26 June 2007

self portrait #43

home as natural environment: I am at home in my home. even though I don't own it, even though it's the third house we've inhabited in the span of a year. indeed, home is where you hang your hat but also where you hang your child's paintings. it's where you stack your favorite books, where you make the beds day after day and eat pancakes for supper. it's where you plant little flowers and look out the kitchen window and have arguments.

these are the things that define natural environment. this is the stuff that roots are made of-- tendrils that grow slowly just beneath the surface before expanding and spriraling deep into place. before you know it, you're home.

(more natural environment self portraits are here)

22 June 2007

photobooth friday

today, I am sharing.

firstly, a personal quirk to share: I often blink the second a photograph is taken. I try hard not to, which only makes it worse. sort of a weird thing I do and if you need more concrete examples of said affliction, well, then just look at this. and especially this. though I think maybe the latest contribution is the least clumsiest of them all. this one is crying out for something like a haiku poem. here, I am unexpectedly serene. this image will not fly in my enormous gallery of blink shame. naturally, there's a gallery but I keep it hidden from the world in my favorite old adidas shoe box. I let ward look at it every once in a while but only when he is feeling really really down and I've already tried everything else. when the mimes don't work, I know it's time to bring out The Box.

secondly, some lovely mail to share: abby sent this fantastic postcard my way because she knew I'd like it. isn't that nice? thank you so much, abby-- I love it, loved finding it in my mailbox. I am having a serious love affair with the mailbox these days.

finally, some big fun to share: I went to a public pillow fight tonight. no really, I'm serious. about 200 people gathered downtown at skidmore fountain to let the pillows fly. um, totally bananas. feathers and squeals in great abundance. I told you, it's going to be a GREAT SUMMER.

still with all the sharing:

weaker vessel

21 June 2007

hello summer

happy to report: too busy enjoying the first official day of summer, unable to write anything with much substance. though I could not let the day pass without a big fat WOOHOO. a thousand times over, woohoo. I'll scream it until the lady next door has to call the police. okay, probably not but I'll be thinking it. I have been thinking woohoo woohoo woohoo all day long.

(ava made this postcard and I looove it)

also, for those who got their postcards out today, WOOHOO. for those who did not, your big woohoo is coming, not to fret. I'm still working on mine, so no woohoo for me yet either. wow, 77 postcards... is a lot of postcards. believe it or not, I am still thoroughly enjoying myself. plus, ava has enthusiastically hopped on the bandwagon and is sending summer-themed collages/postcards to all her pals. we work joyfully in silence and the afternoons pass too quickly.

happy summer, all. it's going to be a good one, I can feel it. can you feel it? now, go jump in the pool. pick some flowers, buy new bright-colored sandals, make homemade strawberry pie. or something. leave word that you're revelling in it and I'll shout out an extra woohoo in your honor. I promise.

18 June 2007

just around the corner

furiously at work on postcards here, how about you?

there are scaps of paper all over the bed-- I find them hiding in the folds of the sheets and tucked discreetly under the straps of my nightgown. they show up on the bottom of my sandal, in the bathroom drawer with the hair brushes and ponytail holders. they are begging to be placed somewhere, anywhere. they float serendipitously onto my temporary workspace, or so I like to think.

what few of you know is that I put myself on every list. I couldn't see any other way around it, couldn't narrow myself to just one list, couldn't stand not to send or receive a postcard from each one of you. plus, I wanted to see if I could do it, wanted to know what it might be like to receive 77 postcards in the mail. I wonder what what my mailman will think? I am imagining a whole wall of summer and wouldn't that be lovely?

I am somewhere at the halfway point and think maybe (big maybe) I can pull it off by the first day of summer. I'll tell you, what's been interesting is the process. I've been forced to let go of certain details and think more conceptually. at first, the number of postcards I had to make seemed horribly limiting. I like to take my time and play with composition and color, add in paint, crayon, india ink. I like to come back to pieces and add things in later. had to let go of this way of working, though-- I was forced to simplify. you know something? there's a lot of freedom in that method.

I look forward to each night-- the magic hour when the kids have been put to bed and my energy levels are still high. I spread my papers and supplies out all over the bed, put in a favorite movie and get to work. more than a couple of times, I have fallen asleep in the middle of the mess, tips of my fingers still covered with glue. this would explain the scraps of paper found in my nightgown, of course. wouldn't have it any other way. I love this. and as I have said so many times before, I am a girl who needs an assignment, a project, a deadline. not sure what I'm going to do with with my nights once it's all over. sleep, maybe.

lucky for me, I have the daily trip to the mailbox to look forward to. so eager to see what my wall of summer is going to look like once the postcards have all rolled in. you can bet I will share that with you. and speaking of sharing, there's now a summer postcard swap flickr group for all you flickrites to join. please do sign up and share your process, your inspiration, what you've made, sent, received, etc... go ahead and introduce yourself. fabulous gwen organized it all (thank you so much) and the group can be found here.

now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some work to do. I figure if I give the kids some paper and glue, they can join in too and I can work during daylight hours. long long way to go yet, but savoring every minute of it.

