it's the little things

so, dubai is in the desert and all... hence, a serious lack of precipitation and my incredible longing to go somewhere like seatlle or london, where it rains most of the time. i enjoy rain. snow. fog (when i don't have to drive and/or be driven through it). ice (again, with the driving).

long story short... it's actually raining in dubai. at this current moment. raining. a whole two months or so early for the raining season (if a few days to a week can actually be construed as a 'season'). i'm happy. i have little spots on my shirt because i have been frolicking in said rain. i'm childish... easily entertained... but it's really the little things that count. yeah.


on the brighter side of things...

... i have apparently poisoned myself. i have food poisoning (thankfully not too badly), but i feel as if i've been hit by a truck. fully loaded. going 150 mph. life's just peachy.


david slew goliath. he didn't kick the shit out of him.

i find myself becoming very angry, nay irate, very easily of late. you will probably find me , most often, brandishing beautifully-strung-together strings of curses that would make sailors blush. i have found that cursing - i mean cursing really well - is a cultivated art form. these kind of things take years of practice.

this highly valuable skill is typically demonstrated by unique combinations of curses or 'shockingly obscene phrases.' these, mind you, are typically accompanied by very vivid mental imagery that make people either a] cringe, b] blush, c] look around to see who else is listening to your filthy mouth, d] scoff, e] pretend they are offended because of their virgin ears, or f] cover their ears/mouth and gasp in utter amazement at the most disgusting/offensive thing they've ever heard.

i find it very funny that my favorite targets of these outbursts seem to be inanimate objects. these cannot, of course, react to my tirades and incessant hurling of insults, but it makes it no less entertaining. granted, the situations that cause me to erupt in profanity are not particularly pleasant, but the realization that i've just allowed myself to become irate with something that cannot respond to my blathering is always incredibly amusing in hindsight. especially if there happens to be someone else around to think i'm nuts to be screaming at something that couldn't give a rat's ass about my obvious frustration.

things i've screamed at lately: mostly at computers - for not doing exactly what i want them to do... they're intelligent machines... shouldn't they be able to read my mind by now? people driving like morons - this is not just an arkansas phenomenon... people here make arkansans look like pros. holy. mother. of god. my sunglasses, for fogging up when i walk outside into the sauna that is dubai. the cabinet doors that i - without fail - slam my head into as i try to get something off of the top shelf (which, by the way is designed for a giant).

and, of course, the walls that i run into... because, you know? it's most definitely the wall's fault that i'm so clumsy. they're not stationary or anything... i mean, you have to be very alert to avoid running, toe-first, into them.

take my advice and watch those walls. especially the corners... they're froggy.


bring your own party party

i'm a slacker... well, not really. i've been quite productive since the end of july... i got a great job and i've been working like a crazy lady. i'm actually getting to design things - not bathrooms or window frames - but towers. actual buildings on a real site with a real client. and stuff. woo.

i've also been working on my first commissioned painting - it's really nerve-wracking to think that someone is going to have my painting in their house. oh - and my camera is fixed (thank you, arun), so i will be posting photos of dubai and massundam really soon. sweet freaking action.

other than that, i've been hanging out at the beach - watching the sun rise over the burj al arab, going to the buddha bar, speeding around dubai in my sweet ass alfa romeo (yes, i'm renting it, but indulge me anyway). i cut off my hair... i'm kind of regretting it at the moment, given the humidity and my new afro. oh yeah, and sleeping. a lot. i'm still working on that whole recovering-from-five-years-of-sleep-deprivation thing.

life is sweet.


better with age... like fine wine or something to that effect

so, my first birthday in dubai... 23 years and counting. yeah.

i have had the most wonderfully super dooper day... all starting with a healthy dose of friday morning cartoons and very strong coffee. then i was schlepped to a wonderful dim sum place half-way across town where the wonderful owner gave me a jade good luck charm because i know chinese tea etiquette. then ice cream cake - chocolate with reese's peanut butter cups (sigh) - and presents... not to mention that i had 'happy birthday' sung to me in africanse for the first time. so freaking cool.

and to top off this splendiferous day, i have been so very touched by the amount of my friends half way across the planet who remembered my birthday... i have received some sort of ridiculous amount of happy birthday messages today... kinda makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. i love love love my friends and i thank all of them for remembering me... sincerely. thanks.

