13 November 2019


dream jobs, part one:

professional lamp whisperer
professional cross country train rider
official photographer of hanging laundry, everywhere, all over the world

12 November 2019


paradise garden

some things seen at howard finster's paradise garden:

a tortoise shell
a prosthetic leg
bits of twists and twirls of ancient foil
at least a hundred drawer pulls
an old wooden basketball goal
two calico cats
a thousand tools
a thousand bottles
rusted chandeliers
a bouquet of cattails
a small bicycle basket
a few broken gumball machines
a large wooden starburst
pickle jars filled with plastic easter eggs
howard's brushes, crusted with paint
a dozen old lamps, hanging from the ceiling
a giant concrete boot
a hand-painted cadillac
a painting of willie nelson
a headless virgin mary

(it's a magical place)

11 November 2019


spectacular falls I have taken:

age nine, in an old church choir loft during the christmas program (stepped on the front of my floor-length gingham dress and went down like a sack of potatoes in a sort of 'now you see her, now you don't' moment) (the entire congregation fought laughter and I mean, I get why but I fought real tears and delivered my lines like a true stoic and secretly despised them all for what clearly felt like betrayal)

age seventeen, on stage during a dress rehearsal of anything goes at taft theatre, downtown cincinnati (took the last high kick a smidge too high, swept my own feet out from underneath myself, went airborne for a fraction of a second before landing flat on my back with a sickening thud whilst the high kicking continued all around me) (wanted to die but popped right back up, as if internally operated by some magical animatronic machinery)

age forty-six, on a walkway crowded with tourists along the mississippi river in new orleans (stepped on the outer edge of the walkway, lost my footing while carrying a heavy backpack full of polaroid cameras and film, fought like a mother scratcher to regain balance so as not to damage said cameras which resulted in the lengthiest, most cinematic and dare I say most balletic of tumbles, really and truly, it felt like it was happening in super slow motion, like, I actually had time to think about things while I fell, A LOT of things, like, will I see this on youtube? are all my bones still intact? will I be able to walk away from this? also, why am I still falling? will I ever land? like, ever? or is this my life now?) (when I did finally land, a good fifteen feet from where I began, I prayed the earth might swallow me up but the choir loft spill at age nine had obviously prepared me and I played the whole thing off as if completely incapable of feeling and/or displaying any sort of human pain or emotion)

10 November 2019


sounds I love, part one:

the screech of the subway
the zip-whir of the polaroid SX-70
ezra's laugh, like pancake syrup that comes out too fast

09 November 2019


testing testing

things I'm working on, part one:

a gaggle of zine ideas
walking daily as a self-prescribed anti-depressant
painting every mud beige wall in this rental home bright white
a regular street photography practice
a new series
using what I already have
wearing what I already have
sashiko mending another pair of jeans 
printing photographs
rebuilding my site
reopening my print shop
reorganizing a hundred million personal photographs
finding hidden treasures in the disaster that is the garage
getting out of my own head
getting out of my own way
pouring light out of myself instead of taking it all in
eight hours of sleep every night, every night
a handwritten version of this list project
reading instead

08 November 2019


small pleasures, part thirteen:

exact change
the sunday newspaper
your own bed at the end of a long day
hummingbird sightings
warm cider in sturdy mugs
collected leaves
completed lists

07 November 2019



a few favorite adventures:

that time the kids and I traveled for two days through seven different states by train to visit my mom

that time my friends and I waded through cold, clear waters to get to the base of nambe falls in new mexico

that time we were passing through palm springs and decided, on a whim, to drive out to the edge of town and stand between the windmills and passing trains at sunset

06 November 2019



things seen on my walk today:

a can of root beer, completely flattened
an empty pack of marlboro lights
leaves the color of amber brown bottles
two skinny faux wood china cabinets left out at the curb, laid flat, face up, as if they were sunbathing
an accidental arrangement of string and leaves and light so lovely I walked around it so as not to disturb it

05 November 2019


three things I've given up: 

super late nights

(and I'm happier for it, I am so much happier)

04 November 2019


words I had to look up in the dictionary in october:


03 November 2019


books I read in october:

the heart is a lonely hunter (carson mccullers)
electric arches (eve l. ewing)
the americans (robert frank)