15 June 2007

photobooth friday

see the whole strip here

I'm not going to get all sappy and syrupy here, I promise, but isn't this the cutest thing ever? I mean, EVER? I am the luckiest girl in the world and I'm only saying that because it's true.

lookit, here's a favorite one from my childhood:

I think this is the third time I've posted this frame here, but I can't help myself. wow, I miss my dad. so much.

happy fathers' day to the men in my life. really, there aren't words.

lookie here:

nessie noodle
hi kooky

13 June 2007

someone is having a party

and who I am to argue? the assorted cupcakes (dig that neon) are posted in honor of wendy's sweets party. we stumbled onto a little bake sale happening on alberta street about a month ago, hence the quirky designs. can you guess which ones we bought?

happy birthday, friend. xoxo

12 June 2007

self portrait #42

dear portland,

I am not used to wearing sweaters in the middle of june. in fact, I'm pretty sure I don't like it. but you are my new natural environment and I am trying hard to be flexible. plus, I hear the weather is about to get really, really good. so... I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt.

other factors working in your favor:

your gardens are spectacular-- including my own. I think you could put an old boot in the ground here and it would grow into something nifty. for the last two months, I have done nothing but prattle on and on about my poppies and my roses and my lilacs. fairly certain I've driven everyone crazy, which is why I've been holding back lately. I want to tell everyone I know that I've planted cosmos and sunflowers from seed and they're actually growing-- I can't believe they're ACTUALLY GROWING. little green sprouts that miraculously popped up one day to say hello to the world. I don't know why I'm so surprised. didn't I just say a boot would grow if you planted it? I stand behind that theory. still, I have never grown anything from seed (never ever) and the rush is delightfully fresh. currently, my window boxes are overflowing with geraniums and african daisies. also, I planted a vegetable garden for the first time in my life. the squirrels have devoured the strawberries (hey, can you do something about that?) but the bell peppers and tomatoes are coming along just fine. also swooning over: frightfully bright fuschia blooms and fragrant gardenias in the backyard, a lavender bush as tall as I am, mint growing wild along the side of the house, hydrangeas beneath the kitchen window and the roses. hard to believe there are more roses. I have missed gardening so much (I had a lovely garden once upon a time) and am overjoyed with the new appearance of dirt underneath my fingernails, the weeding and deadheading (so satisfying) and the daily sloshing around of the watering can. everyday brings little surpises, something new to inspect, something lovely to smell, something to cut and bring into the house. you have me over the moon about it all. I have to admit, I'm impressed. I'm falling hard for you.

also: I like your bridges. I really like your bridges. plus, the view of mt. hood just two short blocks from my house. and the fact that you can see rainbows on the regular around here. all such good things.

almost enough to make up for this sweater-wearing in the middle of june nonsense. not quite, but almost. if you had lightning bugs around here, you'd be close to perfect. I really miss lightening bugs. I miss them so much that I think it might hurt a little. you know, lightening bugs in portland would be a really cool thing. you should look into it. I'm just saying.

p.s. can you also do something about all the one way streets and seemingly random stop signs? it's making me LOCO.

(the self portrait challenge for june is natural environment-- see more here)

08 June 2007

photobooth friday

don worry bowd it mommee, DON WORRY BOWD IT. words that have me biting my lip to keep from laughing. yesterday morning, he yelled, HAVE A GRAY DAY, O-KAY AVA? HAVE A GRAAAY DAY! he watched her go as he stood there on the porch (without pants), waving and smiling, face sticky from breakfast. I tell you, this cuteness, it makes me weak.

I suppose I could also talk about the flip side of Cutie McCuterson-- the side that has me thoroughly frustrated on a daily basis, the one that has me losing my temper and saying things my mom said back in the day, things I swore I'd never say. I could talk about how exhausting it is to keep up with The Boy Who Never Stops Moving, how I have to watch him every single second of the day, lest I find him partying with buzz lightyear up on top of the roof, painting the walls with handfuls of mud or ingesting entire bottles of meyer's lavender counter spray. though all I can think about lately is how I really don't want to wish this time away. even when I am pulling my hair out, I am trying to remember that he won't always be like this. meaning, he won't always let me scoop him up in my arms and squeeze until we've both had enough. he won't always think I'm the coolest, most fantastic creature in the whole wide world. there will come a time when running through the house without pants will not seem like such a good idea, when singing silly little songs with his mom will seem like a death sentence, when I won't be able to bribe him with a stick of bubblegum or a trip to the park. I mean, I can't wait to see the boy (the man) that ezra grows into, but ohhhhhh. I also want him to stay like this forever and ever amen.

