windy city

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My apologies for the dearth of posts this week. I just finished up meeting with a fantastic bride and groom, and I'm now scrambling for a late night road trip to Illinois. Luckily for me, I will be bringing my fabulous hat that I just picked up from the insanely talented Meriweather Nichols. We bartered, and I think I got the better end of the deal. Isn't it gorgeous?

Indiewed is this Saturday in Chicago where I'll be selling my book and hobnobbing with a bunch of indie brides...whatever that means :)

I'll be back in time for my first ever television interview! Tuesday morning, Channel 3, the CBS affiliate's morning show. The girl with the frizzy hair and clutching a pink book? That'll be me.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. I'll check in with my report on Indiewed Monday!

My favorite weekend: Christiana Leibovich

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This day and I? We're gonna have some words when it's all done.

The computer has been in the shop, so I'm kinda flying blind here on the laptop. No pictures. No photoshop. Just words.

But it's Thursday, and I've been wanting to share my latest installment of My Favorite Weekend. When I get my computer back, after I'm finished giving it sweet, sweet kisses, I will add a photo of the lovely Ms. Leibovich.

I've known a lot of funny people in my lifetime. I used to work for a man who wrote jokes for Rodney Dangerfield. I married a guy who was on an episode of Mad TV (sorry baby, your secret's out)

Christiana is the kind of person you'd hate to be around with a full stomach because she will make you pee your pants at some point during the conversation.

Besides making grown people pee themselves, she's a fabulous baker, the don of the local Knit Mafia, doyenne of Opera Memphis and just basically awesome. Here she is in her own words.

Favorite dirty joke?

Louis C.K.'s entire act. I wish I had written all of it.

Can you teach someone to be funny?

Nope. You have it or you don't. Teaching someone to be funny is like getting a bunch of plastic surgery to be pretty. It is obvious they have had some work done.

Crochet or knit?

Knitta for life!

People would be surprised if they knew you could ____________

do just about anything except make a meatloaf.

More people would attend an opera if they only knew __________

Answer #1. how simple it was.
Someone loves someone they shouldn't. Someone finds out. Someone dies. The end. That's all
you need to know. You can figure out the rest.

Answer #2. that all the cool kids were doing it.

How do you survive a Memphis summer?

Nothing lowers body temperature like constant complaining.

Memphis' best kept secret?

Memphis itself. Complaining about Memphis is the regional pastime. But now, there is a whole
group of young talented, community-minded folks who love this city and are working to make it
even better.

I am particularly proud of the amazing art/comedy/culture scene here. It is so much bigger and
better than we get credit for. Check out the Wiseguys, Five-In-One Social Club, Opera Memphis,
New Ballet Ensemble and download the ArtsMemphis iPhone app. There is no excuse for not

The Big One finally hits and most of midtown slides into the crevasse. You are totally safe (but of course!) What are you checking on first? What did you hope slid into the crevasse?

Please let Central BBQ and Republic Coffee be okay. Oh, and the Farmer's Market.

The Pyramid can go. We should use it or lose it. (I know it's not 'technically' Midtown but so what)

old school Mac and cheese - powder or the sauce?

Super Old School, shredded cheddar, parm and gouda with evaporated milk. It takes the same amount of time as box mixes and it infinitely better.

Chapel Hill

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

crappy cell phone pic somewhere outside of Columbia, TN

After the phone call, when you learn about your friend's mom's unexpected passing, after talk of the preparations and the road trip plans and why, inexplicably, there are two Chapel Hills in the middle of Tennessee, there is the question: what to wear to the funeral?

