28 March 2008

photobooth friday

photobooth friday
(from the new york strips, november 2006)

ah, such big plans for the photobooth this month. plans for headstands in the booth (a la matt) and complicated, contorted body poses plus maybe holding ezra upside down. which he would have totally been game for (no extra coercing necessary). 'twas not to be, my friends. just didn't make it down to the booth. hey, but some people did:

some are from this month's challenge, others are long-time favorites who initially inspired the faceless theme. really I just love seeing those displaced limbs all over the place.

1. photobooth friday, 2. photobooth friday, 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled, 5. PBF Assignment #2-FACELESS, 6. faceless experiment nº2: cara de huevo, 7. Untitled, 8. soon, 9. Photobooth Friday, 10. faceless experiment nº1 (tango shoes): failed, 11. photobooth friday, 12. Untitled, 13. Untitled, 14. Untitled, 15. photobooth friday: BALLOONS!, 16. Untitled

particularly loving wendy's belly. and from the marvelous scrumdillydilly: maryjanes, balloons and pink slinkies. a splendid little hip tattoo from acumamakiki. so much more here. stay tuned for the new challenge. april is for fools. I'm just sayin.

happy friday, world.

27 March 2008


it's thursday and thursdays really mean something around here. so it's time for the junk mail collage from moleskine #2. also, it's time for an update. the frigid, rainy state of affairs here is not cramping our style. well, maybe just a little. while on fake vacation this week, we've seen:

a chemistry lab
a rainbow (for reals)
an elvis impersonator
a barn owl named julio

we've seen and done more than that but I'm all about the highlights today.

25 March 2008


spring break for ava so we're pretending we're on vacation. absolutely thrilled to have a break from the daily grind. wishing we could just get in the car and drive somewhere, anywhere. trying to see something new in portland everyday this week. updates to come.

am loving the braille graffiti project. a thousand times over, I am loving it.

20 March 2008

big fat sack of yes

(somewhere in idaho)

this time last year, we were on the road. we were wondering if we were going to make it. this time last year, we were contemplating what our new life might be like out in the great pacific northwest. this time last year, our lives were sort of up in the air.

on our way out of atlanta, I decided to keep a different kind of journal-- one to hold the small, more forgettable details of our days on the road, one that would give gas station food and fluctuating grouchiness as much attention as the majestic nature of the mountains we'd no doubt soon all be oohing and aahing over. something about this decision liberated me. I didn't feel pressure to document every profound moment. instead, I wrote about spicy guacamole pringles, strange roadside signs and the music we listened to. I wrote about the way some hotels smelled like chlorine (and how much I loved that) and the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping fully clothed. because I'd given myself permission to write whatever and whenever I wanted (or not), I suddenly wanted to write all the time. and that's what I did. if I wasn't messing with the camera, I was writing stuff down. one year later and I've had more fun reading these entries than I could have ever predicted. which inspired list-making, of course. almost everything in my life seems to lead to list-making.

(gas station in tennessee)

(somewhere in utah)

not missing:

gas stations that smell like burnt coffee

sleeping through the night fully clothed (denim skirts especially not recommended)

thinking you're going to see the world's largest prairie dog when, in fact, you are not

pimply, distracted teenage restaurant workers who pretend they are listening while they are taking your order

children who want bacon and ranch-flavored pringles for breakfast

entire towns that smell like dog food

toys that wedge themselves into the tight spaces between seats inside cars and cannot be retrieved, no matter how ingenious the retrieving contraption is

gas station bathrooms that destroy all faith in humanity

missed opportunities, i.e. deliciously odd roadside attractions that look like old wooden dutch mills and boast views of six states

crusty old men who give your son a penny and then tell him to go 'buy himself a beer'

sharing tiny hotel swimming pools with the splash-happy twins

incorrect apostrophe usage on roadside billboards-- most notably, the porn shop in the middle of nowhere called PASSION'S

bad songs that get stuck in your head and won't go away because, you know, it's hard out here for a pimp

book lights that do not illuminate the desired reading area AT ALL

hotels that look nice in the picture but then feel inexplicably creepy once you check in

waking up in a dark hotel room at three in the morning to the sounds of high-pitched screaming and the shattering of glass, wondering what to do first-- call the police or pack up and flee

toy gumball machines that absolutely do not deliver anything even remotely close to the goods

meltdowns in laramie, wyoming

(on the road in kansas)

