20 September 2019


five weekly friday lists I read:

tracy's I love lists
karen's this was a good week
erin's my week in objects
victoria's friday finds
tina's link pack

19 September 2019



things I have always worn, will always wear, whether they're in style or not:

burnt orange
striped things
turquoise rings
patchwork anything
vintage adidas everything
technicolor tights
embroidered blouses
wooden clogs


18 September 2019



sounds I hear in the background when I listen to my friend jen's messages:

horns honking
brakes screeching
ambient street conversations
muffled announcements
subway trains coming
subway trains going
buses heaving 
urgent, steady beeping
saws, drills and jackhammers 
things, people, bikes, cars whizzing past
women talking
kids laughing
motors revving
the wind

quite frankly, I need these new york street sounds as much as I need the messages and conversations with my friend. while we're on the subject, I'm not sure what I'd do without the voxer conversations I have going with three friends who live in completely different parts of the country. many times, they have saved me. many, many times.

17 September 2019


signs fall is coming:

goldenrod wild along the highway
negligible difference between falling leaves and passing butterflies
(cannot tell the difference until the very last minute)
soup, I want to make soup

16 September 2019


daily evidence of failed attempts and/or good intentions:

unpacked suitcases in the corner
a mess of books and papers on the desk
forgotten glasses of water, set down in different spots all over the house
mud beige bedroom walls I vowed to paint five years ago
mud beige bathroom walls I vowed to paint five years ago
a shower that needs to be scrubbed
a pile of clothes that need to be mended
a towering plant that begs to be repotted
chaos in the closets
chaos underneath the bed
stacks of unread books

15 September 2019


things I miss, part six:

my grandma's bread
birthday parties at the roller rink
bike rides in my old portland neighborhood
a washer and dryer in my house
the ability to walk into any store and buy a pack of polaroid film for ten dollars
friends that live close enough to meet for coffee
the feeling when I was a kid that I could do anything, be anything

14 September 2019


color//colour red

to photograph:

humble people
ordinary places
slivers and chunks of light

13 September 2019


literary scenes I'd please like to step into and live in for a little while, part one:

hobie's kitchen (the goldfinch)
francie's fire escape (a tree grows in brooklyn)
danny's tiny caravan home (danny, the champion of the world)

12 September 2019



first of the banana bread in the oven
marigolds in tomato cans having a moment
shades up while we sleep so moonlight can spill through the windows

10 September 2019


nola things

things I brought home from new orleans:

a pink fan
a stack of polaroids
the envelope that held our room key
the cork from the bottle of champagne we drank on the night of our anniversary
the little gold foil piece too
a napkin from the napoleon house
a patch I bought for ava (but will probably keep for myself)
two woven candy-colored bracelets that called my name
the paper bag that held our leftover beignets
three anniversary photobooth strips

09 September 2019


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

my blue typewriter
a cornucopia of lost art supplies
the rest of my found photography collection

08 September 2019



small pleasures, part eleven:

paper fans
cats in sunspots
lemon slices in cold water
the cool side of the pillow
freshly folded laundry
small flirtations

07 September 2019


words I had to look up in the dictionary last month:


06 September 2019


things seen today in new orleans and beyond:

alligator jerky
a painter's palette
a wall of bottled hot sauce
donald trump voodoo dolls
powdered sugar on the sidewalk
'baby, went to frenchmen street-- love, boo' scribbled on a pink wall on st. claude
a man in an ivory suit with matching fedora
bayou after bayou
houses on skinny stilts
rusted red iron bridges
roads lined with swooning live oaks
signs urging all to vote for someone named 'tater'
a roadside memorial cross accompanied by a dozen small silver pinwheels 
a carpet of tiny white daisies along the shoulder of the road
the sunset in my rearview mirror

05 September 2019


things seen today in new orleans:

neon wigs
bone white grave markers
a welcome canopy of live oaks
a man on a bike, wearing a cotton bonnet
a man on a bike, wearing no pants, no pants at all
homemade milk crate basketball goals
a yellow pothole with the words 'love me tender' stenciled on it
a couple in their eighties, sitting on the high bench outside outside hansen's sno-bliz, legs dangling, enjoying sno-balls
a collection of old memory jugs and vases, encrusted with bits of buttons and shells and beads and pieces of things
a man with a typewriter at a table at the market
a window with the words 'no peeping toms' painted on it
the inside of an old dip-and-dunk chemical photobooth
the colors of bywater from the seat of a bike
the colors of the french quarter from the seat of a bike
a crazy vivid tangerine pink goodbye sunset

