Art #28

June 30th, 2011 Posted in My Art | No Comments »

sketch

“I Was Told There’d Be Cake”

June 27th, 2011 Posted in Books I've Read | No Comments »

book

“I Was Told There’d Be Cake” by Sloane Crosley

This book is composed of fifteen short stories (essays) that are funny and easy to read.  They are told from the perspective of a young woman living her far from dull life in New York City.  I recommend it for traveling or something to read if you are in the mood for a fluff book.  It is kind of like watching tv; you don’t really have to think, you just enjoy.  I don’t have any “favorite quotes” for this book because of the author’s writing style, but I did enjoy each short story and appreciated the way she concluded her essays.  Fun fact about the author: “She also wrote the cover story for the worst-selling issue of Maxim in that magazine’s history.”  I have no idea why this is printed on the back cover, under her bio, next to her picture, but I find it hilarious.  :b

Recent Meals

June 24th, 2011 Posted in Food I've Made | 2 Comments »

meal

Meal One: whole wheat tortilla with spinach, shredded carrots, broccoli slaw, and sugar snap peas with a delicious cilantro pumpkin seed dressing

meal

Meal Two: spinach, mixed Texas tomatoes, broccoli, shredded carrots, broccoli slaw, cracked black pepper, garlic salt, and fresh squeezed lemon juice as dressing

meal

Meal Three: bell pepper stuffed with brown rice, white onion, cilantro, tomato, jalapeno, garlic, and cracked black pepper

meal

Meal Four: whole wheat tortilla with spinach, shredded carrots, broccoli slaw, sugar snap peas, and jalfrezi curry (sweet and spicy peppers with coconut based curry)

meal

Meal Five: omelet with local cage-free eggs, black beans, cilantro, tomato, jalapeno, and garlic, cooked in extra virgin olive oil

Black Swan Yoga

June 22nd, 2011 Posted in Thoughts & Thanks | 2 Comments »

Things are looking up!  This summer is in full swing and life is great!   I am making this summer very relaxing and good for my mind and body!  How, you ask?!  Well, I am  now going to Black Swan Yoga!  They are donation based and they hold classes (of varying practices of yoga) from 6 am to 11 pm!  They are amazing!  I am so grateful they exist!  I love all the different instructors and I love love love thier “sweaty yoga” class (especially the one at night which is candle lit)!  Yoga is a great way to find balance and strength in mind and body!  But really.  I leave every class with peace and serenity and love for my amazing life!  I had forgotten how much I loved yoga until I started practicing again.  I am so very happy I am back into it!  I usually go to yoga after working out at the gym (another great way to find balance and strength in mind and body).  I feel like I am more limber in my yoga class after working out and the yoga gives me deeper stretches to all the muscles I worked while at the gym.  This routine starts my Monday through Friday.  Well, sometimes I skip Monday if I had too much fun Sunday night.  :b  After the gym and yoga I wind down and continue my yoga/meditative high at the pool at my apartment.  Afternoons and nights are spent reading, making art, running errands, and hanging out with various friends.  And it has been so nice to catch up with friends I had lost contact with!  I am so very grateful when I meet up with an old friend it is like we never had the distance between us!  (Linear time is an illusion anyways, right?!)  To sum it all up, my life is continuing on its fantastic flow of a journey by doing what I love and loving what I do!  I love life!  <3

Art #27

June 20th, 2011 Posted in My Art | 6 Comments »

A few sketches I did at work for my friend Shannon. <3 Wish these were better quality photos..

sketch

sketch

Starting Off This Summer

June 7th, 2011 Posted in Thoughts & Thanks | 2 Comments »

This has been an interesting start to the summer.. 

I have been slowly completing my (what seems to be endless) list of errands.  I think this week I am going to say fuck the list and actually relax.  Maybe.  I have a very inviting pool in my complex that no one frequents.  My balcony overlooks empty sparking water surrounded by chairs and tables.  I want to be in it!   Especially in this Texas heat!

