes yet to be folded
felt defeated
took a hot shower with the lights off
thanked my body for another year
thanked my skin, my muscles and bones
apologized for the many ways in which I have mistreated them
promised to do better this year 
meant it
chose the polaroid of the lovely laundromat above
chose it knowing full well it looks nothing like my sad laundromat
posted it anyway
wondered what tomorrow's list will look like
wondered what 48 what will look like

09 December 2018

9/365

cargo

seen at the mall today:

$200 face cream
a canary yellow fur coat
the world's smallest magic 8 ball
all the dresses I wore in the nineties
santa claus

08 December 2018

8/365

small pleasures, part one:

french fries
old photographs
the first page of a new book
sweaters that feel like blankets
sap pinched from the ends of christmas tree branches
handwritten letters
naps

07 December 2018

7/365

I would not be mad if, in a strange turn of events, santa claus turned out to be a real, living guy who, in an even stranger turn of events, hand-delivered one of the following items to my home in the dead of night:

these roller skates
this record album
this bicycle
this book
this camera

note: this is really just an updated version of a christmas wish list my fourth grade self made, though that one probably also included a request for multiple tins of village lip lickers and a dramatic plea for a mister microphone

06 December 2018

6/365

things I worried about today:

financial aid for ava
an impending deadline 
the strange sound the kitchen faucet makes
the strange sound my computer cord makes
ways I've failed as a parent
ways in which I am unable to properly adult
cancer, all of the cancers, always


05 December 2018

5/365

things I didn't see coming:

donald trump
the return of mom jeans
the love I have for my reading glasses

(well okay I sort of saw donald trump coming)

04 December 2018

4/365

things I wish I had at my house:

a washer
a dryer
a washer with a dryer stacked on top
a dryer with a washer stacked on top
literally anything vaguely resembling a washer
also, I would like a dryer

03 December 2018

3/365

because, christmas

things that got me through monday:

sunlight for breakfast
clementines for lunch
this song on the radio 
the little forest that lives on the mantle 
the piece of cheesecake I remembered I'd hid in the back of the refrigerator
the comedy that is the haircut I gave myself a few days ago
the christmas tree we brought home tonight
the way the house smells right now, right this second

02 December 2018

2/365

things found in the garage today:

a handful of seashells
an inordinate amount of empty boxes
the missing christmas records
a pair of tiny pink sneakers that once belonged to ava
a letter I wrote to myself back in february

01 December 2018

1/365

color//colour orange

on this first day of december:

banana bread, baked
christmas decorations, considered
furniture, moved
hairs, cut
dishes, washed
rain, appreciated
couch, sunk into

hello december



ready for you, december. ready for all of your things.

30 November 2018

last of the last

I find great comfort in the few days before november gives way to december. gourds are still on the table, leftover cranberry sauce still in the fridge. the leaves are still turning here in georgia. I am considering december. that is all. just considering. 

tomorrow, I'll step into it. tonight, I am still considering.

29 November 2018

better than drugs

Untitled


I had an idea for a project tonight-- I stopped everything, wrote down everything, emptied my brain. it felt good, it felt right.

this is your reminder to stop everything when the idea comes. to ride the wave, give yourself over, let new blood rush in. my reminder is your reminder is my reminder. I still believe in projects and ideas.

27 November 2018

april in new york

the way I saw myself tumbling down subway steps, every time. knees buckling, bag flying, limbs folding soundlessly beneath me. the reactions of people standing on the platform. the way I might fight to recover balance, pretend it did not happen.

-------

the way the smallest kindnesses undid me. the man on the train, traveling with his family into the city, lightly tapping me on the shoulder, offering me his seat. earlier, they'd quietly marveled as we passed the brooklyn bridge.  

-------

the way peter's handcrafted mug felt in my hands as I sat in jen's kitchen, coffee (hot) sweetened with brown sugar. window with a fire escape, whole of the day ahead of me. is there a more beautiful thing?

26 November 2018

sometimes

I hate writing.
I love having written.

dorothy parker

(thank you, tracy)

25 November 2018

fifty, celebrated

summer twenty seventeen//40

these two

26//52

ladies and gentlemen,

crescent city



hello space needle

Untitled

five decades, a fraction represented here. yesterday: this guy, fifty. we celebrated big and there are stories to tell. 

