December 31, 2012

The Way We Were: A Year In Review

2012 was (in no particular order)...

Starting a blog a week after Christine and how weird we both felt about it after talking about it for years.

Meeting up with Kendall and Jerrod at MFAH for the King Tut Exhibit, and freaking out about how much of the history made sense because of my Art History class the semester before. And that Hatshepsut (the bad-a ladypharaoh I did my presentation on) was there.

Always being aware that he never held my hand.

Collecting too much paper and ephemera for so much art journaling.

Seeing Pablo Francisco live and thinking that it was decidedly the worst comedy show I’d ever been to, and that the local college groups the year before were much more fun. My lipstick was wrong and I felt so small.

Late movie nights in cozy apartments with raccoon pillows not actually made out of raccoons.

My parents celebrating 25 years of marriage and me crying so hard over a pie because it was such a foreign concept; being with someone for so long and still making it work.

Fishing off the pier with the guys that night and smelling like shrimp and fish guts with wind in my face and being so glad I wore the boots. And seeing a ribbon fish for the first time, and feeling so alive.

Hearing the the tv from the kitchen while dying paper doilies for Sophie’s bridal shower. And how we all sang and laugh-cried to the Partridge Family and the Osmonds and The Monkees and Rod Stewart while we decorated and cooked the night before.

That night my worlds converged and I just kept drinking. The bitterness was deafening, and I hated the kitchen, the bamboo room. 

Driving to our first Renegade Craft Fair and laughing hysterically at the sad state of our ‘bargain’ hotel, crayon on the bathroom door, and how Mark just so happened to be in town that first night we ran up and down 6th. And then exploring the fair with Christine and taking so many photos and talking to so many beautiful vendors and meeting some blog crushes and dying a little.

Dinner at the original Kerbey Lane later and asking our sweet waitress Susan for an empty bowl and being nervous but thankful because I couldn’t eat off the menu. And feeling strong later with him and Christine as we all ate together and it felt completely normal.

New moments at the Sundance Film theater, and familiar ones at River Oaks.

Experiencing the NST auto drift competition in a romper and headband the same day he got a haircut and it was the coolest thing I’d seen in awhile.

Having mildly invasive surgery for the first time, everything happening at once, only a week after I’d been officially diagnosed…and everything finally making sense after all these terrible years. And crying a lot to five different medical professionals and mainly saying “thank you…thank you…”

Riding in the Datsun after a shoot and being afraid I’d smell like gasoline or be asphyxiated even with the windows down…and then having to steer in neutral up the driveway into the garage after it died.

Slow dancing in silent gazebos.

Photographing Sophie and Josh’s beautiful outdoor wedding, despite having zero credentials to do so, and having an absolute blast.

Filling my heart with the spirit of Record Store Day, thumbing crazily through the long wall of dollar bins, and hugging special releases to my chest. I remember loving everyone in the room, and talking, and feeling like I’d found My People.

Holy Mountain surprise and Sidebar realtalks with feathers that fall and fade, realizing what perfect timing it was, despite what we were saying, despite singing happy birthday to a girl we didn’t know. And joyriding elevators to find my car, and confessing things in heels to people who love the Beatles and swear against Led Zeppelin.

The day we did two new and one old-new thing. That was a good day.

Happy-crying over every letter I got from her, especially the one that came a few months after she stopped responding, and how much I wanted to hug her when I finally found out what was going on.

Feeling a communal holiday spirit in the frozen hands and toes despite the vodka and meeting the beautiful people of his world between local Christmas songs.

Accidentally starting a film camera collection, that now also includes three instant film cameras. And despite this fact, capturing some of the greatest moments with disposables because I was am obsessed.

Surviving the end of the world in a swirl of lights and color at a gone party at the Museum of Fine Arts. 

Seeing Rum & Vodka at Stages Repertory Theater and feeling way too proud and Andy getting a stellar review in Houston Press.

Falling in love with Liberty Station, especially the night Ceeplus was spinning and I ran to ask him what song that was, and did double takes because the guy near the booth looked like Steve Aoki, and how we beat those guys at foosball.

So much gesso on my hands, feeling the power of paint on my fingers again. 

That trip to Galveston, and how we ruined the end of both nights, but the days were beautiful and sacred, and how we had this perfect view of the beach, and I actually felt like I was on vacation, and I was so thankful for you. And how I begged you to stop at that Antique Gallery before we left town, and you did, and you found the Minnesota.

Squeezing my eyes shut against the roar of planes taking off above me and feeling the barrier break down to my toes, knowing wholeness for an instant.

