30 December 2015

christmas times

still pretty much steeped in merriment here, even with all the hard things in the world. maybe because of all the hard things in the world. hope rooted in the humble birth of a savior.

peace and love and joy (and all of the things, all of them) to you and yours, friends.

18 December 2015

45 on 45

one week ago today, I turned 45. it's a strange age, 45. strangely weird and wonderful and maybe a little bit painful. for weeks now, I've been thinking about it, about how I wanted to celebrate, how I wanted to mark the occasion. because, it is an occasion. sort of like turning 40 but with a little more wisdom and a pinch more panic.

aging aside, the truth is that december birthdays are hard. the calendar is crammed with more obligations than anyone ever knows what to do with and people are mostly tired and grouchy. there isn't ever any extra money, not really, because what little there is has been squirreled away for christmas and whatever bills are overdue. blah blah blah, it's all very first world woe is me.

but I had sleeves with tricks, I did. and a pocket with a few dollars, a few of my favorite people, a good twelve (maybe thirteen) hours and the whole freaking city of atlanta. and so I decided to see if I could do 45 things on my 45th birthday, 45 actual things. and you know what? it was a pretty good way to celebrate. it didn't cost me very much and I will never, ever forget it. and really, that's all I wanted.

here are 45 things I did the day I turned 45:

1. bought a bag of party horns and a package of confetti on our way into the city.

3. tossed a little confetti out the window as we flew down dekalb ave.

4. had a cup of tea at dr. bombay's underwater tea party, browsed the one dollar books, left a party horn behind.

5. took a polaroid of a favorite scene.

6. threw a penny in the fountain at fellini's, made a wish.

7. picked a camellia up off the sidewalk, left a pinch of confetti behind.

8. taped a party horn to a favorite book and left it in the little free library in my old neighborhood.

9. did a little indie craft window-shopping.

10. sprinkled confetti on the steps of my very first apartment.

11. flipped through albums at criminal records, bought myself a little birthday vinyl.

12. hopped inside criminal's digital photobooth for a strip, left a party horn behind.

13. drove through momo's rainbow tunnel, jumped out and taped a party horn to it.

14. photographed the year I was born.

15. sat in the sun at lottafrutta and had the lulo, a drink made with a fruit I'd never even heard of before.

16. left a party horn taped to the plastic neck of a pink flamingo, took the little orange paper umbrella as a souvenir.

17. sampled the watermelon soda (tasted like liquid candy necklace). 

18. decided I'd make an okay carmen miranda.

19. chickened out of photographing a most spectacular stranger.

20. hit the swings at the noguchi playground in piedmont park.

21. flew down that rad noguchi slide too.

22. left a little confetti in front of the old black iron gates of the apartment we lived in when we were first married.

23. photographed a few people I love jumping in front of a mural I love.

24. taped a party horn to the big yellow dot on said loved mural.

25. taped a party horn to the little orange dot on a favorite HENSE mural.

26. walked the beltline at magic hour, scattered a little confetti along the way.

27. sprinkled a smidge of confetti in front my favorite tiny red door.

28. tucked a party horn inside the string installment that covers the footbridge over ponce.

29. left a party horn behind on our way into ponce city market.

30. sampled a little hops biscuits and gravy, watched the sun go down over ponce.

31. bought a piece of cherry mash and a packet of cherry pop rocks at the candy shop, let the pop rocks crackle in my mouth as we wandered around outside.

32. tried on a few hats at the hat shop, fell in love with a scarlet cloche.

33. wandered the aisles of the art supply store, bought myself a beautiful new fountain pen.

34. found out what it's like to wander the high museum of art at night.

35. photographed my people in front of the anish kapoor piece.

36. spotted the flashing neon HOT NOW sign at the krispy kreme on ponce, had to stop. it's practically the law.

37. watched hundreds of doughnuts on a conveyor belt pass through heavenly sugary showers of glaze.

38. consumed exactly one hot doughnut, let it melt in my mouth.

39. stopped for french fries and cokes at the beloved majestic diner, tucked a party horn between the salt and pepper shakers.

40. stood on the jackson street bridge and looked out over our fair city, threw a handful of confetti at it.

41. tossed the last of the confetti onto ponce on our way out of the city.

42. listened to my family sing happy birthday.

43. blew out all the candles, made one last wish.

44. devoured a piece of red velvet cake.

45. collapsed onto the big green couch, fully and wholly 45.

10 December 2015

atlanta + amsterdam: cityscape

atlanta, left:

the view of my fair city from the jackson street bridge. and she's not a perfect city, atlanta, but I love her all the same.

amsterdam, right:

just exactly what I imagine the streets of amsterdam to be like. and I hope for some wandering in the near future, perhaps with my friend and co-collaborator, joyce. I hope to experience the differences and similarities between our two fine cities in real life one of these days. fingers crossed, fingers tightly crossed.

and so concludes our little project, atlanta + amsterdam. thank you, joyce, for sharing bits and pieces of your city through the lens of your SX-70 and thanks to all who followed along. here's to projects and collaborations, to differences and similarities, to beloved polaroid SX-70 cameras and quirky, unpredictably lovely impossible project film.

and here's to cities everywhere! but especially to atlanta and amsterdam.

(more from my co-collaborator over in amsterdam, joyce, aka on a hazy morning//more about our twelve-week project here)

09 December 2015

any minute now

I have not put up the first christmas decoration. not one. wait, I take that back-- last monday, I hung a wreath on the front door, the one my mom gave me nearly a decade ago, the one that reminds of the one she used to hang on her front door every single year. from the outside, we look pretty merry. on the inside, we are not. well, not yet.

it's not for lack of desire. the truth is I've been buried with work, which is not necessarily something to complain about when you're freelance. happy to have the work, begging for the work (always) but it's the middle of december and there's no tree in this here house. no sap to pinch off the ends of branches, no tangles of string lights. the christmas records haven't even been brought out, the little forest does not yet live on the mantle. in fact, the closest we've come to christmas spirit around here happened sunday night, when we finally told ezra the buzz lightyear story. I couldn't believe, he'd never heard it. and for the first time (maybe ever), I read something aloud from my blog to him-- a story I'd written about him. friends, it was a good moment, one I'll always remember. the way he smiled as I read it to him, the questions he asked afterwards, the way we laughed and laughed. frankly, I wonder what my kids will think about the things I've written about them here. I wonder what our conversations will sound like once they go digging through the archives, especially during those early years, when they were littles, when they were my entire world and I was theirs, when raising them absolutely consumed me. and it still does, but it's different now.

the shift is coming, I can feel it. the spirit is about to hit this house hard. the christmas records are calling, all the way from their musty corner in the garage, the little trees are crying for the mantle. our tree is out there somewhere, waiting for us to bring it home.

today. today is the day.

03 December 2015

atlanta + amsterdam: home

atlanta, left:

every time I see my bright red door, I smile. and now every time I see that wreath hanging there, I want to sing a little christmas song. this is home.

amsterdam, right:

that little corner, that's what makes joyce smile. the table where they eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, where they sit down for coffee and look out through the bay window at their quiet little amsterdam street. this is home.

(more from my co-collaborator over in amsterdam, joyce, aka on a hazy morning//more about our twelve-week project here)