04 September 2019


things seen today in new orleans:

tiny hand-painted matchboxes
tiny pink blooms on our courtyard table, like confetti
two men in wide-brimmed straw hats, holding cameras, taking pictures
a dragonfly resting on top of a woman's teased head of hair while she read a book, completely unaware
bright orange koi in the little courtyard fountain 
the brightest, orangest house I have ever seen in my life
magnolia branches and pillowy clouds, as I floated on my back in the pool
a clawfoot tub filled with flowers
a somber chorus of ghost bikes
a wall full of books and light 
a wall full of whiskey bottles and light
a bright red sock near the bus stop
a bright red street car on st. claude 
a trashcan with the words 'you deserve to be here' scribbled on top

03 September 2019


20 years ago

things we did today on september third, our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary:

packed up the car
flew down highway 65
drove over bridges, past bayous
checked into the hotel where we spent our honeymoon twenty-five years ago
drank champagne in the courtyard next to the fountain where we once drank as newlyweds
walked through the french quarter to dinner
ate plates of jambalaya and red beans and rice at the place where, supposedly, napolean was meant to spend his exile
wandered back to our little hotel
swam beneath a canopy of magnolia trees and night stars
wandered over to cafe du monde 
ate hot beignets near midnight
got powdered sugar everywhere
wandered back to the hotel
drank the very last 
of the champagne

02 September 2019


books I read in august:

the nickel boys (colson whitehead)
the book of delights (ross gay)
junonia (kevin henkes)

01 September 2019


on this first day of september:

melancholy, felt
september song, played
day, turned around (maybe, a little bit)

31 August 2019


things I want to remember about august:

ezra talking about moonlight
a homemade savory tomato pie for dinner on a saturday night
the way I moved through the days before we took ava to college, one foot in front of the other
derek's honesty and old wooden church floors that creaked when we swayed
the smell of gum erasers at the art supply store
a sunday night send-off for ava and the way we all surrounded her with so much love
ezra on the very first day of his sophomore year of high school
the old emerald green schwinn bike that sat on the back patio like a beacon of hope
the watching of ava's birth video the night before she left
a package in the mail from my dad, my mom's prayer journal inside (which I have been unable to open and read)
the lightest, slightest fluttery shadows of butterflies on concrete
the last words we exchanged, the way she walked towards the river to meet with new friends as we drove away
the way we sat in a stupor for an hour at burger king afterwards
and the silence in the car on the long drive home, slats of golden light along the highway
a seashell telephone conversation with a three year-old
a walk in my old neighborhood 
the beginning of a new street photography project
a potato chip practical joke
ezra's beautiful drawings of his own hands and the beginning of so much for him
coffee with my dad on a saturday afternoon
the lady who fell off the pogo stick at the thrift store
the decision to teach myself how to sing lo boob oscillator in smooth, fluid french
marigolds in old italian tomato cans on the patio table
boozy slushies on a wednesday afternoon with an old friend
night hammock swinging, the roar of georgia night sounds all around me
the dead butterfly we found in the garden, on the ground somewhere between the zinnias and cosmos, wings open wide
the last of the very last of the cherry tomatoes
the cutting of wild sunflowers along the parkway
ava home from college for the first time for the long weekend
breakfast all together at the dining room table with the sun pouring in and the day laid out before us
the hummingbird that hovered near her while she napped in the hammock
lovely amazing lazy laziness on the very last day
the promise of new orleans

30 August 2019


photobooth friday

things my cousin taught me:

how to put on make-up
(use various shades of powdery, shimmery eyeshadow to create the illusion of glamour and finish the look off with the blackest mascara you can find and you never, ever forget strawberry roller ball lip gloss)

how to dance at the teens-only nightclub with complete and total confidence
(bounce, you bounce a lot, and you look off into the distance)

how to make sure all the conditioner is out of your hair 
(rinse and rinse and rinse til strands of hair squeak between your fingers)

how to pack for camp
(you make several lists and then you talk about it on the phone for hours and buy all your travel-size toiletries like, seventeen months in advance)

how to pull off the most legendary of camp pranks
(you color in your cousin's nose with a black permanent marker while she is sleeping and then, incredibly, you fall asleep while doing it so that your cousin sleeps on the marker all night and wakes up to to find a kidney-sized black stain and thinks, for a second, she is actually bleeding black blood) 

how to apologize for the most legendary of camp pranks
(you stop laughing when your cousin is unable to wash the permanent black marker off her nose and you hug her and tell her you will replace the cute sheets she bought specifically for this week of camp and you tell her she can pull any prank she wants on you, any prank at all and you won't be mad and then you tell her, again, how much you love her and that her nose really does not look that bad and maybe there might still be a chance with some of the seventh grade boys and then you tell her that someday we will look back on this and laugh)

how to do all the thriller moves
(you watch the VHS tape of the video a hundred million times and you practice together until you are convinced you are better than the actual dancers in the video)

