31 December 2018


34 minutes left in the year twenty eighteen and these are the lists I'm making:

art I loved
films I loved
books I loved 
work I'm proud of
places I stood
times I felt most alive
moments I want to remember

(happy new year, friends)

30 December 2018


things about the film roma:

the opening scene
the ending scene
and all the scenes in between
no but really--
the opening scene
(and the ending scene)
and cleo 
and water
and laundry
what is it about laundry
and in the words of a friend:
the singular way alfonso cuarĂ³n dignifies women and their everyday stories

(I will revisit this film again and again)

29 December 2018



things I love about the last few days of the year:

the looking backwards
the looking forwards
the way no one ever seems to know what day it is

28 December 2018


seen at the thrifts today:

a rainbow donkey pinata
a couple of picnic baskets
a pair of black crocs covered with chili peppers
a bright orange coffee table
failed art projects
so many failed art projects
paperback copies of fifty shades of grey
sooooo many copies of fifty shades of grey


scott boulevard

I don't remember when I first made the 70 things list. when I turned 40? 41? I don't remember. what I do remember is that I could not bring myself to think of 50, could not even write it, so I settled on 49. 70 things before I turn 49. seemed light years away, 49. now, it's less than a year. 

35 things left to do in 348 days (or, everything that's left on the list and some of these are impossible but here they are anyway and maybe I'll knock out a few before 49):

stand in a field of daffodil gold
develop the box full of film
walk across seventy bridges
fly down seventy slides
label the backs of the polaroids
label the backs of the photobooth strips
wear the fellini dress
attend a photobooth convention
learn to rewire a lamp
bake a lemon meringue pie
shop the world's longest yard sale
write about the charm bracelets
write about my mom
take the kids to chicago
take the kids to new york
archive the old family photographs
fill a book with collages
take one hundred dance classes
make one hundred paper flowers
visit the korean sauna
shoot polaroids in italy
roller skate with friends
transform the garage
plant a little garden
color hunt in cuba
write with friends in oregon
explore new mexico (with ezra)
embroider favorite bridges
revisit the underwater camera
complete the series
finish the book of polaroid portraits
make a little paper zine
get a little permanent ink
visit a rooftop carnival
spend the night in a pink room

26 December 2018


five faves//january//1

things eaten over the last five days:

lemon tassies
fried pickles
mandarin oranges
mexican wedding cakes
deviled eggs
sugar cookies
avocado toast
pigs in blankets
candy canes
monkey bread
fruit salad
like, a lot of chocolate

25 December 2018


on this christmas day:

presents have been ripped open
christmas records have been played
monkey bread has been consumed
naps have been taken
my people are happy

(merry christmas, friends)

24 December 2018


my people

on this christmas eve:

songs have been sung
oranges have been put in stockings
quiet has set in
a weary world rejoices

23 December 2018


small pleasures, part two:

peeling oranges
striped socks
christmas lights
clean sheets
midnight movies
jiffy pop
sleeping in

22 December 2018


the sicilians

things I remember about this christmas circa 1979:

divinity fudge and hard candy in glass bowls, spaghetti and meatballs for dinner

the sweet smell of my grandpa's pipe, the faint scent of beer

the snow white ceramic christmas tree with the tiny candy rainbow lights that always, always sat on top of my grandparents' enormous television set

the way I loved that darci doll, the one I'm holding in the photograph above, with her more generously proportioned body and her brassy brunette hair and the very, very professional little modeling portfolio she came with

the way my brother loved that howdy doody doll, the one he's holding in the photograph above, with his goofy grin and painted freckles and mouth made to tell a thousand kid jokes

my dad in that burgundy velour, my mom with that sterling silver locket 

the way we drank RC cola out of frosty aluminum cups in magenta and amber and royal blue

the way we snuck upstairs to listen to old 45s on my dad's suitcase record player and throw things down the laundry chute

the pallet of quilts and blankets my grandma laid out on the floor of the front room for the kids to sleep on

the way we fell asleep right there, to the blink of christmas lights and the sounds of barney miller on the television

21 December 2018



things I love about winter:

the light
the dark
the quiet
the cold
the cozy

(happy solstice, happy first day of winter)