Staying in that hotel alone, and feeling completely independent and safe, except that I questioned the high ceilings. And conversations with Shareef because he was super helpful and such a character and worked the front desk both times I checked in.

The night Nick drove down because I needed a hug, and I needed a shoulder, and I needed air. So we drove.

Seeing Helen again at Holiday Renegade and falling completely in love with her new designs, and so much nostalgia I could’ve broken open right there, and looking for the Ex Libris Anonymous booth because I wanted a Nancy Drew journal.

Catching up and laughing hysterically with Lemon, Adam, and James; seeing their new place/my old place, and ending up at a random backyard bonfire that was just a holy beautiful mess of love.

The Saturday evening on the Strand that filled my heart.

Airguitaring to/making fun of Foreigner in Nick’s apartment while he baked cheesebread and we worked on a 500 piece iridescent Star Wars puzzle, laughing at everything and enjoying silence. And sitting on his stoop later and thinking this really is the perfect spot but understanding the emptiness.

Two stepping at a country bar but mainly just sliding around in heels and thinking how ridiculous the whole thing felt.

Proud-crying while shooting my brother and his friends at a coffee shop show, and singing silently along. Proud-crying again at Dunn Bros open mic night when my little sister sang with my brother. And proud-crying for the millionth time when Farewell Abigail killed the talent show.

The look on my great-grandmother’s face and knowing she was an hour and a half away, despite the salvaged party and the hordes of people loving on her. Her heart was with the people who couldn’t.

Dancing the night away with Mark at the millionth Spazmatics show this year and having the time of my life; so barefoot onstage and liberated I didn’t even have words…all I could think was “this is the New Years Eve of my dreams”…in mid-December. And how he wanted a mix of 80s music after because it’s infectious.

Driving that same route over and over again in rush hour traffic, always feeling wrecked before and after going into the city. Sometimes the music filled my bones; sometimes I drove in silence and screamed into the steering wheel.

Psychedelic backyard party that was actually Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar, when we finally went because Handsome Ransom was playing, and I dressed accordingly this time, and it was home.

Staring at the entrails of my old laptop while you tried to resuscitate it to sell, trying to hold a straight face and watching everything implode behind your eyes as you turned some frivolous screw over and over and over because neither of us knew how to handle what was happening. And how we broke character when it was done with key card complete and the confusion that followed.

Finding seawall graffiti that I believed with my whole heart and that’s why I snuck a photo. It was the perfect day.

So many nights of digging my fingers into the carpet during closeted phonecalls to Cara about everything, and realizing she’s been the best thing to happen to me this year. I thank God for knowing her.


December 29, 2012

Double wide photo fun.

My parents surprised me with an Instax 210 and some film so of course, I had to test it out on my favorite people in the world. Also, my scanner has selective scanning abilites; I think it just couldn't handle the awesomeness of me and Mark. Or maybe my germs. I was totally sick in that photo. 

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and didn't spend it coughing up a lung like most of my family (we still had fun though, haha). How were your holiday festivities? Did you travel? Make your fancy signature dish? Dress up for a swank party? Details lovers. 


Christmas card DIY

Christmas is usually my busiest DIY time of the year, gift-wise, card-wise, wrapping-wise, everything. Do what you can with what you have, right? This year was rough though, and my creative energies having been tapped completely dry and time having completely eluded me, I devised a simple but fun personal touch to add to all of my gifts, both given in person and mailed off into the great unknown. Nothing a little cardstock, vintage book pages, and gold paint can't do! And I'm going through a postcard these were the absolute joy of my heart to put together these love notes for each and every special person. 


December 28, 2012

Since they made me be serious, I demanded an obligatory YMCA photo. I love my siblings. Christmas spirit, ladies and gents. 


December 25, 2012

Alive / 2

introduction, ish
in the moment
 the reality
 the truth
the agony, the irony
random findings
 personal page detail 
I've written about four posts in the past hour, attempting to contrive some sort of meaningful slew of words, but instead, I leave you with more pages of the art journal I probably could've shared last week, or something. Merry Christmas friends. My heart is heavy for those whose families are missing loved ones this year. Holidays are hard, and I'm no stranger to that. All I can say is cling to what you've got and try to find joy in the little things and fleeting moments. 