I haven't attended a funeral since my grandmother died, when I stubbornly refused to wear black thinking that it would have tickled Mamaw that I showed up to hers wearing a red blouse like I was Bette Davis in Jezebel. It was a celebration of her life. To me, red was a proper color for a celebration. But Mamaw was family, my feisty grandmother, so I didn't think it appropriate to pull the same stunt at an intimate burial service for a woman I hadn't seen in over a decade. It had been nearly that long since I had seen her son, a boy that had become one of my best friends in seventh grade. We had stayed in touch haphazardly over the years, the phone calls fewer and briefer as the years stretched on. I visited him at UT Knoxville, ignoring the girls' advice to not stay in his dorm lest I be branded the school slut. (The following morning, having to shower in stagnant, knee-deep water made me rethink my bold decision) He visited me in LA, crashing on my couch for a week as we ate tacos and drove out to my favorite bar on the beach. The phone calls still came, mostly around my birthday just to rub it in that he still remembered. He was always better about keeping in touch. We'd gone in such different directions, geographically, philosophically. Sometimes I wondered what was the point. I was a liberal commie snob. He made a spectacularly good living selling trailers in Knoxville. We just didn't seem to have much left in common. But with the move back to Memphis, the calls picked up. Facebook let me know he was finally seeing a girl he sounded crazy about. He sounded happy. We talked about trying to rendezvous during a proposed trip to Asheville.

And then there was the most recent call. While her health had been spotty in recent months, Sue's passing had not been expected. He had talked with his mom on the phone while she was at the hospital preparing to be discharged, unsurprised that she was asking about his girl instead of discussing the chest pains that had brought her there in the first place. She was gone hours later.

I decide on the tweed skirt with the black sweater.

Two hours into my drive to Chapel Hill finds me chasing a dot on the google map, my head all dreamy from a surprisingly good audiobook. Because I have the driving foot of my father, I've made crazy good time to Columbia. I slow way down, content to drive windy backroads, occasionally pulling to the side of the road to snap a photo with my phone, occasionally stopping in the middle of the road to get a better angle. I stop at a salvage yard, eyeballing a vintage O'Keefe and Merritt era stove. There are weeds sprouting from the back of an ancient green GMC truck. I get spooked by the thunking sound coming from underneath a truck camper. It could be a bird. It could be something bigger. I get back in the car.

I'm still early when I arrive at the funeral home but I go inside, and I am shocked to find a large cluster of people just on the other side of the door. There are faces I haven't seen in years. Pete grabs me into a hug, and instantly I'm surrounded by old friends, telling jokes, comparing baby pictures, remembering why I - and so many others - love Pete. Having been out of his gravitational pull, I have forgotten his ability to crack up a room, to tell a joke so distasteful that you cringe but love him just because he had the balls to say it.

It is a sweet and simple farewell to his mother, one of the kindest, gentlest people on the planet. I'm truly sad that Sue can't see Pete with his girlfriend who has a comforting arm wrapped around his shoulder. But I figure she's already looking into a way to tuck images of babies and diamond rings into his dreams. We give thanks for Sue and file out into the chilly afternoon. I get another big earnest hug from my friend of over 20 years, and I give thanks for Pete.

I also give thanks for Facebook for making it that much easier to remember my birthday, Pete. Love you.

Sneak Peek: Madison's Birthday

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I have so many fun images to share from Madison's party, but I thought this one would be a good teaser.

Unfortunately due to my blog's current layout, the photo is much tinier than I would like to display. Pardon my dust while I figure out a fix

edited to say: oh man it feels good to streeeeeeetch! Gonna start posting these pics a bit larger so they can be shone in all their, as one commenter puts it, 'airy shite' glory.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

In case you didn't see these comments, I wanted to re-post them here.

The topic is oversharing. Please feel free to add to what will be a never-ending, always evolving discussion...

Thanks to everybody for their moral support and/or bracing schadenfreude :) Happy to report that things - and myself - have calmed down mightily. @VLS - I'm totally with you on this. And, ew. I'm sorry! I think there is so much emphasis now on child-led "parenting" that there's not even room for mom and dad in the equation. I think it's vital for kids to learn that there is cause and effect - and consequences. But when the anger passes and your child has transformed into a dripping-eyed Disney cartoon? It's hard to keep that wall up.

And @Peggy. I've been waiting for you. I had this very conversation at dinner last night. There's no debating that this is the very definition of oversharing. My husband is a very private man. I am an open book. I also come from a family where these kinds of stories are badges of honor, not shame. My mother frequently likes to point out that I pooped on my dad's boss the first time he was invited over for dinner. If she doesn't, I remind her. I seek out these stories. As parents, we are literally in the shit together, writing the mythic instruction manual as we go. The miracle of the internet is that we can easily find confirmation of this. We can find each other. Laugh at each other's stories. Flinch at some of the confessions, pass judgements on others but never fail to see yourself in all of these stories as the parent who is just trying to get through the day without ending it at the ER. Your comments give me real hope that this too shall pass. When you get stuck inside the parenting bubble, it's easy to forget that. I hope Harlow will forgive me for sharing her toddler exploits. But I also hope that she sees me for the unperfect, frustrated, hopeful madly in love mama that I am.