3 cheers for chocolate ice cream cake and warm-fuzzies.
cheers. cheers. cheers.


freedom is...

amazing! i got to see ursula rucker perform last night at evory lounge in the emirates mall last night. i was awestruck by her sincerity, her incredibly powerful lyrics, and her performance. most importantly, the message she had to send needed to be heard (check out the lyrics listed on her website).

i was, on the other hand, appalled by the behavior of the people in the club. i have never been so embarrassed to be part of an audience in my life. people wouldn't shut up... in fact, as soon as ursula began to sing/speak, they immediately turned up the volume. idiots were shouting at each other to be heard over her... ms. rucker just kept performing as if people weren't behaving like morons. i would have jumped off the stage and tackled the drunken idiots stumbling and screaming in front of the stage... but then again, i have no patience for inconsiderate morons. c'est la vie.


learning to lose the meaning

yes, i'm a slacker... but forgive me for not wanting to publicly vent my noxious frustration at my current lack of purpose. it's a strange down-shift... from being so busy i could hardly breathe to having absolutely nothing to do but sit helplessly/hopelessly in front of my (bad ass) computer and look for a job that i know - on the inside - isn't coming. i'm coming to grips with the fact that i am a woman in the middle east and for that, i will be forever looked down upon, forever undesirable in the workplace. c'est la vie, but i don't have to be happy about it.

i'm just waiting... waiting for the interviews that were scheduled and then delayed because of 'summer vacations,' waiting for my portfolio to come in the mail (even though it was mailed 'overnight' 3 weeks ago), waiting for the heat to subside, waiting to make some friends, waiting to have a chance to make some sort of positive difference, waiting to be not-miserable. waiting. waiting. waiting. and i'm running out of patience.


vanno gli azzurri!!!

hell yes! the beautiful italians won the world cup!!! omigod... when they went to penalties, i thought i was going to have a heart attack! i have been bantering with people since last week about how the italians were going to win the cup... and they did! i am just so sorry to see zidane go out of his amazing career in such a disgrace. his is an amazing athlete and i can only hope that he isn't remembered for this fault, but for his amazing skill in the game of soccer...

anywho... va italia!!! i sweated the match out, outside in dubai, in my infamous italia sweatshirt... and it was completely worth every sweaty second!!!


part-time pirate

apparently, my interview didn't go as well as i thought, as i've heard nothing. no. thing. at. all. yours truly isn't suited for this whole interview-thing... patience is not a virtue i possess... and i also lack the self-restraint necessary not to tell someone to 'piss off' for being so rude as to not even send me an email telling me to bugger off. c'est la vie. i am applying at other firms. i'm sick of waiting for people who obviously lack the common decency to communicate.

i'm becoming slightly stir-crazy. i don't do well when i have nothing to do, and one can only do research for so long without going a little batty. i have no car of my own, nothing to do, no one i know here (other than my father), it's too freaking hot to get myself lost (not to mention that it would take me hours to walk to downtown), and i'm flat broke. all i want is to get a job so that i can at least have the means to start exploring this beautiful city... so i can stop being a mooch... so i can use the bleeding skills i spent five f#$%ing years cultivating in my own, personal hell - better known as architecture school.

and to make things worse, i have no one to talk to about this - hence the venting session on the internet. voi la.


you are the company you keep

so... the interview went well. i was promised 'something' in the form of what i'm assuming will be an offer, so now i get to just wait on pins and needles to receive some sort of official offer - either today or tomorrow.

to occupy my time, i've been speeding around dubai in a really cool alfa romeo over the weekend. it's really refreshing to be able to drive on the highway and not max out at 80 mph (the jeep threatened to shake itself apart every time i went above 80)... not to mention that the transmission is this awesome hybrid between a manual and automatic - sweet, sweet acceleration.

oh happy day.


