1.11.2014

I Forgot My Phone


Our sad reality. Wall-E may just have been societies best prediction of the future. Lets forget our phones more often, eh?

How To Turn On A Feminist

10.02.2013

If God Came Back



My man Louie's genius, again.

xo

9.11.2013

Healthcare Reform



 "Wouldnt it be powerful if you fell in love with yourself so deeply that you would do just about anything if you knew it would make you happy? This is precisely how much life loves you and wants you to nurture yourself. The deeper you love yourself, the more the universe will affirm your worth. Then you can enjoy a lifelong love affair that brings you the richest fulfillment from inside out."
- Alan Cohen

8.15.2013

Compassion


Some of you that may have been reading this blog over the years may remember when one of my dearest friends was the subject of violence and bullying as I wrote about it here. The talented choreographer Bonnie Story did a piece about my friend originally set on Odyssey Dance Theatre to the Tears For Fears track, Mad World. It was recently brought to my attention that it was reworked this season for So You Think You Can Dance. I am so grateful that these horrible experiences are beginning to blossom into messages of peace, compassion, and acceptance. That if there must be suffering,  it is not in vain, that the suffering of one can reach and touch and teach love to the hearts of millions.




7.10.2013

My Man Hits It Again...




The causes lie deep and simply--the causes are a hunger in a stomach, multiplied a million times; a hunger in a single soul, hunger for joy and some security, multiplied a million times; muscles and mind aching to grow, to work, to create, multiplied a million times. The last clear definite function of man--muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need--this is man.
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath 

7.03.2013

I Wanna Love You


If you aren't smiling, inspired, awestricken or feelin' groovy after watching this you are probably an android and not human afterall.

Whoever choreographed this is a genius.

It makes me realize how far I've gotten out of the dance world, and all the reasons why I want/need (debatable) to get back in.

xo

6.07.2013

What Pulls Us Through

My work schedule has blown up. I feel nearly insane and therefore am remarkably grateful for those things that help us get through it.



sweet nectar of the gods




this deck and I are really getting along



I really gotta get some pictures of the backyard renovation. Talk about a saving grace. 

Keep it real.

And really, listen to that Stevie Wonder track. If there's one thing you do today, listen to it loud, alone. It pours like honey. Thick, stretchy, golden, sweet, slow. Featuring Jeff Beck on guitar.

You're welcome. 

Stay groovy.



5.13.2013

Now you're telling me?


That Todd Rundgren is so amazing. This is the best song you're gonna hear all week!


5.12.2013

いちきゅうはちよん



1Q84

A landscape of parallel worlds, surreal alternate realities, cons, scandals, cults, star-crossed lovers, assassins... The nearly 1200 page volume took little over one week to take in. While the language isn't beautiful or clever (possibly translation issues?) and details or passages become redundant, the story is intensely captivating. I found myself saying, "can't stop, won't stop" while drinking green tea, sipping miso, and shoving mochi into my mouth. It's a bit of paper to lug around but it's the first book I will recommend to anyone asking for summer or vacation reading.







5.05.2013





5.02.2013



4.27.2013


4.24.2013

4.23.2013

Carson McCullers





The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940)

Another book I've spent years avoiding.
Ms. Swan, it was written for hearts like ours.


4.22.2013


4.21.2013

Manhattan


thank you Chan, for everything you make xo.

4.16.2013


4.13.2013


Jonathon Rosen. NYTimes.

4.07.2013

Metamorphosis

 

Just how destructive does a culinary preference have to be before we decide to eat something else? If contributing to the suffering of billions of animals that live miserable lives and (quite often) die in horrific ways isn't motivating, what would be? If being the number one contributor to the most serious threat facing the planet (global warming) isn't enough, what is? And if you are tempted to put off these questions of conscience, to say not now then when?
I had avoided this book since 2009. I really enjoyed (and still do) a lot of the food writing of the same time by authors like Michael Pollan but I knew that this book in particular delved into the horrors of the factory farming industry and it wasn't something I wanted to subject myself to willingly. I have recently undergone my third honest shift in my relationship to food. Primarily from the severe destruction animal farming has on the environment, I have chosen to become vegetarian. It was after this shift I decided to read Eating Animals. I am not a purist. I occasionally still eat fish (and can still never imagine totally giving up oysters) but it is a personal evolution, the change comes from an honest, internal transformation. Foer gives us an important and accessible insight to what we are putting into the bodies of our families and children and forces us to look into the mirror. Our choices, manifested in our actions are the only way to truly share our beliefs. Walk the talk. I cannot preach to anyone, I cannot judge anyone but I can manage myself. I can choose to live in a city where I do not rely on the need for a personal car, I can choose not to support an industry that is destroying the planet and is detrimental to all of our wellbeing. I no longer live in a small rural community where the beef on my parents table comes from a neighbor's pasture. So where is it coming from then? Examination is a challenge, for it is unforgivingly violent and horrific, but isn't that precisely why we should question it?

