Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Single Girl Resolve

I finished Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project today.  While not my favorite, I got some great pointers on ways to improve my attitude about life without feeling the need to travel to foreign countries, spend time in really quiet monasteries, eat bugs, start going to bars every night, or any other type of "liberating" activity.  The key phrase that stuck out to me was "re-framing," which simply means, get a new perspective.  There is one, find it.  If I don't shift my perspective to make things look less glum, I'm just being lazy.

Following her resolve to "be a better Gretchen," I think I need to start a list of resolutions to "be a single Amanda."  Because really, I haven't been single since... freshman year of college?  And that hardly counts, because there was a Dave, a very serious Dave, who entered the picture that spring.

So I've started my list, and here's what I have so far:


1) Be Amanda.  Not who I want Amanda to be or wish Amanda was.  That means admitting to the world how much I like Fall Out Boy, among other things to be revealed later.

2) Say buggar off to people who are mean in any way.  RIGHT AWAY.  First temper tantrum = gone.

3) Meet new people.  lots of new people.  swallow being shy

4) Go to a concert, a restaurant, or something similar at least once a month... BY MYSELF.  Try to make a new friend.  (the friend part can maybe be a goal for later - let's work on solo public appearances first)

5) Buy whatever I want at the grocery store on the condition that I only order salads, snacks and drinks at restaurants.  It's healthier and cheaper to eat from the store, no matter what.

6) Girl friends (and ok, guy friends too) first.  dates second.  but seriously, who needs dates?  I've been on "dates" regularly for like, five years, six?  Isn't it time for a new song and dance?  Maybe set to Fall Out Boy...

7) Bite my tongue before I react too quickly.  maybe count to ten?  or is that for people with high blood pressure... 

8) buy girly sheets.  they're mine.  no more appeasing boyfriends who double as roommates with boring, blue bedding.

Any other ideas for what I should add?

Now I'd say I'm also resolved to go read some literature of greater significance in the literary canon, but I don't really feel like it, and part of "being Amanda, just as she is," means not forcing myself to do things just because I want to feel smarter, whatever.  Although, I do have the biography of D.H. Lawrence by Anais Nin on my nightstand.  Does that count?  Those two are coming to my fantasy "any ten people living or dead" dinner party.

While I'm not bitter about my recent breakup... or, I'm as un-bitter as a person can be, I want to re-post this video for anyone who has ever gone through a breakup - hard or not.  Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE Ludo?  I finally listened to the Broken Bride EP all the way through, I cried.  Off point.  Moving on:

a few choice lyrics:

"Girl, I remember when we was sittin' on your couch
Watchin' Good Will Hunting, holdin' hands and drinkin' milkshakes
But milkshakes melt, people change, and you dumped me on my birthday...

...But I realized you were right, we were never meant to be
And you know what? Thank God
'Cause you're the most vapid, whiny blah I've ever met...

...Listen you tanning-bed-baked, broke, goat-faced, oompa-loompa monkey problem
I am proud to shop at Target, I'll wear warm-up pants any day of the week...

...You can watch Good Will Hunting by yourself - I hope your eyes fall out
Why don't you go watch it by yourself?

Go to hell!"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Moving Stinks!

The beautiful apartment has gone from the above to the below in a span of twenty-four hours, and there's still so much to do before Friday!

I'm losing one of the couches, two bikes, (I suppose that goes along with moving to a place sans two roommates), and gaining lots of space - and a balcony!  I'm going to focus on this while I wrap dishes and the other tchotchkys I'm really good at collecting.

Until Friday, though, I'm going to walk past the mess like this so I don't have to see it - I hate mess!  (unless it's clean laundry piles - that's my organizational system). 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Paper Crane!

My long time and too far away friend Charlotte sent me the BEST letter in the mail!  I am going to fly out to visit her in Arizona and we're driving to Big Sur to camp and drink vodka and not worry about taking showers or impressing boys.  Then we'll probably write silly poems about it and make art work we can dedicate to the landscape.  When I opened her letter this little bird fell out, and in the last line she wrote: "just pull out his wings and blow in the hole in his belly. Voila!"  Voila indeed :)

Styled by Michelle #1!

A few weeks ago I got to spend a fun day with Michelle being her model for her new Style Therapy services.  She came over and we raided my closet (and hers, later), so she could put together several outfits for me.  Then we drove around Austin like crazy ladies to take pictures, which involved several bouts of changing clothes in the car - very tricky.  This is my favorite outfit, or backdrop, I'm not sure which. 

This wall is over by the now sadly defunct Cafe Mundi.  RIP East Austin coffee shop o'awesome.

Skirt: Forever 21
Shirt: White House Black Market
Shoes: Aldo
Bracelet: gift from my friend Gina, bought in Mexico
Ring: Michelle's
Headband: Goodie Two Shoes in Austin
Being Pale as Paper: personal style statement

I totally got stuck on the wall.  I got scared to jump down and had to take my shoes off so I wouldn't potentially break my ankle.  I know how to keep it classy.

One thing I like about this outfit is it reminds me of the shoot I got to do with Starr where she styled us super urban; I'm liking the look more and more.  I'll be posting the other outfits by Michelle in the future. 

I'm getting ready to move out of my apartment - the packers come on Friday.  Until then I'm living in between boxes and the stress of having too many things.  I'm a collector, though, and some things will never change.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Prior to last week I had never heard the term "zero-sum" before, and now I've heard it three times.  The universe wants me to make a post about zero sum.

I've been reading The Happiness Project, and the author talks about zero-sum in terms of feeling happy for other people's successes.  I realize that I've had this attitude, and it's pretty sick: the idea that because someone else succeeds, I can't, as there's only so much success to go around.  I feel like this hinders me from continuing projects, (sometimes), and keeps me from feeling joy about other people's good luck/fortune/work/etc, (sometimes).  (I also realized - a while ago - that I don't believe in absolutes - mostly). 

Speaking of other people's success, Lennon, Eirik, and our friend Ruckus are going on a slam poetry tour this summer.  I'm 70% jealous and 30% certain that I hate Greyhound buses and sitting next to strangers with any potential for drooling. 

This is the two of them doing a jig to impress people on South Congress.  It actually worked.

I tried to help but got bored holding the sign after five... oh something shiny.

So clearly my back-up plan for work should be risque modeling, as in this photo.  Nice khaki's and polo, oddly reminiscent of my Bennigan's uniform... oh wait, it was.  And I'm wearing it again by choice.  Somedays I just don't try... and hope there's no camera around.

I do write poetry, and since it's national poetry month, what better time to advertise my poetry blog?  It can be found here.  I forget to update it, as I haven't been taking the time to write poetry like I should.  This is one of the reasons I can't go on tour.  That, and stage fright.  And my day job.  I'm too practical for my own good, (sometimes).

 So I'm going to start putting zero-sum to rest: my success in anything is not dependent on the failure of others.  Life doesn't have a first place prize, and Greyhound just doesn't have enough leg room to merit traveling the country... or so I'll tell myself.

And here's one more life lesson for the proverbial road: if your ex-boyfriend who you still live with for seven more days is making you mad, go find a slug on the recycling bin, put it on his keyboard when he gets up from World of Warcraft to go to the bathroom, then watch him scream like a child and suddenly become nice as he asks you to get rid of it.  Works like a charm. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Crushable Fedoras: Won't Bend of Break

I found this "crushable" fedora at Target.  I'm not really a hat person, but lately, my scalp has been telling me to decorate it with headbands and baubles.  This hat called to me, and hopefully it isn't reminiscent of Brittany Spears and her affection for fedoras, as this hat may be my new favorite thing.  At least in the category of "things I am 90% sure I can't break," of which there are few. 


Dress: from a Little Rock boutique several yeas ago
Heels: Frye's on clearance
Bracelet: my great grandmother's
Cameo: my grandmother's
Fedora: Target
Town: Florence, Texas

Parity or Parody?

The styles of these clothes look vaguely familiar... oh, maybe because they look like conceptualized versions of what I always cross my fingers to find in vintage and thrift stores.

There is a great article in the New York Times today about designer fashion taking its cue from the hippies and hipsters of yore, (and by yore I mean the 60's and 70's), who's bohemian pieces are now the fountain-of-youth-in-fabric... they don't age, and everyone wants them.  So much, so, that designers have taken the liberty to sew replicas of these pieces and charge hundreds of dollars for them.  Well, at least that takes the difficulty of digging through stuffed racks and bargain bins out of the picture, (but isn't that the fun part?).

In the article, "What's in a Label?  Say it in French," the Critical Shopper, a self-proclaimed army surplus and vintage hunter enthusiast, describes her experience in Isabel Marant's very chic boutique:
"I pulled my own jeans and gray sweatshirt back on and hustled out of the store — an act of self-preservation that saved me nearly $600. Was my own wardrobe achieving parity or parody? Only my hairdresser knows for sure."
I'd say it's parody, but not on her side of the universal closet - on Fashion Week's.  And everyone knows that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Aw, shucks, garment district.