Pizza Pizza

I'm not exactly sure how a discussion about the Dandy Warhol's Godless video, a horrifying this-is-you-middle-aged moment of not being able to remember a Beatle's name (Sorry, Harrison..Ford I mean George) and googling the weather led to me digging up my favorite commercial of all time. But here you go. And god bless You Tube.

This is a close second:

Everybody Poops: An update

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This is one of those posts that I fear she will print out and hand deliver to her therapist 12 years later.

Here's me posting it.

She has her very own poop bench. (Stool stool was too gross even for me)

I read somewhere in my frenzy of research that the very awkwardness of a child's size on an adult-size potty
can make for some inevitable... engineering issues. (Namely, you try pooping as if you were in the middle of a triple gainer off a diving board. Go ahead.)

In a master feat of upcycling, the hallway stool was quickly repurposed as a magical, milestone abetting ottoman. We propped up her feet, leverage was had, and all systems were go.

We still didn't trust her after tucking her in. 10 minutes after I quietly exited her room, I was on the floor, belly to concrete, ear against the door. Waiting. Bracing.

I'm happy to report that, as of press time, I don't have to spend my downtime this evening scraping poop off the wall. Nope. Just blogging about it and otherwise not letting it go for the zillion other things I should be doing instead.

In other news, the poop bandit is famous.

Thanks Mary!

Shit happens

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shit happens. Shit happens A LOT around here lately, and I don't mean the figurative, "Mama forgot to pick up the milk so we're eating our cereal with the creamer this morning, mmmkay?" but literal shit. Gobs of it. On Harlow's hands. On the walls. Somehow mortared in between the glass top of the coffee table and the legs, an action that must have required considerable thought and dexterity.

I understand that potty training an almost three year old is challenging. It requires patience and then multiply that patience and add it on top of that kind of patience. I just thought we had it figured out. She told us she had to pee, and then hey! She peed! She announced she had to poop, so we sat her on the potty and she pooped! Boom. Done. On to the next parenting "challenge." But then suddenly she wasn't so free with her announcements, preferring to pee down her leg and hop on on foot so and not to miss Max and Ruby on TV. Placing her on the pot in order for her to, uh, work it out, has been as productive as me getting into bed "to write."

And then there is the matter of the past 4 nights. We visited the potty and tucked her into bed and sang and read stories and begged her not to poop on the sly...and 20 minutes later comes the announcement that she has done the deed. Like the helpful girl she is, she took off her drawers and threw all the nastiness into... the clothes hamper. After three nights of removing excrement from her fingernails and ankles and sheets, I was done. I ignored the official "Be Positive!" advice and ended the usual Mockingbird lullaby with the equivalent of Mama's gonna rain down hellfire and no more Nick Jr. if Harlow didn't tell us she needed to use the facilities first. She nodded her head and confirmed she'd received the message. Thirty minutes later, she emerged from her room, naked, looking like she'd tried to tunnel out of a sewer with her knuckles.

I was distraught. I was a bad mom. I wasn't doing more. I was missing vital clues. I went on forums. I looked at books. I talked to family and started to feel better. What I needed was to break the cycle, they told me. Get her to fall asleep before she gets all feces flingy in order to lure us back into her room. When the cycle is broken, then put her on the pot every 20 minutes until she gets the picture. It was a plan, a plan I hoped to put into action tonight. While Caleb was away, I would make us a fun dinner of Benihana-style fried rice and then get my pajamas on and hunker down with her until she was safely asleep.