4.01.2013

3.22.2013

Desierto



It's strange how deserts turn us into believers. I believe in walking in a landscape of mirages because you learn humility. I believe in living in a land of little water because life is drawn together. And I believe in the gathering of bones as a testament to spirits that have moved on.
If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred. Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self. There is no place to hide and so we are found.
Wilderness courts our souls. 
Terry Tempest Williams, Red 
 
 

3.16.2013

8.08.2012

#irony #desire.


At either end of the socioeconomic spectrum there lies a leisure class. 
                                                                                          -- Eric Beck 

7.25.2012

Land of the Midnight Sun

It has been a long time since I've stepped out of this town. We had planned to dive again (I still dream of the ocean often) but after a few short conversations there we were, looking at the computer screen, with tickets booked 2.5 weeks out to Anchorage and Jeep rental confirmation number. It just happened.  I can't wait to be away, from the millions of people I share just a few square miles with. To reconnect with something larger, something organic. To be where I can breathe in the expanse of the landscape and exhale awareness of the earths curvature, the sun's warmth, and the terrible vastness of the sky.




No man ever followed his genius till it misled him. Though the result were bodily weakness, yet perhaps no one can say that the consequences were to be regretted, for these were a life in conformity to higher principles. If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal, -- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality... The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
--Henry David Thoreau
Walden, or Life in the Woods

5.18.2012

BLOOM: A Landscape to New Dances



Hi Friends!

Just wanted to post here that Project:Motion Dance Collective is wrapping up their 25th anniversary season with BLOOM: A Landscape of New Dances. Opening night is tonight! There are some amazing pieces in this show including one by yours truly that will be premiering in Memphis along with a premier by Peter Carpenter (Chicago). Please support the local dance scene in Memphis. It's such an amazing and vibrant community of love and support. They are truly doing great things. 

the deets:

what: BLOOM
where: Evergreen Theatre (midtown Memphis)
when: May 18- 20 and May 25-27 8:00PM


enjoy!

5.07.2012

Lunar

The supermoon seen from Mount Eden in Auckland, New Zealand


Did you all see the supermoon this weekend? 

Truth be told I missed it, but I've seen the bright fullness of the bookending days of this incredible full moon. I have been having so many thoughts about the moon (it's all the Carl Sagan and Natural History Museum we've been partaking in) and how strangely it's gravity affects us. Please, spare me your, "this is where I stop listening to your hippie bullshit" speech. For if the moon's gravity has enough power to affect the tide of the entire ocean, what makes you think it's gravity doesn't take a similar effect on your body? Yes, the majority of your body is composed of water molecules, and yes, your body is a measly and small thing in comparison to the mass of the oceans of the planet earth. You are not beyond this.

So much folklore surrounds the full moon. People losing their minds and sensibilities and turning into monsters. This type of lore can be found from all areas of the globe,  it's readily apparent that there is a parallel running through the human experience and the human body's connection to the moon. The lunar force affects you and you feel it. The physics of it, not the mystics of it. The mystical aspect only comes from the acknowledgement of the change that is indeed present when the moon pulls on us, weighs on us. You are not beyond this.

As I get older, I notice the degree to which my own body is in sync with the lunar cycle, it's mind blowing. Most likely because of this I am more aware than ever of the underlying connection between the power of womanhood and the moon. It seems, according to my own observations, that feminine energy is always presented at its strongest at night. I am most aware of its literary and cultural connotations (anyone a D.H. Lawrence fan?) but there seems to be a clear identification with the strength of womanhood in connection to the darkness. There is something so sexy and inverted in that imagery. Oddly enough, "The word 'menstruation' is etymologically related to 'moon'. The terms 'menstruation' and 'menses' are derived from the Latin 'mensis' (month) which in turn relates to the Greek meme (moon) and the roots of the English words month and moon." (Wikipedia and we all know Wiki is always right.)


This is starting to sound like the makings of a Bjork song...

I was explaining a few thoughts on this to my boss who I think was really digging the concept. We cross multiple language barriers to hold conversations but the last few days I have been consistently asked, "How is your gravity? Your gravity ca va?" It's catching on.

My dearest of friends is exploring night gardens for a new choreographic project. I am admittedly jealous of one music choice she made for setting the tone of night. It is on this note I bid you adieu. Listen to the full song if you can, it's going to be worth it.

Goodnight.
xo





it's always recommend to make your own mashups and play while watching these:





5.03.2012

Zombie




Last night's concert felt like stepping into the best scene of a 90s chick movie. One of the first cd's I remember entering the house growing up.




Something awesome and nostalgic happened, even though it really wasn't that long ago...

4.26.2012

It's Early in the Morning, About a Quarter to Three

It was three in the morning. I was exhausted, I was in the backseat of a black Lincoln headed to (of all shit holes to be in at 3AM) LaGuardia airport. I had work to do, a lot of it. I was exhausted, did I say that? I don't know how many of you have made this same observation about car services in the city but for some reason they are always bumping pop club remix tunes, no matter the hour. I have never heard this type of music and not thought wow, this is a little excessive. I put in my headphones to focus, to clear my bleary eyes and mind. We rounded North, the perimeter of Brooklyn, via the BQE to this song and the image of Manhattan before dawn.




...

This life is so sexy and so unreal. I don't think any one of us are living as or what we supposed. We need to move. We need to notice also, possess awareness, but we can't take so much time that we miss out. Life is always challenging and awesome and I used to think that there was something about being a grown up that would make sense. Like it was merely a threshold that you could step over. Really, so much more makes sense with the understanding that it's always the same tell-tale process, "the more you know, the more you realize you don't know." I don't buy into the highly edited and digitized exhibitionistic display of having it all from peers, or strangers, or celebrities, or anyone. Benzodiazepine Rx's are far too common to believe that myth.

Time is democratic, it allows each of us the same amount equally and each of us can only take it one day, one hour, at a time.

No time is convenient, and waiting for that perfect moment will keep you stuck forever. The trick is understanding yourself well enough to cope and not allowing yourself to become overwhelmed (Xanax anyone? kidding...) but to keep moving, keep furthering, keep progressing, keep waking, keep dressing, keep checking off, keep cycling through; like light, like the earth's rotation, like the passing of atoms and molecules--we are not separate from these things, we must be energized by and through them.


coffee anyone?

Are you moving?

4.25.2012

Memory Palace


Books about memory skill have moved Darling to actively work on his own. Poetry commitment is the first vein of practice. The first poem has been this classic (and so of New York) number by Whitman (of course).





Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Leaves of Grass.  1900. 

52. To a Stranger 

PASSING stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you, 
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream,) 
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you, 
All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured, 
You grew up with me, were a boy with me, or a girl with me,         5
I ate with you, and slept with you—your body has become not yours only, nor left my body mine only, 
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass—you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return, 
I am not to speak to you—I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone, 
I am to wait—I do not doubt I am to meet you again, 
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.




The moment of quickening, the briefest visual exchanging of selves, the hot rush that feels like one (of many) version of I love you. It follows no reason but is beautiful, human, resonant, exact.

4.17.2012

Twenty First Century American Pilgrim



The idea started formulating earlier this week when I took up an offer from a client to stop by after work for a drink. "Dinner Just Because - 7PM - (address following)" was scribbled on the backside of the restaurant tab and stuffed into my back pocket with stray espresso grounds and a fistful of keys. Closer to eight, her home as I found it, was a mixture of dear friends, family, coworkers, and associations (at least me) laughing around the long table with glasses of Lambrusco and the remnants of a salmon dinner. I found myself wound into a conversation with the three men I shared the end of the table with. "When I was thirty, I found myself reading all this literature on pilgrimages, On The Road by Jack Kerouac, The Canterbury Tales and I thought to myself, 'Where is the great American pilgrimage to? Where is the American Mecca?'" We took a poll among the four of us, the first three shout outs?

Memphis!

GRACELAND!

Graceland...

And the story continues from there. I begin laughing and asking questions, "I used to live there, you know." And exactly what was  it that had drawn me to Memphis? There is just something about it isn't there. His story has formulated itself into a book he hopes to soon have published. I learned through the course of the conversation that if you ever need to hitch-hike somewhere just tell them you are going to Graceland, anyone would give you a ride to help you get there. From Philadelphia to the front door was a a mere 29 rides. But that's his tale, my story feels as though it's still unfolding.

It is both ritual and culture to migrate and make these journey's of change where the destination isn't irrelevant but is also not the point. It's a classic story arch, the journey is the point, it's even cliche to say so. 

Coming as a direct descendant of people with the tenacity to make a pilgrimage (Mormon pioneers anyone?), my starting point was in an American Mecca of sorts - Utah, whose state motto rings, This is the place. Utah was an enchanting place to live and grow up but I found myself with a crumbled foundation in my late teens and I needed to get out. Through circumstance, the answer that revealed itself to me was Flagstaff, Arizona, also, Route 66. Come to think of it, what is more iconic that traveling to Route 66? I mean really, talk about an iconic American pilgrimage. 

Coincidence! Or does it mean something???

This is starting to sound like the beginnings of a Dan Brown novel, isn't it? I kid, but I'm telling you, as I reflect on it, I am seeing this strange pattern I wasn't aware of before...

Back to UTAH! for college until we reached the point when (and some of you were here reading this blog)  the time to migrate South arrived. Honestly I'm not sure, but I think I was in my super-anonymous-nobody-knows-anything-about-me blog phase at that time. I don't think any of what was really going on was shared on this particular public forum. Needless to say, it was one of the most profoundly difficult and dark times I've experienced. Hardship is inherent in the word pilgrimage, isn't it? It is in these challenges and trials that I feel I have earned a small space in the tribe of Twenty First Century Pilgrims. We lost loved ones, we left everything we knew, we were different people by the time we got there--this is textbook. Sure, we didn't have to walk and it only took us a few weeks for all to be said and done, but on that road I grew immensely. 

So we (the collective readers) have already acknowledged that Utah, Route 66, and Memphis are some of the great American pilgrimages. Each has historically served as a host for ideals and dreams that are worth sacrificing for. Was Memphis it? Did I find it? Of course not, because you know now I've found New York. New York is in a category of it's own.

And we push forward.

We are all aware that globally, New York is presently and historically a quintessential destination of millions of pilgrimage stories. To come here is to become part of something much, much bigger. New York has had a remarkable and profound change on me. I'm not really present online right now, but I'm experiencing and doing and changing a lot. It feels like months have passed since my birthday. The last few weeks feel like years have gone by. I feel so lost as to how to comprehend the passing of time and the demand for energy to keep things going and together and enjoyable here. Things are good, but I haven't had a ton of space away to reflect on my metacognitive self. I think this is why I was so tripped out when I went to visit Memphis at the beginning of this month. It was the first time I had had space for reflection and was catapulted into this crazy headspace while also seeing Memphis for the first time in a few months, and dancing/choreographing a 10 minute piece when I haven't been dancing much. It felt like an awful lot of self-realization to process during such a busy period in my life. I don't feel like I've fount it I don't think I even know what it means to have an ideal or goal like that. Organic. Growing sideways, onward and upward.

Back at the dinner party, I just sat thinking if I had my own version of the American Mecca. The physical place that I hope to get to. It now appears that, subconsciously, I've been tracing these roots in a very textbook fashion. It's too bad I'm not a better writer and that I just don't have the love or passion for it to pursue writing in a serious capacity. As a reader I can see the potential to pull a lot from it, I just know I'm not the person to take on that task. I work in a different medium. 

Onward, ever onward.
Where are we journeying to?


I would love to hear your stories and thoughts. After seeing this in a new light, I'm curious how those of you who have made the international trek feel.


We are still pushing forward here, finding time to work hard, enjoy, and go through the gamut of emotions that are casually known as a first year in New York. It's gorgeous here now, April is magical in the city. Some kind of spring fever that is going on has everything in color. Hope you are all doing well, too.





3.15.2012

On The Hunt


Am I the only person to find this Bill Withers song ironic? It's so nice to listen to, in the best Stevie Wonder-70's-disco-pop sort of way, but I can't help but feel nostalgic and sad when I hear it. Like it could be the soundtrack to the montage of the hardest and lowest points of my life while cutting every few frames to images of sunshine and adolescence.


Getting involved with an exciting dance project and just eating up all musical options right now.


Are you listening to anything extra-good these days?

2.10.2012

On the Turntable




I have been to some really incredible performances in the last couple of weeks and still have exciting things to look forward to in the upcoming few. I want to write and reflect and chew on the experiences, but some of it I am still digesting. In the meantime, here are a couple of songs that lift my heart and seem to always be rotating on the turntable while we're at home in the evenings:

This has been my favorite song since Christmas time, I absolutely cannot get enough of it.

The sweetest "miss you" song on paper.

A reliving of one of the greatest performances I've seen to date.


What are you listening to right now?
xoxo


*The Pro-Ject PRM 1.3 Genie Turntable (pictured above) has been amazing to have at the house. I would highly recommend it if you are looking to invest in an upgrade to your audio equipment. I feel it's important to note (if I'm going to go ahead and make this plug) however, that it isn't directly compatible with your receiver and must be connected through a preamp so it may not be your best option if you are looking for a standalone player.  

1.23.2012

Music is Math



As a language and literature nerd I have never fancied myself as one with a knack for numbers. In school growing up, I was always in advanced English, History, Science and Psychology classes while lagging one full year behind in Math. I was the student perpetually asking, "But why?! When am I ever going to use this?" lacking any foresight for practical application of the daunting equation. This is one part laziness (my part) but also I believe one part error of the school system. Math is never (or wasn't in my school district) taught conceptually. Conceptual, slippery language is what gets my brain riled up. Critical, theoretical analysis is what I latch onto and dissect slowly and meticulously, while taking joy in the puzzle's solution--solving the equation. You see? It's all Mathematics.

So maybe I'll make the excuse that Math wasn't presented on my terms and I therefore slumped my way though the courses in order to pass. BUT if my ignorant brain would have opened wider, if the Math metaphor could have been pressed a little harder, if I had looked beyond to see it's not about a particular formula, I would have had so much insight, so much sooner. Looking back on my years past, I think my one regret is the passivity which which I lived my life until I was 20 years old. I could have really had a head start if I had applied myself  (ugh, cliche!). But I was smart, and I was on or above grade-level, and I was doing the work, and was always told that what I had done was good. I wasn't nagged at to try harder (with the exception of dance) and I didn't, I was comfortable. I wasn't really pushing myself, for myself, until halfway through college when I realized I wanted to be better, to be more, badly. I started to give a damn. I blame no one, I'm just saying I wish I had done it differently. I find solace in reading that Melville once wrote that he had not begun to live until he was twenty-five; that when Whitman was twenty-nine years old he had not yet written a single text that we now remember. But what if, what if, what if...

Life is Math. Problems without solutions perpetuate problems. You have a problem, you find your solutions (sometimes x=0 and x=1), you fix it. Done.  In the most basic application to my daily life: it's walking my dog. My dog has social behavioral issues. Fears of strangers and children, especially on-leash. This can make going on a walk (not to the off-leash dog park) stressful for both him and myself. But these fears perpetuate themselves when we do not consistently practice walking in the busy city streets we live on. Submission/apathy/how does this apply to ME mentally is a severe regression in this case. Or dance class. The longer I stay out of class the more daunting and physically harder attending class becomes. Problems without solutions perpetuate problems. This concept is tendriling out into my thoughts, wrapping itself around the posts and climbing (beautiful, leafy vines) the lattice of my cortex. We can get-off making ourselves feel good in January by talking about the changes and resolutions we really intend to keep this time, but I'm interested in figuring out the practical application of solutions in my life. It's going to take some time, a lot of it. I know this. But I'm interested in my solution, even if/when I'm averaging 60 hours/week at work, even if time and money need strategizing to make it happen, even if, even if, even if...


