31 March 2006

photobooth friday

taken the day before my 34th birthday at city museum in st. louis, december 10th, 2004. I am wearing the hat that ava and I painted together at the museum. actually, we painted two hats together-- one for her and one for me. she sprinkled pink glitter all over the hats because that's what little girls do sometimes. and the glitter found its way to the sweaty parts of my face and neck and then yes, days and days later, I continued to find it everywhere. behind my ears, in my hair, on my jean jacket, in my shoes-- everywhere. a slightly annoying (though ultimately charming) reminder of a marvelous day. and I also remember that the paint on the hat was still wet when I stepped inside the photobooth. of course, there are pictures of the two of us together (wearing said hats) but I'm saving that little gem for another friday.

that was a good day for me, that last day of my 33rd year. it was the best birthday EVER (or at the very least-- in the running for the title of Best Birthday Ever). guess that's why I chose it to be my hula seventy icon, my flickr icon this past year-- it always makes me happy when I see it (although I had absolutely NO IDEA just how much I'd be looking at it). might be time to retire it.

take a little lookie at my fellow brothers and sisters of the photobooth revolution:

the whole self
and more of the whole self
factory a-go-go
nessie noodle

and thanks to the cool cats at photobooth.net for the splendid little write-up on photobooth friday (check it here). pleased as punch, yes I am.

30 March 2006


today, I am a woman. I mean, today I have been blogging for one year. and this is funny because:

1. up until july of 2004, I was ignorant of all computer ways. I didn't even know how to turn one on. for reals.

2. I teased ward mercilessly when he started his own blog back in november of 2004. dude, are you checking your stats AGAIN? are you listening to me or are you thinking about what you're going to write on your blog tonight? threats were made. empty threats that I could not back up, threats that forced the wardomatic to choose between his blog and his wife. I really didn't understand it. so yes, many words were eaten the day I started my own blog-- many, many words. still eating all the words.

3. I hate the word blog. blog. BLOG. it's a little foghornish, I think. and people tend to associate it with a certain degree of nerdiness, dorkiness. perhaps I have just outed myself as a huge blog dork by even knowing (and recognizing) the date of which I first started blogging, but whatever. there's also a condescending tone people take when they talk about blogs and bloggers-- not unlike the one you hear when pet rocks and mood rings are the subject of conversation. or rubik's cubes or leg warmers or any other kooky pop culture craze that we like to use to identify the decades. for the longest time, I couldn't even bring myself to admit that I had a blog. I would go out of my way to avoid using the word in any sort of conversation or within the context of my writing. I couldn't stand the idea of a word like 'blog' cheapening the deep sense of release I felt each time I posted something. BUT I LOVE BLOGGING. actually, what I really love is the fact that I'm writing again on a regular basis. so all you people out there that love to poo poo all over it, go right ahead. poo away. no one is forcing you to read.

4. I never expected anyone to read. furthermore, I never expected to care. turns out I do. and with that, I challenge all blurkers out there to de-blurk. leave me some words and we will be best friends FOR LIFE. we can braid each other's hair and laugh at all the funny people in the world. all because you took a chance and de-blurked.

lisa, this is not my official 'why we blog' piece, though I do believe it's a beginning. I'm deep in this blogging joint and I'm a little afraid to admit just how much. it deserves more time than I have and there are too many fantastic people to write about and the park is calling out to me and my ansy tribe of kidlets. but just for fun, here's my first post. and I still go back and read this one. and this one. and this one. also, I will be switching it up this year in ways I can't yet reveal.

and something else I've always wanted to get off my chest: it has come to my attention that my exclusive use of lower-case letters comes off as sickeningly cute and collegiate. for all interested (and annoyed) readers, this habit was born out of necessity: I often found myself on the computer while breastfeeding ezra. one hand typed, while the other cradled ezra and it was just easier to leave out most of the caps. the habit stuck and I admit, I've come to dig the aesthetic.

okay, well-- I feel better now.

leave me some words, yo. sounding desperate, I know. but 365 days of blogging will do that to a girl.

28 March 2006

freestyle (goodbye oma)

it's five a.m. and sleep is nowhere to be found. words are erratic things that come and go and I find myself writing sentences in my head at the strangest times, stream of consciousness working overtime. the words, they won't go away until they find some sort of permanent home, aka the blog, the journal. sometimes it's not enough to say them-- writing's the thing.

and so ward's grandma (oma) died friday night and we all knew it was coming, but still. we were all hoping, everyone was hoping. she was a life force, southern in every sense of the word, armed with the kind of strength you only read about in books. she was the center of the family, the matriarch. she lived every moment of everyday of every year for 85 years, so her life was full (I can only hope for so much) but she was suffering and it was her time. but what does that even mean? it just feels like what I should say. it's never easy, it's not designed to be that way.

