Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Food & Famine

It's hard to look at pictures of starving kids and then think about how full my fridge is.  I work with/as an advocate for a lot of hungry kids in my line of work, but these kids are dying of hunger.

I don't have a lot of money, but I gave $15 to Heifer Project, who does work in countries neighboring Somalia that are taking on refugees.  I know it's not a lot, but it's something.  Maybe one day I can give more.  There's other organizations actually in Somalia that are linked on that web page.

I don't say "hey look I gave some money" to brag about being a good person - I'm kind of a whiny brat, like, lots of times - just putting it out there to hopefully guilt (yeah, I used the guilt word!) just one person into doing something similar.

Why can't I mail him food?  Granola bars keep.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza & D.H. Lawrence

D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

I'm reading the book Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose, and I'm on her chapter about sentences.  I even like the word "sentences."  Reminds me of The Phantom Tollbooth, and eating words off of a plate, twirling sentences like strands of spaghetti.  It was very important in Dictionopolis to pick delicious words.  This is an apt lesson for life.  I started running through my book collection reading first sentences after finishing Prose's chapter on decadent sentences, and came across this.  D.H. Lawrence was a sexy, sexy, man.  The Sea in Sardinia was my first Lawrence discovery in high school.  I wish I had read more, earlier.  Even his prosaic sentences made me feel warm, and I hadn't even discovered the likes of his brand of erotica.

Speaking of Sardinia, Twilight in Italy, and what-not, it's appropriate that one of my first meals from my new box was an eggplant and Parmesan pizza on whole wheat pizza crust.  Whole wheat pizza crust is one of the easiest things to make, and as I crave Pappa John's, but won't let myself have it, weekly, I make a lot of pizza.

For the dough:

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 package yeast
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1tbs sugar
1 cup warm water
Flax seed - I always mix some in for extra hippie points.

1) Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
2) Add the wet ones.
3) Mix until all combined.
4) Spread on an oiled pizza stone.
5) Top and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375.

Eggplant Parmesan Toppings:

1 sliced eggplant
1 cup bread crumbs (make toast, then pop in a mini-processor to crumble)
2 eggs
Parmesan cheese (the real kind!  Ground up in a mini-processor)
Tomato sauce
Mozzarella (again, the real stuff you have to slice)
Mild pepper, chopped (I also used a jalapeno, because I love heat)
Black olives
Basil leaves

1) Mix the breadcrumbs and eggs in a bowl.
2) Coat the eggplant slices in the mix.  Pop on a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 375 for 10ish minutes.
3) Top pizza dough with sauce, toppings, and eggplant.
4) Bake according to dough instructions.

Friday, July 22, 2011

CSA Box Week Two

I picked up Mike and I's CSA box from Whole Foods yesterday, and these were the contents:

Sweet & Hot Peppers 

Mixed Summer Squash 
Winter Squash 

+ 6 eggs

We got short changed some onions, according to their website, but I'll forgive that, as we still have onions left over from our first box.  I haven't sat down to plan out what we'll cook using it all, plus the bits leftover from last time (including an acorn squash - I have big plans for that), but I'm hoping that between packing up the apartment this weekend, I'll find a spare moment to plan my culinary attack.

My biggest victory with getting a CSA box has not been figuring out how to use the produce, but rather, how to make it all fit in the fridge!  With help from Wal-Mart's tupperware section and the Container Store, I've got a decent system going:

When I first moved in with Mike, all he really had in his fridge was mustard and beer.  Quite a change!  Also, can we talk about how labels make everything better?  The mere act of labeling what goes into the fridge helps me remember so nothing gets lost to rot in a back corner, visual reminders aside.

That big cheese wedge in the upper drawer is real Parmesan.  I have a friend who stopped speaking to me when we were in college - I don't remember why anymore - but, she spent a year in Italy prior to our friendship break-up, and one lesson she taught me upon her return: invest in real cheese.  Buy the wedge of pricey Parmesan, put it in a mini-processor and grind it up; your world will be rocked.  I have indeed been rocked, and will never go back to the powder in a green bottle some companies try to pass as cheese.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Veggie Mexican Spiced Soup

Today I picked up a new CSA box, so last night I had to find a recipe that used as many of my veggies left from my first box, circa two weeks ago, as I could.  Cooking almost every night, I still had a few zucchinis, lots of hot peppers, a few onions, a couple of sweet peppers, and a few other stragglers I'll have to integrate this week, (if you know what to do with a bunch of mint, shoot me a message, please!).