... i'm just a little worried about your brain

freaking right the hell out. interview tomorrow. 'nuff said.


ode to the taxi man

dear mr. taxi-driver-man,

are those glasses you wearing up to date? can you, by chance, see the road you are driving on? i only ask these questions because you nearly slammed into the side of my car this afternoon going something to the order of 60mph... those kind of things will cause a girl to ask questions. again, i am stressing the sight-thing, because i clearly had a green light and you clearly had a red light. not yellow. not pink. red. and yet, you still managed to build up enough speed to cause me to have to swerve out of my lane.

were you, by any chance, in a hurry? a really great hurry? because the manner in which you were conducting your very beat-up cab would evidence some sort of urgency... and yet, once you had nearly run me off the road, you slowed down to a near-crawl. this - dear sir - would not only cause a girl to ask certain questions, but it would almost always cause the aforementioned girl to draw the conclusion that you are an unrelenting, semi-blind, asshole. yes, i think 'asshole' will suffice. am i correct in assuming this? or am i being rash? are you just stupid? or blind (in which case, you really shouldn't be behind the wheel of a moving vehicle... just an observation)?

i look forward to never having to encounter you on the road, and i offer my most sincere pity to anyone who has the misfortune to step into your ill-fated cab.

yours truly -

the girl you nearly smashed



a little birdie told me about a new blog - hangoverblack - that i really enjoyed reading. very sarcastic. very good. i thought i would share.

oh. and, you're welcome


subtracting light

in response to miss trinity and the eight billion emails i am getting on a daily basis, here's an update on the photos situation - my camera is still broken and apparently because sony has discontinued the model of camera that i have, i am going to continue to have difficulty finding a place that will service the bloody thing. i am in hell as far as this goes - not being able to take photos is like having my arm cut off or something... i am a behind-the-lens-kind-of-girl and not having a functioning lens is causing me to go through withdrawals. i am seriously considering just biting the bullet (so to speak) and going to get some cheap-ass substitute camera. i. can't. handle. this. shit. no. more.

other than the camera thing, i got my first dose of dubai rush hour traffic the day before yesterday. my father and i decided to go to ikea to get some kitchen gadgets... ikea (this one is something to the order of 4 times the size of a typical ikea... totally awesome!!!) is on the other side of the city... so we leave when we think rush hour traffic will be subsiding. we were so, so, so wrong. sheik zayed road (one of two principal arteries through dubai) was a parking lot. it took us 2 hours to get less than 10 km. i was about to go postal. not only is there no evidence whatsoever of any sort of planning for the shear volume of traffic present on a daily basis, but people here cannot drive. do not understand the concept of sharing the road. think their cars are toys with stereos. apparently do not understand that turning the steering wheel causes the vehicle to change trajectory. omigod. yeah. add to that the fact that i have now listened to the cds in my dad's saab over and over and over, the lack of acceptable radio stations and my lack of supply of new music, and you are left with a natalie on the verge of losing her mind (i was driving... or rather, i was the one constantly on the brakes). wow.

ikea, on the other hand, was sublime. it was so nice to walk through a store and not be affronted with horribly designed and poorly constructed furniture (mind you, not everything at ikea is wonderful, but an overwhelming majority of it at least evidences concern with effective, efficient, and aesthetic design concerns).

now, for the job interviews...


mom, dexter's wearing my tights again

i spent the day getting lost in dubai... dad and i started in the 'deira city center' - i have never seen so many people in one place in my life. ever. it's a shopping center that goes on and goes on and keeps going; and apparently everyone, their mother, their dog, and their 12 closest friends were there today (thursday the equivalent to saturday here... it's the big 'shopping day,' i'm told). after we spent about an hour getting lost in a building, i was given the car keys and set out to get lost in the middle of a city. woo.

i didn't get into any car accidents today - whew - and i finally got to go to the beach... although today wasn't the best day to be hanging out in the sun, as it reached 50 degrees centigrade today (122 degrees fehrenheit) and i wasn't quite in the mood to end up in a puddle on the sand. so instead, i sat outside after the sun went down (still in the heat, still in the humidity), and smoked hubbly bubbly with my dad - his first time.

sweet. action.


still breathing

ok - so i haven't dropped off of the face of the planet. i have just arrived in dubai - and my camera has decided to stop working. i am going to take it in for repairs sometime tomorrow, and i will try to find some alternative method of getting images of this amazing city on my blog as soon as possible.

this city is breathtaking. the photos of dubai that were in the architectural record a few months ago do it no justice whatsoever. my father's apartment (where i am living) is in the marina... this whole area is completely new construction. in fact, the entire area surrounding the marina is currently under construction. teams of workers are erecting high-rises 24 hours a day, so the cranes atop each structure are in constant motion (i was up for most of the night last night and sat on the balcony to watch). it's almost as if the city were inhabited by very slow-moving lighted dinosaurs that are growing each day.