23 November 2018

photobooth friday

photobooth friday

photobooth friday! it's been a minute. 

struck photobooth gold in the city of new orleans, folks. first family photobooth strip in four years, first solo photobooth strip of ezra in four years and the last photobooth strip of ward in his forties. gold, gold, all of them, gold.

19 November 2018

18 November 2018

day eighteen

there will be hours, I think. hours and hours in the car to do things. seven hours to new orleans, plenty of time. I can read and write, mend jeans, maybe even edit. balance the computer on my lap and edit shoots while we fly down the highway. I have done this before, though with minimal success. still, I think. I could get so much work done. I stuff my black canvas bag with books and zines, sashiko thread. I pack a sketchbook, a small pouch of supplies, my computer, external drives. I am hopeful.

but once we hit the highway, I can only sit and stare. for hours, I sit like this. maybe sing along with the music a little. mostly, I let my mind run til it can't anymore. until the sky turns pink and the headlights of oncoming cars pop on and I am drowsy and drunk from the quiet. I can't even bring myself to read. we are in alabama before I realize maybe this is good for me. maybe this is exactly what I need.

17 November 2018

day seventeen



birds
coffee
embroidery
avocados
artichokes
public radio
hot tea
hot sauce
historical fiction
orange marmalade
documentaries
tomatoes
fleetwood mac
reading glasses
mornings

(things I love now that I didn't thirty years ago)

16 November 2018

it's true





all I really want to do is read books and ride bikes and listen to records so I am basically just my fourth grade self, all over again.

15 November 2018

it's 9:59

and I've done it again. I've waited until the end of the day to write and I have nothing left. not a thing. why, why do I do it. all I can think about now is the bed and the book and the tee-shirt and the way I will crawl into all three of them within the hour.

13 November 2018

day thirteen


the problem is that I wait until the end of the day to begin. when I am feeling all used up and my eyes are bleary from editing and my brain is weary from thinking and my body is tired from living.

I used to come alive at night. after everyone else went to bed and quiet fell over the house, my brain lit up like a neon sign. I felt like I could do anything. make anything, write anything. all my magic unfurled after midnight.

there is no magic unfurling after midnight now. there is actually no magic unfurling anytime after nine. it is currently 9:08pm and I am telling you people right now, I am struggling. after nine, everything looks wrong, feels wrong. and what I have come to realize is that things feel wrong because I have no optimism left. these days, I have a very fixed daily amount. once it's gone, it's gone. but what I also know now is that if I just slip into bed and read my book and fall asleep, the optimism will magically regenerate and return in the morning. there will be coffee and a fresh chunk of daily optimism for the taking. most of the time, anyway.

some days, I'm careless with it. I squander it, spend it all in one place. as if I have no concept of what it means to pace. sometimes it runs out long before the day is over and I am forced to run on faulty reserves. this never ends well. and my family has come to recognize this part of who I am. once, when we were all sitting around a bonfire in the backyard, staring in silence at flames dying and embers cooling in a fat pile of ash, ezra said, "look. it's mom's optimism."

and I laughed, because it was true.

12 November 2018

well, I asked

me, after dinner: "so, what should I write about tonight?"

ava: "slurpees."

ezra: "define slurpees."

ward: "love. you should write about love."

ward: "talk about trump. you love trump."

ezra: "you should also probably write about how I'm almost done folding all these paper cranes."

ava: "polygamy."

ward: "make one of your lists. you should make a list of um, movies."

ava: "toilets. public toilets."

ladies and gentlemen, this be my monday night. 

11 November 2018

day eleven



I watched this today and it made me happy. (november, two years ago)

10 November 2018

friday night

I had the sads last night and nothing helped. not the tater tots, not the hot shower, not the book in bed. not even claire de lune loud in my headphones. sometimes the sads are like that, though. you just have to sit in them for a little while, let yourself feel them.  

I thought about a midnight walk, I thought about cutting my hair. I thought about how good it might feel to take a pair of scissors and cut my braids right off, I thought about the sound the scissors against my hair might make, about the jolt I'd get from the sight of braids in the sink. that jolt appealed to me. 

I thought about writing, about how the push of a pen against paper feels. I thought about posting here. and then I fell into a deep, boneless sleep and now it's morning and there's sunlight and coffee and miraculously, banana bread in the oven. I made it to the other side, braids intact. 

good morning.