20 December 2018


things I really want to do right now instead of make this list:

pull on pajamas
climb into bed
sleep until my body thanks me

19 December 2018



items considered for purchase tonight at the buford highway farmers market:

a bagful of rambutans
a bagful of tangerines
matcha green tea kit kats
chocolate banana cream pocky
an abnormally large bag of masa harina
an abnormally large jar of nutella
japanese soda in pretty bottles
japanese soda you have to manually add fizz to
properly aged parmesan
a case of topo chico

18 December 2018


armed and ready

things I still need to do:

send all the cards
wrap all the presents
bake all the things

17 December 2018



overheard while writing letters to santa tonight:

"can I write small"
"can I write in pencil"
"are you going to read these"
"I'm serious, are you and dad going to read these"
"so what exactly are we writing to santa"
"I think I'm overthinking it"
"don't over think it, dad"
"it's just for fun, dad"
"you know, some small part of me still believes"

16 December 2018


recent favorite words:


15 December 2018



things that absolutely delighted me this week:

rosemary living in my kitchen window sill
christmas cookie recipes in my mom's handwriting
the most golden of magic hours on december eleventh 
a fortune from zoltar
a mixtape my brother made me
a mixtape, you understand
a cassette tape, is what I'm telling you
old home movies from my southern illinois childhood in which I sound like a hillbilly
lin-manual miranda on the radio talking about the saddest song
questlove on instagram talking about nancy wilson
ava's painting of this photograph of the two of us
ezra's pencil drawing of the sun
the way my family ate my inexplicably very dry red velvet cake with nary a complaint
the way my husband took such care with me on my birthday
every single time we plugged in the christmas lights
every single time, I tell you
mirrors and lights
lights and mirrors

(yayoi kusama forever)

14 December 2018


people and things in which I have the highest of hopes:

weighted blankets
the one legit coffee shop in our neighborhood
the third season of atlanta
time-release melatonin
every bra I've ever purchased

13 December 2018


places from which I have banned myself:

any site even remotely similar to webMD
the medical aisle at any and every book store and/or library

12 December 2018


the jar of magical thinking

things I keep in jars:

water from the pacific ocean
water from the atlantic ocean
portland rain, collected the day we moved
secret candies
bits of magical thinking

11 December 2018



things I did on the first day of 48:

slept in
drank all the coffee
felt alive
I mean, really alive
ate breakfast in bed with confetti
did not read the news
did not watch the news
wore a little crown made of sunflowers 
put on my reading glasses to read ezra's card 
tried not to cry
cried anyway
baked the red velvet cake
let the kids help
had soft pretzels and cherry limeade for lunch
stood in a room full of mirrors and lights
stood in that room for thirty seconds
wanted to stand in it for thirty hours
bought myself a little paint set
felt hopeful
tried on coral lipstick
felt hopeful
took a freight elevator to the rooftop
looked out over the city
closed my eyes
made a wish

10 December 2018


easy if you try

things I did on the last day of 47:

went to a thousand grocery stores
actually, two
bought cake flour, red food coloring, buttermilk 
wondered how many years I have been baking this cake
looked at my eyes in the mirror
googled eye cream
looked at my neck in the mirror
googled neck cream
did a thousand loads of laundry
literally a thousand
actually, seven
actually think seven might as well be a thousand
wondered how my laundromat is still in business
counted the number of machines marked out of order
counted eight
stepped over a washing machine turned on its side, guts and wires spilled out
wondered if they've just given up
listened to a couple argue in russian
listened to the sound of my friend's voice
wondered what I would have done without her this year
cut onions and garlic nice and fine
taught ezra how to saute 
contemplated vacuuming
decided against it
looked at the haircut I gave myself
I mean really looked at it
apologized to my hair
put fresh sheets on the bed
felt victorious
surveyed the mountain of towels and clothes yet to be folded
felt defeated
took a hot shower with the lights off
thanked my body for another year
thanked my skin, my muscles and bones
apologized for the many ways in which I have mistreated them
promised to do better this year 
meant it
chose the polaroid of the lovely laundromat above
chose it knowing full well it looks nothing like my sad laundromat
posted it anyway
wondered what tomorrow's list will look like
wondered what 48 what will look like

09 December 2018



seen at the mall today:

$200 face cream
a canary yellow fur coat
the world's smallest magic 8 ball
all the dresses I wore in the nineties
santa claus

08 December 2018


small pleasures, part one:

french fries
old photographs
the first page of a new book
sweaters that feel like blankets
sap pinched from the ends of christmas tree branches
handwritten letters

07 December 2018


I would not be mad if, in a strange turn of events, santa claus turned out to be a real, living guy who, in an even stranger turn of events, hand-delivered one of the following items to my home in the dead of night:

these roller skates
this record album
this bicycle
this book
this camera

note: this is really just an updated version of a christmas wish list my fourth grade self made, though that one probably also included a request for multiple tins of village lip lickers and a dramatic plea for a mister microphone

06 December 2018


things I worried about today:

financial aid for ava
an impending deadline 
the strange sound the kitchen faucet makes
the strange sound my computer cord makes
ways I've failed as a parent
ways in which I am unable to properly adult
cancer, all of the cancers, always

05 December 2018


things I didn't see coming:

donald trump
the return of mom jeans
the love I have for my reading glasses

(well okay I sort of saw donald trump coming)

04 December 2018


things I wish I had at my house:

a washer
a dryer
a washer with a dryer stacked on top
a dryer with a washer stacked on top
literally anything vaguely resembling a washer
also, I would like a dryer

03 December 2018


because, christmas

things that got me through monday:

sunlight for breakfast
clementines for lunch
this song on the radio 
the little forest that lives on the mantle 
the piece of cheesecake I remembered I'd hid in the back of the refrigerator
the comedy that is the haircut I gave myself a few days ago
the christmas tree we brought home tonight
the way the house smells right now, right this second

02 December 2018


things found in the garage today:

a handful of seashells
an inordinate amount of empty boxes
the missing christmas records
a pair of tiny pink sneakers that once belonged to ava
a letter I wrote to myself back in february

01 December 2018


color//colour orange

on this first day of december:

banana bread, baked
christmas decorations, considered
furniture, moved
hairs, cut
dishes, washed
rain, appreciated
couch, sunk into

hello december

ready for you, december. ready for all of your things.

30 November 2018

last of the last

I find great comfort in the few days before november gives way to december. gourds are still on the table, leftover cranberry sauce still in the fridge. the leaves are still turning here in georgia. I am considering december. that is all. just considering. 

tomorrow, I'll step into it. tonight, I am still considering.

29 November 2018

better than drugs


I had an idea for a project tonight-- I stopped everything, wrote down everything, emptied my brain. it felt good, it felt right.

this is your reminder to stop everything when the idea comes. to ride the wave, give yourself over, let new blood rush in. my reminder is your reminder is my reminder. I still believe in projects and ideas.

27 November 2018

april in new york

the way I saw myself tumbling down subway steps, every time. knees buckling, bag flying, limbs folding soundlessly beneath me. the reactions of people standing on the platform. the way I might fight to recover balance, pretend it did not happen.


the way the smallest kindnesses undid me. the man on the train, traveling with his family into the city, lightly tapping me on the shoulder, offering me his seat. earlier, they'd quietly marveled as we passed the brooklyn bridge.  


the way peter's handcrafted mug felt in my hands as I sat in jen's kitchen, coffee (hot) sweetened with brown sugar. window with a fire escape, whole of the day ahead of me. is there a more beautiful thing?

26 November 2018


I hate writing.
I love having written.

dorothy parker

(thank you, tracy)

25 November 2018

fifty, celebrated

summer twenty seventeen//40

these two


ladies and gentlemen,

crescent city

hello space needle


five decades, a fraction represented here. yesterday: this guy, fifty. we celebrated big and there are stories to tell. 

23 November 2018

photobooth friday

photobooth friday

photobooth friday! it's been a minute. 

struck photobooth gold in the city of new orleans, folks. first family photobooth strip in four years, first solo photobooth strip of ezra in four years and the last photobooth strip of ward in his forties. gold, gold, all of them, gold.