(ava in the great state of oregon)

totally missing:

so many freshly opened boxes of crayons

enormous bundles of balloons that break free and escape from car dealerships

kitschy gift shops that cause you to lose all reason and purchase totally unnecessary souvenir items

listening to sufjan's come on feel the illinoise while driving through my home state of illinois

finding four leaf clovers at the base of the st. louis arch

friends that lovingly make you home-cooked meals and let you crash at their house for the night

the permission to: eat mcdonald's hotcakes every morning, buy as many trashy gossip magazines as necessary

wide open turquoise-colored skies

walmart greeters that wear hats made of feathers

made-up stories about freddy and fern and the bicycle that goes nowhere

traveling along the original route 66

the sharing of pink frosted cupcakes with one 96 year-old birthday girl

bare feet propped comfortably (and permanently) up on the dashboard

traveling on roads that feel as if they were dropped from the sky into the narrow crevices of magnificent mountains

the tails of stale marshmallow peeps

jared's good morning (and good night) mixes

outstretched arms, windswept hair

views so scenic you have no choice but to put down your book and stare out the window (DARN YOU, UTAH)

extra-fine black pilot pens

late night dips in illuminated indoor swimming pools

ripping into mystery care packages put together by family and friends

freshly filled buckets of hotel ice

things worth excitedly pointing out: shoes hung like christmas ornaments on trees, one very slow moving tumbleweed, the world's largest pair of underwear, spectacular snow-capped mountains, entire lengths of trains, wind farms, moss (like supernatural chartreuse carpet) covering absolutely everything in sight, fantastic waterfalls

waking up in a dark hotel room at three in the morning to hear the sounds of family sleeping soundly, deeply

the crossing of each and every state line

13 March 2008

the great escape

there must have been a hundred worms out on the sidewalk this morning, all of them inching along the slick wet concrete, all of them as bewildered by their predicament as we were. on the way into preschool, ezra and I had to stop and look at every single one. normally, I'd be pulling him along impatiently. no time for looking, for anything but getting on with the business of the day. this morning, I didn't pull. instead, I watched as he crouched down low to inspect each worm. he prodded them gently with soggy twigs and whispered commentary to no one in particular, as if he were speaking into a small tape recorder, making notes for future worm-hunting expeditions. I watched as he lost himself there in that world-- no one but him and those grey, undulating worms in the cold morning air.

several months ago, he found a spiderman costume in a box labeled 'free, take me'. he cried out triumphiantly and lifted a tired blue nylon suit high into the air. it was all I could do to keep him from stripping down right then and there. we were promptly informed by our neighbor that the costume had been worn (relentlessly) by both of her sons. as ezra continued to wave his doughy little fist in the air, I wondered if the suit had the strength to survive even one more boy. six months later and the answer to that is an enthusiastic yes. the minute ezra slips that costume on, he is absolutely transformed. doesn't matter that there are runs (that lead to bigger runs that lead to gaping holes) up the back of the leg, that the suit hangs loose and crooked on his small frame. it ties and gaps in the back like a hospital gown, which I find ridiculously charming. no, none of this really matters when ezra locks into character. he lunges and snarls, shoots imaginary webs from his fingers and performs a combination of spins and rolls and kicks until he is wild-eyed and completely lost. lately, these performances have taken on alarming new levels of intensity. I am convinced we have a young method actor in the making. I think of all the grown method actors as three year-olds, tirelessly channeling the likes of superheroes until exasperated parents demand they stop it already and eat their oatmeal.

a couple of weeks ago, just before bed one night, ezra got so wrapped up in his spiderman act that I swear to you, we had to clap to snap him out of it. ezra! we yelled. come back to us, buddy! no more spiderman! time for bed! he was fully submerged, deep in spidey-world and we had to clap a couple more times to bring him back. the following day, I called my mom and told her about it. crazy, I said. the way he was just so into it. well, this is what kids do, she said and she told me how she used to run an orphanage for dolls when she was little, how the hours seemed to fly by as she cared for each parentless doll. (interesting that she eventually pursued a degree in social work). she also told me how she often pretended to be a famous artist and while she's not exactly famous, she's an artist in every sense of the word.

for me, it was always about imaginary travels. I'd pack up my little canvas suitcases and go on 'trips', which usually meant a walk down to the end of the driveway near a small ditch. if it was filled with water, I could pretend I was vacationing on the banks of an exotic river. I would unpack my bags, set up camp and create imaginary itineraries which usually included elaborate picnics and searches for fool's gold. I completely lost myself in the world of make-believe travel. which might explain why I am happiest when traveling (or planning trips), why I am always dreaming of road trips, weekend getaways, travels to new cities and foreign countries. this might explain why my house is filled with old globes and pull-down school maps, why I occasionally wonder if I should've been a travel writer.

