the recurring themes of 2008

December 31, 2008

Paper dolls for Matilda

Paper dolls for Matilda

On this, the last day of 2008, I reflect on themes, things, and events that made the year what it was. It was quite a year.

And so the themes:

paper dolls
going analog, relying less on digital
old-fashioned undergarments (slips, garter belts, old lady panties)
falling in love
overcoming grief
learning to let go
becoming more competent in the kitchen
washing dishes
patience
longer hair
filling the holes in my music collection
laughing with joy
training a dog
Baltimore
turning my blacks, browns, and greys into oranges, blues, and pinks
financial insecurity
deviled eggs
skirts and cardigans
DJing
text messages
Budapest
being alone

Some themes I think look promising for 2009:

drums
quilts
Peter Pan collars
dinner parties
going back to school?
happiness

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oleander

December 19, 2008

Heather Graham and Paul Thomas Anderson on the set of Boogie Nights

Heather Graham and Paul Thomas Anderson on the set of Boogie Nights

Last night I found myself watching the movie “Boogie Nights.” I’d seen it shortly after it was released, but I was curious how my older self would react to it (turns out, pretty much the same way my younger self reacted to it).

I’m finding myself haunted somewhat by the scenes set in Jack Horner’s backyard around the pool. And it all comes down to the oleander bushes surrounding the yard, I think. Those scenes filled me with an intense homesickness because that’s EXACTLY what people’s backyards looked like in Southern California, where I grew up. Oleander is quite poisonous, as far as I know, so it’s kind of shocking, its prevalence in suburban subdivisions.

(People did not have pool parties like that when I was a kid, though.)

Music For Commuting

December 9, 2008

These are Marisha's feet.  Photo taken by Marisha.

These are Marisha's feet. Photo taken by Marisha.

Music For Commuting
(download via sendspace)

1. Pulp “What Do You Say”
2. the Family Way “Sugar Baby Love”
3. Afraid of Stars “When Nothing”
4. Smog “Hit the Ground Running”
5. the Clean “On Again/Off Again”

My walk to work is twenty minutes door-to-door. It’s not quite long enough for me to listen to an entire album on my iPod. So I put together a wee mix, exactly twenty minutes in length. It’s called “Music For Commuting.” You can download it too and listen to it on your iPod! Even if you don’t walk to work! About the songs:

1. I thought I had everything Pulp ever recorded, but boy was I wrong. I was mightily surprised to see “What Do You Say” posted on the Shelflife Records blog, having never heard of the song. And I was even more mightily surprised at how awesome the song is.

2. A few months ago Ara gave me a handful of CDs from the record label he used to run, Foxyboy. The collection of songs from the Family Way was my favorite of the CDs, and “Sugar Baby Love” is the best song on the CD. The chorus is very, very sing-along-able.

3. I first heard Afraid of Stairs in 2005 when I was slightly obsessed with Labrador Records. They are no longer on that label, and I haven’t heard much from them since, except for this delightful song “When Nothing,” which I believe was released on Lavender Records.

4. The Other Robin put the Smog song “Hit the Ground Running” on a mixtape she sent to me in 2004 (?) It’s been a perennial favorite of mine since then.

5. Finally, I think “On Again/Off Again” is my third favorite Clean song. OK, maybe fourth favorite. I particularly like the organ bits in the song.

the twelfth morning

December 8, 2008

My current residence is heated with heating oil. The burning unit, or whatever it’s called, is located in the crawl space underneath my bedroom. I was wakened sometime in the wee hours this morning by some mysterious sound below me. When I woke for real around 6 in the morning I realized that the heat had stopped working again. This is the second time in as many weeks. I looked over to the other side of the bed. It was empty. Ara left yesterday morning to go back to Baltimore to take his exams. I’d been waking up next to him every morning for eleven days. The lack of heat and the lack of Ara made me feel like it was impossible to get out of bed. But I did.

I’m almost completely done with my Christmas shopping already. I’ve been buying Christmas gifts online since 1998. Back then shipping was always free. That is no longer the case. Despite having to pay for shipping, I much prefer shopping online when I can. The last few things I will purchase are for the daughters, and I’ve already scouted them out at local shops. Most of them are on sale, which is fantastic, as funds are tight yet again this year. The daughters decorated our Christmas tree yesterday afternoon, so now all I have left to do for Christmas preparations is wrap the presents and bake cookies should I desire to do so.

This morning I was reading a blog kept by a woman in Vancouver. Her photographs of her daily outfits are adorable. The blog is called Lost In the Forest, and it is located here – http://aforestofapples.blogspot.com/.

The most recent thing I marked with the tag “want” on my delicious bookmarks is this adorable Orla Kiely notebook. I think the pattern is very attractive, but it would be too indulgent of me to buy yet another notebook that will not be written in.