Sunday, February 28, 2010


My creation

I had a very lovely Sunday, surrounded by lots of lovely lady friends who came over to sip champagne and toast the end of the weekend. We even tucked into this sweet pink cake, courtesy of my wildly talented sister.

Now if only Monday carried the same promises.

Cary Fukunaga

Thursday, February 25, 2010

After (finally!) watching the heartbreaking, beautiful Sin Nombre, I started poking around and found director Cary Fukunaga's commercial for Levi's.

Kinda hypnotic.

We are a family band

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

From Caleb's set at the shiny new/old law school

Thanks to Rob and the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts for the free drinks, yummy food and pledges to help us right-brained folks!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

I am madly, passionately in love with this website.

After being teased with a little preview of spring, I'm desperate for color, for whimsy, for some candy colored sun.

And perhaps a new wardrobe.

Lorick, a fashion label whose website was created by Designed Memory, delivers all this in spades. The site takes bright swatches of fabric, water colors and snippets of vintage books to present a lovely fashion line, but it made me feel like I was sitting on a bench in Central Park, my head buried in book while rocking a pair of those white eyelet heels. Consider it your visual talisman against Seasonal Affective Disorder. (What it might ultimately do to your wallet is another matter entirely.)

Astrology for Dummies

Thursday, February 18, 2010

When I was pregnant with my daughter I consulted an astrologer that a lot of my girlfriends visited. I was still technically an Angeleno so I could get away with those kinds of things. She was the girlfriend of a very well known author whose work I admired, and I got a special kick out of her comparing our charts which she deemed "very similar." When she dumped his ass because he lied about being a scientologist, I swallowed said smugness.

She told me lots of things, things about work and love and my life goals. She talked about cycles and Saturn and angry planetary intersections and how I was about four years ahead of my husband, cycle wise. As for my daughter, she mainly had one thing to say.

We are so screwed.

I offer proof.

Even when beyond pissed at me that I wasn't wearing the Elvis sunglasses while searching for the yellow (not clear) apparently edible diamond - there are rules here, mom - she is just stunning. When I got mad at UPS for losing my package, I have a feeling I wasn't channeling a Jolie-Pitt.

Ole Mississippi

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One of the best things in the world about our current living situation is the view. The mighty Mississippi River winds its way south outside our window, and everyday barges fight their way north hauling...lord knows what. Coal. Cars. Scaffolding. It now seems such an antiquated method of transportation but no less impressive. I half expect to see Civil War re-enactors scampering across the flat bed barges, firing canons and hoisting flags.

I really love these old topographical maps of the flow of the Mississippi River. How gorgeous would these be blown up and hung up in your home? I'm itching to enlarge all of them and line them up along our loft wall, a mini Mississippi in homage to the one outside.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sorry for the dearth of posts these past few days.

Life has pounded me a bit flat.

I don't feel comfortable going into specifics in such a public way as the details are so private, but I'm not quite myself. Everything feels well, flat. The gray, forbidding weather certainly isn't helping the overall mood.

But I'm coming back. And I'll be back. If I have to make my own freakin spring to perk myself up then I'll do it.

And I'll take pictures.

How to Hide an Airplane Factory

Sunday, February 14, 2010

One has to fall pretty far down the internet rabbit hole to end up where I did to find this link but I'm so glad I did. Here's some visual coffee for your Monday.

From Think or Thwim:

During World War II the Army Corps of Engineers needed to hide the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant to protect it from a Japanese air attack. They covered it with camouflage netting and trompe l’oeil to make it look like a rural subdivision from the air.



Click here to see more pics and learn how they did it

Brigitte Lacombe

It seems lately when I turn a magazine on its side to squint at the photo credit or am arrested by an image I see flickering by on a website, the photo is inevitably accredited to French photographer Brigitte Lacombe. This week's New York Magazine cover story about the campaign to win an Oscar was shot by Lacombe, and I was so taken by what's not in the photo - the photographer's position while capturing the image.

