love is a dangerous angel



tomorrow i will be heading home again. funny how when i'm there home is here, when i'm here home is there. i am mixed up right now, i know.

on the plane i will be re-reading one of the most wonderful books ever: dangerous angels by francisca lia block. i can (and have) read this book over and over and over.

the picture above is from the 1998 edition. why do they change? here's the current one:


people are strange

remember those doors lyrics, people are strange when you're a stranger? love that song.

but if you ask me: people are stranger once you really know them. much stranger.

or maybe it is just my people?

new old things



i finally took some pictures of where did the baby go?, my favorite book when i was a baby. my mom picked it up for me from a garage sale, but my neice wanted to keep it so i let her. this book is so sweet, the little girl finds a picture of a baby then looks around the house for her until she realizes it was her own baby picture. sweetly illustrated too.

back home means reminiscing on my childhood. i spent a lot of time yesterday watching retrojunk with my niece, showing her all of the cartoons that i liked when i was little. her favorites were popples and wuzzles. she wanted to watch the intro over and over. retrojunk is great - it's got all the shows i remember, and all the ones my boyfriend watched as a child and he is quite a bit older than i am (to put it nicely).

i looked up some other toys that i loved too, oh, these toys on ghost of the doll make my heart glow! you have to have a look. (great). ooh, poochie and charmkins, oh, how i loved those...

these were a few of my very favorite toys in the world:





i even came across a my child resoration site. i guess i should have pulled my beloved my child out of our little katrina trash pile friday instead of my old kimberly clark doll:



back home also always means trips to wal-mart. this time i bought new makeup, which i haven't done in a long time. for a while i've been paring down on everything, but i think i'm ready to start having stuff around me again. i've been actually wanting stuff again, which sounds funny, but for a while i just didn't want anything.

i was in a little funk last week, i have been for a while, and i'm ready to be out of it. i've been trying to put on makeup and get dressed every day, which sounds like it should be a given, but, i'll admit it's not always. i always equate putting on makeup with feeling better, and apparently it's not just me... i read an article last week on being happy and it agreed that putting on makeup is a good start. makeup makes you and others feel better, and just the act of putting it on prepares you for positive social interaction. and it said that the act of buying new lipstick (which i did) makes you feel happier (which it did). something about the novelty of the new, which is what shopping high is all about, right?

randomness


after a lifetime of hating heart on anything, period, i find that i now not only can i tolerate them, i sometimes really like them. especially these wax paper and crayon hearts that my boyfriend's kids made for v-day:



i am going to learn how to draw, or try at least. i think, like most things, the trick is to just start trying, so today i did:



and lastly, don't order cds after more than three drinks:

portraits of loss, my own



a plastic heart-charm from an '80s childhood, fallen through the missing ceiling and onto the missing hallway floor.

i went back the first real time yesterday. i walked through the house -- the house my dad has spent every spare second for a year clawing through, cleaning, and trying to preserve. hardly anything is worth preseving, but when this is your life molding and rotting away, you do what you can.



the keys, rusty but still hanging in the keep-safe spot on the wrought-iron entryway to the living room. how did they survive when the doors they opened are gone?

the house was so strange. i lived for twenty-one years in this house, and yet, i couldn't place myself in it. i couldn't get oriented. i had difficulty telling where i was. this is the kitchen? this is the living room? this was my bedroom? my mind still sees it like it was and i couldn't put that together with what is there. i could see straight through the house, through beams and joints and joists.

i could see into the attic, through all of the rooms. everything looked so tiny. tiny, tiny, dwarfed even by the tiny fema trailor on the lawn. i don't know how or why, but the roof felt like it was right on top of my head. the backyard -- birthday and fourth of july parties, and endless summer nights in high school -- and i couldn't imagine all those people fitting there even though i knew they did.



and currently in the trash pile in front of the house: my childhood. preserved in the attic for twenty-five years for future grandkids, i suppose. now waiting for garbage pickup under the styrofoam container from someone's lunch. and i see it all around, but i still can't imagine a whole city collectively sorting through and burying their lives.



for a year, i've been saying my dad should let it go, to start over. why try to save a toolbox or refinish a coffee table that's been through this mess? why waste time going back home, when it will never be home again? but i think i understand: right before i left, i pulled my old kimberly clark doll out of that trash pile and took her with me.

rockstar poetry

broken vessel is finally finished and it rocks. you can buy it here.

