28 November 2007

still with the funk

I remain in the place that is sometimes called the funk, sometimes called the bell jar. am thinking it's hormonal. or that I am horribly vitamin deficient. or something. have also officially fallen off the nablopomo wagon. which is sort of okay since I was never really in it from the beginning. as much as I feel like hiding underneath a giant red parasol these days, there are a few things that have been coaxing the happy out of me:

photographs of my brother von with a 2 year-old ava. so sweet I could cry. I found these stashed in a huge box of junk downstairs in the basement and can hardly stop looking at them. we were having lunch at our favorite restaurant, la fonda latina, where the fresh salsa flows like honey and the natural light is always superb. am missing shooting with film. and obviously, I am missing my brothers. also, missing that two year-old version of ava (much as I adore the 7 year-old one).

another reason to come out from underneath the proverbial bell jar:

jack black. mos def. michel gondry. I cannot believe my good fortune, peoples: jack black and mos def co-starring in a film directed by michel gondry. this is so good I cannot even fathom it, so good I could cry. I carry the torch for jack black and am even crazier about mos def but the two together are enough to send me into hysterics of epic proportion. and when I found out that michel gondry had his lovely brilliant directorial paws all over the thing-- well, I had a whole seinfeldian elaine GET OUT sort of moment. but ward was sitting behind the computer and it didn't seem right to ask him to turn around just so I could shove him square in the chest and yell GET OUT. I wanted to, though. lookie at le trailer. when I'm not looking at the photos of nate and von and ava together, I am probably watching that trailer.

one last reason to de-funk:

little jar of maraschino cherries in the refrigerator.

26 November 2007

L is for lazy

am having the hardest time getting started today. even though the day is halfway over. am feeling extraordinarily lazy and completely uninspired. it will pass, I know it will.

25 November 2007

photobooth friday

on a sunday because the holiday break always throws me way off my game. plus, the mister's birthday was yesterday and we were knee-deep in birthday magic around here. kicking it all off with: breakfast in bed and a serenade fit to blow the roof right off and all the way to china. plus: birthday card-making, chocolate chocolate cake-baking (hand-decorated by the kids-- yup, it was a beautiful mess), present-buying, matinee movie-seeing and italian food-eating. well, and lots more.

happy happy birthday, ward. you are my favorite guy ever. hope you enjoyed your birthday as much as you seem to be digging that uncle wiggily book.

better late than never, I say:

second spring
the lulu bird
the 10 cent designer
doctora boop

22 November 2007


and so we are here in portland for the holiday. I think maybe this is the first time in my life that I have not been with extended family on thanksgiving. and the first year that I am attempting to make the meal entirely on my own. I've chosen a very basic, very classic sort of menu and am excited to be wearing my favorite apron. I'm thrilled to have an excuse to bake pies (pumpkin and cherry), to make real mashed potatoes. though I'm afraid I might care more about how pretty the table looks rather than how well the turkey turns out. I am such an amateur. I miss the womenfolk swirling and buzzing around the kitchen. in about two hours, I will be the only one swirling and buzzing around and I think that's okay. a little lonely, but okay.

but this is good, it's the beginning of new traditions. initially, we thought maybe we'd drive down to san francisco for the holiday. because we thought maybe it'd be too strange this thanksgiving, too lonely here and a big roadtrip to an unexplored city seemed to be just the thing. ultimately, we decided against it and I'm glad. I'm glad we decided to stay home.

now if you'll excuse me, I've got some potatoes to peel.

(happy thanksgiving)

20 November 2007

tuesday's list

this is for jenny, who is super lovely and who sent me the most delightful package (all the way from buenos aires) and who tagged the likes of me for the likes of a little meme. if you want, you can read the rules here.


1. I had dental surgery when I was about 5 or 6 to close a growing gap between my two front teeth. what I remember: blindingly bright lights and a mouth stuffed full of thick cotton pads. oh, the cotton! I can almost taste it. sometimes I wish I still had that gap.

2. and speaking of gaps: when I was 19, I spent a summer working at the gap. as a result, everything in my house must be folded to perfection. the tri-fold, baby. it's all about the tri-fold.

3. when I was growing up, I thought the gym was named after my dad, jim. they sound exactly the same, you know. plus, he was the basketball coach and p.e. teacher so he spent a very large portion of his time in this place called The Gym. I'm still smarting from the disappointment that set in once the truth was uncovered. I still feel totally ripped off.

