Monday, June 23, 2014

Breaking Mediocre

I stopped blogging.

I'm not sure why or when it started to crumble but I decided to just let it fade away into the background while other things came into focus. I became disenchanted with the blogging world on a whole because actual content was thrown to the wayside and it suddenly became about how well you could photograph your coffee and your Birkenstocks. It became all about branding and knowing "the right" bloggers and fucking "curating" (can we please put that word back into museums and not use it for a post on how to make rustic meatloaf?!). Things felt vapid and disingenuous. Things were just...things.

I'm no better. I took up the wonderful world of Instagram like any girl who wanted to major in photography and writing while making her life look like an Anthropologie ad. I was/am seduced by the endless opportunities to share and take in bits and pieces of life while spinning them in a delightful aesthetic. Some people described it as "micro blogging" and I thought "well, that seems like less work and it certainly looks prettier, so why not?"

But something was missing. It all still felt sort of empty.

I've been writing for as long as I can remember feeling really good when I did it. I felt like I was finally doing my mind a service and so I used it as an escape. I used it as therapy. I used it as a way to communicate the things my mind and my mouth couldn't unstick when people asked me "what are you thinking about". And then the Real World took hold. I had to recover from a divorce. I had to fend for myself and rebuild a world for myself and Jack. I worked. I got into a relationship. I worked some more. We started building a home.

 In the midst of all of this I stopped writing. I justified it by saying "well, the blogging world is all fake bullshit anyway so what's the point?" But I neglected to remind myself that I've always done it for me and if I could do it again for purely that reason, maybe I would be able to write regularly again.

 Maybe I wouldn't fill the void with hashtags and filtered peonies.

So, here I am again. I'm going to try this for the umpteenth time. And if you want to read along, I welcome you.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Modern Romance

When I was sixteen I believed in a certain kind of romance. Not having very many relationships (read: none) my ideas of romance consisted of what I think is best summed up in a scene in High Fidelity-

Barry: I wanna date a musician.
Rob Gordon: I wanna live with a musician. She'd write songs at home and ask me what I thought of them, and maybe even include one of our little private jokes in the liner notes.
Barry: Maybe a little picture of me in the liner notes.
Dick: Just in the background somewhere.

When I was nineteen my life took a different turn. An unplanned pregnancy, an engagement, in-laws, jobs- suddenly Little Girl Lost turned into Little Girl Better Get Your Shit Together, Fast. Romance took a backseat to reality. 

My first marriage didn't work out. Two people going through different sets of growing pains that turned them into strangers with different outlooks on separate paths- things got loud, then they got silent. The type of atrophy where you look across the dinner table and wait for the other person, with just as much sadness in their eyes, to announce the time of death. We only knew each other through our son. And in wanting to keep things happy for him, we severed our own animosity and forged new lives with the same goal- become better people for him. 

When I unloaded the bags of clothing and belongings, weighed more heavy by disappointment, by feelings of failure, into the empty room that I currently live in (although the scenery has changed drastically) I swore I'd never go through that again. I'd never marry again. And what's more- I'd probably never really trust the workings of love or relationships. The inner cynic had proof now and it became my cross to bare. 

One windy and overcast day in November 2011, my best friend/roommate and I went out to lunch at Bumsted's and began our usual lunch discussions. At that point I was fed up with my call center job that left me a silent ball of disenchantment at the end of every workday and Colleen, picking up the nuances in my behavior the way one will when you live with them for a bit, asked me if I considered just changing it up.

"Have you served before?"
"Yeah, kind of. It was alright."
"Why don't you apply here?!"
"Okay. Why not..."

I filled out an impromptu application on a piece of yellow legal paper and left it with our server. Colleen texted Bethany, former roommate and current bartender at Bumsted's, and asked a favor and a week later I had an interview. 

I walked in and asked the bartender about my impending interview, not realizing who I was talking to would become one of the most important people in my life. 

I got the job. 

I met Zack.

We hustled through a busy season together. Making small talk and jokes in between putting in orders and bussing tables. The small talk turned into hours long post-work conversations with him behind the bar and me becoming more loose lipped with each vodka gimlet until suddenly the stranger I saw the day of my interview turned into a friend and then...something. 

I walked home one day after a deeper post-work conversation. The kind where somehow you've etched out a place of comfort and camaraderie in a person. It was a brisk winter afternoon and as I walked I felt weightless and then something heavy settled into my chest (and has since never left)- I have strong feelings for this person. Me. The chick that hates everything and everybody. The chick that doesn't believe in most things, especially the fickleness of feelings. Suddenly, my body met the ghost of my former self.

"I'm catching feelings, as the kids say, for him," I confessed to Bethany one day after work. And her face lit up because she had been privy to information I hadn't- he had too. 

For weeks after that we did a lockstepped dance- the I Really, Really Fucking Like You But I'm Too Chickenshit To Say or Do Anything About It So Please Notice These Subtle Moves Dance. At this point we had talked until our heads turned blue. We had hung out. I asked for rides home from work even though I lived a distance close enough to even necessitate them (and had previously been walking to and from work every day) just so I could be in a small space, alone, with him. And I lingered before the exit thinking "now! Yes, now! Say it! Do it!"

"Okay, see ya tomorrow."
"Goodbye, Amanda."

The height of this dance came in March, where I couldn't handle it anymore and finally, in a sloppy text, confessed my feelings. Oh, modernity. 

We took a trip to Bisbee and everything came out on the way home and we returned from highway 80 a couple. 