I found a recipe for "Garden Veggie Tortilla Soup" on the Johnson's Backyard Garden recipe forum , and changed it up a bit to suit what I had on hand.

Here is the recipe I followed:


Olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup assorted mild peppers, diced
As many hot peppers as you can stand
3-5 tomoatos, diced
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup sliced zucchini & summer squash
1 cup sprouted mung beans
1 cup corn (fresh is better, but I had a can sitting around taking up space)
3-5 cups vegetable stock
1 tbs cumin
1 tbs chili powder
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs onion powder
1 tbs garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
sliced avocado
shredded raw cheddar cheese
Cilantro & lime for garnish
Nutritional yeast & chia seeds - just because I toss these on everything


1) Pour a few tablespoons olive oil into a stock pot set on medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic, saute until tender.
2) Add the peppers and cook until tender.
3) Add the tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are pulpy.
4) Toss in the zucchini, corn, and mung beans, stir until tender.
5) Add in the vegetable stock and spices.  Let simmer 20-30 minutes.  Season to taste.
6) Top soup in bowls with avocado, cilantro, limes, and cheese.  And if you like to toe the line of being a crunchy like I do, toss in that nutritional yeast and those chia seeds.

This made enough for Mike and I to have an overflowing bowl each, plus a tupperware container full of leftovers, (lunch for this weekend!).

I just unpacked my new CSA box into my fridge.  Time to start planning for the next few weeks of meals.

Taco cat enjoys the box immensely:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One More Time, With Feeling!

I keep my party hat nearby at all times.

Oh blogging, I've missed you!  And at first I was so sad that some nasty company stole my URL, but I think it was a sign from the Universe to return to my roots.  My blogging roots being back in... 2008 (??) when I initially started this blog, and called it Bella (my dog's name, and also, of course, "Beautiful") Green (my favorite color and demonstrating my affinity for all things eco, the long showers I take during a drought aside) Blog (because "Bella Green" by itself was taken).

Coming back, I am finally ready to publicly admit a few things, which were probably painfully obvious from the beginning:

1) I really don't care about fashion.  It's a fun game to play occasionally, but I can't afford to keep it up, and usually, I'm too lazy to put on more than slacks and an Ann Taylor T-shirt when I get ready for work.  And at home, clothes are just stifling - who needs them?  Our apartment is a no-pants zone for all tenants!  I think I started writing about fashion because I liked some of the fashion blogs I came across, I seemed to find an audience when I devoted time to that subject, and I liked looking pretty in pictures (still do, although snap shots never turn out like a posed fashion photo - I tend to look like a troll - see above).

2) I can't spell.  Thank God for spell check.

Anyway, I really miss having a "thing" that allows me to connect with other people, and I have felt isolated lately in my non-social hobbies of cooking at home, reading at home, working in an office, and hanging out with my boyfriend, (at home).  I'm ready to go back into the public sphere, and am willing to re-make the effort to do so.

If you're still with me, and I'll forgive you if you've ditched by now, it's important (or not) to know that a few things have changed:

1) I had a birthday, (also see above), so I'm ripe and 27 now, holla!

2) I'm no longer a Club Director with the BGC, I'm behind a desk writing grants (I actually, like a nerd, really enjoy this).

3) In my last post, circa October 2010, I mentioned losing a boy I had been seeing.  I found him again.  I even took up residence in his apartment.  We move to a two bedroom way far away from my first trendy Austin abode in Hyde Park next weekend, (and I haven't put one thing in a box yet).

4) I cook a lot.  This isn't really new.  But it's become painfully obvious that my two real obsessions are collecting books, (most of which I subsequently don't read - need to work on that), and cooking vegetarian things from scratch, now using the lovely veggies Mike & I get from the Johnson's Backyard Garden CSA.  I diligently plan meals and record what I make using fresh produce every week, so I think I'll switch from using a word document to do this, to this blog.