how to make family thanksgiving dinners fun
(you hide small pieces of turkey and globs of mashed potatoes in people's glasses of water and iced tea when they are not looking and then sit back and watch)

how to send the very best letters and packages
(you cut up your own paper confetti to pack into envelopes and write funny letters and individually wrap little presents and you just magically have the best timing) 

how to be generous and kind
(you lend your very best outfit to the girl at camp who has nothing, you tell her she can borrow any of your clothes any time and then, at the end of the week, you tell her to keep that special outfit, to take it home with her and you never mention it, you never say a word about it to anyone)

how to work the fleamarket like a pro
(you show up on early-early buyer day and make friends with all the best dealers and you are not too proud to dig through boxes of junk and see possibility in the strangest things and you wheel and deal and make sure to stop every once in a while to fuel up on corndogs and lemonade and mini cinnamon sugar donuts)

how to help throw the best kid birthday parties
(you show up with a suitcase full of pink and red things for the big pink and red birthday party and you help fill the pinata with goodies and wrangle five year-olds and man the cherry sno-cone station like a boss)

how to take care of someone you love when their mom dies
(you show up and just hug them and cry with them and help them do all the stuff, like figure out how to get all the flowers home from the funeral and organize all the food for the wake at the house and then help clean up everything afterwards and then you take all the kids to the mall and let them buy candy and stuff at claire's boutique)

(happy 50th birthday, cousin) (I love you and I really don't know what life would be like without you)

29 August 2019


victorian slang I would please like to bring back:

"sauce box" (mouth)
"fly rink" (polished bald head)
"gas-pipes" (especially tight pants)
"chuckaboo" (close friend)
"bricky" (brave, fearless)
"got the morbs" (temporary melancholy)
"giggle mug" (habitually smiling face)
"make a stuffed bird laugh" (absolutely preposterous)
"don't sell me a dog" (don't lie to me)
"powdering hair" (getting drunk)
"half-rats" (partially drunk)
"mad as hops" (excitable)
"batty fang" (to thrash thoroughly)
"take the egg" (to win)
"bags 'o' mystery" (sausage)
"bow wow mutton" (really bad meat)
"skilamalink" (secret, shady)
"bubble around" (verbal attack)
"whooperups" (inferior, noisy singers)
"church bell" (talkative woman)
"afternoonified" (smart)
"nanty narking" (great fun)
"daddles" (hands)

(more here)

28 August 2019


things I believed as a child that might not have been true:

I believed it was physically impossible for any human being to eat an entire dairy queen banana split in one sitting

I believed that cher actually stopped in our small southern illinois farm town (on a weekday, mind you) to eat lunch at the local pizza hut

I believed, wholeheartedly, that the high school gym was named after my dad jim, because, I mean, he was the high school basketball coach and spent the majority of his time there and my seven year-old self thought, well, why else would they call it that

27 August 2019


things smuggled into movie theatres:

slices of pizza
jam jars filled with cake
bottles of mexican coke
cheese and crackers
junior mints, of course
cans of hard cider
breakfast burritos
marshmallow peeps

26 August 2019


on beds like these

things that make me feel like a new woman:

a quick bike ride
a spritz of rosewater 
the right pair of boots
eight solid hours of sleep
a new tube of lipstick
a good haircut
a good cry

25 August 2019


things I sometimes do on sundays:

bake stuff
sing hymns
take naps

24 August 2019


films I am very much looking forward to seeing:

queen & slim (melina matsoukis)
a hidden life (terrence malick)
marriage story (what I love about charlie) (noah baumbach)
marriage story (what I love about nicole) (noah baumbach)
little women (greta gerwig)
the goldfinch (john crowley)

additionally, barry jenkins is set to direct a film about alvin ailey and I. am. beside. myself.

23 August 2019


friday's green

strangers who have inspired me, part one:

the older woman at the thrift store yesterday who tried out the pogo stick and landed, quite spectacularly, with a loud crash near the office supplies but just laughed and got right back up

the guy on the skateboard who moved with his entire body, like a dancer, on a sliver of sidewalk, who sailed past gas stations and drug stores and so many dumb cars as if he was riding some invisible wave

the guy in our neighborhood who walks every single day, slowly, deliberately, as if his life depends on it

22 August 2019


little life lessons learned recently:

when sweetening one's coffee and there is no sugar or honey or sweetener of any kind to be found, strawberry jam will absolutely not work in a pinch

when purchasing a curling iron at the thrift store, a quick check for the (intact) protective little rubber bit on the end of the handle would be wise-- otherwise, one will legit need oven mitts to use said iron and one will look legit ridiculous doing it

maybe don't put so many plants in one pot

21 August 2019


things I am excited about:

a new street photography project
a newly acquired old varsity schwinn bike
the celebration of a pretty significant anniversary

20 August 2019



things I miss, part five:

pillow forts
early nineties thrifting
RC cola in frosty aluminum cups
dip-and-dunk photobooths
the soaking pool

19 August 2019


the twenty nineteen summer reading list of our former president:

the nickel boys (colson whitehead)
exhalation (ted chiang)
wolf hall (hilary mantel)
men without women (haruki murakami)
american spy (lauren wilkinson)
the shallows (nicholas carr)
lab girl (hope jahren)
inland (téa obreht)
how to read the air (dinew mengestu)
maid (stephanie land)

to have a president who reads, who thoughtfully recommends books. feels like another lifetime.