4. I do a really fabulous cher impression. think cher, the early years, cher with all the hair, the 'sonny and cher' cher. but I only do it for close friends and family and only when strongly coerced because once I start, I can't stop. I find it best to keep cher on the downlow most days.

5. I'm a stomper. and a clapper. I'm prone to rhythmic outbursts at any given moment and I make no apologies. fortunately, my family has learned to live with this.

19 November 2007

I like

accidental rhyming, ava's sun, saturday morning soul train reruns, handwritten notes, peppermint soap, paint-by-number ballerinas, the promise of paper whites, old skool sesame street, clothes that don't match, the scent of lemon and sugar, the things that string can do, unpredictable winds, cigar boxes full of crayons, people that care, art that is good, daily drives over the fremont bridge, group choreography, the fourth floor at powell's, midnight bowls of cereal, chandeliers on train cars, secret message writing sets, toes painted burgundy, walks around downtown, dancers who buck the system, headbands that don't pinch, unexpected packages, ezra giddy on the trampoline, shoes that like my feet, deconstructivist tiaras, books stacked precariously, straws that are pink, robots that sing, skin that has been lived in, shiny copper bobby pins, the minute he walks in the door at the end of the day.

18 November 2007

two below

I do believe The Rain has officially set in around here. at least, that's what I've been told. thank goodness for gardening clogs. although rainboots would be an infinitely better choice here. is it strange that I've never owned a pair of wellies? not ever, not even when I was a kid. well, I am always looking for ways to re-live my childhood. always. these should do the trick.

16 November 2007

photobooth friday

three things I totally love about my grandma:

1. her wardrobe staples: kicky little red tams worn just a tad askew plus the bluest blue jeans. no one worked denim like georgia.

2. her collections: she knew what was hot way before the masses. kitschy metal lunchboxes, german silver purses, old cigar boxes and so much more. she knew what was good, what wasn't. always at the yard sales, always with the sharp eye.

3. her dances: shy, bouncy little jigs.

mother of my mother, she is still alive. she lives with her best friend (my favorite aunt) in a nursing home twenty miles from my parents. she's foggy most days but she's still in there somewhere. she comes up for air every once in a while-- in the way of a giggle here, a little song or joke there. my dad brought her lunch the other day and she popped awake and greeted him with a small smile and a-dilly-dilly-dingle-doo. that's what she said: a-dilly-dilly-dingle-doo. so yeah. she's still in there.

p.s. she can't be older than 13 or 14 here in this photobooth frame. young enough to break the heart. the older version of georgia is here.

hey, lookie:
madness rivera
second spring
pinky doll
that bee girl
the lulubird
tip wip
ansel olsen
matt hamilton
weaker vessel

15 November 2007

refrigerator poetry

sometimes things feel scattered from the moment I wake up. I head to the kitchen to make breakfast and am instantly distracted by the refrigerator magnet poetry. I see the phrase 'shake like the black sky' and think hey, I like that. who did that? ava? ward? me? I secretly hope that I'm responsible for said prose but can't remember. which is when I start playing around with the words, moving them this way and that way until I'm all, hey what happened to breakfast?

the rest of the day unfolds like this. an ongoing series of fits and starts. I roll in many directions and there's no stopping it. I confidently attack an unsightly pile of laundry in the bedroom only to remember the library books that need to be renewed. which sends me to the computer where said library books are renewed. which is a good thing until I decide to take a quick look around the flickr scene (just a quick look) when suddenly, I find myself lost in a world of photos tagged 'rollerskating'. or I'm bookmarking photos to have made into moo cards. which is when I force myself to close the mac and snap out of it already.

then I'm boxing up halloween decorations when the kids say hey, what happened to that snack you said you were going to fix us? which sends me running for the kitchen where I spy that one butternut squash just sitting there (waiting patiently) and I think hey, soup. I should make soup. yes! soup! snacks are served and the vegetables for the soup are promptly retrieved and laid out, ready to be chopped. then I notice the dirty dishes, which is when all the unloading and loading of the dishwasher begins because no, I cannot freely chop with a mess like that hanging around, stinking up the joint, harshing my mellow. no ma'am. so not sanitary. but really, I just don't want to chop up all those vegetables. then I catch sight of the enormous pile of (still) unfolded clothes in the bedroom. which somehow leads to the beginning of a massive reorganization of the closet where I suddenly decide that the entire contents must be rearranged according to color. which, for some strange reason, makes me think of the unpaid water bill. Am completely unable to properly color-coordinate the closet until all is well and good in the land of utilities.

