You've got the look

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We all want to put our best face forward, and considering that so much of how we communicate these days is by scribbling off 140 character missives and status updates that your friends, ex-lovers, future bosses and stalkers peruse next to a big fat photo of YOU, you kinda wanna look nice, right?

Because I shoot boudoir photography and because Christa Meola made me look smokin hot, an arty black and white photo from our session has been my go to profile pic across the board. It was a great representation of what I was trying to represent, that it is ok and feminist and hip to declare yourself beautiful and be strong and sepia is flattering and what IF I might be naked beneath that flower in my hair?

And then this happened:

Client: Hey! um, WOW! Nice to meet you!

Me: So nice to meet you!

Client: WOW! I almost...wow. Your Facebook photo is really beautiful!

Me: .....

In my defense, I had a fever of 101 when showing up to the gig and couldn't cancel, but all of a sudden I was that guy! I was the handsome in a non-threatening way guy who had been writing to you on Match.com about my love of movie marathons at the local arthouse and artisanal pickles and greyhound rescue and then I show up at your door, bald and gassy and smelling like pickles and like I might live on the floor of an arthouse cinema.

The shame.

In any case, I'd been feeling it was time for a new headshot, and that is when these awesome people came to my rescue. Savannah and Philip also happened to be in the market for new headshots as she is in rocking a killer fauxhawk and that dewy, 20-something, poreless gorgeous skin that could sell skin cream to a, well, me, so we spent an afternoon trading pics. They made it truly fun to be on the otherside of the camera for once, even though it was freakishly warm and humid and my hair started to rise up and puff like it had a date for cotillion.

So here I am, coming to a social media site near you. And yes, I know it's not hip to pose a profile pic of you with your kid, but as D qualifies as a third appendage, I say I'm not breaking any rules. Thanks, Savannah and Philip!

headshot

Pink Eye

Monday, January 23, 2012

beauty

Time for bed. Business as usual. She walked up her step stool in front of the sink, reached for her toothbrush, and froze.

Oh no, she said, suddenly tense. I don't want to look in the mirror. I WON'T.

I handed her her toothbrush, and she brought it to her now quivering lips. Ever the patient mother, I took her brush and nudged her mouth open. Sure, babe. You need to brush.

I CAN'T she said, now starting to cry. I don't want to look in the mirror. I don't want to see the pink!

?

The pink? I asked. I put the toothbrush down.

The pink, it HURRRTS, she cried.

The pink like the pink on her weirdly flushed cheeks? A few hours earlier, her face had started to look unusually rosy, her cheeks so brightly pink so that she looked like a kewpie doll. A kewpie doll with possibly some bizarre rash that needed to be googled. Google sent me photos of miserable babies with torsos that looked they had served as picnic grounds for an army of ants. I should know better by now.

The pink thing in my eye, she cried. I see it EVERYWHERE.

I turned her to face me.
Is it on your eye? NO
In your eye, here? NO! IT HURTS!!!!
Do you see pink when you look over here? NO
What about when you look in the mirror? I'M NOT LOOKING IN THE MIRROR.

Alrighty. I got her into her pajamas, tucked her in with stories and our usual ritual of describing the coterie of animals, circus performers and ninjas hired to work security detail under her bedroom window. No more mention of The Pink.

Cuh-RAZ -ee I reported to her father downstairs, the pot calling the kettle black and settling into watching her DVR.

* * *

2 AM

I WANT TO PUT THE COFFEE IN! she screams, her usual morning greeting except for the fact that it is dark and cold and 2 in the morning. She's run into our room, and Caleb scoops her up. It's not morning time, he soothes her, but she is now screaming crying, coffee forgotten.

MY EYE! My EYE! It HURTS!!! Caleb glances at me as he carries her into her room. Oh God. This shit just got real.

Annnnd now the baby is awake and screaming. I stumble into his room, giving him the dregs of a bottle while I contemplate The Pink. Thanks to Facebook, I knew a classmate of Harlow's had just been sick, her symptoms mirroring scarlet fever until they learned it was strep. But was this scarlet fever? Was this what the victims saw before their eyesight vanished in a pepto-pink smear? Scarlet Fever! The virus that Helen Keller contracted that made her go blind and deaf and dumb yet she still managed to write a memoir!

THE PINK!

I tiptoe downstairs, desperate to Google. Glaucoma? Conjunctivitis? Google sends me more sad babies with scales and things that drip. Why in God's name do people put these photos on the internet? Why in God's name do I seek them out? I truly should know better by now. I hear her whimpering upstairs.