The rice was in the skillet, Harlow had peed in the potty 30 minutes prior, the NPR-wine buzz was feeling fine...until Harlow announced that her hands were sticks as was the wall and the carpet and the coffee table and every other surface she had managed to smear with the poo. I was completely flustered and unprepared and absolutely furious. I was nearly shaking with rage as I scrubbed her and the furniture down, and she knew it. She made herself small and laid on the couch watching me, her enormous eyes troubled and sad. It pierced my heart. When I hung up with Caleb after recounting the blow by blow, she turned to me and said, "Mama, I'm SO sorry." It took all my strength not to to cry, and instead I apologized to her. I told her that it was wrong of me to get angry and that I would work on being patient. She smiled and offered me some rice. "Next time, I'll say, Mommy and Daddy I need to go poop on the potty!" she chirped between bites, and I thanked her and gave her a hug.

And then I gave myself a big ole Parenting/General Failing at Life Fail for deciding that BUTTERY, OILY FRIED RICE was the ticket to getting our potty training problems on track.


Thanks to the exquisite Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo fame, my wedding book Veiled Remarks: A Curious Compendium for the Nuptially Inclined got a great shout out on the Glamour blog.

You can see it here and here!

Thanks again, Joanna!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The new year rolls around, and like everybody, I have the list that gets trotted out from the year before, amended, scratched out, proofed and infused with a ridiculous amount of hope. It's kinda silly, right? Like the Declaration of Independence of Going to the Gym and Learning Spanish and Less Facebook and Look Her in the Eye when She Wants to Play Princess Diego Tea Party Rescue for the 80th time.

An item that floats around on mine, sometimes disappearing for a couple of years at a time but roaring back this year is my desire to learn calligraphy.

I recently haggled with a zombie Kinkos associate, trying to connect with him on any level in order to get him to move faster than a millimeter a second when I noticed his exceptional handwriting when writing my (ridiculously marked up) order. When I teased him for having lovely penmanship, especially for a lefty, he shocked me when he announced that he had taught himself calligraphy.

If THIS guy had taught himself and practiced and labored over such a beautiful discipline, surely I could dump "play my ukelele when watching The Daily Show" and make room for this? (Totally not kidding about the ukelele, by the way. Considering how often Harlow asks me to ROCKNROLL! on my little "tar," I need to get crackin)

Just in case my best intentions turn out to be just that, you can always turn to these ladies of hello handmade paperie. You get to choose from 3 fonts, and they will whip together a sweet note just in time for Valentine's Day, complete with hand drawn swallows and a wax seal. I may just have to get one of these for the boy. You know, just to see if he's surprised when it arrives or if he actually reads my blog.

Save the date!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Guess who's coming to dinner?

We invited over our very first dinner guests last night since moving into the loft in October. I think we need to invite people over more frequently, at the very least to keep this space looking more grown up and sophisticated and less 24 hour Hoarders marathon. The shrimp tikka masala turned out okay as did the honey roasted eggplant, but then, champagne and excellent guests can make anything I cook palatable. Miss Anna Banana found the conversation tiresome and checked out the view from below.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Next time I complain of not being inspired? Just tell me to look out my window.


My favorite weekend: Arneisha Owens

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's Thursday (for just a few minutes more!), so that means it's time for another installment of My Favorite Weekend. Today's chat is with Arneisha Owens, owner of Madarn Bakery and mama to cutie patootie birthday girl, Madison.

Before I can ask her some warm up questions, she's already telling me about her favorite free time activity, catching a movie wherever, whenever she can. Her suggestion? Young Victoria, "best love story of the year."

Favorite theater?

Just depends on the movie. I'll go all the way out to Ridgeway 4 if I have to, even though it's not convenient. (Conversation sidetracks on how Ridgeway became the go-to art house film rather than Studio on the Square. I sidetrack myself wishing that a hazmat team would tent the Paris Adult Theater, replace the floors and ceiling and all the molecules in between, then bleach all of that for good measure, and reopen it as a nifty little movie palace.

Popcorn or Milk Duds?

Neither. I rarely eat anything at a movie I didn't smuggle in!

Where do you sit?

The middle

Your idea of a perfect Saturday?

Big breakfast from scratch, eggs, pancakes. Hanging out with Madison and taking her to the Brooks Museum. By 5, she's with her dad and I'm off to see a movie. A veggie burger from Houston's for dinner and staying up late laughing with family. Sunday morning is when you can catch all those great classic movies, like Auntie Mame!

The craziest Saturday you ever spent in Memphis?

A transvestite/drag show where a gay friend officially came out. The outfits were amazing. Was it at Amnesia? It was so long ago I don't remember!

What's the one spot you would show someone visiting?

The Brooks Museum. Every room there is its own story.

Best kept secret?

Darla Ives' sewing She's so wonderful that I just want to put her in my purse and take her home with me!

Thanks, Arneisha!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I'm back from a brain-scalding four days in Nashville where I learned, drank bottomless cups of coffee, and resisted the impulse to even touch my camera until the conference was over. I'm still in a bit of roadtrip fog, my senses bewildered by balmy 75 degree interior temps with matching indoor waterfalls and short sleeved staff. I'm now watching a frozen Mississippi River slough off chunks of Minnesota ice. I'll tweet if I see some polar bears. Crazy.

Before making the trek home, I was thrilled to spend some quality time with my best friend and possessor of 55% of my brain, Alexa Hulsey. She is getting ready to open the doors to her East Nashville Community Acupuncture Clinic, and I got a little sneak peek!

The girl who could once barely handle a nosebleed is now a bonafide healer. Well, she was born a healer, but she's now officially serving the Nashville area with her own clinic. If you're in the neighborhood, you are one seriously lucky duck. If you stop in, tell her I said hello!

Happy weekend!

Friday, January 8, 2010

What a week.

I go from obscure little photo-mama-random musings blog to basking in the blogger spotlight overnight. I've got some new followers and a renewed drive to keep my daily post streak going. So thank you again for all your positive comments, some of your weird ones :) and all of the encouragement.

I'm off to Nashville tomorrow for PPA's Imaging USA photography conference where I'll get to learn some fun new tricks from the pros and reconnect with some others (Hi, Jose!). A huge thank you to the husband for being a single dad for the next few days (and to Gramma Sue who's bringing reinforcements) I don't know how often I'll be blogging (I have this fantasy of conferencing all day and writing all night. And maybe a massage) But until then, stay warm, bake something yummy and tell me about it, and enjoy the weekend!


* From a 2009 trip to Nashville where Caleb looks like he is kidnapping his own child

Snow day

Thursday, January 7, 2010

When you're stuck inside, turns out? That's when the fairies come out to play.

*thanks Auntie Jen!

Edible Memphis: Winter Issue

Hey chilly foodies!

Edible Memphis' lastest issue is on stands and is chock full of recipes and advice on how to keep eating tasty while we dream of our farmers market to reopen. My story is on the fabulous Jenny and Nick Vergos and their equally fabulous kitchen.

You can find out more

My favorite weekend: Rafe Murray

Rafe and Caroline, making 2010 sexy.

One of my favorite things about Thursdays when I lived in Los Angeles, besides the fact that it was Thursday in Los Angeles, was the LA Times weekly feature "My Favorite Weekend." They'd interview some celebrity and ask them that if they weren't planning on sunning themselves on their yacht or bowl at home, how would they choose to spend their weekend in town? I always learned about interesting places to eat, offbeat places to visit and that a lot of celebrities have a secret fascination with Playa del Rey. Who knew?

Since moving to Memphis I've missed reading these weekly itineraries, and with the denizens of Memphis increasingly spread out in their far flung suburbs, I figured I'd start my own mini version. Perhaps a downtowner might enlighten us on the best place to score nacho cheese dip at 11 PM. A citizen of East Memphis could reveal a secret menu item at Huey's. Oh the possibilities!

Today is Thursday, so I thought I would debut my weekly series with the unofficial mayor of Midtown, Rafe Murray, an animator, father, and general bon vivant.

1. When does your weekend typically start?

When does it stop? Har har. Seriously, I'm a dad, hence the weekend starts whenever I can grab one. I work for myself in the creative side of adverting so I work a lot of nights and weekends, but when I can, I knock off early on Fridays for a couple of drinks somewhere.

