Last Notes

Some notes I have made to myself that I wanted to get off my chest before the new year:

  • I started this decade 24 years old ringing in the new year with a bunch of hippies in a dome home on a farm in rural Virginia. I didn't believe a lick of the Y2K nonsense then and I don't believe a bit of this chatter about jetpacks in 2010 either.  I can't help but wonder if anyone still has leftover armageddon survival supplies. Cans of Spaghetti-Os are good for how long?
  • To self: Continue researching braided rugs. Here is a quote from a craft website -- You may use more than three strips if you are familiar with the process. If you are worried about frays along the cut ends, spray the strips with a spray adhesive or Fraycheck.
  • Three weeks into my new job and I know only one thing for sure: I like to drive by Graceland when it is raining. It’s only 2.3 miles from my office. Sometimes I just want to open my car door at the stop light and roll out, hands over head, into the gates.
  • The gifts keep rolling in. I also got a Spirit Animal book for Christmas:
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  • The Real Housewives and a few other Bravo reality series made other television programming (besides HBO) obsolete in the second half of this decade.
  • I saw Up in the Air last night and stayed awake composing a mental essay about film stealing our dreams and shaping our lives into little nuggets of half-assed scenes and full-on stereotypes. Then I thought about how to transmit mental essays, then I dreamt about George Clooney.
  • I am so fond of New Years because I have an addiction that I constantly battle – an addiction to nostalgia (and a resistance to hope).
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Happy New Year!



We collected a couple Mexican restaurant calendars in Tucson. This is my favorite because of the photo of the owner, Rosa:


My Holiday Haul

It was, overall, a very fabulous Christmas for me as far as gifts (and Christmas lights). And gifts are what the season is truly about so, overall, we can all say this holiday was a grand (and in my case: girly) success.


coolpackage stripedpackage

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The O’Conner bio chosen over the Carver bio… sign of the south.




Remnants of a Stella box ravaged by TSA guards.


Yeah – you know you wanted some of those advanced Heated Clip HOT rollers. Well they have been on my Amazon wishlist for 13 months --until now. Thank you brother D.

BE WARNED: I tried them out this morning and left the house fifteen minutes late for work with a head of curls that rivaled my “Olgilvie Incident” of 1987. My hair, which is fine in texture but plentiful and powerful in presentation, takes a curl like a duck takes to water. Like white socks take to red in a sea of laundry. Like a vending machine takes change. Like a chubby lady takes a Snickers when no one is looking. Like a rad blog post like this takes [the] cake.

So, I need more time to work with this new curl technology. In the meantime, I am recovering from my first and last “bad hair day” of the 2000’s.

rolleredhair sloppy and dangerous.


My Decade, My Movies

Assuming everyone agrees that the greatest visual narrative achievement of any kind this decade was Deadwood, I have compiled a list of my top movies of the decade (from what films I can remember * making a serious impression on my highly artistic, intuitive, and discerning brain).  They are not really in any order  -- Yet! Maybe I’ll boil this down to 10 … I’ll see what kind of reaction this list gets and if I can remember any more films. And now, a stroll down memory lane:

  1. In The Mood For Love (2001) a million dresses
  2. Grizzly Man (2005) dedication and delusion: my favorite themes
  3. Training Day (2001) see above comment
  4. Gangs of New York (2002) I wish this was 8 hours long and reedited without Cameron Diaz but it still is one of the best movies of the decade
  5. Kill Bill Vols I&II (2003&2004) this is because I am a girl
  6. Overnight (2003) at least I never f-ed up as bad as Troy Duffy
  7. Tyson (2009)
  8. Lives of Others (2007)
  9. Born Identity & Born Ultimatum (2002&2007) and not the second one
  10. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (2008) and the other desperate female/neorealism classic:
  11. Maria Full of Grace (2004)
  12. Standard Operating Procedure (2008) for the most uncomfortable theater experience
  13. Let The Right One In (2008) I’m a sucker (vampire reference) for snow in movies
  14. The Pianist (2001)
  15. Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo (2009)
  16. Dogville (2003) What does this say about me? Arty or racist?
  17. The Saddest Music in the World (2003) Super 8 film and beer legs!
  18. No Direction Home (2005)
  19. The Dark Knight (2008)
  20. The Departed (2006) Perfection of a fading genre
  21. The New World (2005)
  22. A History of Violence (2005)
  23. Adaptation (2002)
  24. Miami Vice (2006) directors cut with the go-fast boats of course
  25. Memento (2000) Responsible for rise in film school enrollment as well as obnoxious class commentary in film school but I still loved it
  26. Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
  27. The Prestige (2006) magic and Michael Caine
  28. Mullholand Drive (2001)
  29. No Country for Old Men (2007) the Cohen bros finally found a place for their detached, heartless/murder-loving filmmaking in the spacious fields of Texas
  30. King of Kong (2007)
  31. Touching the Void (2003)
  32. Eastern Promises (2007) a shower fight scene that was waaaay artier than the other classic of the 200s: Get Rich or Die Trying
  33. Minority Report (2002) So what? I liked Vanilla Sky too.
  34. Bubble (2005) part of the Soderberg indie filming/distribution movement that I adore – along with:
  35. The Girlfriend Experience (2009) the acting in this is what I call “the future”
  36. Eros (2004) there should be more mid-length movies put together to make one feature length
  37. The Hurt Locker (2008) aka: “the panic attack locker” along with:
  38. United 93 (2006) real and real time
  39. Shotgun Stories (2007)
  40. The Lookout (2007) because I love indie heist movies with heart and physical disability
  41. Master & Commander: The Far Side of The World (2003) One of my favorite sea movies, Russel Crow should only be cast as an old time ship mate for ever
  42. Collateral (2004) best use of gray hair and Korea Town
  43. Best in Show (2000)
  44. The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002)
  45. The Gift (2000) Cate Blanchett with special powers and dead girls in swamps! Oh Sam Raimi!
  46. Black Hawk Down (2001)
  47. 24 Hour Party People (2002) and the other “hour” movie:
  48. 25th Hour (2002)
  49. Roman Polanski: Wanted & Desired (2008)
  50. Primer (2004) Best use of ministorage and florescent lighting in filmmaking
  51. You're Gonna Miss Me (2007) I always blame the mother