It'll be two years in April. He's watched me struggle through a lot of shit. He's navigated through the process of becoming a step-father to my son. We've grown and bonded more and more every day.

I'm twenty-five. I'll be twenty-six in March. And now romance means something different than my previous teenage notions. 

Romance means not giving up.
Romance is finding pieces of yourself that you thought were dead in somebody else. 
Romance is greeting the ebbs and flows with grace and tenderness. 
Romance is picking up the kids or making dinner or bringing by a snack because you're TOO FUCKING TIRED FOR THIS SHIT!
Romance is greeting the ugliness with open eyes and acceptance. 
Romance is a second chance.

We picked out an older ring at Copper Country. A small, delicate thing that I looked at fondly for what it represented- taking something old and giving it a new life. 

That is romance to me now.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Body Love

 If you haven't caught wind of her on the internet yet, Jes M. Baker of The Militant Baker has been making a splash in the world of body positivity. Currently, my roommate is working together with her and a team of incredible women on the first Body Love Conference, aimed to promote body acceptance and positivity in a supportive community. In a world where society seems to hold vicious views and standards on women's (and men's) bodies thus having a negative affect on their lives, this cause is breath the fresh air. To be content, to be HAPPY, with oneself is thing we cannot lose sight of.

But movements like this have to gain traction, and events like this do cost money to put on. Although the outcome is priceless. So I'm asking you for help. Please help us get this conference off the ground and start a movement towards love- of each other and ourselves.

The Body Love Conference fundrazr can be found HERE.
AND if you'd like to attend this spectacular event, you can purchase tickets HERE.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed

I can't be certain how I first discovered The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed. An avid reader of music magazines and an avid haver of crushes on musicians, it was only natural that they slip in there somewhere. And while they began to fill my iTunes collection (I graduated in 2006, I'm sorry I'm not cool enough to have had them on vinyl first) inconspicuously, the influence began to take hold.

Lou Reed is the reason I still quest for the perfect pair of black jeans.

Lou Reed is the reason that if I have a fantastic day with somebody I love, I immediately put on "Perfect Day" when I get home.

Lou Reed seems like the only person I didn't have to explain bouts of depression too. I just put on some VU and things started to feel like home. Things would freeze and I'd have time to re-group. Maybe this is why I feel the need to immediately find them in any jukebox I encounter. Feeling lost in a crowd, I can pop in a dollar and pick a few of their songs and feel less anxiety ridden. I could even feel good.

But if you're tired and you're sick of the city
Remember that it's just a flower
Made out of clay, oh, the city
Where everything seems so dirty
But if you're tired and you're filled with self-pity
Remember that you're just one more
Person who's there

Lou Reed is the reason why I hear "Sweet Jane" in my head every time I open up a pack of cigarettes. 

Thank whatever deity for The Velvet Underground. They help uncool kids with predilections for poetry feel just a little cooler. 

Lou Reed is the reason I bothered to write this shitty blog today. I haven't written much (excuse me while I replay "Oh! Sweet Nothing" for the third time) and it has been a sore spot for far too many months. The best artists inspire while simply doing their own thing. 

Thanks, Lou; for the music that was the friend I always wanted around when I just wanted to be alone. Or take a walk on the wild side. Or cool it down. 

It was a pleasure.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Music Monday

I'm so terrible at updating these days, but explanations are kind of boilerplate.


But! Music has always made me happy, so I figured I would post today with something I found and cannot stop listening to-

 I think it sounds like a languid summer afternoon. Maybe a cocktail. Maybe a make out sesh with your favorite person. 

I could use both right now. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Help Out "Wild Things: Burlesque Beauties & The Pets They Love"

 Burlesque happens to be a hobby of mine (albeit a sporadic one, but one nonetheless) and I am also the roommate/BFF to local performer, Pisa Cake. In between life we have rhinestoned into the early morning, performed and even traveled (Burlycon ‘11, WUT!) together in the name of our beloved craft. So when she gets FEATURED IN A BOOK I have to cosign that shit and buy like five copies. BUT! There will be no books to look lovely on my coffee table if the goal funds are not raised. So, I’m asking you for help. Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated! I am unable to hug through the interwebs but know that I am sending virtual hugs of thanks.

Tony Marisco’s Kickstarter for the project can be found here

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Fondue

Back when I was writing over at Lullabies, I was doing a weekly roundup of links that I titled Friday Fondue. I sort of miss doing it so I figured I'd bring it back here.

A friend on Facebook shared this the other day and it is too good to not share again. Ladies and gents- Christopher Walken reading Where The Wild Things Are

Fellow Tucsonan and vintage stylist extraordinaire, Sydney Ballesteros of Golden Girl of the West does it again with a photo shoot that makes me think "this is what Megan Draper would look like if she went to Vegas." Check it out here

Speaking of Megan Draper (can you tell I've been stoked on Mad Men's new season finally gracing us with it's presence on Sunday nights again?), Buzzfeed gives you 11 reasons to love her. And I have to agree. 

It's near Summer in the Ol' Pueblo (our Springs are really more Summer-lite) and the Stevie Nicks wannabe inside of me can't help but find these outfits perfect. One, two, three and four.

If you're looking for a nice summer cocktail, Refinery 29 has you covered

I can't get enough risotto, so naturally this recipe was drooled over

As the mother to a son, Rebecca's post on letting boys be sensitive (and the stigma of them being called "weak" for it), hit home. It is so important that we raise empathetic, caring individuals in a world that experiences such harshness these days. 

And now, off to try and capture as much as of the weekend as possible. Cheers!