Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wish I had a

I'm re-reading The Bell Jar for a class.  I first read this in my second year of high school, and didn't like it very much.  I expected it to be something completely different and couldn't really grasp her subtleties.

I thought it would be some kind of handbook to young adulthood, a mystery map with dotted lines and arrows for the wary and different.  I assumed, like a lot of people dumbly do, that the suicide somehow indicated some kind of hard-edged sophistication and esoteric knowledge that others could find in her words, hidden like little easter eggs.  I assumed something similar about Colette and sex and was equally disappointed.

Well, scratch that, because I love The Bell Jar.  She is so crazily artfully brilliant with words, I am underlining and folding pages of this library copy only to find I'm turning page corners that have already been creased.  Too insanely, understatedly good.

It's been so long since I have been free to read prose of any enjoyable kind that I'm amazed by how good it is, and how fast the reading goes.  I've been blearily hovering over one miserable textbook page after another for a while now, always looking for any excuse to be released, that I was worried that I no longer liked to READ. 

In the book, Esther's first vaguely sexual encounter with her boyfriend is a perfect mirror to my first vague encounter.  Almost identical.  It hadn't yet occurred when I first read the book.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Grandma's House




Geodes, stained glass pyramids, and cats.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Party like it's 1899 Forever



I made the beginnings of a rag rug for an upcoming event at the museum.  The point is to highlight examples of bygone home handicrafts as well as to show kids that there are many ways to recycle.  Scrap fabric from worn out textiles or clothes is braided and then stitched together.  It is, as they say in California, hella easy.  Examples on flickr.

Rag rugs seem to have been the dominion of rural women just trying to make do until the Arts & Crafts movement (1860 - 1910) popularized them as an art form. Old ones are fairly pricey (and awesome) on Ebay. 

I totally love them, but this is going to have to go to the back of my "free time shit to do" pile because I don't have scrap fabric, and I need to embroider pictures of Ray Smuckles saying rude shit first.  Stay tuned for an Anita+Brittany clothing line consisting of silk-screened and embroidered hoodies and shirts with pictures of Ray saying WE DOIN THIS! and Roast Beef saying "I am the guy who sucks. Plus I got depression." 

Questions, see Achewood.  Start in 2005 or prior.

How I feel when

I see there's a job opening at the Poe Museum in Baltimore.


Um, ETA?  It's not in Baltimore!  It's in Richmond!  How do we not notice this information?  Eh so I don't know about all of that.  It's been a while since VA has been in the news for something other than encroaching on women's rights, know what I'm sayin.

It's too bad, because I feel like this museum was made for me, just like 30 Rock and the soundtrack to The Piano.  An early 18th century stone building, an excellent collection, a monthly promotional event called Unhappy Hour?!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

So, uh

I hear Anne Rice will be doing a book signing at Changing Hands next Wednesday. 

I had half a mind to take my old 70s printing of Interview with the Vampire and have her sign it.  The below is a later printing and not really approaching the majesty of the dull gold with relief lettering.  Unfortunately, it is located in one of a series of many boxes of books, and it's anyone's guess whether I'll take the time to look.

1998-me would have, but this-me, probably not.


Hello pink daybed.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm alternately really interested in and really annoyed by people. Some of them are SO STRANGE to me. It's interesting to think of what passes notice in superficial interactions, and what becomes glaringly obvious to the point where I'm just staring at them with my hand in midair in classic "WTF?" arrangement.

I've written some of them down. These are the ones from today. Surely these will come in handy the next time I'm forced to write some fiction.

Ultra hip Japanese kid named Bruce. Style is Johnny Depp 1990. Very thin, and very smart. Rarely speaks. His second-gen Japanese-American grandparents were put into one of the Japanese internment camps during WWII.

Mouthbreather, audible from 6'. Lots of makeup. Possible slight autism. Loves professor. Says “Yeah!” “Uh huh!” as though they’re the only two in the room. Laughs every time professor laughs, loudly, one beat behind.

Sassy gay kid, Ray Bans, loser in class, never studies, does no homework. Young, hip hair, possible diabetic, carries a needle in a case. SHAKES. Puts his hands on his knees, stares straight ahead, and shakes/trembles violently and fast, mouth vaguely moving. No explanation of this. High pitched, nasal voice. Calls everyone bitch. Iphone all the time, Beyonce ringtone.

1930s mobster guy at Lux. Glossy black hair, slicked back. Tight fitting black sweater, black pants. 50s. Speaks softly, DeNiro mole. Drinks espresso.