5) I traded my fancy Hybrid SUV for a more modest small car - stick shift, baby!  I mostly know how to drive it now, (DO NOT pull up behind me on a hill).  The wonderful people at Johnson's Backyard Garden also taught me to can vegetables, (we are set on pasta sauce and salsa for the winter), and I'm avidly encouraging myself to focus on my personal writings - journals, stories, poems, again.  I'd love to get the guts to perform at the Austin Poetry Slam - I've been putting it off for 2 years.

I'd love for you to stick around as I ease back into the blogging world - here's to a new chapter.

And about that boyfriend - he's pretty cute!  (And there's the Bella dog)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Louisa May Alcott, The Avett Brothers, Sisters, etc.

"Then as now, thirteen is a critical age for a girl.  It is at this age, as feminist writer Carol Gilligan among others has explained, that girls begin to lose their original voices.  They are mercilessly pressured by the world around them, the impossible models provided by society, their parents' expectations, and the landslide of feelings and opinions released by their emerging, delicious, and unconscious sexuality.  Under this onslaught of expectation, many young girls are pushed away from their original childhood selves and become silent hybrids, creatures molded so much by their environment that it is hard to recognize who they really are."

                                                       - Susan Cheever, Louisa May Alcott (publishing next month)

Ever wonder who you might have become if the rules & expectations surrounding you when growing up had been different?  Or even different now?

As for my mentioning not having free time because of a boy I liked... well, scratch that.

At the least, the end of a relationship does do amazing things for opening up your ears to fantastic "break-up" songs.  As if The Avett Brothers weren't cool enough already.  Speaking of, I get to review their new live album - just got my advance copy.  Can't say the week didn't go down as a win.

"I say it's not that simple - but then again it just may be."

Also - my step-sister Amy's birthday was this week - and I got to go out on the town with too many beautiful girls to handle at any given time.  I have pictorial proof.

My sisters!  The birthday girl is in stripes.  I am clearly checking out a hottie across the room.  We went to see the Josh Abbott band.  I had so much fun - wish these gatherings happened more often!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

One of those bullet pointed "where I've been" posts + my ACL photo pit pictures!

I haven't quit blogging!  I think...

Alright, here's what I have been doing:

  • Training to run the Austin marathon on February 20th.  I'm at 13 miles now.  The eventual goal is to get sponsorships to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Austin.
  • Yoga.  A lot of yoga.  "Cross training" is my excuse for spending the money on classes (yoga isn't cheap... anywhere, but Dharma Yoga is totally worth whatever they charge).  
  • Prepping to teach a children's yoga class at one of the neighborhood BGC clubs once a week.  I totally know what I'm doing...
  • Prepping to lead the poetry club that a few English teachers want to start at my school (because I don't do enough being the club director and leading Keystone and Torch Club... don't ask me to be a swim coach because I'd say yes to that too and then I might explode).
  • Working.  A lot.
  • Spending more time with a boy I like than I should.  I need my free time to blog, etc.
  • Reading... sometimes I go through long periods where I forget how, or so it would seem.  I just finished Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald.  Loved it.  It was Eat Pray Love on steroids.
  • Being a bad dog mom - I finally took Bella running with me today and now she has a limp.
  • Going to see LUDO!!!! perform at Emo's.  (exclamation points are my own addition).
  • Not dressing cute.  I'm really tired of pictures of my own face.  Plus, oddly, the more I run and feel in better shape, the less I feel the need to dress nice.  I feel great in everything.
  • Working - did I mention that?  Running a program alone (I had a partner in crime last year) is a beast.  I'm probably going to get written up soon for letting some data entry fall by the wayside.  I hate data entry.
  • Not playing guitar.  Bad Amanda, bad.  I probably couldn't strum a C chord after this long without practice.
  • Getting ready to be the world's most awesome bridesmaid for the love of my life - Joanie!  Her bachlorette party will be here in Austin (she's in Georgia), and a champagne table at La Bare will be going down.
  • Oh - and did I mention running?  We run three times a week at 7:30 AM.  I forgot what that side of the day looks like.  This means I got to bed about... now, as opposed to 2 or 3 AM like I did last year.

The best thing I've done, though, is get a photo pit pass to the Austin City Limits Music festival to take pictures for Venus.  I don't care if I'm in no way a professional quality photographer, it was amazing, and I'm so excited I got to do it and go see a festival I would have otherwise never have been able to afford a ticket to.