i am really quite upset that my camera isn't working, because i got to fly over kuwait at night and the lighted coastline was absolutely stunning. i finally got to see the burj al arab hotel from the outside (i'm going on a tour of the building on friday, i think), and it's absolutely beautiful. i am somewhat relegated to the apartment for a day or so, as i have no transportation around the city until this weekend (thursday and friday are the weekends here), and it is painfully hot during the day right now, so unless i want to turn into a pool of sweat by hiking the twenty-something-odd miles back into the center of the city - which i am not to keen on right now - i am going to stick to walking around the marina until thursday afternoon, at which time i will get a chance to drive (as in actually drive, not just ride in a car... somewhat frightening to be honest) around the city.

now i am going to try to sleep, as jetlag is a really big bastard.


she had a weakness for writers...

in the midst of everything that brings me joy (graduating and moving the away from this place), i somehow find some sort of melancholy. i can't seem to help but want things to happen that simply cannot... but i guess that this is the human condition and whatnot. i wish that i could just be satisfied with how much i've accomplished, but i seem to be focused on my failures of late (yes, i realize that this is ridiculous, but c'est la vie).

don't count your chickens before they hatch, right? well, i'm moving to dubai regardless. i'm without concrete employment offers, a work visa, or even a plan of what i'm to do once i get out into the 'real world' half-way across the planet from everything i'm familiar with at the moment. i'm just holding my breath for some serious luck once i get to dubai, since i've been on about an eight-year dry spell of it... but i suppose that in the long-run, i can just count myself lucky, for now, for actually being eligible to graduate on saturday.



30 days notice

i gave my thirty days notice to my landlord the other day and it dawned on me that i'll be out of here in less than a month. i have my thesis defense this afternoon, and barring a major disaster (... holding my breath until 4 this afternoon), i'll be on the final push toward graduation. i realize that this is pretty much all i talk about lately, but i'm just so bleeding ready for this whole period of my life to come to a close. 5 years is a lot to dedicate to anything, much less something that causes regular panic attacks and near-constant sleep-deprivation... i need a change more than i could possibly ever express in words.


and the beat goes on

this is going to be a great and terrifying week. one of my favorite authors, thomas lynch, is coming to lecture at the u of a on tuesday. on wednesday, i have to defend my thesis (the potentially terrible part of the week) and then get to go listen to terry jones of monty python give a reading on wednesday evening.

i'd have to say that, short of possibly finding out that my thesis isn't sufficient to qualify me for graduation, this is a great line-up for my last week of college. i can finally see that light at the end of this terribly dark, dank tunnel, and i'm soaking up every single beam of that light that i can.


like, whoa.

the thesis is due tomorrow... i'm not freaking out. what? i'm not (well, only a little on the inside). i'm just a little preoccupied with making sure everything comes together articulately, and because i can't spell to save my ever-loving life, i'm proofreading like crazy and running the spell-check a zillion times. i'm also keeping my fingers crossed that the printer doesn't suddenly decide to through a hissy fit... i will continue to do so until i am holding 47 pages of thesis in my hands.

two weeks until graduation. two. weeks. until. i. graduate. from. college. two more weeks of my academic hell and then i get to taste the sweet (hopefully) chocolatey goodness of freedom. now all i have to do is survive my defense, write another (again, hopefully) brilliant paper, finish a series of paintings, and pass a final exam.

no sweat.



someone was killed at my apartment complex sometime friday night or saturday morning. she lived downstairs from me. she was 21 years old. her brother found her dead in her bedroom. i didn't even know her name. i was home all night on friday and i didn't hear a thing... i just can't help but think that maybe, if i'd paid more attention - if anyone living around her had paid more attention - this might have been prevented.

the most haunting thing about this whole situation is that i'm completely numb to it. that's fucked up. i should be horrified to come home from lunch to find a horde of police and a crime scene investigation vehicle parked on the quad in front of my apartment. i should be completely terrified. but i'm not. i am bothered tremendously by the fact that i didn't even know what this girl looked like and she lived four doors down from me for a full six months. and now she's gone. she was only 21 for christ's sake. now that is terrifying.


midget ninja

i have a plan. i am going to dress up like a ninja, climb in through the downstairs apartment window all sneaky-like, sneak through the tiny little rooms and overwhelming stench of fried food, and i'm going to smash my neighbor's speakers with a hammer. yes, yes... this is my sneaky remedy to the my-floor-is-vibrating-because-you-play-your-music-too-loud-are-you-deaf-? problem.