kitty


my first kitty!



so, here's the first sewing attempt. it makes me smile.

my boyfriend is very sweet. when i showed him the little cat, still inside out and unstuffed, he acted like it was the most wonderful thing he'd ever seen. he's been trying to cheer me up.

i hadn't looked at my pictures in about a week. here's our short little trip to new york last week:



including a dr. suess quote at the tranquility lounge, in our lovely hotel:



and the christmas tree right before i took it down (yes, i caved, but the colored lights are staying up all year.):



and the one thing i can grow:


loss


i spent a few hours in borders the other day and came across this book in the photography section. anything like this--books, blog posts, t-shirts--makes me cry. still. in borders, standing in front of the bookshelf flipping through the book in my hand and my chest closes up and i cry. it has been so long already. will it be like this forever?

the book is a lie. you can't find beauty in so much loss. everyone i know has pictures like this, but in real life they are not romantic, or beautiful, or nostalgic, or gently faded. they are harsh and hateful. they are shattered dreams and hopes and lives.

the cover photo is a foyer in a house in chalmette. chalmette, where i spent the first 25 years of my life. where my family and friends lived, until katrina. the only place that i really know. i mean know everything about. not that i liked it, but it was... well... still home. like my sister said the other day, a place where your body feels at peace, because you know exactly where you are.

i feel a little like tom hanks in the terminal (which was not good at all). but he got on the plane and before he could go home his country had disolved and so he was trapped. i want to go home, but home is gone. now i don't even know what i want. i am tired and i have no place to rest. when do i get over this?

sisters



i am excited about my little studio! the room was just sitting there collecting clutter, and now it's mine. i'm excited about making art with my sister, we've seriously been talking about this for years. at least 5. and i wonder why i am the type of person who talks about things for years without ever doing them. when did that happen? anyway, my sewing machine. exciting. being excited is so exciting, it's been a while. i taped this picture to the wall today, then realized at one point this very picture of us as princess children one mardi gras had inspired a potential art business name that i can no longer remember. it was going to be on the splash page for our art business website, which never actually got off the ground (exibit here).



i decided to use this as my creativity journal. it's a journal my sister gave me after 9/11 with a really touching inscription inside the cover. i'd always been too precious to me to use, so it's been sitting with my favorite books for five? years. but i thought it fitting for this.



lastly, i had been meaning to scan this for a while, a little picture from one of those sister gift books my own sister gave me i can't remember when (start dating stuff, sis!). it's my favorite of the book, it says a sister is both your mirror and your opposite. (elizabeth fishel) it's so true.

blue

here's my finished collage i forgot to post:



it's bigger than this and square, but this part fit on the scanner.

it's paint and cardboard and magazine pieces. it's so much fun to cut and glue and drip and just generally make a mess.

weekend


my boyfriend's back. my weekend alone is over. a weekend of cookies and really good tv for a change. by "tv" of course i don't mean notmal tv since we don't have that, i mean dvds.

on tv: my landlord promised cable about a month ago. but last week he called to say we should just get a satellite and good luck with it.

anyway, i think i found something that i can just leave on in the background when i need it: scrubs. it was a christmas present and my god it is so funny. maybe cause i used to work with a bunch of surgery residents and i find it is so true. i stayed up all night watching.

i also get the movies i know jack won't like when he's out of town and i picked well this weekend:



secretary: a feel-good movie. reminded me how awful it is to rely on someone else for your ok-ness, and how nice it can be. and made me want to wear little barettes again. maggie is so cute; and she was so precious pregnant. i especially love this picture of her:





singles: oooh, i miss baby-doll dresses and combat boots so much! and i want to buy the soundtrack.

photo swap



i joined a photo scavenger hunt. how fun is that?

except that my swap partner is a little intimidating because from the pictures she looks like she's very cool and also like she gets a ton of mail. anyway, i have my 15 things to take pictures of:

1.your bedroom 2. colored lights. 3. mailboxes (any kind) 4.books in a library 5. the outside (or inside) of your local movie theatre. 6. washing machinces at a laundromat. a grocery store aisle. 7. the current shoes you are wearing. 8. clouds 9. a plate of food that you are about to eat. 10. a school bus 11. a interesting looking building in your town. 12. the outside of your favorite resturant/diner. 13. a photo of yourself with someone giving you bunny ears. 14. a musical instrument. 15. your choice of photo opt.

