Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What I Did

I stood outside the back door, pondering all the times in the day I'd raised my voice at the kids. It was a lot, once I got thinking about it. Now that naps were over, I was in the middle of resigning myself to the hours and hours of wakeful children ahead of me before bedtime.

Then Bea came over all sugar and spice. That's what we call it when she's sweet. I felt bad for being an old meanie, but at the same time, what with the sun coming through the mimosa and the wasps chilled to silence, I felt a burst of motherly affection.

I swooped her up. And up, up over my head. I threw all her 40 some pounds right into the air. And I caught her in my pouch, my arms a sling and her legs wrapped around what's left of my middle. And at that moment, something went all wrong in my back. It happened so quick, there wasn't a sound.

The ice-cream truck came and I went on, as mothers always seem to do. But now it's just a touch harder.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hours in the Day

There aren't enough of them, hours in the day, not when more than 4/5ths are taken up with housewifery and scholastic endeavors. So the night will be mine as well. I usually stay up until mid-night, but I think I can stretch it to one.

I'm tapping into some previously wasted wine time: Driving. Instead of just flipping from station to station, I'm listening to Moby Dick. (I was inspired by this NPR Segment. Listen to it.) It is super entertaining thus far and provides quite a diversion.

Things have been moving in a more or less oceanic direction in my mind. Not that I'm plotting to r-u-n-n-o-f-t or anything, but here's the thing: I made a nautical piece of art for school, it inspired me to write a nautical song, which lead me to pursue Moby Dick, and finally I got involved with Isak Dinesen who said, "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea."

So there it is. The moon is a ghostly galleon, tossed upon the cloudy seas.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Remember in November

You saw this in its infancy. Well, see it again, my friends. Here is the poster as it stands today. The one that shall soon be available for mass download via SOAWatch will have a white background, but I prefer the blue. Mostly because it connects to the awesome graphics Cesar Maxit created for the cause.

If you like this, you may as well use the contact form above to request the high quality PDF that you can print and use (wheat paste) around your own neighborhood. Or whatever.

More info:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Artist of the Week

 /// Featured Artist :: Jordan H. Manigo, visionary, designer, life-student, friend. I have mad respect for this dude's imagination, humor, industry, skill and good taste.  The following is a mere sampling. Check out the links below for more. ///

"I believe that nostalgia is a powerful emotion. My childhood is the source of all of my creative energy - it is reflected in the surreal and expressionistic nature of my work. Children are dark little things - subtle, twisted innocence, exposed to an overtly twisted world - delicate, intensely emotional and naturally untethered. Their eyes are like filters of imaginative naivety, painting over the harsh complexities of the world around them with surreal strokes of bizarre optimism and subtle macabre.

I think writers like Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, A. A. Milne (Winnie The Pooh), Lewis Carol (Alice In Wonderland), Hans Christian Andersen (The Little Mermaid) and J. M. Barrie (Peter Pan), had an intimate understanding this and the way a child’s mind works.

I love Disney films, many of which are adapted from works by the aforementioned writers, because they take these grim cautionary tales, filled with dire, bleak consequences, and twist and contort them into a Frankenstein of escapist euphoria and sensual innuendo. I try to channel that in my work, to create something uniquely expressive and personal, used to communicate specific messages and to elicit deep visceral emotion."

Behance /// Society6 /// Tumblr

Monday, September 16, 2013

Best Music Video (NSFW)

If you are offended by naked bodies, please skip this. I happen to love the human body and I happen to think this video is the bees knees. The song is from the motion picture Orlando, staring Tilda Swinton and based on the book by Virginia Woolf.

I like that castrati sound.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Grrls' Nite In


Beth and Lucy and I stayed in last night. I brought homework to work on, but never got around to it...

We started out Just Dancing. Then we decided to learn some moves from a Twerking Tutorial. After that, we practiced our new found flexibility with Big Freedia's Y'all Get Back Now. Then we looked at cheesy pictures and talked about books, Fitspiration and Breatharianism.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Most Important Thing

So I memorized this poem ages ago and pretty much, once I memorize something, I'm stuck with it lodged in my brain for life. I've got sonnets knocking around in there as well as some Ogden Nash, Tennyson, the Bible and the Romantic Poets, etc.