I am trying to become accustomed to my new apartment.  I have no idea if my current roommates are going to be moving out or not.  I was told when I moved in that they would be leaving at the end of May, but they have yet to move.  I have only seen them each two or three times now and I don’t really know how or when it is appropriate to ask them if they are going to be leaving anytime soon.  I would really, really, like to have new roommates.  Everything will work out, I’m sure of it!

I have been taking advantage of the night life here in Austin (and me being 21)!  I finally went to Hole in the Wall and had such a great time seeing the “full meal” of Clyde & Clem’s Whiskey Business and El Pan!  I love that my sister has been friends with these great people for a long time and that I have them in my life because of her.  <3

I am trying to find that motivation to get back into the gym on a regular schedule.  My body is very important and I have not been treating it very nicely.  Wouldn’t it be nice if this post will manifest some motivation?  :b  Just putting it out there. 

I don’t think I will be able to make it to Berlin this summer after all.  I could afford it, but it wouldn’t leave me with the money I saved so that I wouldn’t have to work two jobs this summer.  I am disappointed, but also ok with it.  I rather not work two jobs.  Berlin will be there.. 

I am finally getting my wisdom teeth out!  I made the appointment and I cannot wait for them to be gone.  The experience, I have heard, is not pleasant.  I am very grateful my dentist assured me that I will be comfortable and well medicated.  :D

I am sporadically working on a large art piece that I cannot wait to share with everyone (if my new camera wasn’t broken.. womp womp).  It is my biggest piece of art that I have yet to create (18” X 18”).  I am working with wire (which I have never done before), a picture frame, and some gold tiles.  It is going to be grand!  I can’t wait to see the final outcome.  Right now I am approximately a third of the way done and it looks exactly the way I have been imagining it!

This summer will turn out the way I want it to!  I will make sure of it!  Life is beautiful and I love living it!  <3

“White Oleander”

June 2nd, 2011 Posted in Books I've Read | 2 Comments »

novel

“White Oleander” by Janet Fitch

I LOVE this book.  I was told by multiple readers that I would love it, and indeed, I do.  I drank up every phrase like a starved hummingbird savoring the sweetest nectar.  The beautiful poetic voice in which the entire novel was written pulled me into the sad spiral that is the main character’s life.  When reading though her experiences with different foster families, you watch her transform from a young shadow of a child to a full-bodied, blood-running-thick-through-veins-adult.  I love everything about this book; Janet Fitch created a masterpiece with this plot and metaphor-packed writing style.  Seriously, it seems like I flagged every-other sentence to put under my favorite quotes section… so here we go (I hope I don’t ruin anything for you if you haven’t read it, but I feel like each and every one of these is worth sharing):

“The Santa Anas blew in hot from the desert, shriveling the last of the spring grass into whiskers of pale straw.  Only the oleanders thrived, their delicate poisonous blooms, their dagger green leaves.”

“She held up her large hand and spread the fingers, let the desert dryness lick through.”

“I sat next to her, and we stared out at the city that hummed and glittered like a computer chip deep in some unknowable machine, holding its secret like a poker hand.”

“Her beauty was like the edge of a very sharp knife.”

“[…] sirens whined and sawed along my nerves.”

“[…] eucalyptus trees burst into flames like giant candles […]”

“When he appeared, he was so small.  Smaller than a comma, insignificant as a cough.”

“[…] watching the blue of the evening turn velvet, indigo lingering like an unspoken hope […]”

“I felt on the verge of something, a mystery that surrounded me like gauze, something I was beginning to unwind.”

“But the look that she gave him with her cornflower eyes showed him she could have just as easily slit his throat.”

“Whenever she turned her steep focus to me, I felt the warmth that flowers must feel when they bloom through the snow, under the first concentrated rays of the sun.”

“’Always learn poems by heart,’ she said.  ‘They have to become the marrow in your bones.  Like fluoride in the water, they’ll make your soul impervious to the world’s soft decay.’  I imagined my soul taking in these words like silicate water in the Petrified Forest, turning my wood to patterned agate.  I liked it when my mother shaped me this way.  I thought clay must feel happy in the good potter’s hand.”

“I felt my guilt like a brand.”

“She was a beautiful woman dragging a crippled food and I was that foot.  I was bricks sewn into the hem of her clothes, I was a steel dress.”