Note: List does not include the following films that were very influential in my early decade development: Bring It On (2000), The Fast and the Furious (2001), Drumline (2002), The Notebook(2004), Boiler Room(2000), and Coach Carter (2004)


Did you know the web album that supports Blogger (Piccassa) has a storage limit? I’ve been delayed in my posts (that promise to be full of exciting photos of Mexican restaurant calendars, me, my presents, and me in rollers) until google processes my five dollars and lets me back into the visual web world.

I hope you all are having a splendid last week of this fine decade. I may take the opportunity to come up with some “Best of the 2000s” lists, sans photos of course.


Hollyday Brights




B and I made it to the last few moments of the Winterhaven Festival of Lights. I loved it because there were no crowds and it was freezing cold, like Michigan cold, but in Tucson. We missed the horse carriage rides but I prefer to spend my Christmas eating animals, not abusing them so it worked out well.






A Cactus Christmas

It’s Christmas time! I’m off to the southwest. I hope to update through my mobile device but if that doesn’t work, you can always count on my tumblr for the latest photo (and now audio) updates!


Happy Holidays.

I’m going here.


The New Deal

Watching a California Raisins Claymation Christmas Special downloaded from a torrent titled “Awesome Christmas Specials”, I finally have time to reflect on my first week and a half of being back at a regular JOB and I must say that I think that the raisin (California or otherwise) presents a daft metaphor for a week in the work world.

I have already received a few emails saying “I can’t wait to read your work adventures on your blog” and I agree, I can’t wait to read them either, but since this isn’t an entirely anonymous blog and I need to keep the ol j-o-b for a while, it is going to take some skill, some crafting, and maybe even some codewords to convey the latest experiences. Maybe I can set up an email list where I send the code words/fake names of the week? I’m sure I will figure something out.

In the meantime, I can mention that my new job will be taking me to some of my new most favorite places; rural Arkansas and Mississippi. And I can say that today, today I was in Clarksdale, MS and then Lambert, MS and on the way home, right  about an hour before the sun was about to go down we were on this road and I was thinking about how one of the workers at the school we visited mentioned how much it rained the other day and how the Miss Riv makes me think of rain and sandbags, and I was thinking about how random “car lots” are a southern, particularly Mississippi, staple, and then we came up on this home with about a hundred cars in the yard, fifty of them toward the front  road lined up in rows that started off presentable and got less and less so as the cars filled the low back yard. The back lot was so low that the rain water had filled the last few rows of cars with rainwater up past the door handles. The water came up to a high point about thirty yards from the house and formed a legitimate pond  with random islands of rusty car hoods amongst skinny and leafless treetops, and all of this was doubled by the pre-sundown reflection in the water and we drove by without taking a picture or buying a car or mentioning the magnificence of the scene.


Make An Apron

I love old craft books. I used to check the Creative Hands series out of the library when I was just a little gal and spend hours plotting out yarn crafts. I have since ransacked the libraries in every town I’ve lived to see if there are any rare craft volumes. Now that I am in a new city, I have the opportunity to review a whole new batch of library craft books. Let me tell you, Memphis takes the cake.

I will probably be whipping these up for the guys on my Xmas list:


and for you ladies? How about trying out this “Salad” look:


Got to get to work.