I stood in the back of the chapel today, holding ezra, listening to oma's daughter speak (oma's daughter being ward's mom, my amazing mother-in-law carlene) and I was taken with her beautiful words. at the end of the day, she is a girl who lost her mother. and she talked about this image she had of her own mother, of someone who rode down a hill on a bike-- hands gripping the handle bars but legs straight out, hair flying wildly, screaming joyously, enjoying the ride all the way down.

we didn't make it all the way through the funeral, ezra and me. we waited out in the car and I let him climb the seats while I did some thinking. I watched ezra eat goldfish crackers and I thought about oma, about motherhood. i thought about the brevity of life, about how I might feel if I had to say goodbye to my mom, my dad. and I pushed those thoughts from my mind because I couldn't bear it. instead, I reorganized my make-up bag so as not to have to think about the things that are too hard to think about and I let myself think about stupid things and I watched ezra eat raisins and for about thirty seconds, all was right with the world. and then I thought about ava and what might currently be going through her mind. it was only a year ago when she first starting asking me questions about death and of course, I couldn't help but think of our first conversation on the subject. she sat with her daddy at the funeral, up in the special section for family. and ward, who looked so handsome in his suit that I thought I might pass out. all these things, running through my mind as I sat in the car with ezra climbing all over the place and a bra that did not fit like oprah says it's supposed to and shoes that were pinching my toes and a newly organized make-up bag and tears that had to be carefully wiped away.

I know now that I need to get at least one more hour of sleep before the day begins. and I know that I want my daughter to someday say that her mom lived life like she was riding a bike down a hill-- legs straight out, hair flying wildly. I know that much.

24 March 2006

photobooth friday

meet great aunt louraine, one of my favorite women in the world. too many stories are running through my mind. I feel like I need more time to think it through, more time to assemble carefully chosen words. but she turned 93 this past monday and I want to share her marvelousness with all-- a big heaping bowlful of auntie marvelousness for everyone, I say.

I am convinced it's no accident that she was born on the first day of spring-- she's fresh air and tiny purple flowers and daffodils and birdies that go tweet tweet tweet. warning: everything I write is going to sound corny like this because really, that's who she is-- not at all corny, but sweeter than sweet with a mammoth-sized heart. but also: smart, feisty and wickedly funny.

everyone in the family loves aunt louraine, she's easily the favorite. (and just for the record, she's the same aunt that had the unbelievable vintage gift wrap stash in her basement and the subject of this collage). she sings funny little songs from way back in the day and continues to work her (still gorgeous) looks. yearly family gatherings found her huddled in the kitchen with my grandma, wearing the most adorable aprons ever (some of which ava and I now wear when we bake). the two sisters fussed together over turkey, mashed potatoes, dumplings, green beans and fruit-filled pies. heaven forbid anyone should go hungry. at the end of the day, all of us packed the trunks of our cars with plates and plates of leftovers (meticulously wrapped in foil) and bags full of groceries she'd bought at the A&P before coming to visit us. these brown paper bags overflowing with boxes of little debbie cakes, potato chips, sugary cereals and various canned goods had my brothers and I drooling all the way home.