no, seriously... my neighbors play their music so loud it actually wakes me up... through the floor! are they trying to cause their child's eardrums to burst? are they hard of hearing and unwilling to seek medical attention (or get hearing aids)? or do they just enjoy polka music at 300 decibels and annoying the piss out of everyone on the north side of fayetteville?

at precisely 6am and 3pm every day, dude will turn his music on in his car, full blast. he then proceeds to open every door along with the trunk... and then walk away. he just walks away and my apartment is shaking itself apart. dude. what. is. your. deal? are you trying to make me crazy?


nothing, nothing to write home about

my sad, sorry excuse for a life can be summed up in one word - thesis. if i haven't written of late, it is solely because i am up to my eyebrows in things i need to write in order to get that little piece of paper that says that i'm free of this hell commonly known as architecture school. one more month, save a day, and i will be a college graduate. 48 days, and i will be on my way to dubai. oh yes, hell yes.

about the only thing of interest i have to write about is the 'flying architecture' competition i'm hosting today... it's basically just an excuse for architecture students to hurl eggs out of a second story window of the architecture department for prizes and whatnot. it comes down to the fact that i enjoy student-organization-sponsored mayhem. it's more interesting that way, i suppose.

oh, and i got peter eisenman's autograph on monday.




i now have a photoblog... and it's name is 'photobox'. photobox will be [hopefully] filled with pretty/weird/neat/random things to look at... i'm hoping to put something on it every day. it's linked under 'things i see' if you want to take a gander.

it's like a big internet party for me and my camera. byob.



my pooter is here! my apple macbook pro has finally arrived! all 15.4 sexy-ass inches of it are sitting in front of me 'as i speak', and i could quite possibly say that this moment is sublime.


my refrigerator is flooding my house

the u of a school of architecture is celebrating its 60th anniversary. this - given that all architects are alcoholics - means that everyone goes out to get hammered. this is how we socialize... it's just how we roll. brewski's on dickson street was full to bursting with the architecture crowd last night... holy mother of god, those silly kids can drink.

the festivities also came packaged with a lovely serving of drama - my tires got slashed. yeah. i just got my bleeding axle replaced and now i have to get new tires. i'm just pleased as punch. someone went down the entire row of cars that my jeep was in and slashed everyone's tires... the best part: in a bloody church parking lot.

the whole group-of-people-simultaneously-changing-tires-in-front-of-cops-thing was actually comic genius. everyone exchanging tools to try to get everyone's tires changed ... and then trying to figure out what tool belonged to whom at 2:30 in the morning, in the dark, after a night on dickson street - in front of the cops. brilliant. brilliant, i say.


'...the slow hairs of the heart...'

i'm writing. more like, i'm trying to write and have, instead, spent the afternoon staring blankly at a screen full of words i've written but don't recognize. i've been jumping back and forth between reading and writing this past week... mostly reading about dead people and what the living do with them (i.e. how we bury them... get your head out of the gutter) - given that that's what i'm still writing about.

i've been most taken aback by the eloquence of thomas lynch. he is a poet/writer/undertaker and his prose are lovely (i actually haven't read any of his poetry as of yet). if you don't believe me, or if you actually care to read something really good, you should pick up one of his books [i'm reading the undertaking at the moment].

onto things not dealing with those lacking a pulse -there is a new baby in the family! my cousin, amanda, had a beautiful baby girl named isabella rose on the 17th. i got to go see miss 'beth' last night and i almost cried because she is so beautiful.

amanda and her husband kelly have wanted a baby so badly, and now they have a beautiful little girl who is going to be so, so very loved. to see them smile so genuinely when looking at her is truly a wonderful, heart-warming sight. amanda said, upon leaving the hospital, 'i can't believe that they're going to let me keep something so beautiful.'


waking dreams and a beat i can't get out of my head

current activity: listening to ulrich schnauss' 'passing by' on repeat [probably annoying the living hell out of the neighbors downstairs... revenge is sweet, my friend], intermitently retyping ricoculously extensive bibliography [i'm at 3.5 pages, singles spaced, 10 pt. font - and i'm not even half-way through it], working on thesis, listening to neighbors next door have a rather loud dispute on the balcony - apparently, right in front of my door [desperate for attention? or just a very mobile argument?].