“[…] moisture wiping the glass with dreams.”

“Her fine lips turned into long commas of disapproval.”

“I closed my eyes to watch tiny dancers like jeweled birds cross the dark screen of my eyelids.”

“The heat lay on the city like a lid.”

“His voice was like cloves and nightingales […]”

“Kit’s head jerked up at the sound of the name, a marionette in the hands of a clumsy puppeteer.”

“The moon rose, squatting in the strained blue.”

“The sun was hot through the screens when I woke up, illuminating the milky stagnant air wrapped like a towel around the morning.”

“She was breaking her rules.  They weren’t stone after all, only small and fragile as paper cranes.”

“’Poppies bleed petals of sheer excess.  You and I, this sweet battleground.’”

“Their murmured words of love were my lullabies, my hope chest.”

“The skeleton rattlings of wind in the palms.”

“I could no more keep her from doing this than I could keep the sun from coming up through the boiled smog on an August morning.”

“[…] her calm that was not even sane, like a patient hawk on top of a lightening-struck tree.”

“Her hatred glittered irresistibly.  I could see it, the jewel, it was sapphire, it was the cold lakes of Norway.”

“’Taste his fear.  It tastes just like champagne.  Cold and crisp and absolutely without sweetness.’”

“We swam in the hot aquamarine of the pool late at night, in the clatter of palms and the twinkle of the new-scoured sky.”

[The four paragraph intro to chapter four]

“I touched the pages her hands touched, I pressed them to my lips, the soft thick old paper, yellow now, fragile as skin.  I stuck my nose between the bindings and smelled all the readings she had given, the smell of unfiltered cigarettes and the espresso machine, beaches and incense and whispered words in the night.”

“That beautiful girl, she was a universe, bearer of these words that rang like gongs, that tumbled like flutes made of human bones.”

“The dust that covered everything was the pinkish beige of sandstone, but the sky was broad as an untroubled forehead, the pure leaded blue of stained glass.”

“Above us the mountain loomed, a solemn presence.”

“[…] but her blue eyes were as clear as a high note on a violin.”

“[…] her wonderfully blue eyes flecked with white, like new galaxies, the firm intact planes of her face.”

“I wanted to curl up in her lap, I wanted to disappear into her body, I wanted to be one of her eyelashes, or a blood vessel in her thigh, a mole on her neck.”

“The sun was starting to come out and the ground fog glowed like a paper lantern.”

“[…] looking at me in a way that made my heart open like a moonflower […]”

“I felt like an undeveloped photograph that he was printing, my image rising to the surface under his gaze.”

“Blue shadows climbed the tawny round slopes of the mountain, like hands modeling the shape of a lover’s thighs.”

“Overhead, the cradle moon shone like a silver hoop.”

“[…] the sky was a yellow-tinged bruise.”

“My loneliness tasted like pennies.”

“I wandered though the stacks, running my hands along the spines of the books on the shelves, they reminded me of cultured or opinionated guests as a wonderful party, whispering to each other.”

“Despair was the killer.  I had to prepare, hold hope between my palms like the flame of the last match on a long Arctic night.”

“Words trailing their streamers of judgment.”

“We were so mutable, fluid with fear and desire, ideals and angles, changeable as water.”

“’A woman like her is a parasite, she fattens on injustice like a tick on a hog.’”

“She danced me in slow circles, teaching my feet how to move, my hips to trace the sign of infinity.”

“I thought how it was sunset right now in Hawaii, and hot curried noon in Bombay.”

“I felt hope slipping out from between my fingers like fish juice.”

“Her eyes glittered under her moon-scar like a hawk’s, amber-centered.”

“Words buzzed like flies that would not land, words drifted across the pages of my book like columns of ants.”

“I tried to remember, but it was like looking for buried coins in the sand.  I kept turning things over, cutting myself on rusty cans, broken beer bottles hidden there, but eventually I found an old coin, brushed it off.  I could read the date, the country of origin.”

“[…] gazing at me in a way I could have bottled and stored like a great wine.”

“Her shadows swept back by his sun.”