From the Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zero's show photo pit.  See all 69 (I totally did not submit that specific number of photos on purpose...) of the photos they published here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Albuquerque, New Mexico

I'm in Albuquerque this week for work.  I got to spend a few hours today walking around Old Town and fawning over turquoise rings and wrist cuffs.  Despite there being 50% off signs in almost every tourist and jewelry shop window, I held my resolve and did not buy one, (although it makes me a little sad to say so).

I had forgotten how much I loved being surrounded by mountains.  It makes me miss Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, and think about one day moving to Santa Fe or Denver.  I'm not sure if I can blame being a military brat or wanderlust (or both) for never being able to visualize staying in one place for more than a few years.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ex-Lover Countdown

There is an old mayonnaise jar hiding under my bed,
every day I shove bad memories down its throat
like my own personal museum of things I can't
bring myself to forget yet.

It is brimming with words I wish I could force
back into my mouth, the taste of playground gravel,
the smell of police station coffee
that wedding
the ride from the hospital
the lens flare a gun barrel casts in the sun
dodgeballs (lots of dodgeballs)
and of course, romance gone the way of the goldfish

I like to keep ex-lovers toward the outisde
of the jar.  I watch them as they press their faces
against the glass and beat their tiny fists upon the wall.

Sometimes when I'm sure no one is looking,
I roll the jar inside my palm and play a game I like to call
Ex-Lover Countdown.

Number 10

If you didn't know better, you'd have thought I took out a personal ad:

Single white male, 21, relatively attractive, enjoys poetry; seeks female 
willing to treat him like shit within the confines of a terminal, largely
sexless relationship built on grain alcohol and guilt.

Number 9

I had to stop and ask myself: Is it a bad sign
when you visit her apartment for the first time
and there is a pregnancy test on the top of the trash?

Dear Number 8,

I went looking for your passport
Found another man's underwear
I hope your baby gets lupus.

Number 7 showed me that when I put her on a pedestal,
it was really easy for her to kick me in the face

Number 7(a)

When she said, "Remember when I slept with your best friend?"
I wish I had something more witty to say than,
I'm sorry you did what?

Number 6 had a problem with silence, so she talked
the way she smoked, end-to-end, rambling
for hours about absolutely nothing, stopping
only to light another cigarette.  When she ran
out of cigarettes he'd turn the stereo up or burst
into tears while we kissed.  it was here I learned
that I do not have a thing for crazy girls,

crazy girls have a thing for me.

Her stomach was as smooth as apple skin.
Just before dawn I would graze it with the back of my hand
and roll from her tiny bed.  I'd get dressed hastily in the dark,
desperate not to rouse her though I knew she was not sleeping

I wonder now what might have been if I had stayed
until the sun wedged its way past the drapes;
would we have found our silence then?

Just before I gave my virginity to the first 
available bidder, Number 5 put on a Rusted Root album.
We writhed together like two savage, suburban warriors
in the dense thicket of the school parking lot

I gather Number 4 mistook me for some sort of superhero,
the machine she employed to grind out this town, steal her
from a fire escape and fly away.

She had a habit of tossing her problems out the window
presuming I'd swoop down and catch them.  She soon had a pile
in the alley; the neighbors had begun to notice.
I must have been afraid of heights back then.

Number 3
[with a bullet]

I had a premonition about her once; I've been gun-shot
and I'm bleeding, crimson staining white sheets, spreading
the way afternoon sun soaks the bedroom.  She's trembling,
but accomplished.  She looks forward to missing me.

The end is nigh and I'm staring at the ceiling, counting
flecks of nicotine embroidered in the paint, the same crack
I gazed into when we pretended f*cking
was more than just a virus befalling us.

Number 2, I'm sorry.

Number 1, for a record 86 straight weeks,
is you, curator of this museum.

Do you remember when we were in love?
Does the thought of it still glare at you
from across the room, tapping its foot impatiently?

Do you remember kitchens at dawn, running
from exploding cabs, diving teeth-first into frost-bitten sheets
because the heat never worked?

We were some kind of adventure.
All of this has been for you.

I've seen under the marquee where we used to meet
on Saturdays; the same pink scarf knotted around your neck
same valances of midnight strewn about your face.