We call her bedroom the Pink Palace, a 10 x 12 box of now hideously ironic pink stripes. And now it was a Poe short story come to life, a wan, limp heroine doomed to be swallowed whole by the very color she demanded be on her walls and socks and baby dolls. I joined Caleb at Harlow's bedside where she was delicately daubing at her eyes, her hands shaking. It hurts to touch it, she wimpers. Is it a sharp pain? I ask her. Pressure? A hallucination latently brought on by some terrible genetic cocktail? This is my fault, right? MOM, I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT, she demands, shutting us down. I'm at a loss. We search her clear, non-pink eyes and each other's. What the F -? my eyebrows ask him. Why don't you come get in bed with us, Caleb asks. She nods, her eyes wide and serious.

3:30 AM

She lies between us, staring up at the ceiling. I meet Caleb's eyes, and then we both return to staring at her.

I'm looking at the fireworks, mommy, she tells me calmly. Up on the ceiling. They are so beautiful.

Jesus Christ. It's starting. I watch her watch the ceiling. Do they make walking sticks for five year olds, I wonder? At least she won't be able to see the pitying looks. She will grow into a stunningly beautiful blind woman, men drawn to her looks and later awed by her commitment to forestry and dexterity at handling power tools despite her disability thanks to her father's patient tutoring. They will want to save her and she'll be too proud to be saved, and she will trip over an ottoman carelessly left out of place and she will curse her God and one of the Dakota Fanning tribe will play her in the movie.

It's exhausting, the parenting.

I fall asleep. When I wake, she is back in her own bed, her eyes clear. She is in the mood for granola.

Caleb and I sit her on the couch, both desperate to make some sense out of the night before.

Do your eyes hurt now, sweetie?

Nope, she says, busy coloring a fairy on a piece of paper.

Was the pink something you felt? No.
Can you see it now? No.
Was it a pressure like - she cuts us off. I don't want to talk it about, mom, she says. She is not crying but eerily calm, poised. Adult. Caleb tries to extract information, gently, and she rebuffs his efforts at well. She's not talking. End of story.

This is not from my playbook. There is something wrong? A hint of maybe something wrong? We are discussing that mother into the ground. Caleb knows when to let it go, and he leaves to make some coffee.

I look at her eyeing my laptop.

Hey Harlow, I say, casually, nudging my computer toward her. Want to play PBS Kids?

YES, she says, bouncing over.

Ok. Tell me what the pink is and you can play it.

Her face falls but I know I have her. She takes a deep breath and gulps.

I prepare myself. Did she stare into her flashlight, or the stupid pink light she insists on leaving on while she sleeps, her retinas now seared permanently pink?

There's this kid at school, she starts -

And he showed her something horrible. Something inappropriate. Something that will require meetings and therapy and awkward encounters at birthday parties and school functions and what is WRONG with kids these days and -

...and when he rubs his eyes, she continues, it gets all pink and I don't want to look like that. Ever.

She looks like she is about to puke, just at the thought.

I stare at her for a long moment and then gather her up into a hug. I thank her for telling me but she's already turned her attention to Curious George and the birthday present game. I give thanks for her perfect health, her openness to bribes, and I say a special thanks to the College of Dramatic Arts that will be accepting her in the Fall of 2024.

9 months

Monday, January 16, 2012

crib

Have y'all met my boyfriend?

Tipping the charts in length, lacking any teeth, and weighing in at a scrappy 18 lbs 10 ozs, my Mr. January makes 9 months on the planet look to be a dashing affair. Maybe it's the whole guy behind bars thing that lends him a slightly dangerous air. Or maybe it's that framed pic hanging in a oh so not baby book approved fashion over his crib. Either way, I'm not afraid to shout it here to the internet:

I have a mad crush on my baby.

Maybe it's the additional sleep I'm getting these days, the incrementally more exercise that's helping to lift the depression that is apparently standard during the first year of my children's lives, but things seem brighter, no more so than my little nugget who - no joke - is the cutest goddam baby on the planet. I may have it scientifically validated. All I know is that when that kid smiles, which is pretty much 98% of his waking life, it is impossible not to believe good can triumph over evil, Stephen Colbert could become president of South Carolina and I could stop being so snarky for five seconds to say thank you to said baby, husband, and daughter for helping me to perk up.

Back to baby.

He's got the inchworm crawl down, his preferred targets a plastic ball and the TV speakers we for some reason refuse to pick up off the floor. I've got about a 10 second window to turn my back and google something before he eats ground up leaves and dog hair off the carpet, so the obvious solution? Less blogging, more tweeting. And that babyproofing when we get around to it. And that smile! He smiles HARD. So hard it physically weighs his head down so that he has to brace himself and turn away just to compose himself. You try staying crabby in the presence of such goobery joy. Given the go-ahead to eat pretty much anything except the scary peanut, Declan has shown himself to love the meatball. Judging by the rumbly tummy 1 hour later, meatball doesn't exactly love him back. But I assured him as with any relationships, these things take time.