“But the sound of her laughter was sticky as sap, the smell of night-blooming jasmine soft as silk.”

“[…] the way time should smell, solid and nourishing.”

“The stroke of the brush was the evidence of the gesture of your arm.  A record of your existence, the quality of your personality, your touch, pressure, the authority of your movement.”

“I felt his words burn her flesh like a lash.”

“I saw that the perennial hint of irony in the corners of my mother’s lips had now been etched into a permanent line, the tattoo of a gesture.”

“My mother instinctively felt for the crack in Claire’s personal history, like a rock climber in fog sensing finger-holds in a cliff face.”

“My mother’s profile sharp against the chinchilla sky.”

“[…] licking her words like a cat lapping cream.”

“I thought of my suicides, the way I would run my death through my fingers like jet beads.”

“[…] as if her melancholy had stained the perfume.”

“Her dirty hair was heavy as a bunch of black grapes, and her waist and hip curved like a pale guitar.”

“Her thinness belied her spoken desire.”

“In October the heat gave way to the blue afternoon haze of true autumn, hand-shaped leaves of the sycamores showed orange against the dusty white trunks, and a red-gold blush lay on the hills.”

“The woman’s voice was a bird, flying in a hot wind, battered by the effort.  I painted it in the fire, black.”

“I had to pull back or I would be torn away like a scarf closed in a car door.”

“She was like a big diamond with a dead spot in the middle.”

“I sat with the jar in my hand, watching that winter sky’s blush, weak pink strained through blue haze, coming through the angle-pruned branches and weeping boughs of the elm.”

“It wasn’t like the boys in the senior classroom, their stares like a raid, moist, groping, more than a little hostile.  This was an artist’s stare, attentive to detail, taking in the truth without preconceptions.  It was a stare that didn’t turn away when I stared back, but was startled to find itself returned.”

“What was beauty unless you intended to use it, like a hammer, or a key?  It was just something for other people to use and admire, or envy, despise.  To nail their dreams onto like a picture hanger on a blank wall.”

“Their kindness made small sucking noises at me, like water in the bathtub.”

“Her coal-black hair, completely matte, was a hole in the charcoal afternoon.”

“[…] a lifetime ago, so long it seemed like someone else’s memory, a song I’d heard only once in a dream.”

“The sunrise was a pale rubbing along the eastern horizon, gray-white clouds like scumbled pastels, a sponge-painted sky.”

“Sour pliers squeezed my throat, juicing it like a lemon.”

“[…] his voice like a hand between my legs.”

“[…] and each thin sheet weighed more than the night.  They were like a kelp forest, they cast a weird green light, you could get lost there, become tangled and drown.”

“His guitar bore his longing up into the darkness like sparks, a music profound in its objectless desire, beautiful beyond solace or solution.”

“They knew the sound life made as it left.  It rattled, like a slamming screen door in the wind.  Night workers lived without illusions, they wiped dreams off counters, they loaded freight.”

“’They dream of men with gentle hands, eloquent with tenderness, fingers that brushed along a cheek, that outlined open lips in the lovers’ braille.  Hands that sculpted sweetness from sullen flesh, that traced breast and ignited hips, opening, kneading.  Flesh becomes bread in the heat of those hands, braided and rising.’”

“’Her laughter tastes like burnt sunshine, cactus, and the worm.’”

“’Crickets stroke their legs like pool players lining up shots.’”

“'[…] impotent as a genie lamp.’”

“[…] she said on that long-ago night on the rooftop under the raven’s-eye moon.”

“The ink of her writing was a fungus, a malignant spell on a birch bark, a twisted rune.”

“Gray dawn was straining peaches by the time I was done.”

“’I live in you, in your bones, the delicate coils of your mind.  I made you.  I formed the thoughts you find, the moods you carry.  Your blood whispers my name.  Even in rebellion, you are mine.’”

“I stared at the short rippling grass, but I couldn’t picture the soldiers there dying, the roar of cannons, it was so quiet, so very empty, and the poppy in my hand throbbed red like a heart.”

“Sergei’s heart.  That empty corridor, that unaired room.”