Still a quiet exuberance in the way you lean in,
arms and elbows, with a new lover
kissing like the war just ended.

I'm glad you found your sailor while I was lost
at sea, how appealing memory lane can be
when you never look down.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Toppling Towers

I've been on the hunt for affordable (read: super cheap and super steals) clothes that I can wear to work this year.  I'm not quite sure if these sparkle espadrille wedges were wholly justifiable, but I loved that they are fun with an air of elegance, and that the espadrilles make them daytime appropriate but the shimmer of the fabric can make them work for a casual night.  I found this skirt at SoLa a couple weeks ago when they marked down everything in the store that was from the summer stock.

Lennon comes back from being gone on tour for over two months, but only for a quick visit and to dog and apartment sit for me while I go to a conference in Albuquerque next week.  I'm not excited to fly - my dad was a pilot, but somehow I was born terrified of flying, (well, technically of crashing).  After I get back Lennon is moving to Dallas and my program year sets into full gear.  I hope the year is busy and wonderful and fun and if the grant cycle isn't renewed next year, I hope the principal hires me as a teacher on campus for 2011-2012.  I can't believe how much I miss teaching.  I can't believe I'd contemplate having to wake up at 5:30 A.M. every day again.

This is the outfit I wore in Arkansas to go out to dinner for my grandmother's birthday, but I also wore these shoes to go out last night to downtown.  I love The Ginger Man pub, because I love beer, and I love being able to make the call that a beer is too hoppy or too citrusy, or some other distinction.  For years I'd aspired to be a wine connoisseur, but I don't think that's in my cards anymore.  I'm certain I'll be a full fledged beer snob in a matter of years.  Luckily, I didn't stumble in these shoes while walking around downtown Austin at 2 A.M.  I actually think that two pints in, the fluidity of my ability to walk in an extra four inches improved, sort of like my Spanish skills.  Tonight was swimming, movie, and dinner with my friend Elizabeth, and the fact that I fell asleep on her couch is probably indicative I should be going to sleep now.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Under Your Spell

It's 7:30pm, my balcony door is open and the star curtains are blowing up and out but the air coming in is hot hot hot and makes the room even hotter.  But I don't really care - I feel trapped with the door closed.  My iPod is on random and this song by the Smashing Pumpkins is playing.  One time I went to Little Rock to visit my grandmother and a boy who played this song in his car over and over and over and over that weekend, so now every time I hear it I think of those few days, the sun when it's golden, and this song on repeat.  I always wanted to think he was playing it for me.

I'm devising my fall program schedule for girls in 6th-10th grade, and it's still amazing to think I get to pick what extra-curricular clubs to offer.  In high school, I was a member of at least fifteen clubs - I'm perpetually interested in everything (but never fully invested in anything).  So far, I'm settled on:

  • Girls Rock Camp
  • Film Making
  • Model United Nations
  • Cooking
  • Photography
  • Sewing
  • Roller Derby (Derby Brats)
  • Taekwondo
  • Theatre
  • Yoga
  • Science via a Sea World grant program
  • Girls Sports League

plus a few mandatory things like leadership development programs, technology, and similar concepts.  I can have five classes a day, and since this is the last year of the grant cycle, I don't have as much money to spend as I did last year, so I've got to pick some lower budget programs.

When you were in school, what was your favorite club or after school activity?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tamara Lichtenstein: Sparkly Cornfields

I'm not going to run out and get a Tumblr, but maybe I should break down and start collecting the photos I find pretty and inspiring instead of wishing I knew how they did that.  Aya over at Strawberry Koi posted a few of these Tamara Lichtenstein pictures, and I ended up sitting for an hour browsing through her entire photo portfolio afterwards.  I love how most of them look like snap shots that ended up being beautiful happy accidents.

And I have to post this last one simply because I own this dress.  But I do not look like that in it.  I'm going through a hopefully short lived phase where I hate everything in my closet I've owned for longer than a few months.  Most of it I've either shrunk or let wrinkle beyond recognition.  I've spent today and will spend tomorrow and most of next week in professional conferences, and I'm tearing through my closet to find clothes that aren't sloppy.  It makes me want to shop, but I know new clothes would look the same as the old ones after a washing.  Verdict: I need an iron.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tired & Uninspired

My summer as a teen program coordinator/counselor are over, and it's time to get ready for the school year.  Since I'll be taking over the program at a new school, I'll have to reorient myself to everything - the teachers, navigating the school, resources, new program offerings, and of course, the students.  I'm really excited to start but have to survive a month of trainings and meetings first, (today is the one year anniversary of my job with the Boys and Girls Club).