(x + 1)^2 = 2x^2 + x + 1\,

What insight has the new year brought you?


1.15.2012

Taking My Time {Oh, and Happy Holidays}



So here we are, it's officially 2012! Our holiday season was busy in a good way. I am working a lot at the cafe and just taking it all in right now. My boss expressed to me his sentiments on the differences of his years in Paris and those in New York, "In Paris, I am all time thinking what I am doing next? But in New York it's never!" And as it turns out, that was a profound statement to me. In New York, there is always something, some errand, some this, some x, and if you happen to choose to stay home, watch Netflix and order delivery than it was an action done deliberately.

We are busy.

It's good. My body feels tired in a good way, my stresses are present but healthy, and we're staying busy taking advantage (when/where we can) of living in New York. Living in Brooklyn is living in a bubble. By this I'm just saying that Brooklyn is probably the only city in the world I can think of right now where you can make your entire living off of building moss terrariums inside of vintage lightbulbs, just sayin. Granted, I both live and work in the same neighborhood and am definitely saturated in the personality of Park Slope. This, in conjunction with the fact that I don't receive television channels, don't have a smartphone, have never downloaded an "app," don't subscribe to any magazines/newspapers, and don't have the radio exposure that came with driving I feel very cut off from what's going on out there. So I haven't been present online much either, but I've been observing and digesting and learning what I can, I feel present. My mind can wander so easily, it's nice to be part of something that's growing, that's new to me, and that I can feel present in. A few months ago I was writing of my hopes that someone would just take a chance on me, and I feel like now I have the opportunity to learn something new. Maybe it isn't glamorous, or maybe it is glamorous? But that's not the point. I know that in college I thought running a cafe in Brooklyn sounded amazing. And as it turns out I do like it, and that's been great to find.

Happenings:

In December we went to the Apollo Theater in Harlem to see Anthony Hamilton.
It was one of my favorites I've seen in New York. The show had more energy than I have seen for a concert in a long time. It was so refreshing, and it dawned on me that from my balcony seat I really didn't see any cell phones out. It was shocking, and awesome! People, enjoying themselves, in their physical location and condition without the gross display of exhibitionism that usually accompanies a social event.* His slow, low rhythm and blues was amped up with some funk beats for the live performance. Despite the very tight seating there was a lot of dancing to the infections rhythms flowing into the space.

For Christmas Eve, we got before dinner drinks at the Clover Club in Cobble Hill. The Clover Club is the home of one of the best Bloody Mary's and my new favorite cocktail thanks to our excursion that Saturday. We sat in the back next to the fireplace in high backed chairs drinking Nose Dive's (gin royales) and laughing about what we're doing now and where we have been the last few years together. We trained into the city and ate dinner at Tamarind, again. I still think it's the best Indian Food I've had yet. I hear they have a new(ish) downtown location but we always end up at the one near the Flatiron. Afterward we hopped on the subway and hitched ourselves uptown to the stand by line for Dizzy's jazz club where Jazz at the Lincoln Center plays. Luckily we got in for the 930 show and finished up our night with coffees and really nice Jazz quintet. We came home and opened the small gifts we had gotten for one another and for Cash and snuggled up for bed.

Christmas day was spent mostly at home. I cooked breakfast and dinner. A girl I work with and her boyfriend came over for dinner in the evening. We had guacamole and pico de gallo, hummus, sun dried tomato risotto, mashed potatoes, honey cumin roasted carrots, pomegranate apple green salad, and roasted pork loin. My goodness, it had been a while since I had cooked so much. I even attempted to make orange rolls but gave up after the second rising. It took days to clean my very tiny kitchen afterward. Luckily all the things that did get cooked, roasted, or baked turned out and washed down rather nicely with a good Burgundy. Christmas night I purchased tickets for us to go see the Alvin Ailey company perform which was a real treat. Unlike the Anthony Hamilton show, I don't know if I have ever been to a performance where so many cell phones went off. It was strange, rude and distracting, unfortunately. Afterward we walked to Rockefeller Center to see the tree, to Bryant Park to see the ice skaters.


Our New Year is flying by. We rang in midnight very tiredly at an Austrian pub about a block from home. Working so much, things begin to blur together. We made sure to fill my only day off (Darling was on winter break from school) with as many good things as we could fit into one day. With a clean house we took off for a shmancy lunch at Asiate located on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Hotel in Columbus Circle. Afterward, we caught a cab to the East Side to see the incredible Maurizio Cattelan hanging exhibit at the Guggenheim. If you haven't heard of it you really should look into it (copy + paste + google). It was such an innovative and cool way to experience his work. What a trip.



We were kicked out for closing around five and we walked down to Magnolia Bakery to buy treats to sneak into the move theater. Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie, what? We went to the historic Paris theater to see the new silent film, The Artist. It was one of the most enjoyable movies I've sat down to watch in a really long time.




We saw John Turturro and Diane Wiest in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. I haven't ever read Chekhov, Russian literature just hasn't made itself the next appealing thing to me yet but the performance was powerful. We saw the play at Classic Stage Company in the East Village on an intimate, small stage. The audience is only 4 rows deep with a 3/4 view so the choreography of the actors was made interesting from all vantage points. It was funny and tragic and, paradoxically, in constant motion although the majority of the show takes place in a single room within the house. As I get older I just find myself enjoying live theater more and more. I suppose it could be argued that New York has the highest quality for shows and actors, it's unbelievable, and I feel lucky to experience it.




We've had fun planning out short-term milestones for the new year. Little rewards tucked into the weeks ahead. Theater tickets and concert tickets and visits from friends. Birthdays and breaks from school and bottles of wine for sharing. I have actually began to write many posts but completing the thought seems to happen only after something else has called me away from the computer and onto another task. I'd like to keep sharing and writing, but more organically. I'm sure that will work itself out... organically, duh. On another note, I don't have a working digital camera anymore but have been thinking about using my SLR more often (i.e. sometimes). I'd like a few photographs from this time in my life. Not a daily documentation but I think it's nice to see the evolution of yourself, especially during periods of rapid growth. Remembering where you are coming from iso what makes where you are going meaningful. The freezing moment of a photograph is a way to help the self process exactly what it has been doing, as it forces the viewer to have the space and distance necessary to digest experience and change. I think this same philosophy pertains to the tattoos people have. Cemented moments, reminders of growth and change. Cameras, go.

I say this, but I know I'm the person to wait three years to get film developed. I just mailed out my family's Christmas packages Thursday. I'm just not emotionally equipped for some of these adult tasks. But it's a thought bustling through my brain. I'll keep chewing on it and see if anything materializes.


The best to you and yours for now. Hope the holidays were smooth. I'm going to make breakfast for dinner. Good talking to you.




*"omg!! guess where I am RIIIGGGHHTT NOWWW!! omg, no wait! I am just gonna take a picture and post it RIGHT NOW so you can see what bitchen time I'm having RIGHT NOW." And really, you aren't having the bitchen time because you aren't doing anything but fiddling with your phone and making sure you look good enough for an instantly public photo. I don't know. I don't mean to stray too far, and I admit to anyone out there reading, I acknowledge my own participation in it. I have a Facebook page, I'm writing this very statement on my public blog but I think we all know what I'm talking about.

In this same vein, please take a look at this thought provoking NYTimes article I saw a friend posted recently. The Joy of Quiet:


"We have more and more ways to communicate, as Thoreau noted, but less and less to say. Partly because we’re so busy communicating... The central paradox of the machines that have made our lives so much brighter, quicker, longer and healthier is that they cannot teach us how to make the best use of them."



12.15.2011

Place

 Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Utah

 Northern Arizona

Wyoming

Mississippi River

"I think we fall in love with places for the same reason we fall in love with people. And our reasons are irrational and passionate and hard to explain. And sometimes when we fall in love with a place it becomes part of us forever." Lori Anderson

*Images via Pinterest 

11.29.2011

The Thankful Post

Image via Unbroken Sparrow

Although I have not spent Christmas with my family for the past three years (this year makes four), I have always spent Thanksgiving at home. This year was the first that I haven't been in Utah for Mom's cooking, celebrating my favorite holiday. Because it would be utterly wrong to say that my favorite Thanksgiving wasn't home cooked, I won't; but we ate one of the best meals I've ever had at Gotham Bar and Grill in Manhattan Thursday night. It was a 4 course extravaganza: butternut squash soup, roasted cauliflower risotto, turkey and sour cherry stuffing with mashed potatoes and root vegetables, alongside one of the best red wines (an Oregon Pino, of course) I have ever touched to my lips. We polished it off with dessert, a sampler that included apple crisp, chocolate, and pumpkin cheesecake with an espresso to finish it off. Aye Chihuahua, it was ridiculous.

Much has changed since my last writing. I'm now managing a small French cafe here in Brooklyn and still learning the ropes of how to make orders and run things there. I can't tell you if I've lost my mind or not, but I recently turned down job at a graphic design firm with a 40k salary and full health coverage to stay and run the spot. Of course, a job offer through the temp agency only came after I had accepted employment in a place and with a boss that I really like, but I'm glad things are working out the way they are. Although the people working in the office were nice, I feared I would be too isolated and lonely--literally working without coworkers or windows, a white wall separating me from the rest of the office. Just typing the previous sentence depresses me. Where can you draw the line of money and happiness? Even if it's not true happiness, at what dollar amount can you be bought out for, do you put things (possibilities) on pause for, because "it's a good job" because it's available, because you feel pressure to conform to some lifestyle you are not ready/willing/desiring to lead? If not knowing or connecting with people in New York has been one of the big challenges for me in adjusting, working in an isolated situation like that didn't feel like the right choice. I am still paying my bills, it's not that I'm being irresponsible for the pursuit of a naive, twenty-something idealism where money doesn't matter and all you need is love. I live in New York now, money takes on a whole new meaning for what it costs to live in this town. But I know I really won't be happy sitting behind a desk all day and that even if it takes more work, more hours, more creativity I can figure out something else and still be successful. So the cafe it is, for now. I do really like my boss and it's rapidly turning into much more opportunity than I imagined would come out of the cafe job I decided to apply for after I returned home from my trip to Utah. It's a nice feeling, my life is simple and good. I love that although I'm living in a huge city, my world is contained and close and neighborhood oriented. It's comforting. Walking to work is amazing and I'm 90 seconds away from the little puppy boy should anything need to be taken care of with him. (Sometimes that dog makes me feel like such a mother.)






Fun New York-y things have been happening also, Jazz at the iconic Village Vanguard in the East Village last Saturday night and Chris Cornell played at Carnegie Hall last Monday. Cornell's voice is amazing, he played a solo acoustic set of songs from all of the projects he has been a part of (Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, solo work). For people of my generation that are interested or concerned with contemporary music, I feel like there is a list of artists you should see if you have the chance--those who have changed and influenced the way people play and write music. For my parent's generation rock artists like Page and Plant, Dylan, Pete Townsend, Brian Wilson, Jimi Hendrix (to name a few) are on the list. For my generation, I think a parallel list includes Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, Jack White, Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood, etc. I don't think it's necessary to be a fanboy to appreciate the work and talent of these artists. It was a great night, really cool to see Cornell live, and so incredible to see something at Carnegie. The space and sound quality are amazing, beautiful. I can't wait for the winter season of philharmonic, symphony, theatre, and dance to begin. All the best work is put on in winter, when people want to be inside. I truly can't think of a cold evening better spent than in the theater.

And now the part about gratitude. I am so well taken care of. I have so much. And although some days feel hard, I understand that I am truly spoiled in my comfort and opportunity--my problems are first world concerns and that is the most anyone can ask for. I'm so lucky that Darling will put up with my tomfoolery, he's the best support I have ever known. He really takes care of me. I'm grateful for our families and sisters. For the love of a sweet dog named Cash, and the patience he has taught me. For my experiences living in such different parts of the country. For my home girls in Memphis that I can't imagine not having in my life, the most generous friends. For the friends in Utah that have really stuck it out with me, long-distance, some of you 15 years now! For the words and wisdom and stories of authors. For art in all of its facets. For learning. For the awesome, beautiful-beyond-comprehension planet we live on and the cultures of animals and people we share it with.

And it is on this note I bid you adieu for now. I will hopefully have more time to write and reflect now that things are finding a rhythm. Maybe even some photos.

Thank you Friends, for your support.

All my best.