“I was insoluble, like sand in water.  Stir me up, I always came to rest on the bottom.”

“I could have told them they would never find the woman inside that shimmering cloth, smelling of mold and violets.  There were always more veils underneath.  They would have to tear them away like cobwebs, fiercely, and more would come as fast as they stripped them away.  Eventually, she would spin them into her silk like flies, to digest at her leisure, and shroud her face again, a moon in a cloud.”

“The weather was heating up, hazing over, tepid as bathwater, moist as a wet sock.”

“It was the sky that had suddenly changed.  It had gone blank.  Blank as a cataract, an enormous white eye.”

“I was sweating, cracking up like the decades-old paving job in the smeared linoleum sun.”

“[…] luminescent lemony gold white skies shading to rose, foreground reflections in the watery street.”

“He talked to us about something, but his mind was a goldfish bowl.”

“She lit a black cigarette, let the smoke rise in arabesques.”

“[…] happy as a cupcake in frilled paper.”

“[…] spewing smoke into the air, an octopus spraying ink.”

“My mother once wrote a poem about rivers.  They were women, she wrote.  Starting out small girls, tiny streams decorated with wildflowers.  Then they were torrents, gouging paths through sheer granite, flinging themselves off cliffs, fearless and irresistible.  Later, they grew fat and serviceable, broad slow curves carrying commerce and sewage, but in their unconscious depths catfish gorged, grew the size of barges, and in the hundred-year storms, they rose up, forgetting the promises they made, the wedding vows, and drowned everything for miles around.  Finally, they gave out, birth-emptied, malarial, into a fan of swamp that met the sea.”

“Sand-textured walls painted the color of old teeth […]”

“The fluorescent light accused us.”

“[…] a flower of pain blooming through her body, a jagged steel lotus.”

“The mind was to thin, barely a spiderweb, with all its fine thoughts, aspirations, and beliefs in its own importance.  Watch how easily it unravels, evaporates under the first lick of pain.  Gasping on the bed, Yvonne bordered on the unrecognizable, disintegrating into a ripe collection of nerves, fibers, sacs, and waters and the ancient clock in the blood.  Compared to this eternal body, the individual was a smoke, a cloud.  The body was the only reality.  I hurt, therefore I am.”

“[…] a woman with a voice like a lye bath […]”

“I let myself fall upward into that ultramarine.  Not a pale, arctic morning like my mother’s eyes, this blue was tender, warm, merciful, without white, pure chroma, a Raphael sky.”

“Her T-shirt smelled of despair, like metal and rain.”

“I felt like time was a great sea, and I was floating on the back of a turtle, and no sails broke the horizon.”

“On the anvil of August, the city lay paralyzed, stunned into stupidity by the heat.  The sidewalks shrank under the sun.  It was a landscape of total surrender.  The air was chlorinated, thick and hostile, like the atmosphere of a dead planet.  But in the front yard, the big oleander bloomed like a wedding bouquet, a sky full of pinwheel stars.”

“’Love is a bedtime story, a teddy bear, familiar, one eye missing.’”

“'[…] the curve of her hip the crest of a wave in shallow water […]’”

“September came with its skirts of fire. […] fire was a flaming hoop the city would have to jump through to reach the blues of October.”

“She smiled slightly, still looking down at the grass she was parting, like going through a file.”

“She turned back to me, her aquamarine eyes pale behind her tanned face, like a crime in a lit room behind curtains.”

“’The past is still happening.  It never stopped.’”

“I wanted to crack her open, eat her brain like a soft-boiled egg.”

“Her eyes were a sea in fog.”

“The gesture, the attempt to reach me, faded like sunset.”

“I wanted to cut through this moment with the blue flame of an acetylene torch.  I wanted to burn it to ash and scatter it into the wind, so the pieces would never come back together again.”

“It was like watching a river run backwards.”

“The wind crackled its dangerous whip in the air, I imagined I could see the shower of sparks, smell the ashes.”

“The city and I understood each other.”

“My blood whispered her name.”

“[…] my hands large and pale as winter, my identity stitched in the whorls of their fingertips.”

[The last three paragraphs of the book]

I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH <3