Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stephanie's Bridals

Steph and I braved the cold yesterday to take some bridals for her before the big day! You can check out the whole event here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Great Koko--What a W-O-MAN!!!!

Ok, all you W-O-MEN out there. You need to go to your computer (wait, you're reading this, so you're already there, excellent!) and you need to download Koko Taylor's all time marvelous song "I'm a Woman" and you need to blast it while singing and dancing to it at the top of your lungs (preferably while you are making dinner so that you can use that wooden spoon as the microphone it was always meant to be.)

And then, you'll be just how I was tonight.

Yep, while making my dinner, I found my theme song for the year. I only found one small video of it on youtube, but honestly, I think little Raven Simone has about as much attitude at 4 as it took me 31 years to get. I have a slightly better groove, only cause my curves are right....


When I was a little girl Only twelve years old
Couldn't do nothing
to save my dog gone soul
My mama told me.
the day I was grown
She says "Sing the blues child, Sing it from now on".

I'm a woman,
oh yeah
I'm a woman, I'm a ball of fire
I'm a woman, I can make love to a crocodile
I'm a woman, I can sing the blues
I'm a woman, I can change old to new
Spell w o man,
Oh yeah
That means I'm grown

I'm a woman, I'm a rushing wind
I'm a woman, I can cut stone with a pin
I'm a woman, I'm a love maker
I'm a woman, you know I'm an earth shaker


I'm a woman, I'm a rushing wind
I'm a woman, I can cut stone with a pin
I'm a woman, I know my stuff
I'm a woman, I ain't never had enough

I'm going down yonder, behind the sun
I'm gonna do something for you, that ain't never been done
I'm gonna hold back the lightning, with the palm of my hand
Shake hands with the devil, make him crawl in the sand

I'm a woman, oh yeah
I'm a woman,
I'm a ball of fire
I'm a woman,
I can make love to a crcodile
I'm a woman,
I'm a love maker
I'm a woman,
you know I'm an earth shaker
OH oh oh oh
I'm a woman

Monday, December 29, 2008

Streaks of Skin

Make sure to keep your eye on the painting blog over the next week, there will be a series of paintings posted all about slipping into your skin. Hallelujah!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hello July

2009 is all aligned for amazing things. It's in the stars, but more importantly, it is in ME. 

I wanted to share with you my AMAZING apartment that I have secured for the month of July. Yes, for the month of July I will eat, sleep, and drink in Paris. I will speak and kiss in French. I will write by day and find at least 4 (one per week, is that a good goal?) French beauties to walk, talk, smile and flirt and sparkle with (with a hell-of-alot-a French kissing thrown in). I will enjoy being young, being talented, and being alive. I'm livin' all I can right now, but it would be hard not to admit that July has captured my heart.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Phoenix Flames

A phoenix is a mythical bird with a tail of beautiful gold and red plumage. It has a 600-800 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix, reborn anew to live again.

The bird was also said to regenerate when hurt or wounded by a foe, thus being almost immortal and invincible — it is also said that it can heal a person with a tear from its eyes and make them temporarily immune to death; It is a symbol of fire and divinity.

This has been my year of the phoenix. This has been a year that all I knew and all I was went up in flames. December has been a month of seeing my life rise up in flames and swirl down into gray-white ashes, floating around me, with no chance of using them to rebuild anything.

Today was the day that I came out of those ashes reborn.

Today is the day that I leave all that this year brought to me exactly in the past, where it belongs. It was complete, it was perfect. Each person, each one of you, each moment that I shared with others this year was just as they should have been.

I've been thinking about the human tendency to get stuck in the past or to live in the future. We are the only animals that do this. Think of a lion on the hunt. If he missed his prey, does the Lion sit back, and think about what he should have done differently "Oh, man, I should have zigged when I zagged. Or I should have gone the other way. I'm a failure. I'll never catch anything." Does the Lion get caught up in the past, in the what ifs and never hunt again. Does the Lion bring on his own death with his paralyzing fear? No, the Lion gets right back on track and keeps going until he's gotten his dinner.

That's something I've learned about myself, no matter what life serves up...I'll keep rising. It's the phoenix inside of me. 

I'm letting go of the definitions that held me to me. I'm no longer defined by a religion. I'm no longer defined by my degrees or education. I'm no longer defined by the trips I've taken or the things I've seen. I'm no longer  defined by any of these things. For it is only when we stop placing ourselves in the boxes that have defined us that we realize we are free of confinements, and free to fly.

I am new, I am reborn. I am a phoenix.

Oh yeah, and I'm back....big time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joyce & Company

For Joyce's snowy family photo shoot, please go here. 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Slip Into Your Skin

Time is getting faster, can you feel it? Emotions are governed more by techonology than they are by actual interactions with people. 

What used to take our ancestors a few weeks to get a reply to (like a love letter)--takes us a second. One second. People connect with each other in virtual worlds now more than ever. Does this result in virtual realities? Virtual assumptions? Virtual opinions? Virtual selves? While a minute is still only 60 seconds long, about a million more things are now able to come to pass in a minute in 2008, then there was in 1888. Time is speeding up, do you feel it? These photographs posted here show that clearly....our new ability to catch a tiny nano of space and time...and capture it forever. Does this mean our feelings are more virtual?

This morning I woke up to the feeling that my bed was shaking. I felt it. I thought it was an earthquake. And my first thoughts about this supposedly happening disaster were not normal. I actually felt a small sense of relief. I actually wanted most of my things to be destroyed so I could be free of them all. With that destruction would come a newfound freedom. I have felt tied to Utah. Tied to my furniture and belongings. I want them all to go away somehow. That's not normal, is it? Of course, as we all read each others blogs, we know that the word normal is more a myth and idea than an actual truth. But, I was still a bit baffled by my reaction.

So what is my truth? I've lost my religion this year. I've lost friends. I've lost foundations and ideas that all used to make my life make sense. Why is it that part of me feels like it's time for marriage and children, and the other part of me feels like I should shave my head of this blond mass that many use to define me and that I should go on a pilgrimage of sorts? But, it would be aimless wanderings, yes? Because, honestly, I'm not even sure what I am looking for or where I want to go. 

The one call I hear is Paris. This past week confirmed to me that it was time to go back for more than just a few days. So, I have decided one thing. I'm saving now to spend a month in Paris next summer. The month of July will find me in an apartment in Paris, writing a book. No other connections but Paris and the characters that have been yearning to be created.

So, yeah, I've been in a weird place all year. A place that isn't fully me. A place where I feel like I have to figure things out. Figure things out. Make sense of things. Decide my future. And it's left me, in this final month of December, quite melancholy and lost. And this pressure of time. The daily mirror reminders that I am getting closer to death, that in fact, each second that I am alive, I am, in fact, dying too. The shaking of my bed, the dependence on virtual friends, the lonely echos of my footsteps along a dark sidewalk in my small neighborhood. All of these are reminders of something I have forgotten, or I never knew, or maybe part of me knows but hasn't told the other part of me. Can you have secrets from yourself?

I've been addicted to Regina Spektor, listening to her over and over and over again. There is her song, On the Radio,  and the lyrics say, 

This is how it works
You're young unitl your not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't

You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breath 
until their dying breath

No this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
and try to love the things you took
And you take that love you made
And stick it into someone elses heart
pumpin' someone elses blood
And walk arm and arm
And hope you don't get harmed
And even if you do, you'll do it all again....

I don't think that the lyrics only mean people in romantic love. I think any kind of love requires putting some of our hearts into someone elses. I just like that idea at Christmas time.

I finally figured things out this morning. What I figured out is that I don't have a damn thing figured out and that that is going to have to be enough for now.  What I think I will do, however, is use these next few weeks to really connect to the real people around me. The living, breathing, growing old, humming, singing, dancing, crying, sobbing, blue, and red, and green, and yellow people around me.

So, I'm signing off for the rest of the year friends, and I'm going to try and slip into my skin fully...or figure out how to make the skin I have on right now fit a little better.

Merry Christmas.

No Christmas For Me...

Every year I find a new Christmas song that speaks to me. Why do they always tend to be a bit melancholy? I don't know what that says about me. I found this one by Zee Avi (formerly Koko Kaina) and I can't stop listening to it.

Here is a link to see the artist singing it, I highly recommend going here (it wouldn't let me embed it)....if not, take a listen to the video below.

Other songs on my Christmas Listening Mix:

White Christmas--Otis Redding version
Christmas--Rogue Wave
Frosty the Snowman--Fiona Apple
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen--Barenaked Ladies
Santa Baby--Eartha Kit
Winter Song--Ingrid Michaelson
Baby, It's Cold Outside--Dean Martin
Let it Snow--Michael Buble
Oh Holy Night--Jewel

What is your favorite Christmas song right now?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Why Scream....when a Whisper will do?

Why scream, when a whisper will do? There are two ways I could talk about I have before, with grand, articulate methods of I will today, in a calm, private whisper. Paris and I got reaquainted in quite ways. Walks up the Champs Elysees, sitting in a park watching the buslte, the creaking of the Louvre floors as I ventured up to my favorite Vermeer painting to have a conversation with the details of his art. I walked by this Grand Roule (big wheel) each day I was in Paris. It illuminated me.

Eating a succulent pear with the juice running down my arm as I slice it. Searching for a perfect baguette on a Sunday morning. Leaving my camera behind for the most part, and taking personal photos with my own memory. A cold, quiet walk through the cemetery on a rainy day. Looking out the window at the rooftops of Parisian apartments and feeling at home. Speaking French with everyone (I speak like a Canadian, apparently, at least that is what people kept telling me.) I took a stroll up the Christmas-Ready Champs Elysees almost nightly, taking in the Marche de Noel and watching the French be French.

Arriving in Paris, I immerged from a metro stop just by my favorite arc, in front of the Louvre, on Thanksgiving day-- feeling more grateful than I have in a long time. Paris is my friend, my confidant, my companion, my home, my seasons, my secret. Paris and I had long conversations. Paris and I understand one another. Paris and I take things slowly. Paris and I are grateful the other exists.