This image of Zoe Saldana and James Cameron is a good example. You could conjecture that Ms Lacombe didn't want to interrupt the conversation unfolding in front of her and knelt down to snap a quick shot. But I like the story you get from the resulting picture. The young startlet holding the powerful director across from her in her thrall - his wife just visible to his left - the tiny tattoo of the star on the girl's ankle grabbing the viewer's focus. Yet much of her body is exposed in the photo where his is covered, putting the power back in his corner (in the mind of this viewer.) Lacombe was given incredible access - the red carpet, inside the SAG awards dining room, inside the hotel rooms of the nominated stars. There's a beautiful shot of Marion Cotillard and one of just her collection of dresses and shoes. It's lit exactly like a wedding dress photo, yet the viewer learns from this one shot that the power of Cotillard's nomination allows her have the bride-like treatment over and over again. Piles of shoes that may never even be worn. Dresses worth thousands and thousands of dollars at her disposal - and dismissal. The article itself is a fascinating read, but it's a great introduction to Lacombe's work...and perhaps to the subsequent jealousy one might feel gnawing at their belly after viewing her portfolio.

Image by Brigitte Lacombe via New York Magazine

The Negotiator

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dear Mr. President,

With private security groups like Blackwater continuing to make the news - and make trouble for the administration - I have a proposal for you. Instead of depending on these volatile hired guns, why not send toddlers into Iraq to negotiate for peace? I can guarantee that after five minutes with these fresh faced yet hardened negotiators, the Shiites and Sunnis will be holding hands - perhaps in an effort to build a human barrier and repel the toddlers back to their meddling nations - but let's not quibble over the finer points. We're talking about results.

Now I can sense you are skeptical. Allow me to demonstrate. Just last night, I was putting my toddler to bed. I was singing her to sleep, step 3 in our nightly ritual, when she suddenly expressed an urgent desire to brush her teeth. As I was about to fall asleep myself, I was caught off guard and irritated, but who am I to deny her the health of her teeth? We got out of bed, emerged into the frigid hallway which immediately seemed to energize her, and brushed her teeth.

Back in bed, I had just gotten to the part where Mama Buys the Billy Goat (and why? I must digress. Why is mama gonna buy a billy goat for her 2 year old child? Haven't they heard of legos? Of course they have. This child is a master negotiator is what I'm saying) We were all cozy and just about to fall asleep when she suddenly declared she needs to go potty.

Wait a sec. Now I'm no pushover. Just 45 minutes prior to this I was balancing her on a toilet in a public restroom, enduring her "making hairstyles" for mommy, being asked questions like "What color is your mustache, mommy?" so I knew this request was suspect. But I was confused. Maybe this was legitimate. Maybe she was stalling. But not wanting to be on the wrong end of the deal here, we got out of bed and indeed, went potty. It was a master stroke.

I didn't know what to believe anymore.

Back in bed, I noted that it was a good hour and a half past her bedtime. I laid back down with her, my confidence rattled, but I was recommitted to my goal of putting her to bed so I could actually get some "me" time. (You know what that is, right?( Ha ha) I made it through two whole repititions of Mockingbird, well the parts that I know, and I could feel her breath getting slower, her pulse calming. I was back in control.

And then she asked for socks.

She got her damn socks. I fled the room at this point, unable to endure the psychological battering.

I'm just saying, Mr. President, that there is a potent weapon just under our noses. And it's local, so technically it's a green solution in a time of war and strife. (The Volvo driving latte drinkers eat that stuff up.) The toddlers are ready and willing to serve, Mr. President. Just give them some apple juice and a snack and control of the DVD player, and really, anything they want, and they are ready for action.

I know you're busy. I just felt it my civic duty to bring this to your attention.



p.s. I've attached a photo to demonstrate said skills. She's sick, you see. So am I. Yet somehow I'm the one dressed up like an extra from The Tooth Fairy

Snow Day

Monday, February 8, 2010

We awoke this morning to a surprise snow day, and I couldn't wait to grab my camera and get out the door to Elmwood. The city's largest cemetery is lovely any day of the week, but add in the snow, and it just becomes magical.

My creation

My creation

Oh, the places you'll go!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A lot has changed since the beginning of Poopgate 2010, so I thought I'd share some thoughts.

1. When she announces that she has to go, and really does, and actually does her business - no surreptitious smearing of the poop or stashing it in the hamper - you will suddenly know the feel of the finish line tape snapping across your chest. Well, at the very least you can visualize this while wiping their behind.

2. You will calmly and patiently explain how to use the toilet paper roll. She's thrilled to discover the great unraveling telescope. Tug of war will ensue.

3.When it's your turn, you will often be searching for the roll of toilet paper you successfully wrestled out of her hand and placed out of reach when she was trying to use it as a telescope. Good plan, you!

4. Oh the places you'll go! Gas station bathrooms, rest stops, every McDonalds on the 1-40 corridor. You will rediscover a dark, embarrassing craving for McNuggets. You will try not to think of this name when you are balancing your kid on the McDonald's toilet.

5. You will discover leg muscles you didn't know you had while trying to balance your kid on top of an adult-size potty, hoping that the trade off for being eye level with a movie theater toilet will burn off that popcorn you just ingested.

6. You will not be embarrassed when your child exits the bathroom and not just loudly -BRAYS- that she went poop in the potty. If it were up to you, you'd charter a plane with a banner announcing that shizzle.

7. After weeks of no accidents, road tripping with nary a slip up, you will wonder who put the pox on you when your child has reverted back to the feces flinging chimp.

8. You will try and be sympathetic to your child's demands for only the purple Princess and the Frog underwear. You will find yourself making up jingles while displaying the green underwear with the panache of a spokesmodel in an unsuccessful bid to convert her.

9. The questions your child will ask - and you will answer - while in a public restroom stall. The visitors of the Effingham rest stop now know that sometimes the kid's poop is blue, but mom's? Just a boring, practical brown.

10. Your child's outgoing nature knows no bounds, even if this means bellying crawling across the bathroom floor to clear the door and get to the adjacent stall's toddler. In a bid to follow mommy's panicked instructions on not picking up nasty germs via earlier method, she now favors opening up the stall door to the line of people waiting while you are indisposed. Thanks for listening, honey!

11. You will think of all the parenting books' rules you are breaking by singing her to sleep long after she should be able to sooth herself. But you don't want another poop smearing accident. You also really don't mind her warm breath in your hair, the way she holds your face in her hands so you are the last thing she sees before she falls asleep.

Jamie Lidell

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Where have I been?

Where has he been?

This song has been in my head, in my car, on my Ipod and now on the blog because I just need to spread it around. Jamie Lidell's videos are decidedly odd, but man - that voice!

I defy you to sit still once you hit play.

Madison's Birthday!

Still scrambling to play catchup here, but no better way to do that than by showing some photos of Madison's seventh birthday party! Mama Arneisha pulled out all the stops here, from the lollipop stands, the, um, extremely meticulous balloon maker, the great DJ and of course, the delicious desserts. We had so much fun!

My creation

My creation

My creation


My creation


Move over Snuggie...

...time for something a little more awesomer.

How ridiculous/cool is this? It's typically about 50 degrees in this apartment (despite the thermostat and my husband insisting it's 70) and I could see me happily wrapped up in my blue marshmallow for the duration of winter. It might even inspire me to sing songs about it, I want one of those that much.

Conveniently on sale at

via babygadget

The Commercial Appeal

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Just wanted to share a great writeup the book received.

The lesson learned here? When life hands you lemons? Get a book out of it.

The Commercial Appeal 01/31/2010, Page V06


By Peggy Burch

Memphis native Melissa Anderson Sweazy can explain why she wrote a book that focuses on weird things about weddings. It all began when her heart was broken.

Sweazy had a long-distance relationship with her college sweetheart during a nine-year period when she lived in Los Angeles.

“I’m embarrassed to admit that gave me plenty of time to daydream about our eventual wedding,” she writes by email. “We did get engaged, the dress was purchased, and the date set, when the groom to-be suddenly bailed and literally left the country.”

Devastated, she worked through her grief by poring over 19th-century etiquette books and sociology records at the Los Angeles Public Library. She learned about courtship rituals, ghost brides, wife-carrying competitions, sacrifices for love.... Grief works in mysterious ways.

“Because of my broken heart, the darker, stranger aspects of weddings were that much more appealing,” she says, “and I knew nothing would make me happier than filling up a book full of weird wedding tales.”

So she wrote “Veiled Remarks: A Curious Compendium for the Nuptially Inclined” (Dang Creative, $21.95). “It’s the kind of book I wish I could have read while going through my breakup,” she says.

Book agents suggested she include her own tale of woe in the book, but she was too honorable to demonize her ex. Still, she adopted the idea of an illustrated story about a jilted bride, with each chapter of that sufferer’s tale serving as a category: “Finding a Mate,” say, or “Love is a Battlefield.”

Illustrations were done by local graphic design company Harvest Creative.

Sweazy will be reading and signing her book, in addition to serving wedding cake, at Davis-Kidd Booksellers on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

And yes, reader, the author says she found “the right Mr. Right.”

Indie Wed

Hi there!

It's been awhile, huh? I'm still trying to catch my breath from the past few amazing days. Indie Wed in Chicago. An appearance on Live at 9 to talk about the book and then a dream come true, my very own signing last night at Davis Kidd. It was so wonderful to see so many friends and family and brand new friends holding copies of my book and listening to me prattle on the mic.

And by the way, how intoxicating to have a microphone. I think I should always be micced. Oh, the power!

A very special thank you to Chip Chockley for shooting the event. I hope to have a few pics to share in the next few days.

In the meantime, here's a recap of my time at Indie Wed in Chicago. mmmmm donuts.

I'm just a few hours on the otherside of Indie Wed, still sifting through thoughts of gorgeous booths, stylish brides, stunning jewelry and mmmmmdonuts. I think I spent just as much time telling people about my book as I did directing them to Glazed Chicago Donuts!

My first thought - when I got over praising the venue gods for situating us right in front of a Shelby Cobra and a Vincent motorcycle - two of my husband's favorite vehicles - was that how I wished I could get married all over again.

I would hire Inspired Goodness to transform the reception into brain candy. Seriously - I was about struck dumb when I made my way into Kimberly Canale's booth, bowled over by her chalk drawing of a roaring fire in a vintage fireplace, offset by framed vintage wedding photos.

I'd have caketoppers by The Small Object, but only if she could make them crown a bed of lemon ginger donuts. A photo session by Vavoom Pinups would inspire me to get me in fighting shape after sampling all those donuts. Sara Elizabeth would address the invitations from Paper Stories Press. I would carry around bouquets from Pollen everyday of the week, just cause.

I have also won the lottery in this daydream.

This cute guy was my right hand man for the day.

Thanks for believing in me, baby.

And for luring all the pretty girls to the table.

Live at 9

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

You locals are in for a treat.

Tune into Live at 9 on Channel 3 today to watch frizzy ole me do my best to speak over my scratchy, Barry-White by way of a cold voice and chat about the book.

When I come to, hopefully there will still be enough time to get me to my reading at Davis Kidd at 6 PM. Petit fours, fruit tea, whips and prizes.

It'll be fun for the whole family...if my whole family will leave any seats left.

Hope to see you there!

Cousin Lovers

Monday, February 1, 2010

They loved her so much that Aunt Lara had to schedule Harlow time with each one.