but my most cherished memories are the trips we took to visit her and uncle silas when I was a teenager. my mom and I spent anywhere from a couple of days to a week taking turns sleeping on the floor and couch of their tiny little home. days spent playing game after game of wahoo!, hitting up the occasional yard sale and roaming the aisles of wal-mart. always donuts from the local bakery for breakfast, always fresh juice in the fridge. she loved to ask me about my boyfriends and the latest styles and trends. auntie also had a cute little thing for david letterman and each night we would listen to her talk to the TV: "oh, david!" she'd say and shake her head when she thought one of his jokes was a little too colorful or mean-spirited. she worried about me and my sun-loving ways, lectured me on the dangers of the rays. begged me to wear sunscreen while I covered myself in baby oil and laid out on a towel in their backyard. silly 16 year-old me, thinking how kookoo that sounded. ah, but she was right (and I will always love the sun but now slather myself in SPF every chance I get and think of her each time). uncle silas had a quirky fear of house fires and would never let me plug in my curling iron or hairdryer (which, in the eyes of a teenager, is tantamount to disaster). but when uncle sie left to play pool, she'd hurriedly whisper to me to plug them all in. she loved to spoil me and my mom, loved to take us to 'the oaks' (white oaks was a mall in springfield, illinois-- thirty minutes from the small town where they lived). we would pile into their old van and listen to auntie and uncle silas go back and forth with each other all the way there, all the way back. always ate at the same buffet (early bird, of course), always stopped at J.T.'s (this was her name for t. j. maxx), where she insisted we each pick out a 'fragrance'. aunt louraine is known for her love of 'fragrance', as in: perfume, cologne, spray, splash, lotion, creme, powder, you name it. a recent clean-out of her tiny home uncovered boxes and boxes of unopened 'fragrances'. also, tubes of lipstick, eyeshadows and blush, night cremes, towels in bright pink and coral colors and floral-printed sheet sets, most of it unused. saving it for guests or to give as gifts, I suppose. she was always thinking of everyone else.

oh, there are so many stories. I can't begin to tell them all. a fascinating life lived long before we all came along, I can only imagine. I hear pieces here and there from various family members and try to put them all together in a way that will tell her story with humor and honor but it just doesn't do her justice. another day, I guess-- when I feel a little more worthy of taking it on. she's still living, though not in her own home. she lost the bottom part of her legs several years ago and it pains me to say that she has been in a nursing home ever since. she lost her husband (aka uncle silas) a couple of years ago and still, a vibrant spirit remains. not quite as bright as it once was, but still there. I visit her whenever I can, send cards and photos and pictures that ava has drawn as much as possible but it never feels like enough. my mom tells me that auntie gets so bored sometimes in that nursing home bed that she often counts the ceiling tiles to help pass the time. and my heart just sinks. but then my mom tells me about something funny she said or how she occasionally flirts with someone or sings one of her little songs and I can only hope to be so young at heart when I am 93.

spring is here and she's everywhere I look. happy spring, everyone.

and in the spirit of all things marvelous and youthful, more photobooth fridayness:

factory a-go-go
borrowed muse
the whole self
lisa's musings
mommy zabs
sewn with gold threads
meegan blue

(and also-- a project that I am head-over-heels in love with by odile marchoul: she's been taking shots of herself in the same photobooth for six years now. wowwowwow.)

22 March 2006


(thank you ward-- for letting me borrow this picture)

the other night, I dreamt that I went to a new salon in the area and begged for an appointment. miraculously, they had an opening and the woman immediately began to cut my hair. and she cut the bangs just like I'd been wanting though what I ended up with was a head full of extensions that seemed to be cut from an old black embroidered rug (sort of a choppy, stylish bob-- think raggedy ann meets eighties punk). and for a brief moment, I thought maybe I could really work this look, maybe I could pull it off. but then the reality of having carpet strips for hair sunk in and all I could think of was what my mom would say (because if she couldn't refrain from saying something about my super-cuffed jeans, she most certainly would have some words for this new hair). so I began to try to pull out the extensions, which seemed to be attached with some sort of thick wax. my stylist had disappeared (of course) and I began to plead with everyone in the salon-- please, someone help me get these out, please! and then I targeted the stylist standing closest to me, a hipster with a faux hawk and an orange tan: what, am I not cool enough to be helped? am I not wearing the right clothes? why aren't you helping me? why won't anyone help me? I'm never coming back, I screamed. my tirade brought nothing but blank looks and apathetic responses, which sent me into a graphic rage of epic proportions. and the dream went on and on like this and other equally strange things took place both before and after the whole hair salon sequence, but this is the scene that stuck with me, the one I can't seem to shake. it's funny, really. I laugh when I think about it but I'm also a little creeped out and not exactly sure why.

so I've been thinking about dreams a great deal the last couple of days, about how strange they really are. like, if you really really stop and think about it, if you earnestly try to understand the nuts and bolts of dreaming-- it's just the strangest thing. this idea that elaborate stories take place in our minds while we sleep, most of which we have absolutely no control over, it's so strange. not ground-breaking news (I realize) but all the same-- infinitely odd.

do you dream most nights? do you dream in black and white? or color? do you have nightmares? do you have recurring dreams? do you remember your dreams? do you write them down?

