Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Comfort of Darkness

Fall, to me, has always felt like the beginning of the new year. Forget the awakening of spring or New Years - Fall is when I reflect, reevaluate my state of being, reset, and move forward. Time for trade ice cream for acorn squash and sandals for boots. I grow giddy at the thought of the coming crisp blue skies, scarves, and the musty smell of leaves on the ground. Get me a blanket, a hot chai, a good book and I will be a happy girl. I absolutely love fall.

Fall has a special mood for me that is paradoxically both heavy and light and the same time. Warm and cold. The Autumnal equinox. The beginning of the dark half of the year. Time to take stock of what we've got and prepare for the months ahead. Gather the harvest, revel in the beauty of nature and get everything in order before the chill of winter blows in. It's earthy, honest, pensive and grounding. And when else do you get to decorate with skeletons without catching strange glances from your neighbors?

Is it odd to find such the darkness and ominous mood so appealing? I find myself brooding over deep thoughts on life, death and purpose. I've been lulling myself in the grey music of Ray LaMontagne and Cat Power. I have abandoned some of the more superficial things in life, and refocused on relationships, learning, and being healthy. Don't worry Mom, I'm not depressed, it's just fall. I'm in it. I love this feeling. I feel revived. Back to the basics. Rooted.

But it's dark. I welcome the creepy, the gory, the heavy and emotional. I want to watch scary movies, hunt for mushrooms in the gloomy damp woods and read some Poe. Or maybe I'll read Stiff again. It's one of my favorite books ever and it's about human cadavers. I promise it's hilarious - you really should read it. Just not while you're eating.

I don't know if I can put a finger on it, but the refreshing darkness and the happy gloom of fall are creeping up and reviving me. I can feel fall almost like it's a tangible thing, but to describe all of it's complex and wonderful facets is like trying to hold tight to a fist full of sand. I thought maybe by writing about it that I could define it, but instead I feel like I just revealed myself as a moody creeper that enjoys reading about dead bodies and probably owns one too many scarves. I guess if the the shoe fits...

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Give me a C-U-T-E!
Give me a S-I-D-E-W-A-L-K! 
Give me an A-R-T!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Garage Sale Story

This past weekend, my lovely friend Jean, my awesome Mom and I hosted a garage sale. It was slammin'. First of all, my Mom is a garage sale maven and is also really good at making everything really fun. Plus, Jean is super cool and was very generous in letting us host the sale at her adorable new home in the Linden Hills neighborhood, complete with white picket fence, porch, bird bath and corner bakery.  I might be a touch jealous. We sold a ton of stuff, met a lot of really cool and nice people, got sunburned, drank wine and laughed a lot. It was awesome. I made about fifty bucks since I decided to price pretty much everything at 25¢, but that made it super easy to haul the leftovers to the thrift store at the end of the day. Ironically, I spent fifty bucks at the gas station on the way home, but I am still considering the whole day to be a huge success.

In the process of cleaning out my apartment and packing up my truck, two interesting (well interesting to me) things happened. First, one of my neighbors stole my really nice desk from behind out apartment building. The night before, it sat out by the back door for maybe two hours max while we hauled stuff over to Jean's cute house. When we came back, it was gone. VANISHED! I left a note on the back door for the day, asking that if someone possibly mistook it for free (although it had a price tag on it). I requested that they kindly return it. Nothing happened. I also asked "the friendly neighbors" if they had seen anything. They hadn't. THEN, last night, there was an old ugly desk sitting next to the dumpster. Grrrrrr...

Ears burning, I instantly began to plot my revenge.

So, "Operation: Find the evil desk stealer" has commenced. There are only four apartments that could have possibly taken it. Really, only two if you consider the proximity of where the desk was and who would have actually seen it. It's either the guy across the hall, which I assume we would have overheard hauling furniture OR it's the rude girl in the basement that never acknowledges anyone when they try to be nice and say hi to her. My money is on rude girl. As soon as I have confirmation on the nasty little thief, I will be withholding all friendly greetings from this evil desk stealer. Neighbors should never steal form neighbors. It's against the neighborly code. Did she not watch Mr. Roger's when she was little!?! I knew a psycho girl in college who shoved crickets under the door of a boy she didn't like...  if I spot that desk through rude girl's window, I may be making a little trip to the pet store.

I am open to alternative forms of revenge, however, so please comment if you have any suggestions.

So, what's the second interesting thing that happened? I found my old MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice and Paula Abdul tapes!!! Hammer Time and Ice, Ice Baby are great, but let me tell you -  that Paula can really transform a car ride. It's like an instant feel-good dance party once her beats start blasting from my speakers. Almost good enough to help me completely forget about "Operation: Find the evil desk stealer." Almost.

I am posting the video of my favorite track from her "Shut Up and Dance" album. I have many fond memories of dancing in front of my Barbie doll audience in the living room to this one. Looks like you can buy your own copy online for about five bucks. Totally worth it my friends. I would buy an extra copy but I'm a bit short on cash. Like about five bucks... which is how much I had that desk priced at...

Paula Abdul - Forever Your Girl
Uploaded by jpdc11. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I don't actually want to become someone who sleeps till noon everyday, but I am super excited about leaving the office for my own classroom. I hope it has windows. I miss windows.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Another post about AFP... because I just really love them

I just never get tired of the site Awkward Family Photos. It cracks me up every time.  Brings me back to my brief stint as a portrait photographer. If you stop and think about the nearly impossible task of forcing people together into a small room in front of a draped piece of fabric and making them pose, smile, sit still and look natural all at the same time, it's no wonder there are so many hilariously bad portrait studio photos in the world. 

I've done some pretty cool things in my life, but portrait studio photography was not one of them. It's not something I would ever want my art professors at St. Olaf to know about. I did my best to try and convince the soccer moms and well-intentioned dads to go for the more tasteful photos, but all too often, the customers would get a tad overzealous with the matching outfits and draped tulle

There was no turning back once they started requesting things like back-lit hair, family pyramids, and the old random Grecian column. Can someone please tell me why Greek columns are such a staple of portrait photography studios? I may or may not have whipped out a killer arm shelf whilst leaning atop of a classic Greek column during my own low-budget senior year photo shoot, but I was young, naive, and shockingly not as cool as you might think. Pretty sure I spent more money on my science fair board than I did on my senior pictures. That, my friends, is what makes those awkward portrait photos so funny - because we've all been there. We all have them, and at some point, we've all rocked the arm shelf.