02 November 2019


things I want to remember about october:

ezra yelling from the top of the stairs: look at the peach-colored clouds, ma
the leaves that fell all around me while I rocked in the hammock
the discovery of those silvery bits on the back of the wings of that butterfly
a text from ava, seven inches of her hair cut off, her face luminous
the watching of old video footage of a trip to italy with ward in 1999
the watching of old video footage of ezra's very first birthday
the watching of old video footage of halloweens past
the milky white pumpkin with the tall, winding stem that called my name
the way I stood at the top of the falls after the crowd cleared
the way I breathed in that cold air for a few seconds, that sea of burnt yellow
david bowie on the turntable and chocolate chip cookies in the oven on a friday night
windows all the way open and fat stacks of pancakes on a saturday morning 
the first real backyard bonfire of the season
the yearly resurrection of mister bones and pumpkins drawn, cut and colored with toddler hands 
ava and cara and the impossible gaggle of rainbow balloons they tried to squeeze into the car
ezra's complex, ever-evolving lego handshake
that morning walk with ward in the fog 
silent book club in a dark pub on a monday night
the slow, miraculous transformation of the big tree on the corner
the moon from my window, like a silver coin, spied at 3:30 in the morning
the mysterious bronze urn left in a parking space at the church
the morning I stopped and pointed my SX-70 at the kitchen window
the morning I stood beneath the trees in our backyard, the ones just beginning to change
the way the sunlight deepened the reds of those leaves, like a volume dial turned all the way up
a facetime call with a good friend, like a shot in the arm, like a magic serum
the halloween package I put together for ava, with chocolate eyeballs and gummy worms and old halloween photographs
scary movies and air mattresses on living room floors on a saturday night
light pouring in through windows in an old church on a sunday morning
a loaf of pumpkin bread, warm and dense
the glow of two jack-o-lanterns
a handful of hopeful trick-or-treaters on a rainy halloween night
the missing of our beloved halloween queen
a new normal

01 November 2019


on this first day of november:

leaves, noted
light, noted
resolve, softened

31 October 2019


I like an excuse

halloween costumes I have worn:

vagabond gypsy girl, age six, vague but extremely pleasant memory of large gold clip-on earrings

wonder woman, age seven, classic boxed costume from the drug store complete with plastic mask

chorus line dancer, age nine, only girl in the elementary school halloween parade wearing black patent stillettos

ballet dancer, age thirteen, thinly veiled excuse to wear pointe shoes out in public

belly dancer, age seventeen, thinly veiled excuse to bare my midriff

flower child, age eighteen, an entire costume built around the most spectacular pair of thrifted bell bottoms 

the cat in the hat, age twenty-one, with ward as a very literal interpretation of green eggs and ham

crazy mary, age twenty-three, wig worn a tad askew, crimson lipstick gone horribly awry

fifi from france, age twenty-six, yes there was a beret, yes there was a striped shirt, my deepest apologies to the french

sunflower, age twenty-eight, just, so much face paint, so much face paint

butterfly fairy, age thirty-four, requested by a four year-old ava

pink floyd, age thirty-seven, pink wig plus pink top plus pink bottoms plus a name tag with the name 'floyd' written on it

boom boom corrona, the roller derby queen, age thirty-eight, the pink costume from above but with bruises and roller skates

cotton candy, age thirty-nine, fifteen yards of pink tulle, a pink wig, a cardboard cone hat, voila

frida kahlo, age forty-two, never wanted to take that costume off, frankly

30 October 2019


a list for the day before halloween:

an absolutely terrifying story

29 October 2019


lists I can't bring myself to make:

motherhood wins
motherhood fails
things about grief

28 October 2019


dreams I've had recently:

that my neighbors were building an elaborate multi-level treehouse
that we were in iceland but couldn't figure out how to get to the blue lagoon
that I found my mom's old wallet and thought, I will make a list of things I find inside

27 October 2019


things that are not for me, part two:

black licorice
country music

26 October 2019


thirteen polaroids I loved from fall polaroid week:

one (home surfaces, michelle gd)
two (untitled, kari)
three (which way from here, jenna gersbach-king)
four (untitled, clare marie bailey)
five (sneaker waves and monoliths, ben innocent)
six (c, ouen)
seven (untitled, andy jenkins)
eight (untitled, meredith wilson)
nine (back flip, maija karisma)
ten (outback at dusk, susan)
eleven (washing you, kevin o'donnell)
twelve (untitled, mari-ann curtis)
thirteen (point reyes, heather polley)

(more favorites here, forever I love polaroid week, forever and ever, amen)

25 October 2019


friday//day six

things I remember about the day I made this polaroid:

drove up to the top of black rock mountain at sunset
twas cold and windy 
stood at the edge, marveled 
for a second, we were quiet
ezra, especially

(november 21, 2017)

(friday's polaroid-- the last poalroid-- for the last day of fall polaroid week)

24 October 2019


thursday//day five

things I remember about the day I made this polaroid:

sunlight hit the kitchen window around eleven am
and the bottles practically sang
and outside, leaves fell
and it was cold enough to wear a sweater
and it finally felt like october