2. What's a successful weekend by your standards?

This entails turning off personal electronic devices. If I can somehow catch up with friends, have a couple of great meals, get a little outdoor exercise and manage to spend enough time with my wife and daughter AND be rested on Monday then I've had a successful weekend. Having a bright-eyed, chipper Monday is the catch. Off the top of my head, I'm not sure this has ever happened. Has anyone ever accomplished this? (ed note: as of press time, still checking on this)

3. If you didn't have a kid and weren't expected to be functional at 7 AM on a Saturday, how would you spend Friday night?

An amalgam of what my wife and I used to do on a typical, action packed pre-baby Friday would resemble: dinner at the Beauty Shop or Harry's or Bari, then the trolley tour or an opening, maybe followed by drinks at Mollie Fontaines or Dish. If we were really up for a wild night we'd wind up at Brandon Thornburg's house in Binghampton for a super disco champagne dance party. Somehow that was a pretty typical weekend once.

My alternate, grown-up answer is a night at the River Inn on Harbor Town with dinner at Currents. I've never done either of those things, but both places are supposed to be spectacular. As a born and bred Midtown-Memphian, Harbor Town is the only unfamiliar place in town that I'm curious about. It would be like going to another city. I stole that answer from my buddy Chad.

4. What's a spot you wish more Memphians knew about and why?

There are a lot of great lunch places downtown and in South Memphis that are off most people's radar. I've been a regular at George's at 3rd and Court for years. It's sort of a typical plate lunch place, but everything about it belongs to a different downtown than what most Memphians are accustomed to. It's in the first floor of a place called the Dermon Building, which is one of the last occupied non-renovated office buildings left downtown. Unfortunately all three elevators went out a few years ago and all of the tenants above the 2nd floor are gone. On the first floor you've got a bail-bondsman. Then there's the building supervisor, Mr. Green I believe, who wears a bowler hat. Next to him is the tailor, Mr. Armstead, who wears suspenders and listens to jazz records all day - my buddy Willy calls him the coolest man in Memphis. Next is the barber shop and then George's. George is Charlie Vergos' brother. Three generations of Vergoses work at George's. The food is good Memphis comfort food - chicken, barbecue, catfish, greens, yams and two of my favorite vegetables: spaghetti and macaroni and cheese. Mmmm. Good pie, too.

I've got a couple of honorable mentions. Deja Vu is down on Florida south of Crump. They have excellent Jambalaya, etouffee and Gumbo (both alligator and non alligator), but for whatever reason they also have a substantial vegan menu. If you want soul food and don't have the time for a 2 hour nap afterwards this is the place. If I can afford to knock off the rest of the day for a nap, I go way way down Florida to the Crock Pot where everything is smothered and stewed. It's a crapshoot whether you'll leave with diabetes, a stroke or both.

5. If all the restaurants in Memphis were burning and you could only save one, which would it be? Which menu item would you take as your reward?

I'm going for a trick answer with this. The Beauty shop and Dö Sushi both share the same kitchen and owners so I'm saving them/it. I could eat there every single day of the week. I've taken out-of-town guests to that building three times in the same weekend on multiple occasions. I'm not sure they're still on the menu, but the Moules Frites used to be my favorite..

6. You've got 48 hours to spend in Memphis before leaving on a jet plane. Where are you going?

I'd have to squeeze in a hike in Shelby Forest followed by lunch at the General Store, then I'd take a leisurely drive down Riverside drive and a walk down Main Street. Gus's fried chicken is essential. I'd need to have a Soul Burger at Earnestine & Hazels followed by a beer on the second floor. Definitely Mollie Fontaine's lounge and bootie shakin' at Wild Bill's juke joint. If I could squeeze it in I'd do the Zoo and the downtown farmer's market and brunch at the Beauty Shop. That's a jam-packed 48 hours, but fortunately the bars here don't shut down until 3 or 4.

The jet is taking me to Paris, if you were wondering.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You know what's better than chicken soup on a bitterly cold day?


Matzo Ball soup!


After many nights of sampling the wares at Canter's and Langer's in LA, I'm always pestering my Jewish friends in Memphis to fess up to best places in town to score some good matzo ball soup. Sadly, it turns out their recommendation is the only option in town, Noodle Doodle Do in Cooper Young. Now don't get me wrong - it's a killer bowl of soup. The thing could probably cure cancer and remove wrinkles. The problem is that 1) apparently I am always sick on Mondays when they are never open 2) they are only open for lunch and 3) $8 a bowl - albeit a damn fine bowl - can add up.