then I notice how suspiciously quiet the kids are which, of course, requires immediate investigation. I am surprised to find that they are up to nothing but drawing and coloring. happily. together. which I know won't last for more than four minutes so why not seize the opportunity and check a little email? though not without putting a load of laundry in first. which means a trek down to the basement where I walk past my cozy little workspace that is ever so close to being finished enough to actually work in. while I'm down there, I decide to put a couple of boxes away and before I know it, I'm looking through fat stacks of photos that date all the way back to 1993. which eventually leads to the discovery of both ava and ezra's baby books where I am horrified to discover just how unfinished they really are. which is when I promptly march back upstairs and vow to start working on the books immediately. because what could be more important than this? what, I ask you? well, dinner maybe. the soup is so obviously not even close to being done which is okay because no one really likes the butternut squash soup but me anyway. well, ward says he likes it but I think he's just saying that to be nice. really, it's a very delicious tasting soup. it's just not his thing. he'll deny this, just you wait and see, but I know the truth.

so anyway, I start to boil the water for the pasta. which is when I realize how totally exhausted I am. which wouldn't be so bad if I had something to show for it. something, anything. I have absolutely nothing to show for the day. except for the part where I served that really excellent snack. I'm just saying.

14 November 2007

wednesday night

“There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.” john cage

13 November 2007

self portrait #45

happy wearing secondhand. happiest wearing vintage.

(the november theme over at self portrait challenge is 'what I wear')

11 November 2007

let's have a party

because hey, I got a new camera. unfortunately, now the old camera looks at me accusingly, like I have performed the ultimate betrayal. okay yes, I do feel a little guilty. I had to put her in the back of the closet because I couldn't take the way she was looking at me, all hurt and sad-like. funny thing is, I've had the new camera for over a month now. so perfect and pretty and with that new camera smell too. I wasn't able to do anything more than occasionally take her out of the box. but only to feel the weight of her in my hands, to look through the lens to see what I could see. I think maybe I was a little scared of her and her fancy ways. I finally confessed my secret to hannah because she pines for pretty new cameras just like I do. she understands. hannah, I finally broke through to the other side. it's nice over here, just like you said it would be. the stripey leg shot is next, I promise. hey, let's have a little bake sale and buy you a pretty new camera too.

10 November 2007

alright then

am craving tights in every possible color and more homemade butternut squash soup. one has nothing to do with the other but I'm posting daily now and this is where my head is at.

09 November 2007

photobooth friday

they let us loose on the streets of tokyo, they did. something like 9:30 at night and they said go, see, explore. you have two hours. be back on the bus in two hours. we were just teenagers so what were they thinking? I could hardly believe it. and now that I'm a mother and have seen the world with my own two eyes, well, I still can't believe that they let us loose like that. a lot can happen in a couple of hours, you know. especially where 18 year-old girls are involved.

it was the summer of 1989 and I'd just graduated from the cincinnati school for creative and performing arts. our music theatre/dance company had been invited by the city of gifu (cincinnati's sister city) to travel to japan and perform and off we went. it was my first time on an airplane, in a foreign country, and performing abroad. when I think of my time in japan, I think of small things: slender pink cans of strawberry juice, narrow streets lined with paper lanterns. I think of how shy I was to bathe in the traditional japanese bath house, how I relaxed once the I saw all the women laughing and pouring buckets of hot water over the tops of their heads. I think of how school girls asked for strands of my hair, how they formed in delicate swarms around me when I said yes. I remember how they spoke such perfect english and how embarrassed I was that I spoke such poor japanese. I remember exotic fish dishes and poached eggs for breakfast and how it seemed like every car in japan was white. when I think about those two weeks, it comes back to me in full color and all at once. and I feel deliciously overwhelmed.