This one is kinda long and it's been a while since I had a chance to recite it out to anyone, but seeing as how it's the author's birthday to day, well, it seems apropos. This is by Roald Dahl.

The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Chase

In the midst of all the responsibility –children and home, school, homework, running people thither and yon, financial stress, deadlines, etc., etc.– I feel the irresistible pull. A pull towards higher thought, deeper conversation, new experiences, alternative perspectives, challenges.

I seek intoxication, but not the crude and ordinary kind. Not from wine or substances, but from a life really lived. You know?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Something Good to Read

Thirteen Observations made by Lemony Snicket while watching Occupy Wall Street from a Discreet Distance 
1. If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean you would be a midget if you were bald.
2. “Fortune” is a word for having a lot of money and for having a lot of luck, but that does not mean the word has two definitions.
3. Money is like a child—rarely unaccompanied. When it disappears, look to those who were supposed to be keeping an eye on it while you were at the grocery store. You might also look for someone who has a lot of extra children sitting around, with long, suspicious explanations for how they got there.
4. People who say money doesn’t matter are like people who say cake doesn’t matter—it’s probably because they’ve already had a few slices.
5. There may not be a reason to share your cake. It is, after all, yours. You probably baked it yourself, in an oven of your own construction with ingredients you harvested yourself. It may be possible to keep your entire cake while explaining to any nearby hungry people just how reasonable you are.
6. Nobody wants to fall into a safety net, because it means the structure in which they’ve been living is in a state of collapse and they have no choice but to tumble downwards. However, it beats the alternative.
7. Someone feeling wronged is like someone feeling thirsty. Don’t tell them they aren’t. Sit with them and have a drink.
8. Don’t ask yourself if something is fair. Ask someone else—a stranger in the street, for example.
9. People gathering in the streets feeling wronged tend to be loud, as it is difficult to make oneself heard on the other side of an impressive edifice.
10. It is not always the job of people shouting outside impressive buildings to solve problems. It is often the job of the people inside, who have paper, pens, desks, and an impressive view.
11. Historically, a story about people inside impressive buildings ignoring or even taunting people standing outside shouting at them turns out to be a story with an unhappy ending.
12. If you have a large crowd shouting outside your building, there might not be room for a safety net if you’re the one tumbling down when it collapses.
13. 99 percent is a very large percentage. For instance, easily 99 percent of people want a roof over their heads, food on their tables, and the occasional slice of cake for dessert. Surely an arrangement can be made with that niggling 1 percent who disagree.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Here's a great stress relief tactic: draw grumpy faces! I do it all the time and it always cheers me up. The ones that are drawn more or less from life are kinda pathetic, but the ones from my imagination never fail to make me smile. You should try it. 

The last drawing is one of the more or less from life ones. It's a girl in one of my classes who usually smiles, but who has perfectly grumpy slits for eyes. Every time she stops smiling, I start drawing. My sketchbook is going to have that distinctive stalker-ish feel before too long. I oughta just switch to class-clown mode, as per usual. The only thing more fun than drawing is cracking up pretty girls people.

I've been doodling in all my classes this semester. I have to be really discreet in my science class. It is a rather tight room and the teacher can literally see my notebook. She caught me today and added "and some people are drawing" to her sentence about the periodic table. Whoops. But don't worry, I'm totally taking notes and being a good example. As a student leader. With great power comes great responsibility and all, you know. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ravishment of the Intellect

For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, 
a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.
—Friedrich Nietzsche

