Monday, April 30, 2012

tennessee escapist fantasy.

When I'm this low down, it's a mountain's worth of climbing to crawl out of it.  I'm about 6 inches off the ground at this point, with a few hundred vertical miles ahead.

Currently dreaming about summer in Nashville...

rockers on the front porch of Belle Meade
fireworks for the 4th
flags on the riverfront
June & Johnny
The Ryman
...with The Civil Wars on repeat


...and this to call home. Some new landscaping and a different door/ trim color. There's certainly room for chickens in the yard. Yeah. I could live here.
house for sale on Trulia

Or here.
via Trulia

And in case you are feeling low like me but a fantasy life in Tennessee isn't gonna do the trick, here: 

Artwork by Valentina Ramos. Purchase here.

Because, somehow, it always is. Right?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

how to not waste time on the internet.

Or, at least, how I am trying not to waste time on the internet. A few weeks ago I came home from Sunday night yoga and opened my laptop. I deleted all of my bookmarks and started from scratch. I downloaded blocking software to keep myself from being tempted by sites that I either a) waste time on, or b) hate read. Yeah, that's a thing. And I do did it.

I added back bookmarks to help and not hinder, ones labeled with tags like stop worrying, go outside, laugh, move, pray, and listen. And now when I'm on the internet, I (mostly) am asking questions, learning new things, reading about reading, and finding inspiration (you can pry my Mormon design blogs out of my cold, dead hands).

from Steal Like an Artist

I got three new books in the mail on Saturday, and the first page I opened to in Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist says this:
School is one thing.  Education is another. The two don't always overlap. Whether you're in school or not, it's always your job to get yourself an education. You have to be curious about the world in which you live.  Look things up.  Chase down every reference. Go deeper than anyone else-- that's how you'll get ahead.  Google everything. I mean everything. Google your dreams, Google your problems. Don't ask a question before you Google it.  You'll either find the answer or you'll come up with a better question. Always be reading. Go to the library. There's magic in being surrounded by books. Get lost in the stacks. Read bibliographies. It's not the book you start with, it's the book that book leads you to. Collect books, even if you don't plan on reading them right away. Filmmaker John Waters has said, 'Nothing is more important than an unread library.'  Don't worry about doing research. Just search.
Kleon's gotten a lot of press lately, and I can't speak for the rest of the book yet, but I quite like that passage. There is a magic in questions leading to more questions and answers waiting to be found, be they in books, on the internet, in conversations, or just slowly being pieced together in our own minds.

P.S. Are you a fellow overflowing bookshelf type of person? Then you'll find this post, along with the Oscar Winning Animated Short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, quite sweet.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

i just want to feel everything.

So, I never feel quite comfortable saying that I struggle with depression, not for any lack of willingness to be open about it, but because most times I don't feel like I have the right to. I'm not doing depression "good enough." How 'bout that? Well I'm not in bed for weeks on end, only a day or two with a few okay days in between.  I'm able to pull it together enough to function when I have to. I do well at my job. I can smile at strangers.  These are the arguments I make to the therapist.

When I was a child, it was extreme stomach aches with no discernible cause. When I was a little older, it was self-destruction manifested through a lot of acting out (so sorry, boyfriends from 1999-2006) and disordered eating. What, me? I'm fine. I'm clearly not thin enough to be anorexic, and I'm not bulimic because I'm not strong enough to commit to anything on a regular basis. Duh.

The last few years as an adult have been the best so far, as though it's starting to unravel with time. But lately I've been prone to crippling anxiety and fear of... everything. Anything. My worry knows no bounds. So deep down, I know the depression is there. I know it to be true. And the fact that I think I'm not doing well enough at something so awful is its own stupid sort of proof.

While I'm open with friends for the most part, I don't have any close friends who are going through the same thing. Thank God for them. But that also means that when I stumble across a person who does, I morph into a puppy who is damn well planning on following you right out the door of that pet shop.  You too? This happens to you, too? It's not just because I'm some terrible, weak, flawed person?  So this is a real thing? You actually GET this? Tell me more! What's your version like? Wanna play?

If that's you too, anonymous and quite unlikely reader of this unknown blog, here.

Let me throw you a bone.  She gets it. 


I don't think I'll ever consider myself "cured," whatever that will mean for me, until I get to the point where I can fall asleep on my own. Every single night's a fight with my brain.

Friday, April 27, 2012

i wonder... what point you should stop hemming and hawing over what to do, and instead just shut up listen to that voice. That voice, once tiny and unclear, burrowing deep in the pit of your stomach; that voice that has grown slowly but steadily, scraping its way toward your heart; that voice that is now pressing into every inch of your skin as it tries to stand up screaming, steadfast and unwavering.

I don't have a destination, but I think I'm ready to head out.

   Photo by Liz von Hoene for Kate Spade.

 This song has been playing over and over in my head like it's 2005.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

here are some things that i like.