December 10, 2012

ALIVE: art journal sneak peek

Hey remember that one time I started an experimental fall art journal using W magazine pages? And how that may've quite possibly been one of the worst ideas ever? Haha. I just couldn't keep up, and the format was annoying. And now I know what NOT to do. Which is actually kind of cool because for the first time, I was able to step back from a project and say "this isn't working; I'm not enjoying it, I'm getting nothing accomplished, and there are a million other ways this could be more efficient". And I was okay with that. Normally I'm wracked with guilt or obligation to a project because I don't want to be a "quitter"...but you can't force life into something that's dead. So I scrapped it. Sometimes it's good to walk away. 
Fastforward to last week when I was hit with some serious inspiration for a new journal; something to do with an extreme urge to chronicle this new chapter in my life and things that've been happening lately. So I've been doing just that! The pages are much smaller and easier to work with. I'm going with a horizontal-opening journal this time, so it's been fun filling wide space instead of working vertically (even though the above photo is vertical, meh). More importantly though, I feel like I'm actually creating something worthwhile, and I'm having a blast. Even though I should probably be working on Christmas gifts. Oops.
cover page / detail
I found the book Alive by Piers Paul Read at a local thrift store. I chose it because it chronicles the story of the Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes in the winter of 1972. Sixteen of the original 45 passengers were found and rescued after surviving over two months in the harshest conditions. I've been reading it as I use pages, and it's pretty incredible. What drew me initially was the book's title. Alive. But knowing that there's such a significant story behind the name makes it that much more powerful, I think. These people experienced one of the most extreme forms of physical survival in the worst conditions, and I don't wish it upon anyone, ever. And I'm not devaluing their horrific ordeal by any means, but I think there's a little bit of survivor in all of us. We struggle and strive in our own way, depending on the circumstances of our lives. No, I hope I never get stranded in the Andes or any extremely cold place because I will probably be one of the first to die (I may be fierce but I don't do cold, ha). But whatever life throws our way, we're left with this basic choice: to succumb or survive. 

That's what I believe anyway. And that's the premise of the journal. 


December 7, 2012

Christmas crochet...ish

Tryin' my hand at a new crochet project; found this adorable ornament pattern on Purl Bee and had to give it a go. My color palette isn't too Christmasy, as you can tell...but I took that instax YESTERDAY. Leaves are turning yellow and orange and red and falling off trees, and it's 70 degrees outside. I think Texas forgot it's December. 

Oh well, mustardy yellow's my favorite color anyway! Happy Friday friends. What fun, crafty Christmas projects are YOU clever little minxes working on? 


December 5, 2012

We're so disposable (this weekend).

o. Galveston getaways
p. with birds of a feather, which is funny because
q/r. more open road
s. found me back in Atx to take terrible quality double exposed photos of Featherface
t. so I made my signature "I'm with the band" face*
u. well, we both did*
v. and I love so much color and bathroom stall wisdom...don't be afraid to be human
w. because it comes full circle; my TRULY favorite room...123peaceful
x. song of the road

*New Year's Resolution: learn how to smile like a Real Person

December 4, 2012

We're so disposable (lately).

a. headed to Atx for 
b. Renegade, boom
c. and my favorite room
d/e. and my favorite crew from anutha mutha* (and backyard bonfires not pictured because I was too busy warming my hands)
f. and more open road to Brenham 
g. to see this guy! (another ex-Gapcrewkid)*
h. so we could work on an epic Star Wars puzzle and airguitar to/make fun of Foreigner
i. until I decided I was a wild species
j. and photographed my favorite rest stop, because it should be my new nickname
k. and another bestie of almost fifteen years*
l. and finals were finally over!
m. and 1+4+6=11 in alleys with feathers and long life talks
n. and musing about immortalized carleen too, crazy girl. 

*I can't make a normal face to save my life. I hope that's never a requirement in a life or death situation. 

December 3, 2012

Dear December.

You are here, and I don't even believe it. I say that every time, but time itself is such a mystical concept. It's here and it's not. You hold onto every second and each one slips away just as quickly as it came. But dulce diciembre, you're the end and the beginning. November was broken and free and familiar places and jazz piano and THANK GOODNESS FINALS ARE OVER, haha. November was heartache for things beyond recognition, beyond the walls of houses and endless state lines. But baby, you're here now, and things are happening. I've seen so many dearhearts and spent time and laughed and lived...and yet you don't feel real; it doesn't feel like a holiday season, but store displays and lit up houses and packed malls prove otherwise. It's not sadness...just some sense of displacement. Please feel real. 

PS I've let go. And I brought out my precious ornament collection, each one from a different era, once hung and cherished on someone else's tree in a different home, a different country even. I hope they were special, I hope there was love and warmth, I hope there was something real to the season and not just something commercialized. I hope there was appreciation. And December, I'm going to love and appreciate every fleeting moment of you. I'm ready. 

PS if you will ever cool off, layers I LOVE YOU (it was 80degrees today, still sported that scarfWHATEV). 


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