but I know that he can't. even as I write this, he is screaming at me from across the room, squeezing a fistful of blueberries, juice running down the side of his arm. dook mommy, DOOK! JOOOS! what else can I do but stop everything and look? offer congratulations and then tell him (gently but firmly) NO SQUEEZING THE BLUEBERRIES, PLEASE. all I can do is celebrate who he is right now, these last couple of days before he turns three. what else can I do but enjoy it while it lasts?

more photobooth friday stories:

j. yamaguchi
the whole self
elizabeth taylor
forest tails

07 June 2007

I love a parade

I've been trying to convince ward that all the parades that have been happening all over town are really in honor of us, not that silly rose festival. surprisingly enough, he is not buying it.

we've been to two whole parades in the last week and we're about to attend one more (the mother of them all, I'm told)-- the grande floral parade. this is big news at our house, since the only parade the kids have ever been to was a humble little fourth of july deal in downtown decatur, georgia. which was nice and all, you know-- kids with red, white and blue streamers sweetly woven through the spokes of their bicycles and wagons enthusiastically decorated with glittery ribbons and balloons. but there were no real marching bands, no big fancy schmancy floats. plus, there were about a hundred convertibles with such-and-such running for this office or that one, all of them dying to pass out a flyer, slap you with a sticker or pinch the cheek of an unsuspecting child. I was soured on parades after that. even though ava and ezra didn't know any different, even though I have marvelous memories of childhood parades.

when I was growing up, there was one big parade, once a year and always in the fall. october is a most excellent month for parades-- not too hot, not too cold-- crisp air, heavy with promise. I remember scrambling after candy thrown from floats that seemed to glide down main street like show boats. I remember baton twirlers, flashes of sequins and crepe paper in every color (wrapped around every possible surface). I remember the scent of popcorn and bonfires, the drums of the highschool band-- you could hear them coming long before they hit the center of town, you could feel it. it was everything that is good about small towns.

I think I might be sweet on parades again. I think I have officially de-soured. two good parades will do that to you. especially if you're watching them through the eyes of your children.

05 June 2007

space between

oslund and co.

first taste of the portland modern dance scene a couple of weeks ago and I've been struggling with writing about it for days. when that happens, I make a list:

1. loved the ideas behind the piece sky -- exploring the spaces between people. still not exactly sure if that's what I took away from it, but think maybe that's the point.

2. was totally distracted by the music-- musicians who rattled chains in buckets and crumpled paper into microphones while a vocalist half-whispered/half-sang in random fashion. this sort of thing occasionally works but didn't really serve the choreography here. plus, that particular concept is, how you say? played out. which leads me to the next item on my list:

3. wish modern dance wouldn't always take itself so seriously.

4. found great comfort in: the sounds of feet hitting the floor, of bodies moving through space and sliding off one another, the sounds of heavy, even breathing. this is why dance is best experienced in smaller performance spaces-- you can hear bodies moving, you can see the dancers breathing. no substitute for that brand of intimacy.

5. really hate the word 'intimacy'.

6. felt great love and appreciation for the ambitious athleticism of the piece, which stirred up all kinds of feelings of aching and longing.

7. left the theatre feeling so ambivalent. struggling with why.

actually, the feelings of ambivalence are coming from a place that doesn't really have anything to do with the piece. I believe my head is a bit messy because I'm struggling with my place here and the performance left me feeling more lost than ever. I am farther than I have ever been from the world of dance and this absolutely terrifies me. in atlanta, I had a community-- students to teach, classes to take, choreographers who wanted to work with me. here, I am starting all over again. which is exciting for me in almost every other area but this one.

I think maybe I am trying to decide if I have it in me to start again. I think maybe I am scared of the answer, either way.

01 June 2007

flower-holding friday

instead of a photobooth and just for today. because I'm a little all over the place this week and I know you have it in you to forgive me. (photobooth friday linkage to come, just in case you might be jonesin for it).

the wild daisies are for joy and jon, because they let us crash at their place last weekend. plus, they are like, the coolest little family ever. a visual summary of our 48 hours together:

really just the tip of the iceberg. don't think I could put it any better than the fabulous miss joy, but to add to her list: vacuums as robots! yummy homemade crepes for breakfast! illuminated escalators! alleyway photoshoots! and my holga camera has now officially been broken in (thanks to one smart brother). speaking of which, I don't think I've ever been with someone who stops to shoot as much as I do. taking photographs of wild flowers right off the side of the highway was a highlight, dude. also, any girl who can take in a late night movie is a girl after my own heart (another highlight, joy). jon captured all kinds of good (naturally) with his array of cameras and a few of my favorites are: here, here, here, here and here.

whew, I'm pooped.