So I finally made my own version today. The loft smelled like heaven - if heaven contains a lot of sweating garlic and onions - and when it finally came time to dig in, the toddler actually hovered over her bowl rather than her usual mmmchewI'mdonemayIwatchDora?


I restrained myself from guzzling her leftovers.

What's your go-to comfort food remedy?

Contax is for lovers

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I know.

More beach pictures.

I promise I'm not trying to rub it in.

I wanted to share these because, unlike most of my images, these were actually shot on this thing called "film."

I've been swept up into the digital revolution like everybody else. I mean, how can you not love a camera so advanced that it does everything but make your bed for you? (I'm waiting for that app, by the way.) It's just sooooo easssssssy. And we're nothing it not creatures of instant gratification. My almost three year old now screams everytime I raise a lens in her direction, "LEMME SEE IT!!!" Yet I've discovered to my amusement that I spend all this time tweaking my images to look interesting, not so saturated, you know. special. Basically just like they were shot on film. After meeting the incomparable Jose Villa and actually getting my hands on a Contax 645, I realized that easy, to quote my friend Sus, just got harder.

But it's so worth it. And it's not that it is that much harder. It just takes a little patience and perhaps a wall to occasionally punch to get the hang of loading that 120 film. And it takes some faith. Suddenly each click of that button becomes extremely precious. The subject becomes that much more precious. Why shoot 10 frames of the same image when maybe this moment rightnow is the time to capture it. And remember that feeling you got driving to the drugstore to pick up your photos? That magic we sacrificed for the Easy Machines? I had it today on the way to my lab. I was giddy picking up my disc (I'm not advocating a complete leap backward into the Stone Age). So giddy, in fact, that at a stoplight, I put the disc into my laptop and tried to bring up the images, Harlow in the backseat screaming "LEMME SEE!!!"

I closed the laptop and waited until I got home.

The images? They're nothing earth shattering. But I remember the feeling I had taking each one.

My knuckles also remember that wall. If somebody wants to digitize the loading of 120 film, I'm making your bed for the rest of your life.



Party in the FLA

Monday, January 4, 2010

NYE 2009 was spent doing the usual: eating good food with good friends, playing a few rounds of Celebrity with at least two Beyonces, a grumpy Caleb and one stumper (Damn you, John C. Reilly!) and finally, mugging for the annual photoshoot. The LA/TN clan brought it, including my very own baby new year:


The extremely camera shy Murrays

David, defiantly doing the 1989 Scout shuffle, right in 2010's face:

Sus, who manages to "smize" and be athletic at the same time:

Me, fresh from the lollipop guild. Next time, remember to ask the tall husband not to shoot so down-like.

Already dreaming of props for 2011...

Indiewed Chicago

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Myself and the book, possibly the husband and most definitely briberrific baked goods will be on hand January 30 in Chicago for the first ever Indiewed bridal event. Lots of freebies and non-poufy wedding goodies to be had. If you're in town, come say hi! If you can't make it, you can come say hi at one of several Valentine-themed readings in Memphis next month.

Or you can just buy it... here.


p.s. Is my linkage still typed in invisible ink?


I don't know about you, but I'm kinda ridiculously optimistic about 2010.

I actually wrote that sentence before I realized I had about a bajillion extra hits here. Spam, right?


Somehow the folks at Blogger found me and named me their Blog of Note for January 1. Thank you, Blogger!

So...howdy world! Welcome!

No pressure. None at all.

Um. Carrying on...

The Sweazys have been hosting New Year's shindigs in various spots around the country for the better part of a decade, and this was the first time for the LA/TN gang to converge in Santa Rosa Beach. Some of our regulars weren't able to join this year, but we bravely soldiered on, toasting, relaxing, cooking, catching up and generally having a lovely time. Harlow generously served as our baby new year when Miss Lillian decided to (needlessly) get some beauty sleep.

Party pics coming soon! In the meantime, here are some dreamy beachy pics to, well, I was gonna say tide you over. But that would be terribly punny of me.