did you just look at number 1?

oh, i miss my old apartment so very much. the lovely, lovely ceiling and the way music in the cd player echoed throughout the rooms, and the way when i walked in from work i could see the sun setting through the bedroom windows from the front door, and the trash chute that your could just pitch everything into and it would fall into the parking garage and magically disapear (that i totally don't take for granted anymore), and the way i could be in bed and watch him brushing his teeth, and the way the concrete felt so nice and cool on bare feet.

that apartment felt like a fortress, like a safehaven, like my own little world. so isolated from the rest of everything. especially the bedroom. lying in bed and staring at the ceiling. the light coming in the morning. i used to take pictures of that bedroom just because i loved it so much.

so, partially to keep me from cheating on the photo scavenger hunt and sending pictures of my wonderful bedroom that were pre-taken oh, a year or so, i've posted them here.




the apartment is still pretty empty in this one, but that's the sunset sky from the front door. i miss that!


and that ceiling! hard to photograph thought because it was pretty hard to get close... the high ceilings were so incredible. 

i don't think i'm every going to live anywhere else that i love so much. it's impossible. try as i might, the current bedroom one just pales in comparison, i find myself hating it and hating to spend time in it (except for bedtime!). i don't know if i can even take a picture of it. it's just so... confining. i hate the wall -- it being so blank and so close to the bed, and the awful view from the windows. the red sheet he hung up over the window helped so much, as i've said before, but now the bed is missing its sheet, and i'm not sure what else can be done, knock down that awful wall? think the landlord would mind? i'd hate to be kicked out since the rest of the apartment is pretty yummy.

add this

new resolution: get out of pajamas at a reasonable hour. how embarrassing for the fedex man to say, i see i got you outa bed after 1 pm... ech.

the longest post ever, and fully illustrated


(college elements from instyle, october 2006.)

i did this a little bit differently today. maybe because i'm having to drink black coffee today. i'm out of creamer. it was too big for the scanner, it's really square, and it doesn't have an actual up or down. i've got some more in store for this one, not sure how it'll work out, but it'll be fun.

i've been surfing, surfing, surfing. at least that's what they called it when i was young. i feel so out of touch with everyone. holed away in this little fairytale apartment. i'm making a conscious effort to at least get out of the bedroom with it's dark red curtains (ok, a red sheet he nailed over the sliding door...) and into the light. i truly love the view from these little windows, street and trees and a hint of water. it's such a small world, this internet world, in the sense that the blogs and such i find and like often have other links to other blogs and shops and such that i already like. it's just sort of funny to find that other people adore and cherish the same movies, books, songs. like you're all being influenced in different ways by the same things. ok. enough.




i've also been watching movies. and tv shows. the new seasons seem to come out around new years so now it's sort of a tradition to get in a years worth of television all at the beginning. i watch the sopranos and 2424 is my favorite, but after 24 hours of it (because of commercials it's actually only about 22 hours of it), i fully expect to be sniped walking down the street. althought the feeling was much stronger in mid-city new orleans after 24. the latest season of the sopranos is giving me some trouble because i'm convinced i heard that tony soprano dies. so i've been waiting and waiting for him to die. to the point that now when he asks me what i think about anything, he then says, i know, tony's a dead man.



i have been loving my blockbuster.com membership (which is cooler than netflix, since you can trade them in at the store for other movies free):




v for vendetta. very good, and thought provoking. reminded me of moulin rouge and i have no earthly reason why. becaue i disagree with what i read somewhere that it was the best love story of our time. but isn't evey an enchanting name, although evie's better i think? ooh, and during the movie we had the most wonderful take-out bucket of steamers (clams with load of butter sauce and broth) with a case of negra modelo. how good...




all the king's men. ehhh. skip this and read about huey p. long on wikipedia. it's way more interesting. i'm not sure how they screwed this movie up so much with good actors and actresses and a very interesting man's life to base it on, but they did utterly and completely. so sad, because i do love patricia clarkson, and even precious little jude and they sucked in this. and even kate winslett looked horrible and washed out. so sad. plus, the louisianian (is that a word?) accents were just. so. yucky.




rocky. with the new rocky balboa coming out, he really wanted me to see this, i never have. you know, it was really good. a love story. complete opposite of what i just assumed rocky would be like. i loved the look of it, it looked foriegn or independent, whatever that means. we did some looking up on the internet about good old sly, i had no idea he wrote rocky but, did anyone know he made his acting debut as "stud" in a hard-core porno flim???? he was kinda sexy in 1976, no?