08 November 2018

twitter, condensed

Untitled

today, on twitter:
growing up physically surrounded by books can be good for you 
and breast milk is a scientific miracle
and silent book clubs are active
and 1993 might have been the greatest year for music
and the letter 'b' in the word 'debt' was added centuries ago for aesthetic effect
and vivian maier saw things in color sometimes

and there was another mass shooting
and voter suppression is choking us here in the state of georgia
and racism is choking us here in the united states of america
and the president is dumb
and we the people have had it

07 November 2018

day seven

where to look

find a tree that screams color, with leaves so bright they could be on fire. sunlight overhead is a plus, though not necessarily required. position yourself directly underneath this tree. position yourself as close to the trunk as you can get. 

look up. 

(repeat as needed)

06 November 2018

come through, georgia

Untitled

today, I voted. and I voted with my daughter who was voting for the very first time. and for the first time in a really long time, I felt hopeful. 

05 November 2018

get out there, folks

vote 
vote
vote 
vote
vote
vote
vote

04 November 2018

day four

two

once, my dad told me he'd read something about how just the act of peeling an orange had the power to boost your mood. something about the senses, he said. the way it smells, the way it feels in your hands.

I think about this a lot. I peel oranges slower now. I take my time, I do not rush. 

I believe in oranges.

02 November 2018

untitled



a list of possible titles for possible posts for this month of nablopomo november:

I Was That Mother Once

The Power Of The Stevies (Wonder, Knicks)

Let's All Move To Albuquerque

Books, Books Will Save Us

293 Sufjan Songs, Ranked

So My Kid Has A Writer In Him Fighting To Get Out

On Broken Kitchen Sink Pipes And Rage And The Unexpected Healing Power Of Clear Packing Tape

On Words That Are So Overused I Don't Even Know What They Mean Anymore

On Loving Cats That Will Lick The Dorito Dust Off Your Fingertips

They Can't All Be Beautifully Written Pieces, They Just Can't

On Coming Around To Cooking, Finally

On Lovingly Cultivating A Record Collection That Makes You Feel Alive Every Single Day

On The Belief That This Blog Is like The Little Cabin In The Woods I Come Back To Every Year

01 November 2018

here's where I begin

with nablopomo, unbelievably, after seven months of (unintentional) silence here, with a handful of words about a yearly ritual that I cannot, will not give up. a post a day, every day, for the month of november.

hello! I am still alive.

12 March 2018

color//colour pink

monday's pink
monday's pink 
was all bubblegum 
and pink flamingos
and mostly, pretend

tuesday's pink
tuesday's pink
had nothing to do 
with parking

wednesday's pink
wednesday's pink
was a love letter
to bright pink hair 
and the sweetest pink vintage dress 
and to the girl (my girl)
who wears both

thursday's pink
thursday's pink
was a little gem of a kitchen
that I think of all the time
(all the time)

friday's pink
friday's pink
was the soundtrack
that gave 15 year-old andrea
hope

saturday's pink
saturday's pink
was the last of the pink
and the last of the color//colour
but the beginning 
of the blooms
and so much
so much everything

(color//colour lovers twenty eighteen! fini)

(thank you, all you color//colour lovers out there, and thank you to my friend and terrific color-hunting partner in crime, xanthe)

28 February 2018

color//colour green

monday's green

monday's green 
was monday's inevitability

tuesday's green

tuesday's green
was just, so much wishful thinking

wednesday's green

wednesday's green
was miraculous seventy degree weather
and the little jolt you get
when you bring home something
green and alive

thursday's green

thursday's green
was like a painting

friday's green

friday's green
was rain in the forecast
and new york
on my mind

saturday's green

saturday's green 
was the promise
of pink

next up/this week: PINK

(more color//colour lovers project info herefollow along here)

20 February 2018

color//colour red

monday's red

monday's red
was a little bit yellow
because sometimes I have trouble letting go

tuesday's red

tuesday's red 
was basquiat's red
the best red, really

wednesday's red

wednesday's red
was construction paper and leftover scraps
and, like it or not, love

thursday's red

thursday's red
had nothing to do
with thursday

friday's red

friday's red
had everything to do
with friday
(happy lunar new year, friends)

saturday's red

saturday's red 
was a little scene
I'd like to step into
again and again

this week: GREEN

(more color//colour lovers project info here, follow along here)