I have recurring dreams that involve losing my teeth. or dreams that revolve around me showing up at school whereupon I suddenly realize I've missed two weeks of class and am in no way prepared to take the exams. or, I am called on to perform and am supposed to be prepared but do not know the choreography or text. either way, panic sets in and it's all very unsettling because it all feels so real. once, I dreamt that I bought a kharman ghia convertible (my dream car) and I swear, I woke up in The Greatest Mood Ever because I really, truly believed I owned one. I believed that as soon as I left the house that morning, I'd be driving to school in the newly purchased convertible. it wasn't until I was on my second bowl of cheerios that I realized that this was not AT ALL true. I was genuinely disappointed too, as if there were ever really a chance that I might own such a fabulous little vehicle.

I've flipped through the books. the ones that you see while you're standing in line at the grocery store, the ones on the bargain table at the book store. I know that personal stresses and issues find their way into dreams, that there's all kinds of symbolism and subconscious meaning attached to dreams, I know this. I suppose I should pay closer attention to what's going on inside my head in the dead of night-- I should try to make the dreams work for me, use them as an inside track or something. but I don't, not usually. I enjoy them as if they were movies and love to tell ward (or anyone who will listen) every last detail.

dreams are strange.

20 March 2006

we all want to believe

I'm a little blocked these days. in terms of words, that is.

17 March 2006

photobooth friday

(ward and ava, city museum, st. louis, december 2004)

behold the cuteness. always with the cuteness these days.

but wait! there's more:

nessie noodle
factory a-go-go
cult of degan

16 March 2006

thursday love

moleskin journals are good, just really-- so very incredibly steeped in the goodness of good. I love the thickness of the paper, the way it absorbs india ink, the way oil pastels glide effortlessly over the surface. and the delightful pocket in the back that holds scraps of whatever. I love them almost as much as the old school diaries with the little brass locks that I filled with bubble lettering and puffy hearts and preteen drama back in the day.


(more 'things I love thursdays' here and here. and more of my 'thursday loves' here)

14 March 2006

self portrait tuesday #24 (time)

in many ways, my days seem so ordinary. a string of mundane activities and chores, day after day after day. but after taking photos of myself (same time, each hour-- for one day), I am confronted with my own thanklessness. these days that I take for granted, not so ordinary. looking back at it, I see a world of goodness, so much that I overlook. not that everyday is like this-- what a DRASTICALLY different self portrait this would have been had I decided to shoot hourly this past saturday. days are up and down, this much is universal. and you don't really know when you're going to be up or when you're going to be down. it's a crap shoot. all the same, no excuse for my thanklessness. and now I must stop. before this turns into 'a very special episode of a day in the life of hula seventy'. I'm too old to be an after-school special. still, I'm thankful. here's the rundown:

10:38am: in the car on the way to a new park on ponce de leon avenue. not sure I want to start with the whole hourly photo shoot.

11:42am: park was space-age and fabulous but too cold. ezra's napping in his carseat and I'm hoping to do the same while we wait for ward at his work. instead, I make lists of things that need to be done. ready for lunch.

12:40pm: lunch at home. a mess of veggie wraps and tuna fish and PB&J. and red grapes. always with the red grapes.

1:30pm: ward's gone back to work and we're without a car. everybody outside! the sun is out.

2:38pm: gone to get the mail. starting to get tired of looking at my face and decide to play around with the macro lens effect.

3:50pm: ava has picked some little purple flowers for me. I love them.

4:58pm: the hour before ward gets home is always the hardest. everybody gets a little loopy, a little cranky. decide to play dress-up with the kids to counteract the usual gouchy/ornery/craziness. didn't really work but I do so love the glasses.

5:45pm: I'm no cook, that's for sure. but those kids of mine have got to eat. pasta and veggies is what I'm cooking up-- for about the billionth night in a row.

6:48pm: I try to get out as many nights as I can to walk. it clears my head and I often choreograph movement in my mind as I walk and listen to music. I write sentences in my head too. I really sort of hate this photo. but it was a gorgeous night and a fantastic walk. mission complete: head is cleared.

7:50pm:: ezra is FINALLY down and sleeping. ava gets the sillies. the girl is a night owl, just like her parents.

8:42pm: can't tell you how much I needed a shower. at the risk of divulging too much information about myself: I often put off taking showers. I don't know why because they always feel so good. by the way, this is the only shot I didn't take myself. had to twist ward's arm to take photos of me showering.