have a strange craving for ice cream [ben & jerry's 'phish food' (my favorite)] - probably because it's bleeding cold outside [i only crave ice cream when it's freezing outside. yes, i know it's weird, but i can't help it], or just because i love chocolate... whatever, i just want ice cream. am also craving human interaction - machines are making me crazy. now have sneaking suspicion that i have an incoming migraine. oh goodie.

just finished retyping my resume this afternoon. sent it to dubai, and am hoping for concrete job offer(s). dad is scouting out apartments... i can't wait to get out of here... i've decided that my goal for next year, besides experiencing all of dubai that i possibly can, is to read the first 100 'classic' books that i can get my hands on... on top of finally having some semblance of a life. pathetic, i know, but it's my silver lining and whatnot.


sir, may i have another?

i have to admit it - the first step to resolving a problem is to admit that you have one: i am a complete sucker for romance films. there. i said it. as of this very instant, i am positively enamored of 'pride and prejudice' ... i want a mr. darcy. sigh. swoon...

pretty please? may i have one?


finger lickin' good

my friend, crysti, just sent me the most positively fantabulous text message, ever. ever: 'i have a lil' angel that flies around with a hammer and hits everyone that i love. i hope it beats the shit out of you.'

i heart you, crysti. mmm hmm, i do.


babies in bloom

i'm going to be an aunt. my little brother is getting married... and he's going to be a dad. i'm completely excited... mind you, it took a day to sink in that my little brother is going to have a child, but it's really quite incredible. this kid - girl or boy - will most definitely be the most spoiled little one on the planet. oh yeah. oh yeah.

cheers to matt and whitney.


good places to go when you want to disappear

i don't think i could be more angry with myself if i tried. i spent two and a half hours completely mucking up a painting i've been working on for about a month. i was 'inspired' and apparently, my inspiration is ugly as hell and compositionally wretched. i kind of feel like moping, but i think i'll remedy the situation by taking my sander to the thing this afternoon... it's like a really loud, dusty eraser of sorts, i suppose.

oooh - more things i've screwed up and/or are making my life a living hell of late:
1] i have bent my rear axle. yes, ladies and gentlemen, i will be soon purchasing my second replacement axle. [this is me, taking a bow] i am just that good, what else can i say?
2] i got in a fight with the cnc mill [his name is now thadeus, i think] yesterday, and thadeus kicked my ass, cut my finger and made me very flustered. i heart machines.
3] the computers in the viz_lab [the place full of cool toys where i work] have gone on strike and i have a sneaking suspicion that they are planning a coup.

and now, i'm off to play with a penta koch puzzle. woo!


yeah, cause in my past life, i was a demi-god

Odin, "The Allfather." Like Odin, you

have many different sides. Odin is a patron

of the arts, but also drives his warriors

into battle frenzies. Odin made the ultimate

sacrifice for wisdom, giving his right eye

and hanging upside down on Yggdrasil with a

spear in his side for nine days and night.

When in doubt, ask yourself "What Would

Odin Do?"

Which Norse God Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


bite the weenie, riz... mmm, with relish.

current activity - multitasking [drinking wine, playing trivial pursuit (with the green piece), watching 'grease' on tv, and sticking my finger in my roommate's cheek]

what i shoud be doing - studying for the exam i have on monday...

c'est la vie.


fun with basements

snow and a headache... and somehow, instead of being at home either a) sleeping said headache off, or b) making a ridiculous snowman - i am at work.


camel snot & fun with play-do

i went for pints with my friends, scott, david and nathan tonight. i've decided that i'm most definitely driving back out to chaco canyon this summer. and this time, i'm driving the jeep with the top down... i haven't seen the bleeding sun in five years and i deserve a freaking tan. pint night... why? why do they make me drink shitty beer, like mich ultra, at an obscenely inflated price in order to get a stinking glass? sigh. not. cool. not. cool. at. all.

i sprained my knee today... i'm apparently a klutz. i, apparently, can't walk now. at all. what joy is mine... i've hobbled myself. and for some very strange reason, i'm not upset about it - well, stairs are proving to be a bit more of a hassle than would typically be desired, but such is life. i'm somewhat glad of it, in fact, because i've had an excuse to not be insanely busy today... people seem to understand that when one is injured, one cannot move at a quick pace - what utter bliss is mine.