I'm not exactly sure what this means for ezra (or ava, for that matter), or if it even means anything at all, but I am taking careful notes. if ezra turns out to be an actor, I'll have plenty of interesting little stories to share with him. see? you were method acting before you could even read, I'll say to him. maybe he'll remember, maybe he won't. most likely, he'll end up taking a completely different direction in life. thousands upon thousands of possibilities which is what makes childhood so grand, what makes it so magic.

11 March 2008

number 8

number eight on the list to be offically checked off, thanks in part to date night with ward back in january. so good I had to drag two sweet friends to the place for more happy.

one down, thirty-six to go.

08 March 2008

photobooth friday

(on a saturday afternoon)

this month's photobooth friday challenge is faceless. ava and I went for the more obvious choice: hands.

couple more faceless frames to check out:
doctora boop

of course, the rest of the usual suspects can be found here.

05 March 2008

wednesdays are for dancing

on wednesday afternoons, I teach creative movement. which is something like joyful (and somewhat controlled) chaos for about 45 minutes. what we are is a soulful mess of wiggling, shaking, spinning and leaping with some floating and melting thrown in just to balance things out. plus, a whole bunch of other things that may or may not involve hula hoops, bags of bright-colored feathers and fat rolls of bubble wrap. we also make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with our feet and swivel our hips to mimic the agitation of nine miniature washing machines. it's all very serious, I promise.

and while I'm on the subject of dance, two things:

1. I am head over heels in love with danceminute-- a blog that posts one-minute videos of dance as seen through the eyes of a new york dancer/choreographer/film editor. it's absolutely brilliant for a million different reasons but mainly because it points the camera at all kinds of dance and breaks it down into bite-sized pieces. if you visit the site and scroll down, you will be able to view everything from rhythmic hand gestures (performed beautifully by a southern iranian in a swiftly moving car) to a late night informal dance showing in soho to a work-in-progress (big love for the swinging light bulb) to the soul tigers marching band breaking it down for the masses in union square. for me, this is beyond good. THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. honestly, I'm sort of wishing I'd thought of it first but that doesn't really matter. what matters is that someone thought of it, someone is doing it and now it's out there for the world to see.

2. I'm incredibly disappointed to have missed stephen petronio last night. the only consolation is the promise of a couple performances just around the bend-- urban bush women with compagnie jant-bi and the brenda angiel aerial dance company. portland peoples, these are two modern dance performances not to be missed. I promise you, they will not disappoint. unless you are dead inside. in which case, you may leave these performances feeling mildly let down. but then, you're dead inside and I'm sorry but I can't really help you. let's face it, you've got bigger problems. anyway, I first saw the urban bush women back in 1992 (multiple times since then) and remember vividly how absolutely electric they were on stage, how seamlessly they layered text with an athletic style of movement that can only be described as otherworldly. still reeling from the impact, y'all. still sorting out the influence they've had on me and my deep dancer self. I should write more about them, I really should.

so save your green, pdx friends because these two performances are back to back: one night only for the urban bush women (april 2nd) and three nights for brenda angiel (april 3-5).

wow, when it rains, it pours. april showers, yo.

03 March 2008

mondays are for color (and other things)

like tomato soup (with toast on the side) and unexpected pre-breakfast trips to the thrift store. mondays are also good for sorting things out.

my mind was wild with ideas last night. they were coming at me all at once, like a thousand super bouncy balls set loose. I spent the better part of an hour scooting from room to room, hashing things out in a scattered fashion. ten minutes in this room to see what this pattern looked like with that color and then fifteen minutes downstairs in my studio to shift things around and hang this letter here and that photograph there and then five minutes looking at papers for a collage, sketching ideas for a piece and then ten minutes on the computer looking at this and that, ten minutes to write. oh and then ten minutes with the camera and another ten minutes playing musical lampshades (which is when you trade this lampshade for that one until every lamp in the house is wearing a different hat).

when I am creatively overstimulated like this, I usually try to see it through to the end. I try hard to collect all that is rolling through my mind and get it down onto whatever paper is available. then I make a beeline for the green couch, the one that pulls me deep into the delicious land of reclining. there's a crevice in the couch that makes it impossible for me to do anything other than curl up and stare at cable television. I give myself permission to check out, shut down, close shop for the night because seriously, my head just can't take it.

so today I am sorting things out. how about you?

more color on this day we call monday:

because sometimes what you need is a shot of color.