(october 22, 2019)

(thursday's polaroid for fall polaroid week happening over on ye olde flickr)

23 October 2019


wednesday//day four

things I remember about the day I made this polaroid: 

walked the streets of our old portland neighborhood
walked by our old house on 64th avenue
walked along the ridge with mt. hood in the distance
made our way to ava's old school, found a side door that was open
wandered the halls, found our way to old classrooms
had feelings
had all the feelings

(august 14, 2018)

(wednesday's polaroid for fall polaroid week happening over on ye olde flickr)

22 October 2019


tuesday/day three

things I remember about the day I made this polaroid:

drank coffee in the morning with light pouring in
felt the whole of the day ahead of us, giddy at the prospect
spent hours at the chicago art institute, meandering and meandering and meandering
walked out the side entrance at closing time, completely dazed
looked up and spied the tiny people
was quite taken with the tiny people
but did not think the scene was right for instant film
took the polaroid anyway

(october 22, 2018)

(tuesday's polaroid for fall polaroid week happening over on ye olde flickr)

21 October 2019



things I remember about the day I made this polaroid:

needed a photograph of ava for a piece I was writing for uppercase about lockets
shot in the backyard in late afternoon
blew through a whole pack of expired 600 in minutes
and I remember how good that felt
and I remember how good the air felt too-- clear and true
and I remember thinking, in just one month she will graduate
and I remember thinking, in just one month everything will change

(april 24, 2018)

(monday's polaroid for fall polaroid week happening over on ye olde flickr)

20 October 2019


new mexico

things I remember about the day I made this polaroid:

was on my way from sante fe to albuquerque with tracy and lisa to catch a flight back home
decided to take the turquoise trail in a rented car to see what we could see
wanted to stop along the way at least a hundred times
must have taken at least a hundred photos of the sky
listen, I could not stop taking photos of the sky
when we stopped for gas one last time, I got out of the car, promptly took this polaroid
on the flight home to atlanta, I could not stop looking at it
nothing beats a polaroid sky, I thought

(october 8, 2018)

(sunday's polaroid for fall polaroid week happening over on ye olde flickr)

19 October 2019


things from this list I might actually be able to swing before I turn 49 in two months:

fly down seventy slides (number 9)
label the backs of the polaroids (number 10)
label the backs of the photobooth strips (number 11)
bake a lemon meringue pie (number 21)
write about the charm bracelets (number 29)
visit the korean sauna (number 41)
embroider favorite bridges (number 57)
finish the book of polaroid portraits (number 64)
make a little paper zine (number 65)

18 October 2019


things I know I probably shouldn't like, part one:

fried cheese
sitcoms at bedtime

17 October 2019


things I hope to find hidden deep in the depths of the garage, part two:

a long lost box of winter clothing
an old french dictionary from high school
a portrait ezra made of me when he was five

16 October 2019


the sightseer

things I miss, part seven:

answering machines
a fireplace that works
trick-or-treating with the kids
picking out videos to rent on a friday night
wood floors in the house
west coast train trips
this particular version of myself

15 October 2019



the last three cameras I shot with:

fuji X100
iphone 6s
polaroid SX-70

14 October 2019


three places I'd like to walk today:

muir woods
my old neighborhood
this spiral treetop walkway in denmark

13 October 2019



things that cost practically nothing but bring me great joy:

marigolds in tomato cans
canvas dropcloths over tired couches
cut tree branches in glass jelly jars
dollar tree pillar candles in white
paintings on the backs of brown paper grocery sacks
complete and total furniture rearrangement
sprigs of mint leaves in recycled old soda bottles

12 October 2019



small pleasures, part twelve:

the swish of a basketball
fifth floor parking deck skateboarding
sunlight through trees on neighborhood walks
waking up before the alarm clock goes off, realizing there's more time to sleep
hidden gems on home movie reels
polaroids developing
pancake stacks 

additional contributors to this edition of small pleasures: ezra (first one), ava (second and fourth one) and ward (third one)

11 October 2019


favorite classes taken, part one:

creative writing
dance anthropology
muscular skeletal function and human performance

10 October 2019


things I can't believe we did as kids in the eighties:

laid out in the sun slathered in baby oil
laid out in the sun on shiny aluminum foil mats 
baked things and ate things with margarine

09 October 2019


things I can't believe we did as kids in the seventies:

considered canned vienna sausages a special treat
consumed large amounts of bright orange and red kool-aid
played, seat-belt free, in the wide open back space of station wagons while flying down the highway