19 November 2018

18 November 2018

day eighteen

there will be hours, I think. hours and hours in the car to do things. seven hours to new orleans, plenty of time. I can read and write, mend jeans, maybe even edit. balance the computer on my lap and edit shoots while we fly down the highway. I have done this before, though with minimal success. still, I think. I could get so much work done. I stuff my black canvas bag with books and zines, sashiko thread. I pack a sketchbook, a small pouch of supplies, my computer, external drives. I am hopeful.

but once we hit the highway, I can only sit and stare. for hours, I sit like this. maybe sing along with the music a little. mostly, I let my mind run til it can't anymore. until the sky turns pink and the headlights of oncoming cars pop on and I am drowsy and drunk from the quiet. I can't even bring myself to read. we are in alabama before I realize maybe this is good for me. maybe this is exactly what I need.

17 November 2018

day seventeen

public radio
hot tea
hot sauce
historical fiction
orange marmalade
fleetwood mac
reading glasses

(things I love now that I didn't thirty years ago)

16 November 2018

it's true

all I really want to do is read books and ride bikes and listen to records so I am basically just my fourth grade self, all over again.

15 November 2018

it's 9:59

and I've done it again. I've waited until the end of the day to write and I have nothing left. not a thing. why, why do I do it. all I can think about now is the bed and the book and the tee-shirt and the way I will crawl into all three of them within the hour.

13 November 2018

day thirteen

the problem is that I wait until the end of the day to begin. when I am feeling all used up and my eyes are bleary from editing and my brain is weary from thinking and my body is tired from living.

I used to come alive at night. after everyone else went to bed and quiet fell over the house, my brain lit up like a neon sign. I felt like I could do anything. make anything, write anything. all my magic unfurled after midnight.

there is no magic unfurling after midnight now. there is actually no magic unfurling anytime after nine. it is currently 9:08pm and I am telling you people right now, I am struggling. after nine, everything looks wrong, feels wrong. and what I have come to realize is that things feel wrong because I have no optimism left. these days, I have a very fixed daily amount. once it's gone, it's gone. but what I also know now is that if I just slip into bed and read my book and fall asleep, the optimism will magically regenerate and return in the morning. there will be coffee and a fresh chunk of daily optimism for the taking. most of the time, anyway.

some days, I'm careless with it. I squander it, spend it all in one place. as if I have no concept of what it means to pace. sometimes it runs out long before the day is over and I am forced to run on faulty reserves. this never ends well. and my family has come to recognize this part of who I am. once, when we were all sitting around a bonfire in the backyard, staring in silence at flames dying and embers cooling in a fat pile of ash, ezra said, "look. it's mom's optimism."

and I laughed, because it was true.

12 November 2018

well, I asked

me, after dinner: "so, what should I write about tonight?"

ava: "slurpees."

ezra: "define slurpees."

ward: "love. you should write about love."

ward: "talk about trump. you love trump."

ezra: "you should also probably write about how I'm almost done folding all these paper cranes."

ava: "polygamy."

ward: "make one of your lists. you should make a list of um, movies."

ava: "toilets. public toilets."

ladies and gentlemen, this be my monday night. 

11 November 2018

day eleven

I watched this today and it made me happy. (november, two years ago)

10 November 2018

friday night

I had the sads last night and nothing helped. not the tater tots, not the hot shower, not the book in bed. not even claire de lune loud in my headphones. sometimes the sads are like that, though. you just have to sit in them for a little while, let yourself feel them.  

I thought about a midnight walk, I thought about cutting my hair. I thought about how good it might feel to take a pair of scissors and cut my braids right off, I thought about the sound the scissors against my hair might make, about the jolt I'd get from the sight of braids in the sink. that jolt appealed to me. 

I thought about writing, about how the push of a pen against paper feels. I thought about posting here. and then I fell into a deep, boneless sleep and now it's morning and there's sunlight and coffee and miraculously, banana bread in the oven. I made it to the other side, braids intact. 

good morning.

08 November 2018

twitter, condensed


today, on twitter:
growing up physically surrounded by books can be good for you 
and breast milk is a scientific miracle
and silent book clubs are active
and 1993 might have been the greatest year for music
and the letter 'b' in the word 'debt' was added centuries ago for aesthetic effect
and vivian maier saw things in color sometimes

and there was another mass shooting
and voter suppression is choking us here in the state of georgia
and racism is choking us here in the united states of america
and the president is dumb
and we the people have had it