The Staves

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It was a bad beginning to a date night.

He was late. The babysitter was already on the clock, Harlow all but tossing my purse and umbrella out into the rain so she could get on with her night of TV and late bedtime debauchery. He hustled in, shaking off the rain only to be hustled promptly back out by a wife tired of cleaning up baby puke and ignoring that burgeoning sore throat.

The bar was full of blonde and silver divorcees and men in ties, a vaguely creepy scene, but we bellied up to the bar, sharing a pizza and some Rick Santorum jokes, and the wine began to smooth out the prickly sore throat. And maybe it was the wine, but it was so incredibly sexy to just listen to another human being talk, and be heard, and not feel obligated to spoon pureed sweet potatoes into the mouth in front of me.

We made it to GPAC in the cold drizzle, hoping we had missed the opening act, cause you know, that's how we're trained, right? We were ushered into the dark theater, appearing to be maybe the ONLY people to arrive late. Of course our seats were the dead center of our row. We squeezed down the aisle, flicking raindrops onto silently fuming strangers. Don't they know they are supposed to skip the opener, I reasoned. Yeah, it's these people in MY way when I'm the one on time.

And we sat down, and not only did I eat my words, I choked and sputtered on them.

We came to hear The Civil Wars, and I left in awe of The Staves, the three-sister opening act who had nothing but an acoustic guitar and three gorgeous harmonies. Even my jaded folk rocker hubby was mesmerized by the simple beauty of each song (and maybe by those lovely British lasses as well). It was a warm, cozy evening, and I woke up the next morning with "Mexico " on the brain.

And a raging sore throat.

The Staves - Mexico (Official Music Video) from The Staves on Vimeo.

Kimbra

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Holy shit

Mr. Wizard is mine

Monday, January 9, 2012

You might not know I snagged Mr. Wizard.

I married him, bore his children and now occasionally provide some light housekeeping so he can work his magic around our little abode.

That used to look like this fright show.

In the 9 or so months since moving in, Caleb has built an archway to the entry, built our wooden island top, rearranged the downstairs layout three times, reorganized the laundry area four times, tiled the kitchen backsplash, built a wooden fence, rebuilt Harlow's bedroom nook, and for his latest feat, transformed a vintage map table into a coffee table/art station with functional storage. Of course, this is after physically rebuilding the house himself, installing and staining the wood floors by hand, turning a card catalog into my desk and what's that, Inferiority Complex? Cool it for now?

Ahem.

Weekends often find us scouring the West elm outlet, yard sales, and Summer Avenue antique stores, and we scored this guy several months back.

Before

I fought to preserve the shelves as is, because they are undeniably cool. But our space is undeniably cramped and in desperate need of storage space, so Caleb came upon an elegant if not labor intensive solution.

after

The map table was built in two sections, so he selected the top portion for our coffee table, reconfigured the drawers so they could actually CONTAIN shit and not awesome, wildly impractical maps. He returned the exterior drawer panels and hardware so it would look like the original strutcure and outsourced it for a snazzy new paint job. The bottom half of the structure is now the drawer inside Harlow's reconfigured bedroom nook which will get its own post some time soon. More to come of our home's amazing transformation, thanks to my man's talent and determination and my growing addiction to pinterest.

table

How to Raise an Interesting Child

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I want to tell you that I have all my creative ducks in a row and I'm churning out pages and getting in my 60 minutes of cardio daily and cutting dairy and all the promises we make in the first week of 2012.

I can't tell you that.

But I got 8 straight hours of sleep for the first time in 9 months last night. How's that for a start?

Something else I can tell you is that I am so freakin excited over the artwork for my graphic novel How to Raise an Interesting Child. And for you, a sneak peek into the first several inked images by artist Kayla Cline! I make my push for representation soon, so I'll be keeping you apprised of the agonies and ecstasies of finding an agent amidst the smoking ashes of the publishing industry.

Here's to all of us chasing our dreams in 2012.

And cutting out dairy.

panel 1

panel 2

panel 3

panel 4

A Boudoir Marathon

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

You know you wanna.

DM
In honor of the soon to-be launched Delicate Matters website, I'm going to be hosting boudoir mini-sessions on Saturday January 21, just in time for Valentine's Day!

It's a new year, a new you, and now is the time to take the plunge!

A mini session includes:

1 hour photo shoot in an elegant hotel suite
up to 3 outfits
professional makeup session
a password protected gallery of retouched images
a 6x6 little black book of super sexy YOU
*add ons and upgrades available

$450

email medusahead@mac.com to book your session today!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012

Here's to a brilliant 2012, y'all. Looking forward to meeting the challenges and witnessing the thrills that are sure to come!