9:57pm: tired? yes. going to bed anytime soon? absolutely not. too much to do, too many projects I'm excited about. and of course the lovely computer always calls my name.

time is a funny, funny thing.

(more self portrait tuesday takers here and here)

13 March 2006

not that you care

nine things I did this weekend (thanks for the inspiration, kath):

1. used up entire roll of tape preparing color-iffic swap packages. unbelievably short trip to post office on friday and voila: green goodies en route to portugal, pink and red goodies to california. continued to oooh and aaah over loot received from said swap-o-rama. thought to self that receiving package from netherlands, a cool thing. felt especially global. realized I am officially obsessed with swaps. pics are here.

2. had meltdown upon discovery of gaping hole in favorite skirt. other contributing factors to meltdown: kids both crying, floors inexplicably sticky, day unraveling before my eyes. briefly considered writing lengthy post about how horrible I felt, how dirty the house was (why can't I ever seem to catch up?), how much I feel I have failed as a mother, how exhausted I am. cried. then cried some more. decided to get down on hands and knees and scrub floors instead. gorgeous day outside, loverboy and bebes at park. stuck inside scrubbing floors but strangely satisfied and calmed by this. floors still looked dirty but stickiness? gone.

3. received latest martha stewart kids magazine in mail, drooled over pages. in denial over rumors that said magazine is folding. tried to convince ava to have silly wacky party or teeny tiny party (featured beautifully on pages 84, 88) for her birthday in july but unsuccessful. stuck on mermaid theme (which we did two years ago). both agree ezra should have bouncy party (pages 90-91) centered around a zillion bouncing balls for birthday in june.

4. rented 'junebug', watched late saturday night. fell in love with it all over again. discovered that music is by yo la tengo and loved it even more. was reminded of growing up in southern illinois, experienced pangs of nostalgia. folded endless pile of clothes, went on and on about characters. am sure I ruined it for ward but blathered on anyway. thought to self that amy adams should have won the oscar for her performance. went on and on about how gorgeous and un-hollywood the film is. snuck many swigs from ward's sobe green tea.

5. returned about a thousand emails.

6. cut bangs even more. wondered how much I will 'trim' before a trip to annoyed hair stylist rudi will be necessary.

7. helped ava count pennies from piggy bank for a book purchase. tried very hard to overlook the fact that it was a 'my little pony' book she wanted with characters named zipzee and pinkie pie. focused instead on greatness of milestone. felt pride as ava handed cashier money from her purse. realized sticky floors and torn skirts aren't that big a deal.

8. played outside with kidlets. thought how much I like the word 'kidlets', which I actually stole from jek. helped ava put on swimsuit, watched her run through neighbor girl's sprinkler. held onto a screaming, wiggling, kicking ezra. finally gave up and let him run through sprinkler fully clothed. squeals of glee had me secretly cursing ward for taking camera with him for the day. thought my sprinkler shots would've been so good.

9. sat in parked car, in driveway. kids asleep in back while ward and I mourned the passing of another weekend. where did it go? sang into imaginary microphone (pilot ink pen), sang along to george michael's can't always get what you want. realized I don't really know the words. realized I don't care. looked at moon. listened to deep breathing of sleeping children. enjoyed remains of sunday night. realized the inevitablity of monday.

10 March 2006

photobooth friday

taken on my 32nd birthday at the infamous star bar. me and my beautiful friend amy, loopy and drenched in sweat. we took a break around 3am to jump in the booth for a strip (the ultimate birthday souvenir, I believe). we often found ourselves there on tuesday nights. we could not resist the obscure selection of seventies funk, the chance to work things out with the small eclectic crowd that gathered each week. the indefatigable DJ romeo cologne (and his kooky wigslashtoupee) knew when to break up the funk with a block of vintage michael jackson. and the people said yes. the people went crazy.

I don't go like I used to but I wish that I did. those tuesday nights were the best thing for me. better than therapy, better than anything. always wore my favorite (but most excellently abused) shelltoes and a tee-shirt I knew I could stink up. shoved deep into my pockets were three things: my drivers license, a tube of lip gloss and ten bucks. had to be able to move unfettered (yes, free of all fetters), absolutely had to. and my girl amy was prepared to go until dawn (the breakabreaka dawn), if need be.