A Fit Bird

I sent an email questionnaire to my pal and favorite drawer/artist/fashionidol, Beth from Baltimore (commonly known as Bethfromabove). Her tumblr “Birds of Prey” is probably the most visually inspiring thing on the internet. Just the other day she posted a screenshot of her Facebook deactivation notice so….

Q: Did you really cancel your facebook account?

A: Yes
Q: Why?
A: Several reasons but i think the main ones are pretty obvious...  It's a waste of time and a vanity vortex.  ( I could give a way lengthier answer here, involving a book I read by philosopher Alan Watts, and Dante's description of Hell, but I will leave it to the facebook users interpretation of their own experiences).  Also, there are now over 350 million FB users, so it's not even original anymore.  It's just taking over and we are all a part of this waste of life without even really realizing what that means.  It's so new, that there isn't even a word for it yet in our language- the kind of self-obsession and subsequent insane boredom that comes from "social networking" sites. 

Anyway, I recommend ditching it, it feels great.

Q: Do you think tumblr is the answer for internet self-expression?

A: tumblr rules.  I really enjoy it.  It can be whatever you want it to be.  I use it as a kind of archive of images, mostly things I like from the internet, but also my own pictures and things i scanned out of books.  You can get straight to the point.  And you can be totally anonymous if you want to.  So in a way it's kind of the perfect outlet for internet self-expression (emphasis on internet)

Q: If you were a bird, what kind would you be?

A: Tough call- my first instinct is to say Owl, because they can turn their heads all the way around.  Falcons are cool too. I would definitely be a bird of prey.

Q: What, in your opinion, are the best colors for a sports team?

A: Purple and Black and White, because that is what the Baltimore Ravens are


Flapjack Greetings


The Simulacra of Busy

Thoughts about making an impression on the first day of work:

  • Leave a trail, no a whirlwind (think Tazmanian Devil) of paper where ever you go
  • Type very loudly
  • Act dumfounded but also smartly irritated about how much there is to do
  • Invite boss out to lunch, order Margarita as big as your head
  • Insist on at least two impromptu meetings and when everyone is assembled, ask questions about parking


Ta Ta For Now


The other day B said, “I don’t get the point of slippers.”

That is a ridiculous thing to say.


Back Down South

Back from the windy and gray Midwest. I’m glad to be home in the south, the kind of place where cashiers at grocery stores are properly alarmed if your check-out total is $6.66 – where they ask you “don’t you want to add a piece of candy" (a praline perhaps)?” That is a true second hand story via Schnucks and Facebook.

Observations on the homefront: We have a controversial microwave, it creates intense arguments about microwave popcorn cooking techniques. I would like to keep the microwave since I accidently caught an episode of Wife Swap today featuring an Iowa family that eats only raw food. I’m not talking about the Demi Moore anti-youth organic veggie diet, I’m talking about raw meats. Raw meats slaughtered at home in the privacy of your own Iowa farm. I am forever scarred by seeing a bald man eat a “salad’ of raw chicken pieces and spinach leaves while talking about how much hair he has grown back since he started the diet a few years ago. His wife mentions that the family drinks no water because their bodies are trained to store fat for survival should the reckoning come. I prefer to train my body eating half-burnt popcorn should our microwave be the last electronic device available after the reckoning.

Reality shows are too easy to rant about, they really are. What is not easy is to come up with a truly unique idea for a reality show that matters. My idea?  Outlet Shoppers: A thoughtful combo of Hoarders and Girls Gone Wild.

The idea is inspired by our recent stay in Livingston County. Our hotel (one of the three in the whole area) was right next to the outlet mall  that just happened to be hosting a Thanksgiving Midnight Madness sale – on Thanksgiving night at midnight the stores (yes, including the GAP and Hanes/Leggs outlets) open and stay open until nine pm the next day. Traffic was backed up for three miles on I-96 just so people could bail on dishwashing duties and line up outside of the Coach store!


I think my reality show would also include Sweepers and other deal-obsessed Coupon Clippers…

And after a couple seasons I will start another reality show called “Time Savers” about people that are obsessed with wasting time.

That show would not feature any bloggers of course.



We were at my folks house doing what people do in the country, lookin’ out windows and talking about the weather, when B started to make a fuss about the birds in the backyard.

So I said, “Whatever, you cityslicker!”

(This amount of birds is not actually normal and I was totally stoked to see them.)


Drive-by Turkey Meditation

I wasn’t the only one headed north last week, I passed a couple trucks full of turkeys driving to their death:

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!