I have to admit in terms of writing, photographing, blogging, and even thinking, I've been inexplicably uninspired and discouraged.  Fashion blogging is fun, but I feel so weird having a blog that ends up being nearly 100% dedicated to pictures of me, even if as a model, I'm second to the clothes.  Maybe my internal critic is far too harsh.  No one can argue, though, that clothes can completely dictate how you feel in them.  A blah outfit makes me feel equally blah and want to be invisible.  In wanting to amplify my current emotional state from the doldrums, I'm typing this while wearing camp shorts and Cole Haan 4" heels, (from back when I could afford the occasional pair of Cole Haan).  It's actually working.

I think a lot of my lack luster enthusiasm and thinking capacity stems from a case of PMS (TMI? oh well), and the fact that rather than feeling inspiration from other bloggers, writers, artists, etc, I often get a sinking feeling of not being able to measure up - that's terrible - I know.  Hopefully in a week I'll snap out of it.  Regardless, I wore this dress on a movie date a while back.  It was a $20 splurge from Target and I love it, except one of the straps already popped off and had to be sewn back on.

Dress: from Target
Locket: from my grandma
Shoes: Seychelles from years ago

Also, in my list of world's best music, I accidentally left off what should have been a contender for number one: The Gloria Record.  I played the EP A Lull in Traffic every night while falling asleep for a year after getting it.  They were an Austin band and I would pay them money to get back together, or something of value, as I don't really have money to pay them with.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Long Shot & My Top Tens

So I've taken the long shot of applying to write for Pitchfork.  Probably won't happen - I do not delude myself.  I consider myself a padawan in terms of music writing, but I pride myself in recognizing how much I have to learn and improve (in all things).  The time I spent making my application wasn't a waste, regardless, though, as I compiled a few top-ten lists I'd like to share, (debate?).  I feel like John Cusack in High Fidelity making these, although he only went to five, (slacker).

My Top 10 Albums of 2010 (no order):

  1. 1.       Wintersleep: New Inheritors
  2. 2.       Holly Miranda: The Magician’s Private Library
  3. 3.       Free Lance Whales: Weathervanes
  4. 4.       Fanfarlo EP
  5. 5.       The National: High Violet
  6. 6.       Quiet Company: Songs for Staying In
  7. 7.       Magic Man: Real Life Color
  8. 8.       Band of Horses: Infinite Arms
  9. 9.       Suckers: Wild Smile
  10. 10.  Good Old War: Good Old War

My Top 10 Tracks of 2010 (no order):

  1. 1.       Hanna (Freelance Whales)
  2. 2.       Atlas (Fanfarlo)
  3. 3.       Mirror Matter (Wintersleep)
  4. 4.       Sleep on Fire (Holly Miranda)
  5. 5.       Daughter (Magic Man)
  6. 6.       My Body (Young the Giant)
  7. 7.       Martha (Suckers)
  8. 8.       Totuus minusta (Regina)
  9. 9.       My Own Sinking Ship (Good Old War)
  10. 10.   Your Love (Keane)

My Top 10 Albums of All Recent Time:

  1. 1.       The Jealous Girlfriends: The Jealous Girlfriends
  2. 2.       Ludo: Broken Bride
  3. 3.       The National: Boxer
  4. 4.       The Get Up Kids: Something to Write Home About
  5. 5.       Hot Water Music/Alkaline Trio
  6. 6.       Mineral: The Power of Failing
  7. 7.       Band of Horses: Our Swords
  8. 8.       The Format: Interventions + Lullabies
  9. 9.       The Walkmen: Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone
  10. 10.   Grand Serenade: Lean Times

    Let's play the High Fidelity game: do you have a top ten list of albums, bands, or tracks?  I'd love to see it.