i'll lay down my vices, i'll lay down in houses... things come alive

i apparently lack the ability to work on my paintings without completely dousing myself in oil paint. health risk? yeah, i'm not so good about the whole keep-the-oil-paint-off-the-skin bit. no, not really at all. i've had this really bad habit - since i was about 15 - in that i put down my brush and decide that it's a great idea to start finger painting with oil paints... if i worked just a little harder at it, i could probably make myself look tye-died... given that i look like a henna session gone terribly awry after i've been painting. whatever... it's my therapy and whatnot.

i painted quite a bit today... it's a stationary activity [well, relatively stationary] and i can't really walk that well today... so it's convenient like that. my personal trainer allowed me to kick my own ass yesterday and currently, my legs are punishing me. c'est la vie... i've lost ten bleeding pounds in two weeks. yeah... that's right... i'm gettin' skinny again. what?

rambling, yet again... i'm having a 'dinner party' on saturday. though there will be food present [that my roommate and i will probably spend most of saturday cooking], i have a feeling it will be more 'party' than 'dinner.' nonetheless, i'm stoked. the last time i hosted anything close to a 'dinner party' [again - mostly wine (well, lots of wine, but that's neither here nor there) with sustenance available] was in my shoebox apartment in rome, cooking food enough for ten people on one burner, by candlelight because we kept shorting out the electricity. superb... so here's to hoping for someone's drunken stupor on saturday and here's to hoping even more that it's mine.

i need a drink...


a most unfortunate series of events...

last week - bitten by dog [see post from 02.04.2006]

this week - car accident [see below]

i was on my way to norfork this afternoon to bid my mother adieu before she is on her way to dubai tomorrow... and of course it starts snowing - rather profusely - on my way. i decide to continue on my merry way, undeterred by the fact that the last time i had an accident of any sort of magnitude [i.e. i was lucky to walk away from it], it was sleating and i was on my way from fayetteville to norfork... foreshadowing, anyone? i get to harrison [about 2/3 of the total journey] just fine, when i happen upon two rather horrid accidents [a) girl seemingly pinned under rolled-over turquoise coupe. b) young man unable to exit his truck after having spun out, run off the road and hitting a tree]. immediately after passing said accidents, i crossed an icy bridge. i slowed down to avoid some debris in the road and was 'tapped' from behind by the car behind me that was apparently unable to slow down in time. at this time, i began to spin, across both lanes of traffic, back into my lane, where i slammed into the curb and landed up on the sidewalk, facing the opposite direction. the impact broke two of my wheels and punctured my rear-left tire. what joy is mine... i was helped by a wonderfully kind stranger at the bp gas station, who had apparently recognized that i was much too shaken-up and still too shaky to operate my piece-of-shit jack by myself... thank you, whoever you are, from the bottom of my heart.

lessons learned from said accident:
1] stay home when it starts to sleat heavily or snow for any period of time... take actions such as: give car keys to someone else and/or hide them to insure that you don't drive in these conditions.
2] get a better jack
3] people are capable of demonstrating extreme kindness to strangers, for absolutely no reward other than ultimate gratitude. maybe some people are inherently good, after all...


hey man, how'd you get that shiner? get in a bar brawl? ... nah, dude. i fell out of a tree.

i have a busted lip and a bloody nose. yeah.

three cheers for friday night.

cheers. cheers. cheers.


i'd give my body to be back again... in the rest of the room.

brief recap of the last couple of weeks and some added nonsense to conclude:

i'm in a class that basically focuses on phallic imagery and a primarily sexual interpretation of the body in medieval space [yeah...]. i got a personal trainer and am going to get rid of my fat ass if it kills me. i graded quizzes for the first time this afternoon. i've been remodeling the cnc room in the basement of vol walker along with my friend melissa [and am almost done painting - will post pictures when it's all said and done]. i got stuck in an elevator on monday night... me and a computer cabinet, getting cozy and stuff while i waited for the cops to let me out [i was just so very glad at that moment that i am nowhere near claustrophobic...]. my transmission is slipping in my jeep and i am - as usual - broke as hell [that's a technical term, by the way].

i'm moving to dubai [in the u.a.e.] after i graduate in may and i can't wait to get the hell out of here. i have this tendency to get rather stir-crazy, and i have never been so desperate to get out of a place in my life - partly because everything i touch here seems to turn to shit and partly because i honestly believe that this place is killing me - just a little bit, each and every day. i seem to have completely lost myself. i've lost touch. with almost everything that matters to me... so i'm getting out as fast as i can...