The Mental(ity) Crowds

As part of my family visit I suggested that we attend the Silver Bells in the City Festival in Lansing, the capitol of the great state of Michigan.  We really had a good time exercising our imaginations (since we couldn’t see much):

120,000 people. Most of them trying to light a cigarette or hoist their children up on their shoulders in front of my face. There is nothing that bonds a family together like parade warfare.


Roadside Prophets

I received this message in Arkansas:


And I was blocked in by Palin in Noblesville:


They sold cupcakes in the name of Rogue:



I bought one:


Nothing special happened after I ate it. I just felt like getting back on the (rogue?) road and wondered, when did Indianapolis get all this traffic?



Crafting out the Flu Demons




I'm making a wreath – I hope when i am finished that I will have kicked this headcold. Unlike my illness, I am making it all up as I go along. These color choices are influenced by blue Nyquil and I hereby declare that alterna-colored poinsettias look a lot like Hawaiian print somethings so the theme this year will be Christmas in Hawaii.

I am also going to finish this little needlepoint kit I picked up at a Little Rock thrift store:


The cashier said, “Taking on a big project, huh? Sure you can handle it?”

“Well sir, I need the extra free time to sew your big mouth shut.” And then I promptly opened the kit, took out the needle and yarn and sewed his mouth shut with two daisies and chain stitch. He spent the rest of the day ringing customers up without comment.

(The above is an example of the great partial fiction for which I am known )


Get Lost (if you can)

My story starts with a freckled-faced eight year old and ends in a domestic dispute.

See, freckles weren’t the only thing on little Sally’s face (named changed to protect the selfish parent that sent a sick child to school  - the day I was called in to substitute - in lieu of staying home with them), her nose was dripping with vibrant green boogers that seemed to change consistency throughout the day. One minute it would look like a slim scene from Nickelodeon TV and the next, a fifties B-movie Swamp thing type coagulation. “May I go blow my nose?” she would ask and I’d say “Oh child! please do! With haste!” And I would run and dunk my head, hands, and elbows in a bucket of Purell.

But it didn’t help, and I know I can’t entirely blame Sally Snot Face, but I can blame the entire second grade because I contracted some kind of disease in the germ incubator they call elementary school. I’ve been suffering all week, the week where I happened to get a few job interviews.

My wits were not about me during the last interview, an hour long phone panel complete with awkward pauses and verbal missteps. I failed to answer questions like, “Tell me about a time you have used written communication to convey an important message.” Mucinex made me think this was a trick question, I wanted clarification on what would be considered an “Important Message” and I could only think of scenes from the new John Cusack movie, messages about an impending violent apocalyptic situation, or just messages about  donuts now available in the break room? I was not of right mind.

After the exhausting phone interview, B came home with a broken cell phone and bad attitude and I just wasn’t having it so I left in an abrupt dramatic fashion (in a way I thought would best punctuate a domestic dispute) and started to drive around to look for a place to get lost (and blow my nose). During this journey I became painfully aware of the limitations of my new home town. There is no place to hide, unless you want to be hidden forever if you know what I am saying. I caught a movie about Coco before she was Chanel at the Ridgeway but that was over by 9:30 and nothing else was playing after that. I drove up and down Poplar and examined my options for burning up some time – gas stations, Krystal Burger, and Kinko’s  - not a whole lot of options since even the Chili’s bar starts to wind down around ten.

I debated looking through my car to find something to photocopy and bind at Kinko’s, but thought against it. I would have probably contracted more germs. So instead I went home, longing for the days of Los Angeles where you can shop for decent lip gloss past ten pm, where you can be invisible everyplace, and drink alone without interruption or judgment within a block of your overpriced apartment. Or the days of small towning in the Michigan country where a contemplative corn field or gravel pit is only a half-can-of-beer’s drive away. I will someday find comfort in a city that forces me to go home, but not until this snot goes away.


A Photo Essay Explaining Why My Posts Have Been Fewer These Past Weeks




If you must know the rest of the story: I’ve been getting up insanely early, painting my own nails, suffering from the embarrassment of ordering decaf Americanos, falling behind in a word count race, prepping for interviews, researching my next big thing, replacing the word project with the word thing, ignoring the World Series, meeting the cute, the kind, and the troubled private school youth of Memphis, and of course, saving up all my good words to blow your mind -- after I get through tomorrow.


Objects In Picture Are Way Cooler Than They Appear


Drove to and fro Little Rock and Memphis today for some thrifting and a HOSB session. It was perfect weather for driving and listening to Inherent Vice and the Lewis Family. I’ve been trying to break my very dangerous taking pictures/video while driving habit but did anyone else see the moon tonight? Giant. Orange. Unable to be captured with a consumer grade digital camera from the early 2000s – that is it right there in the picture – the bright shining ball over the eighteen-wheeler taillights.

It’s blurry because of those pesky rumble strips that you hit when you are driving off the road.