It is a secret which every intellectual man quickly learns, that beyond the energy of his possessed and conscious intellect, he is capable of a new energy (as of an intellect doubled on itself ), by abandonment to the nature of things; that, beside his privacy of power as an individual man, there is a great public power on which he can draw by unlocking, at all risks, his human doors and suffering the ethereal tides to roll and circulate through him: then he is caught up into the life of the universe; his speech is thunder; his thought is law, and his words are universally intelligible as the plants and animals. The poet knows that he speaks adequately, then, only when he speaks somewhat wildly, or, “with the flower of the mind”; not with the intellect used as an organ but with the intellect released from all service…inebriated by nectar. As the traveler who has lost his way throws his reins on his horse’s neck and trusts to the instinct of the animal to find his road, so must we do with the divine animal who carries us through this world. For if in any manner we can stimulate this instinct, new passages are opened for us into nature, the mind flows into and through things hardest and highest, and the metamorphosis is possible. This is the reason why bards love wine, mead, narcotics, coffee, tea, opium, the fumes of sandalwood and tobacco, or whatever other species of animal exhilaration. All men avail themselves of such means as they can to add this extraordinary power to their normal powers, and to this end they prize conversation, music, pictures, sculpture, dancing, theaters, traveling, wars, mobs, fires, gaming, politics, or love, or science, or animal intoxication, which are several coarser or finer quasi-mechanical substitutes for the true nectar, which is the ravishment of the intellect by coming nearer to the fact.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his essay "The Poet"

Thursday, September 5, 2013

(We Are) Party People

It's been a long time since James and I have thrown down. But we are having a party tomorrow night. (Kara, are you reading this?)

To get in the spirit, I started looking back at pictures of some of our previous parties. And I'll show them to you if you promise not to judge the low quality. The photographer was drunk. Obviously.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Be Honest

What is your favorite book and why?

It's no secret that my favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo. It is hella long, yo, but worth the three months it could take for your first go 'round. My second reading took a little over a week. No, I didn't have a life. Edmond Dantes was my life.

Why do I like it so much? It is a damn good story. Long and complex, but with a really great rhythm to it. You follow a plot for a while and it leads you off into left field. But don't fret; it'll tie in. Yes, it ever-much surely will. In some gut-wrenching or perhaps brain-exploding way. (I love when books make my brain explode!) There are stories within stories within stories, woven brilliantly. Characters, well-developed and unique, for whom you root besides the protagonist and circle of leads.

And Dumas made sure there was something for everyone: intrigue, mystery, adventure, romance, thrills and chills, moral quandaries, philosophical dilemmas, backstabbing, arcs, concaves, bandit caves, secret mountain holds, carnivals, dead babies, buffoons. And lots of humor, too.

The whole first section, the set up in the Chateau d'If, is inspiring in itself. It made me want to study, like, Greek and Astronomy and stuff, in case I need to get outta dodge or whatever.

And I love the book because it is long. I liked that tv series, Firefly, but then, like, 14 episodes and one feature length later it was over, done, kaput. I need more than that. I want to keep coming back, day after day, always wanting more. Always getting it.

Yeah, I'm pretty much ready for a re-read of The Count. Seriously.

So tell me yours. I mean it. Maybe you can dissuade me from this path.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Study Break

I may not have time to finish my homework, mow the lawn and get dinner on the table by 6, but I do have time to slap on a wig and get the tripod set up.

Wanna know what my babies do when I'm thusly engaged? Take turns posing.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Balancing Act

Hey, I need to level things out here. All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl. Too much studying! I need a pleasure-read. What are some good books you'd recommend, oh dear readers? "But, Lily," you say, "you don't have time to read!" One can always find time for a worthy book, yo.

I like books like, uh, Count of Monte Cristo. There's only one of those, though, and even all of Dumas' other works combined didn't compare to the wonder and glory of that one book, you know? So what else? In essence, I like books that transport me to another world/time/way of thinking. I like to be completely consumed by a fantasy. The best ones follow me around after I put down the book, lingering behind me like a pieces of gauze in the wind, the little scraps settling in my hair when I slow down.

Classics are best, but I like new stuff too. And I'll read non-fiction if the ideas are fascinating enough.

Leave suggestions in the comment section, why don't ya?*

(Rather than through the contact form, you know who you are!)