18 August 2019


things seen on a long sunday drive:

tire swings
old train depots
roadside wildflowers
peaches (exit 31)
churches (still in session)
cemeteries next door to gas stations
billowy clouds in my rearview mirror
waffle house
waffle house, always

17 August 2019


places I would please like to be magically transported to, part one:

a small alleyway in palermo
beneath the redwood giants in muir woods
the fourth floor of powell's books

I just, I wish there was a button.

16 August 2019


personal quirks, part two:

often throws blankets over small piles of clutter 
often processes anger and frustration through rage vacuuming 
unable to make even a simple grocery or to-do list without re-writing it until it is in perfect order

15 August 2019


blue room

book stores I have loved, in no particular order:

cloud & leaf (manzanita, oregon)
faulkner house (new orleans, louisiana)
strand bookstore (new york, new york)
the book lady (savannah, georgia)
shakespeare & company (paris, france)
ohio book store (cincinnati, ohio)
a capella (atlanta, georgia)
librairie bookshop (new orleans, louisiana)
beckham's bookshop (new orleans, louisiana)
e.shaver bookseller  (savannah, georgia)
city of lights (san francisco, california)
avid bookshop (athens, georgia)
and, the mother of all book stores, powell's city of books (portland, oregon)

14 August 2019



things I appreciate now that I didn't thirty years ago:

public radio
hot tea
hot sauce
house plants
historical fiction
home grown tomatoes
orange marmalade
fleetwood mac
reading glasses

a love letter of sorts

to summer, which is not over, not even close, even though we've been tricked into thinking it is, second week of school and all. 

and to lightning bugs, which I never ever (ever) get tired of, even after 48 years of living. gimme all the humidity in the world if it means I get lightning bugs every summer.

anyway, this is what I watch when I'm riddled with anxiety (which, unfortunately, is often these days). this little film I made three years ago is what I watch when it feels like I'm drowning. 

13 August 2019


another list for those of us who loved ms. morrison, because there's just too much good out there right now, too good not to share:

toni morrison, remembered by writers
toni morrison, a quick but powerful story
and, toni morrison dancing (good lord, with bill t. jones)

12 August 2019


nicknames I have been assigned over the course of my life:

andie pandie
ahn drey ah
lady A

some stuck, some didn't. 

the truth is that I always sort of loved andromeda.

11 August 2019


guilty pleasures, part three:

fruity pebbles in coffee mugs
bad reality television
corn dogs

10 August 2019


a candy bar poem

notable items found on maira kalman's inspiration board:

a small metal placard that said OPEN
hotel linens used as paint rags
a pair of small black socks
a dog named susan
a pink ticket with the number 32 
a postcard of a pair of ruby red lips
a drawing titled last night I dreamt a rhino came to my house
a postcard of a tree in full bloom
one black glove with No. 6 painted on it in white
old photographs of boys wearing hats
old photographs of girls with silk bows in their hair
two rusted skeleton keys
a piece of paper that said REMEMBER THIS MOMENT
a cardboard sign with a picture of a hot dog on it
a toothbrush still in the package
a piece of gold foiled paper
a collected leaf
a photograph of a child with a box on his head
a postcard collection of erupting volcanoes
a pink post-it with the words good lunch scribbled on it
a polaroid of a tin bucket
a typed list I could not read
a ruta baga seed packet
a mixed california poppies seed packet
a flashcard that read 5+9
a collection of candy-colored buttons
a wax bag with pink and white stripes
a mammoth green tassel
a red turkish fez with the words HEY WILLY embroidered on it
a small white paper apron
a little lulu comic book
a candy bar poem
a collection of photographs of dancers (including the one that inspired the cover of this book)
a collection of photographs of children with things on their heads
a small metal placard that said SHUT

(as seen at the high a few weeks ago)
(maira kalman, I love you)

09 August 2019


things that are not for me, part one:


except for your fleamarket, nashville. your fleamarket I will take. 

08 August 2019


color//colour orange

small pleasures, part ten:

breakfast in bed
flowers cut from the side of the road
pajamas at the end of the day
an empty movie theatre
a secret candy stash
hammock lounging
clean dishes