i've been waking up early and not sleeping at night mostly because i am excited about the things i am buying for myself (even though the broke-ness is extreme. it was, after all, a resolution of mine):

i've been lying awake at night dreaming of the pretty, pretty stuff i'm going to create. mind you, this is all on faith since i haven't actually ever created anything except one pair of ugly red shorts for a high school project, one dress that my mom helped me with and one alice in wonderland doll from a cut out pattern that may or may not have even been sewed, i can't remember. but i have this crazy faith that i can do it. i want to make: dolls, bunnies, purses and a laptop bag, and dresses. oh, and an apron. and a painting of trees. there may be some heartbreak ahead.

i came across this yesterday and loved it enough to make my own of sorts:



the dna's are even cooler, although i'm not quite brave enough to try that on my own. my lovely boyfriend knew exactly what it was when i showed him the dna portraits, he even went into the cutest explanation about how they do it and who first discovered the restriction enzymes used and even worms that live in a hot vent under the ocean. adorable. last night he fell asleep and i stayed awake to daydream (nightdream?). at one point i went to adjust my position and he caught my hand and squeezed it and pulled me back to his chest, all in his sleep. i almost cried from love. sappy, but true.

style resolution



i discovered at the start of winter that my closet was filled with nondescript black sweaters and jeans. i've since been keeping my eyes open for clothes that bring me pleasure, as well as people with style that i like. a lot of this research has been done in the airport, watching ever so many people flock by with the occasional girl that just looks right. this style seems to be a mixture of simplicity with just a hint of something else. it's girly--i should say feminine, a little retro or old-fashioned, and pretty without being lolita.

i spent one sleepless night reading the whole hel looks site and there were a few girls with styles i liked (enough to bookmark): nettamilena, and milla. beside all being way younger than i am, these girls are all wearing pretty dresses, skirts, and tights. i also spent a while pouring over this blog. i love her pretty clothes (and i covet her paintings and dolls), and also how excited she is over them. too bad this revelation's coming at a very, very, very broke time in life. but one good thing, i also really miss browsing through thrift stores, and you don't really need much money for that...

engaged




i know, i've already not been doing this every day. truth is, i started a few times, but just didn't like where it was going. plus, i really needed a bigger canvas than 4x6. so, today, i dumped out all of the picture pieces i've been collecting and just started randomly gluing until i thought it was done. gluing onto a leftover gift box from a christmas present, i might add. after, i cut it down until it fit in the scanner, and, viola, today's collage. how fun, nothing at all to lose. the rest of the scraps i'd been saving went into the garbage, i'll start completely fresh tomorrow. oh, except for this ad, that i liked too much to cut and glue. something about it speaks to me. yeah, i know it's a car ad, but i sorta want to frame it. i kinda love it. the left side of it anyway.

(the mf'ing scanner decided not to work, so i'll scan the ad later...)



i've been doing what i usually would call nothing, but today i'll call it collecting inspiration. doesn't that sound nicer than doing nothing? see, i've got lots of time, and nothing to do with my life. so, i'm going to try to do some things that i've always wanted to do. nothing world changing, just a little something to help me feel happier. i've been surfing the net, reading about highly talented and creative people. i'll try to share some of my collection here in the next few days.

ok, here's my things i want to do list:
  • wear more dresses
  • make a doll
  • get a bulletin board
  • make a purse
  • make a quilt
  • cook dinner and dessert once a month
  • frame my pictures
also, here's some things i'm loving right now:
  • eggs in a toast, the one thing i can cook
  • my boyfriend, mr. best in the world
  • the idea that i could do something that i always wanted too (learn how to sew, make dolls, wear whatever i want, etc.)
  • my awesome teacup
  • too much watching 24 and sopranos, seems like a new years tradition now
  • my christmas decorations, i don't think they're coming down anytime soon

pirates

it's been hard adjusting to the boys not being here. i'm still tripping over pirate ships that i can't really bear to pick up. i turned off the christmas music for good. this isn't even like having to take yourself to work after a glorious vacation, it's more like having nothing at all to do after being busy for two weeks, but not in a good way. how do i explain? like for two weeks i was needed, belonged, had something worthy to do, and now i could not get out of bed again for all day and it wouldn't matter a bit. how depressing is that?