But seriously - if you've got $800 to blow on an embroidered tunic - hands off my $20 ebay score!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Record Store Day Photos

I did a write up on Record Store Day for Venus Zine, and if you're interested you can read it here.  I interviewed Dan Plunkett, a co-owner of End of an Ear, and snapped photos both there and at Waterloo Records, (Venus used two).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dear Austin,

Please invest in these:

I feel guilty every time I see a panhandler (like, ten times a day), but I can not bring myself to give them money, because: 1) I don't have a lot and 2) I don't trust where it's going, and I'm not pro-funding addictions.  I prefer to give money to my church, or something similar, but it still doesn't make me feel better to tell a person no to their face. 

These little boxes in Little Rock are brilliant.  To discourage panhandling, they set these "Change For The Better" boxes up all over downtown, and the money goes to homeless shelters and other organizations that benefit people who truly need help.

So Austin, please consider this!  It seems way overdue.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rules of Singledom #1: Spend Time With Girlfriends

Friday night, my friend Elizabeth and I attended the "Big Ass Twitter Happy Hour" (#BATHH) at the Kung Foo Saloon on West 6th Street.  Because the universe either likes to prove me wrong, or make me happy, (sometimes both), I lamented to Elizabeth about how big Austin is, and how I can't go out and see lots of people I know like I can in Little Rock.  So I get my beer, (Young's double chocolate stout - my kind of post-breakup chocolate indulgence), turn around, and woah!  TWO people I know.  My friend Katie, of the infamous birthday scavenger hunt, and Claire, another site director for after school programming who I indirectly work with.  Sometimes being wrong is great.

Elizabeth took my outfit pictures before going out.  Thank goodness for friends!  I've started a list of things I will have to invest in when I move into my new apartment, (I'm 85% sure I'm moving into a new apartment on May 1st - please cross your fingers for me that the apartment I share with Lennon and Eirik now is leased to someone else before then).  So far, I have this:
  • Crosley Turntable - recommended by one of my supervisors at the BGC, and after photographing Record Store Day for Venus, I am even more sold on wanting one.  I'm thinking housewarming gift to myself!
  • A tripod - no more boyfriend to take my photos.  Stifling a sigh.
It is thunder storming outside right now, and it was raining last night, too.  I love rain.

Shoes: I have temporarily stolen these from Michelle!  Shhhh don't tell!
Skirt: Forever 21
T-shirt: Target
Silver bangle: found in my mom's things
Necklace: from a Little Rock boutique
Headband: Goodie Two Shoes in Austin
Umbrella: Wal-Mart

Any other rules of singledom I should be aware of and put into practice?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Suddenly Single

This weekend I took Lennon to Little Rock as he was a featured performer in the Arkansas Literary Festival's Pub or Perish event.  This will probably be one of the last times I mention Lennon here, as he broke up with me today after a screaming fight that shed new light on aspects of my character I didn't know were so flawed, but he was kind enough to point out.  

Dress: Forever 21
Tights: from Buffalo Exchange new merch
Shoes: Target
Locket:  thrifted
Headband: Goodie Two Shoes in Austin
Ring: antique mall find

Tonight I came home to an empty house with no knowledge of where Lennon is or when or if he's coming back.  I suppose we won't be sharing a residence much longer.

I haven't been truly single in a very long time.  Even when I was "single" last year I was dating regularly.  I already feel slightly handicapped like I don't know how to move in this new existence.  As Lennon is out, probably with people, I assume he's already figured it out.  I mean, I didn't even figure out the break up was official until people texted me that he'd changed his status on Facebook to "single."  Oh, Facebook.

Ok, now what?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Album Reviews Published

Two of my CD reviews were just published on Venus Zine.  Read my review of Reni Lane's new album Ready here, and Dearly Beloved's Make it Bleed here.

Styled & Photographed by Starr

This weekend I went to Little Rock with Lennon to see him perform in the Arkansas Literary Festival's Pub or Perish (more on that later), and on Sunday I got to meet up with Little Rock blogger, photographer, and stylist Starr Crow and her friend Callie for a photo shoot near the North Little Rock Boys & Girls Club.

Starr styled all of our outfits, found a shoot location with a lime green couch, (BGC discard? it had glitter on it), left underneath an overpass near railroad tracks.  Serious photo shoot score.  This afternoon was SO fun, and these are all photos I saved from her gallery, so if you want to see the rest or learn about the outfits she assembled, hop on over to her blog!




the perfect find for black and white.

there was some serious sun at this point.

We spent most of today driving, and I spent lots of time on my iphone in the car trying to simultaneously work and travel via email and calls.  Every time I go back to Little Rock I remember how much I love it, so much so that I could conceivably see myself moving back.  But for now, I love Austin enough to stay a while.
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