but today is about that last night, those two hours we were let loose. tokyo is very much like times square times ten with every color possible everywhere and all of it electric and noisy and people for days and days. there were about thirty teenagers in our group and we scattered like confetti in every direction once the green flag was raised. my two friends and I took to the back streets and I am faint thinking of an 18 year-old ava roaming the back streets of tokyo. but that is exactly what we did. we wandered into a tiny dark bar (nightmare of all parents) and flirted with the patrons (more parental nightmare material) until we noticed the wall behind the bartender covered from floor to ceiling with paper money from all over the world. I scribbled hearts onto an american one dollar bill and felt terribly important as I watched the bartender tack it up there with all the rest. I fell in love with the idea that I'd left a little something behind in tokyo. I wonder, is it still there? wouldn't it be something if it was still there?

we managed to fit a great deal into those two hours. we wandered in and out of offbeat boutiques and I spent the last of my money on a pair of neon pink tights. mostly because they reminded me of all that electric tokyo neon and I wanted to say that I'd bought something from a high fashion clothing boutique downtown tokyo. plus, tights were all I could afford. and then the three of us crammed into a red wooden phone booth and posed for photographs and then yes, even better-- we found a photobooth. after that, we bought packages of dried seaweed and squid because it looked cool and it seemed like the right thing to do. and then it was time to go. we got on the bus and immediately cut our photobooth strip into four different frames. miracles of all miracles, we all made it back onto the bus, every last one of us. no one got lost, or went missing or showed up drunk or high or ended up arrested. a miracle, is what it was.

I like to think we really milked those two hours in tokyo. squeezed the most from one of the most exciting cities in the world. funny, all I have to show for it is this tiny little photobooth frame. I fell out of touch with the two friends in the frame-- last I heard, one was performing small parts on and off broadway and the other was working as a musician in nashville. I wonder, do they both still have those tiny photobooth pictures? do they occasionally look at the frame and remember that night like I do? I wonder. girls, if you're out there: here's to two hours and tokyo and us.

and here's to photobooth friday:

weaker vessel
second spring
pinky doll
story of my life
mrs. pleasant
karen michel

08 November 2007


with the fog of sickness and all, I completely forgot about national blog posting month aka nablopomo (inspired by national novel writing month aka nanowrimo). eight days into november and I am terribly late and I hate being late. but I'm throwing my proverbial hat into the ring because I like the idea of something akin to a daily writing exercise and also I'd like a little vacation from the overthinking that so often takes place inside my head. yes, a break from that would be nice.

so hello, nablopomo. it's good to see you again.

05 November 2007

and she's down

sometime halloween night, I got sick. and I mean sick. the kind that requires huddling underneath several layers of blankets and sheets, the kind that causes you to cry out nightly for mommy, the kind that comes from behind and knocks you squarely off your feet.

I felt the strangest sense of relief the second I fell back onto the big green couch that night. I let it swallow me whole and could barely keep my eyes open as the kids enthusiastically dumped large plastic pumpkins full of candy onto the floor. it felt so good to let things go and let someone else take over. I can't remember the last time I was this sick. so not fun. not like I ever thought it was, but you always remember the laying around and the sipping of ginger ale and tea with lemon and honey and all the tv-watching and magazine-reading. that part of it always seems so appealing to me. and I did do plenty of that (as well as put a sizable dent in the book I'm currently reading), but wow. it has been a most unpleasant four days. nothing but aches and pains and chills that felt biblical in proportion and fevers that gave way to strange, sweaty blocks of sleep.

but the mister, he took good care of me. and there was really only one morning where I had to set the sickness aside and uphold my motherly duties. that's the toughest thing, when you're sick as a dog and all you want to do is crawl to the nearest bed and pass out but you can't because you're a mother and those children, they need to be taken care of. it's the worst thing because how do you take good care without getting them sick? how do you make them snacks? lunch? my poor salad tongs never worked so hard. in my seven years of mothering, all I can say is that you do what you have to do to make it through. and little ezra, all he wanted was to be close to me. which meant that he sat on the couch right near my head, all the time asking, 'mommy, you sick? you sick, mommy? you better? you wanna lick one a dese suckers?' he was holding two grape suckers, one in each hand. he'd found his halloween candy stash and I was too weak to do anything about it, too sick to care. like I said, you do what you have to do to make it through and anyway, I appreciate the gesture, kid. I'm willing to overlook the fact that you offered me those licks sometime before breakfast. which means you got to your candy before breakfast. I'm not even going to think about that.

but today, I'm up. I'm showered and ready to go. I haven't been outside the house in four days (and haven't even cared to venture out until now) but the world, it looks a little better today. because my head has stopped pounding and I can swallow without crying and well, that's something.