the apartment is absolutely trashed still, but i've started to clean. started in the way that probably only i do, stepping over the dirty clothes and dishes and toys to the corner to organize the dvd cabinet. i've also unpacked a box of books that had been holed up since we moved in over the summer. it's a start right?

how i know i'm not normal

i went along to the airport yesterday, waking up at 4 in the morning. i don't go into boston enough and hardly ever alone, so i like to take these days he brings the kids across the country and then flies right back, these all day in the air days to go over to harvard square or something and wander around. yesterday i was going to go to the mfa. i've been wanting to go for, like, six months.

instead, i took a nap in the car until my toes were too cold to move, winter sucks (and they were right, december is the beginning and not the end like i thought), then went to the airport borders, then sat around all day smoking and reading and drinking coffee and just generally trying not to have anyone sit next to me and my neck hurting from the airport chairs. you know, i could have hopped onto the subway and went anywhere. i could have done anything. i had the whole day to myself (literally, he arrived back after 9 pm.), but i was perfectly content to sit alone in the airport.

i've done this quite a few times now, sitting and watching and listening and drinking and reading. i think this means i am not normal. or maybe that i am lazy. or depressed. i'm not sure, only that this is me.

so, i read perfume. i normally hate murder books, but i coundn't put it down. i'm not giving anything away, it's right in the title: story of a murderer. i liked the style a lot. and i even liked the dude, although he was one weird dude. i also started on lolita. so far, i don't like the author's style at all.

domestic goddess


(collage elements from allure, october 2006)

these pieces i pulled about two weeks ago but didn't have time to glue down. i had done an arrangement that i liked then, but couldn't recreate it this time. i'm not altogether satisfied with this one, i've learned that this is something best done in one sitting. the others i can look at and think that they captured a very specific moment, but i think by the time i got around to completing this, this morning, i had already lost that moment.

i love journals for this reason, i can re-read and entry and even though it is no longer true, i can recall the essense of it completely. photographs are different. i think it is very hard for a photograph to truly capture the essense of a moment. for me, the photograph replaces the memory instead.

nothing



the kids are leaving tomorrow. i want to keep them. they want to stay, even though a second christmas is waiting at home. i think that says a lot.

we sat on the sofa bed and watched willow (again) last night. before the youngest fell asleep he put his arm around me. i can't even tell you how that feels. these kids don't have to like me. from what they hear at home, i don't see how they can. so when they do things, little things, like that it really touches me. this morning i was sitting on the sofa next to their dad and the oldest asked me to come play legos with him. me! this house will be different when they leave.





we went to the beach the other day and rock climbed. we went candlepin bowling. we've baked cookies and cupcakes and muffins. we played in the snow (snow!) (even though it was 33F outside so it was more like rain). we made paintings for their dad for christmas (above, i was impressed!), that was fun. we watched a lot of kid movies. we spent a whole day (8 hours) at the mall and shopped for toys and clothes.

the youngest loved shopping, but the oldest hated it. we bought a lot of new clothes for them. their clothes are always stained or torn or falling off. it's strange how nothing fits -- even the shoes they wear everyday are two sizes big and falling apart. we buy new shoes, but next time they're still wearing the old ones. the oldest doesn't really care, but the youngest loves his new pants and belts and shoes and sponge bob underwear. the oldest said all my clothes are too big, i don't think me mom knows what size i wear. his dad says she likes to buy things big so they last longer. i understand this in theory, but when you're buying a pair of shoes for a five year old from walmart, the shoes will be worn out before the child's feet grow two sizes. i keep swapping out the old clothes for new ones and now it's paying off because this trip some of the new clothes came back in the suitcase. i let them pick everything out, and they are so cute with their different styles.

yesterday, their grandparents came over and everybody helped me clean up before they came. it didn't take long and the apartment looked so nice (even though its trashed again already). i really am lucky. i love this place, i love this city, i love these kids, and i love their father so much. but i miss my family so much i could cry at any second. and i have been. starting on christmas day and ending yesterday morning. i think it was pms, or ms, combined with christmas disappointment, plus not seeing my family for months, plus money trouble (doesn't it always come at the holiday?), plus exhaustion. i'm glad its gone. i woke up this morning to a good dream and little voices and a perfect cup of coffee, and even with all the things to still worry about, i guess that's not a bad way to start a new year.