    I really wanted to have pictures of The New Pornographers show from Friday night at Stubb's, but thanks to Stubb's discriminatory camera policy, I have none.  I drove back from Little Rock to make it to the show by 8pm.  I barely made it, (9 hour drive), had to park in way far away east Austin, had only my wallet, my camera, and a water bottle in my bag, walked the long way to Stubb's, and was turned away at the door because my camera had an interchangeable lens.  Excuse me?  By the time I walked back to my car, hid my camera under a seat, debated going back, decided to with coaxing via text, and walked all the way back, I'd missed The Dodo's, and was thoroughly ticked, and will probably hold a grudge against Stubb's for a long time, because that's how I roll.  Luckily, Ludo will be playing at Emo's, and that's a show I might have gotten over my grudge to go see, begrudgingly.

So I leave you with the ultimate hipster video and a song I really like: Totuus minusta by Finish band Regina. Complete with bear costume, and cake.  And puppets.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Whole Week's Vacation

Starting on 5 p.m. yesterday, my vacation week officially begun.  I'm en route to Little Rock, but stopped in Copperas Cove to visit my dad and step-mom.  They have this beautiful pool, and I'm yet to even swim in it!  This will need to be rectified soon.  With 100 degree temperatures like we had today, I probably have some time to make it happen.  I find myself already stressing about how much I will be able to get "accomplished" over this week, and then I want to thump my head on a wall.  All I want is one week without a to-do list hanging over my head, or the itch to "get ahead" on projects or article writing.  Although I have a friend's wedding coming up, and I'd like to save up to afford the gas to get there - it's quite a drive from Austin, so article writing may be in the mix.

These pictures let know just how much I need to work on using a light meter properly.  That, and checking when the date stamp is on - I had to crop it out of all my pictures - oops.  I've had this skirt in my closet for two months but never cut the tag off till today - what was I thinking!?  This may get worn everyday this week.  I have an eight hour drive ahead of me, so I should probably stop posting pictures of myself (I still feel weird about this - but it's fun to take them) and go to sleep on my air mattress.

Crochet skirt: Forever 21
Peach tee: from SoLa in Austin
Necklace: Little Rock boutique
Ring: Little Rock antique mall
Shoes: BGBG Girls

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Public Service Announcement

I went tubing weekend before last on the Guadalupe river.  One house had this long rope swing with a platform to jump off from and swing into the water.  This guy pulled it off successfully, and then this poor girl got up to try with everyone cheering her on.  Her hands slipped or something and she fell with a full face plant onto the ground and then sort of skidded into the water.  Everyone was STUNNED.  She was ok.  I doubt her pride was, though.

So, moral of the story - don't drink and rope swing, kids.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blue Giant & Regina reviews

Read my review for Venus of Blue Giant's self titled debut here.

Read my review of Finland's Regina new album here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Poison Japanese Jasmine

Now that taking pictures of myself has become more of an undertaking - what with needing my tripod, two lenses, (one that only half works), my remote, the energy to run back and forth after a long work day, etc - I've noticed that while the original goal was "fashion" photography, I've become more concerned with simply staging a decent picture than with the elements of my outfit.  While my lack of emphasis on unique clothing and accessory choices sort of kills the "fashion" element of it all, I do like that my focus is on learning how to play with light at different times of day, play with the focus, even utilizing the broken zoom on my wide angle lens, and try to pair backgrounds with clothes.  Taking a daily "outfit" photo is too much work, but I like creating an editorial style photograph, and I hope to improve at it, as well as all aspects of picture taking.

In these photos, I truly suffered to create them.  Those are morning glories growing on the fence, with a few springs of Japanese Jasmine interwoven between them in spots.  I learned the hard way that leaning into the Japanese Jasmine vines makes my skin burn horribly, turn red, and prickle with hard bumps all over.  Nothing calamine lotion didn't heal - forty-five minutes later.  I sucked it up and finished shooting - tell me that's not being a trooper!  After the first couple backwards shots I couldn't do anymore because the exposed part of my back had turned bright red, as had the backs of my arms, haha.  If I ever wanted to pretend I was a super hero, the time has finally come - I've found my kryptonite!  And it's a flower.  Sigh.

Dress: Wal-Mart.  I am fascinated, still, by the ability to buy clothes and groceries at the SAME TIME.
Shoes: Classified
Necklace: from Buffalo Exchange in Dallas
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