08 October 2019


seven photographs recently loved:

one (nuevo laredo, mexico, 1996)
two (let's show the world we love each other)
three (another for the summer legs)
four (find me here)
five (delhi, india)
six (sunset conversations)
seven (nice, france)

07 October 2019


things decided just now:

sometimes sleep is the answer
sometimes a little bit of ginger ale right before bed is the answer
sometimes a short list is better than no list at all

06 October 2019


things I have trouble turning down:

birthday cake
mexican coca cola
hand-me-down cameras
free samples
fortune cookies
bubble gum

05 October 2019


things for doing this saturday night:

stand outside 
marvel at temps miraculously below ninety degrees
play david bowie records
bake chocolate chip cookies
watch old home movies
open windows
read books

04 October 2019



things for doing this friday night:

read lists
practice french
watch leaves fall
work on zines
make popcorn
drink ginger ale
watch scary movies
pass out on couch

and lo, it shall be a wild, wild night.

03 October 2019


words I had to look up in the dictionary in september:


02 October 2019


books I read in september:

my year of rest and relaxation (otessa moshfegh)
the street photographer's manual (david gibson)

01 October 2019


on this first day of october:

leaves, crunched
banana bread, made
apple cider, mulled

it's been ninety degrees here in atlanta for eleven hundred years but we are still eating and drinking all the warm things.

30 September 2019


things I want to remember about september:

champagne drinking
swimming pool back-floating 
convenience store po-boys 
midnight beignets
otherworldly courtyards
the way we looked at each other
the pop and flash of the photobooth
the scent of the photobooth chemicals
and then, twenty-five years, in our hands
wild cherry snoballs, legs dangling
bumpy, lovely bike rides down all the streets
the radio tuned to WWOZ 90.7, always
whipped cream desserts on the house
the soft loop of string lights overhead
extra deep bathtubs, extra hot water 
the ghost of louis armstrong, the last serenade
the sliver of moon from my bedroom window
ezra's many splendored sketchbook revelations
teeny tiny happy cans of ice cold ginger ale 
the sound of my cousin's laugh
that very first hour at the fleamarket
the man that sang for the junkers
the way I yanked myself up and into that monster truck
the digging through hundreds and hundreds of old found photographs
the dirt under my fingernails
that magic starlight drive-in
those wide-open texas skies
the conversations to and from
the changing of the light

29 September 2019


personal quirks, part three:

has a penchant for rhyming
cannot leave house if living room is unkempt
has visceral aversion to any/all overhead lighting

28 September 2019



some things I did buy at the texas fleamarket:

a couple old school flashcards 
a couple little toy playing cards
a pile of carefully selected found photographs
a small red portland pennant
a large red new orleans pennant
a few patches for ava
a few old watch parts for ezra
a small rose cameo piece 
a green plastic letter A
a little lemonette soda bottle 
a tea tin from budapest
a roll of mustard yellow floral wallpaper circa 1970
a faded poster advertising the opening of drive-in theatre in iowa circa 1950
three beautiful old photobooth frames
and one polaroid of an elderly man holding his cat

27 September 2019


some things I really wanted to buy at the fleamarket this week but did not:

a giant wonder bread sign
a legit pair of wrangler jeans
an antique swedish goat bell
an old kodak film advertisement
a beautiful old bronze schwinn cruiser
a little canonet rangefinder film camera
a red wooden roller derby skateboard
a vintage christmas light bulb tester display
an enormous plastic ice cream cone

really should have bought that little canonet rangefinder. I really, really should have. am now swimming in a pool of regret.

26 September 2019



things seen while on the road in texas:

a dozen zebras, grazing
oil silos like giant tin drums 
tufts of buttery yellow flowers along the edges of the highway
the world's smallest catholic church
buc-ee the beaver, high in the sky
an impossible sea of blinding white tents
wide open forever and ever skies
an old drive-in theatre so beautiful, I could not breathe

25 September 2019


three things I do when I've been traveling for a week and am thoroughly overwhelmed:

stare at the ceiling
stare at the computer
will myself to write something, anything

24 September 2019


three things I wish I could tell my mom right now:

that texas fleamarket really is as wild and sprawling and wonderful as we thought it would be
cousin kristy has a beautiful, bright five year-old girl and is so happy now
you are missed, mom, you are so sorely missed

23 September 2019



things to do this fall:

open windows
hoard candy corns
hoard tiny pumpkins
read books underneath trees with fiery golden leaves
ride bikes down streets in unknown neighborhoods
stretch fake webs across windows and doorways
carve pumpkins til hands are sufficiently tired and happy
just, you know, always be roasting things over backyard bonfires
watch films
pick apples
shoot polaroids
share polaroids
pack car
get out of town
make soup
make soup