I just can't write right now. Instead, here are some pictures that I like. I feel like that should just be the title of a lot of blogs: Here are Some Things that I Like.   Or is that just called Pinterest?

Oh, the WASPiness of it all. Photo from the National Archives.

Lopsided pigtails, photographed by Heather Armstrong.  In better days.

Reading nooks, Wes Anderson (& E.L. Konigsburg) style.  Touchstone Pictures.

Black walls, photographed for Lonny. Hint: New bedroom color.

A home of one's own. Jay Schaffer of Tumbleweed Tiny Houses.

I'm trying to get under, over, and through. It will come. It always does, just like Christmas, or spring, or that day that's Taylor Hanson's birthday that's permanently etched in your memory from  adolescence. (March 14th, WHAT?) 

It's all a process. You can get through something only to realize that you're through with what you struggled for.  
Big changes (hoping, wishing, praying) coming soon.*

*Not changes in the good stuff, like Kevin, or friends, or the apartment. I'm stubbornly and irrationally resistant to all changes in the good stuff.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

currently dreaming...

of a smaller town and a larger home,
Spotted in Ann Arbor and promptly fallen in love with. 

backyard chickens and fresh Sunday eggs,

photo by Adrienne Breaux for AT

tiny creatures to scoop up, two-legged and four,

Photo by Kelly Stuart for The Glow

and the time to get lost in stacks of books.

Photo by Douglas Friedman for C Magazine

Currently doing? Procrastinating. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

there is always, always light.

Artist Franc Grom created this luminary by drilling miniscule holes into an eggshell. Photo by H. Polan for Getty via NPR.  

20,000 holes, but still in one piece. The egg? My life? 

Both of 'em.
Happy Easter from ours to yours.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

the finest of fine arts.

Giselle, hanging out above our mantle. Fun fact: the illustration is by Hilary Knight, of Eloise fame.

A few months ago I saw that American Ballet Theatre was touring Giselle this spring, so I immediately bought tickets. I am way into ballet, though I never was a dancer. I did the other eating-disorder-inducing girl things as a child: gymnastics and figure skating.  I excelled at neither.  But that triumvirate-- ballet, gymnastics, figure skating-- reigns above all else on my list of spectacular human feats.  It never ceases to stun/impress/frighten/amaze me. They move, and I hang on every miniscule motion.  I am in awe.   

 LOOK AT WHAT THEY ARE DOING WITH THEIR BODIES!!  I yell at televisions during Olympic games, and whisper-yell into Kevin's ear during ballet performances.

So the weekend before last, we had an unusually theatre-heavy itinerary, beginning Friday night.  Giselle was at the Auditorium Theatre, and I think Act Two of that ballet just might be one of my new favorite things; it had murder, and ghosts, and brides, and revenge! The whole time I was watching, there was a ticker tape of comments running through my mind about the show, and each and every one of them was: "THIS."

 The next night Kevin's connections with Lookingglass scored us opening night tickets to Rick Bayless's show, Cascabel.  Even after doing some research, I had no idea what to expect or what the logistics of the show would be. So he's in the play... cooking food... and then we eat the food?!

Before the show started, the actors were mingling in the lobby, serving pepper-rimmed margaritas, as if that were just a thing that prestigious stage actors regularly do.  The theatre itself had been transformed into a slice of a Mexican hacienda, centered around la cocina, of course.  

courtesy of Lookingglass Theatre Company

The show was wholly entertaining and so unique in many ways-- though I enjoyed some of the basic plot lines the first time I read them in Like Water for Chocolate.  That aside, the acting was incredible and interactive, with-- get this-- crazy acrobatic feats of the human form! (LOOK WHAT THEY ARE DOING WITH THEIR BODIES!!)  Plus, Rick Bayless danced. It was a circus for grown-ups, with better snacks.

It would be nice if the story ended there.  But.  So, I don't drink very often, and when I do, after two I'm just about ready to turn in for the night.  On opening night, however? Free. It was all free. And so without realizing it until it was too late I went into some sort of freak survival mode where I thought I had to hoard ALL the alcohol in my body while I had the chance. This is, mind you, how many fantastic nights in history have started-- with the frenzied stock piling of alcohol in one's own body.

My, shall we say, enthusiasm for the very free-ness of these drinks did not lead to much at the theatre, save for a bold move to get myself in direct conversation with Bill Kurtis. But after the show there was a cast party at the Park Hyatt, where delicious fruity concoctions were, you guessed it, free.  And then there was the after after party upstairs at the hotel lounge, and that's where my memory gets hazy. Darling Kevin helped me make what I'm sure was an incredibly graceful exit for a now-storied trip home, the details of which will not be shared here in order to protect the author.

And so it was decided that once every ten years, I shall spend a night attending fine, high-brow theatre events while simultaneously living like R. Kelly.  Nothing more frequent, because my body couldn't handle it. Beep beep.