I met amy back in 2001 when I returned to work for moving in the spirit. I'd taken the year off after ava was born and couldn't wait to dig in and start teaching and dancing with the company again. amy was working for them as well as dancing for the company and I loved her the moment we met. it was instant, natural, a connection I'd not felt in years. my transition back into a life that once had come so easily can only be described as rough and I spent a good deal of time feeling raw and out of sorts, ready to give up. amy sort of saved me from that. she did what great friends do. she listened. and listened and listened. she made classes and rehearsals joyous things. she put my brand-new-mama mind at ease by volunteering to watch ava while I taught the modern technique class for the apprentice corporation. she was good at reminding me to take care of myself. and most integral to my healing process: our occasional tuesday night trips to star bar.

amy is still around, doing amazing things with the mentoring program over at moving in the spirit. we still hang out when we can. she leaves words for me here every once in a while, which I love. we have ongoing plans to get back to star bar and I know it'll happen. as tricky as it is to schedule these days, I still feel the pull. I know we'll make our way back. though I'm prepared to face a different crowd now. the last time we were there, tall, prissy girls took up all the space on the dance floor, smacked me right and left with fancy banana-shaped purses. completely oblivious. I have no patience for these girls, these girls who are afraid to sweat, afraid to get their shoes dirty. I want to tell them to please get off the dance floor. I maybe want to yank them by their hair but I don't, I won't. anyway, the music is still good, the urge is still there, tuesday nights still call. amy, I know you hear it too. much love to you, my friend.

also rocking the photobooth friday:

mad organica
meegan blue
sewn with gold threads
factory a-go-go
cult of degan

aaaaand-- much to my delight, I recently discovered a star bar photobooth set on flickr. definitely worth a lookie-loo, even if you've never been. especially if you've never been. something else you should absolutely positively not miss: this photobooth prank (thank you, slimwhitman). not a big fan of leno or anything, but people-- please watch. it's funny. who doesn't like funny?

09 March 2006

thursday love

I don't care if you're drinking three day-old coffee out of a rotten boot, a little paper umbrella will always make it better. always.

I love little paper umbrellas.

(more 'things I love thursdays' here and here, my other thursday loves here)

08 March 2006


it's like he knows that he's been driving me a little bit nuts lately, as if he read what I wrote about him a couple weeks ago and is on some sort of crazy cuteness campaign. he's turned the charm on high, folks and is hitting me daily with great doses of cuteness-- doses that render me powerless and reduce me to mushy-gushy mommy. and really, I'm not the mushy-gushy mommy type. well, maybe just a little. further proof:

1. the picking up of ava's teeny tiny black plastic barbie phone: holding it carefully to his ear, he whispers, "heh-woh?" the pause and sideways glance tell me just how much he believes someone will be on the other end to answer.

2. the praying: before gobbling down slices of pizza sunday night, he clasps his hands together and shuts his eyes.

3. the demand for equal treatment (as well as the first signs of art-loving): the sight of ava busy at work with her paper and crayons compels him to yell out, "daw! daw! DAW!" the ez wants to draw and who am I to deny him?

4. the cry for help: ezra often finds himself stuck, a sock caught on something, a hand stuck in a jar. which, in turn, causes him to look at me with concern and cry out, "guck! I GUCK!" I am slow to help him because I love to hear him say GUCK.

5. the quirkiness: he randomly acts like a chicken.

6. and the affection: he's blowing kisses. and saying nigh-night and bye-bye. and kissing mommy when requested.

and now he's voluntarily playing in his crib, happily pitching balls over the side and content to hang out with a couple of toys. this is bound to last all of 48 seconds, but still. it's as if he's saying, "see? I know I'm hard work and all, but look at how CUTE I AM, LOOK HOW GOOD I CAN BE. I dare you, woman. I dare you to RESIST MY CHARMS."

you're telling me, kid.

06 March 2006


while browsing for books at the thrift store, I heard this woman (late 30s/early 40s) talking with what appeared to be her mother. said woman was trying on clothes and asking her mother's opinion. tell me you have not been here with someone:

"so, what do you think of this blouse?"

"oh, it's nice... I guess."

"I just really like the color and the sleeves."

"actually, it's not very flattering on you... it's pretty unflattering. no, I'm sorry. it really doesn't look that good on you."

"well, I like it."

"well, I'm not the one that has to wear it, am I? you're the one who has to wear it."

"it's just that, see how modern the sleeves are? and it hits me at the right place here on my hips. plus, this color--"

"like I said, you're the one who has to wear it... out in public."

"well, I don't care. I'M BUYING IT."