it's endless. it's mapless. no compass. no north star.

i love coming home to my family's farm... it's the one place in the world where i feel like i can actually breathe. i've never been anywhere where i feel more at home than i do here... even when i was a kid and this was my grandparents' house, i always felt safe here.

i think one of my favorite things about coming here is that it always storms right after i arrive... [self-revealing factoid numero uno for the day: i positively adore thunderstorms] - there's just something so wonderfully exhilarating and yet so peaceful about hearing the rain on the metal roof... about being able to see lightning for miles without any street lights or buildings to obstruct the view - just the trees and the hilltops and the surrounding farms backlit in violent bursts of light.

on clear, temperate nights, you can lay a quilt down on the grass and stare up at the sky and it looks as if it's light outside for all of the stars; you can see the milky way so clearly it looks as if you could reach out and take a piece of it for yourself [were it not millions of lightyears away and all]... i have fallen asleep on the grass in front of the farmhouse many nights because i've stayed out looking at the stars for too long.

i've honestly never considered myself to have roots in any one place - i have roots with people, but not really to a town, city or building in particular. recently i've come to realize and be comforted by the fact that i do have roots - very deep ones - here... on the farm that always welcomes me with a symphony of rain.


silent cities...

i am so very tired of reading about dead people. i feel morbid and slightly freakish, considering that i'm doing my work at a coffee house, reading and writing about american cemeteries, at the communal table where i've gotten several strange that-chick-is-reading-about-what? looks today. what joy is mine. nevertheless, i'm over-caffeinated and under-motivated. we'll call it writer's block. yes. that'll do.

so, as i promised, i'll begin the nola stories... in pieces, mind you, as i still have editing and whatnot to do this evening.

went to new orleans for new years, to visit my darling friend, dara, and her beautiful daughter, anna... and as is becoming something of a ritual with me and going to nola for new years, dara took me to frenchman street... i was smart enough to go in non-heels this year, as last year, i ended up shoeless in the quarter due to the extreme pain/blistering of my feet. ha. started at molly's [i heart molly's], ended up spending the grand moment [midnight] at the hooka bar, oh yes, drinking a lot, and taking pictures with two beautifully-dressed men in drag, sigh. i love my life. i was [willingly and rather enthusiastically] kidnapped by my friend crysti and taken, at what must have been ninety miles per hour, down the interstate through the smothering fog, to a bar in metarie, called 'jiggers,' where i proceeded to top off my drunken stooper for the evening... or so i thought. we ended up drinking champagne at something like 4 am at [newly met] steve's house and didn't get home until 7. dear. holy. god. i had the hangover from hell. all i could do when i woke up on new year's day was emit something resembling a death rattle... much to crysti's amusement.

i took a little research excursion to st. louis cemetery no. 1, which was locked, so i took pictures over the wall [this is quite a feat, given that i'm a midget], and was informed that a police escort is recommended in order to visit the cemetery. i guess this sort of thing is supposed to deter visitors. this, of course, peaked my interest, so i'm going back and i'm going to get into the cemetery, damnit. i have to wait for the arch diocese in nola to regroup post-katrina, though, in order to get proper permission, etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseum - therefore, i'm going back to nola for mardi gras [killing two birds with one stone, as it were].

all of my nonsense aside, i was shocked, saddened and struck by the destruction katrina and the levee breaches left behind. though i am not from new orleans, i love the city... really and truly adore all of it - the good, the bad, all of it. seeing water lines on houses i'd admired and photographed a year previous, hundreds of cars abandoned with windows broken out and doors and trunks ajar under the interstate, driving through the ninth ward and seeing, first hand, a fate literally worse than death... i just sat, near speechless, almost in tears. i can't even describe... it just makes me hope that the city is as resilient as i think it is... and it makes me angry that the bastards who had the knowledge of what needed to be done before the hurricane season and the power to get it done didn't do anything, let hundreds of people die an indescribably horrid death, and nearly let a city be destroyed. kharma... that's all i have to say. one day, they'll get theirs. until then, there's hope for a new beginning for so many people. there's always hope.


too much left to taste that's bitter

back from nola... have to finish research before i can play on the internet. i shall post pictures and tell stories on the morrow. yeah, so hold your breath until then.