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.

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