I'm guessing that the daughter then makes a hasty, huffy retreat into the dressing room while mother sits with her hands crossed in her lap. I'm dying to turn around and look but resist the impulse. I am sure even the shortest glance will give away my eavesdropping ways. instead, I thumb through old dictionaries and try not to laugh. and I have the strong urge to call my mom.

03 March 2006

photobooth friday

I don't know these women. I don't have any names or dates. no stories to tell today except that this was the first vintage 'found' photobooth strip that I ever bought.

right out of high school and into my early twenties, I went a little crazy over vintage clothing, hats, jewelry. taken with the notion of old school glamour, I hung dresses, costumes and beaded cardigans all over my walls along side hats with huge roses and veils. I surrounded myself with piles of vintage jewelry, old perfume bottles and posters of ginger rogers and marilyn monroe (went through a real marilyn monroe phase in high school-- I think I even wrote an english paper about the suspicious nature surrounding her death, no lie). so it was sort of love at first sight when I happened onto this photobooth snapshot at a fleamarket in ohio. I was (am) crazy about those smiles, that fantastic feathered hat, the angles and the slight blur of motion in each shot. so alive, these women and I was fascinated by the idea that I knew nothing about them but now owned a little piece of their history. superb entertainment for a quarter, I thought. so it came home with me where I tacked it up along side all my vintage goods. couldn't exactly put my finger on why, but it made me happy.

years later and I no longer decorate my walls with vintage clothing. oh, I still have a little bit of a thing for it but I boxed up or sold most of my pieces. some of it saved for ava, some of it saved for myself. much too difficult to let go of all of it. and I still love old things (understatement of the year, ha, DECADE) and continue to surround myself with it. my tastes have dramatically shifted, though-- as well as the way I display the things I love. the tacked-up photobooth snaps-- those remain. there's something about the quality that's just so rich, so gorgeous (why can't they make photobooths like that today? we should all look so glamorous and radiant). anyway, it's one of the few constants after all these years. something about them continues to make me happy.

and I'd love to hear your thoughts on the story of these women. oh yes I would.

more photobooth friday drama and glamour:

mad organica
I'm channeling doris day
domestic adventures
meegan blue
lulu's world

(and check out this lovely photo that jenny sent my way. also: a call for entries for an upcoming photobooth exhibit in philadelphia (found on photobooth.net). and if you are so taken with vintage photobooth snapshots, take a little lookie here.)

02 March 2006

more thursday love

(ava's favorite ring)

I can't stop with all this thursday love because who knows where we'll be this time next week? it's a crazy, mixed-up world. a world where handmade pipe-cleaner button rings wait for no one.

loving: making anything and everything with ava. paintings, drawings, collages, various craft projects-- always worth the mess. she got the itch earlier this week to make these and wouldn't stop until she had me grumbling under my breath and digging through my box 'o' crafty goodness. and now: I'm totally addicted to making these things. people, get ready. pipe-cleaner button and gem jewelry is so going to be the next big thing.

(thank you, hand models: ava and neighbor girl)

it's the process more than anything. the gathering of the materials, the brainstorming of ideas, the mess-making. it's witnessing her put colors together and get excited and tell the stories behind the art. the look on her face the moment she figured out how cool it would be to glue the smaller red heart onto the larger pink heart gem? delicious. and now it is her favorite ring that she made and she loves to tell anyone who will listen why. honestly, I'm just a little bit jealous that my husband thought up 'ava thursdays' before I did (I don't even think I was bloggedy-blogging yet). but I adore him for it and burst with pride every stinking thursday. this week is no exception. ava-girl blew me out of the water with her three-part drawing and story on learning how to fly. (please indulge this proud mama by promptly clicking here).

more 'things I love' thursdays here and here.

thursday love

I love striped socks. I love shoes too but I think maybe I like striped socks with shoes even more. though lately, all I seem to be capable of is throwing on sweats and sneaks. I am the ultimate mommy cliche. I think maybe I owe it to myself to wear something that is not black and stretchy. I owe it my feet, I know that much. hello feet. here are those purdy socks and shoes I promised to put on you. (what's that you say? you were hoping for a deluxe pedicure? the one with the rose petal foot bath and lemon sugar scrub? too bad. that's a pipe dream and you know it).

perhaps the best part about these socks is that I found them at the dollar store. they were hiding behind the mens' black dress socks and my heart jumped a little when I saw them.

thank you joy, for spreading the love. more things that people love here and here.