Oh, no. There's more. Later.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Bitch

Yes, today is Arizona's 100th anniversary of statehood. It's also Selma Goldberg's 100 year wedding anniversary as the first bride of statehood. Repeat readers might remember a post a while back in which I found her circa-1900 signature scrawled inside a closet in her childhood home - cute.

But wait, is there another anniversary today?

Heck yeah there is! Arizona proudly celebrates its 150th anniversary of being admitted to the Confederacy as a territory. HEYO. Unfortunately, the state never really left.

Doesn't Arizona know that it's tacky to set special events on holidays? Joining the Klan, getting married, and becoming a state all on Valentine's Day? Christ, you guys.

See the Maddow Blog for some enjoyably bitchy felicitations. I like "Putting the 'AZ' back in 'crazy'."

Anyway. The museum put together a giant birthday card for the centennial for which weekend visitors were able to inscribe 3x5 index cards (and a merry recession to you) with their birthday wishes, which were then affixed to the giant card. Here are my favorites:

A sneering zombie, flying hearts, and a rainbow over a cactus? This kid is awesome.

Ooooh, in your face Jan Brewer! You got dissed on a birthday card. I pointed this out all day.

For my card, I drew a picture of a cow, a cotton boll, an orange, a chunk of copper, and the sun. It was the only card in hundreds to depict the 5 C's. That's how you know who attended 4th grade in Arizona and who didn't.

Speaking of the Confederacy, did you know that Arizona was the site of the westernmost battle (skirmish) of the Civil War? You probably did, but listen to the way I tell it! It happened at Picacho (Peak) Peak. The Union won. There are two ways to look at it: irrelevant, or hell of relevant. I don't care about Civil War battles, but my understanding is thus: had the south managed to get to the west coast and have access to ports, they would have been a lot harder to beat, since they would have had more, like, stuff. This was in 1862, when I assume it was still anyone's game. With southern Arizona having a decent amount of Confederate sympathizers, a patrol was put together to head to southern California and see about making a path to the ocean, but the patrol was slapped down by a Union cavalry at Peak Peak, with the Confederacy never to rise again here or in the southwest in general. The end. Oh wait, not really, because you can see reenactments of this event annually at Picacho.

What is MOST important about Picacho Peak is that the Arizona poppy proliferates at its base every spring. They only grow in certain areas, so it's special.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Babe magnet.



Friday, February 10, 2012

I went exploring in the gardens around Tovrea Castle today, viewing the propagation beds where baby cacti are born, and a dump site of indeterminate (to me) age where I found an interesting button, which I took home. The first rule of historic sites is that you don't remove things from historic sites, but shit, I'll put it back. When I'm done with it. The dump sites mostly consist of old metal cans, broken glass and, ironically, pottery shards.



Saguaros generally don't like living very close to each other. In the garden, they can be up to twice as close as the ones above. In spite of this, many of the original saguaros have survived from the late 1920s, making the gardens a curious example of a semi-successful bad move.

This thing was originally built in 1928 or 29 as living quarters for the man who built the castle. It's been unoccupied for...a while. Probably 1968.



Scraps of some highly questionable wallpaper. This is the first time I had no desire to enter an abandoned, derelict building.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

oh and


Peter Murphy



This photo was on my...folder...in high school. stfu.



Time to go to the Nile?
Little did I know that my childhood past time of making cards and pictures out of doilies would pay off so...literally.

One of my museums hosts a free craft event for kids once a month. The events generally have to do with something vaguely historical. This month they're making Victorian-inspired Valentine cards. See here for examples. Almost too much to handle, no?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bossy the Chicken

My friend Zach keeps chickens in his backyard. I love the chickens so much and am pissed that I can't have any.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Checking in is boring

I've had no desire to write for myself lately. I normally have an internal monologue running at all times in the back of my brain. When I listen to it, I have to write it. Other times I just let it go and it continually records over the old tape. Well, it's off. Off enough that I can't even write this. I'm always busy and always sick. I haven't even THOUGHT about Anne Boleyn in months.

(lie: I thought about her yesterday)

I'm in a creative writing class, and it's bad enough that I'm just recycling things I wrote in the past and turning them in. I even used a blog entry from here. Interestingly, it was the worst grade I've received overall.

So what have I been doing?

Reading fun books.

Failing at arm wrestling. I lost count how many times I lost this night, but it was somewhere around "all".

Criticizing others.

Watching birds fly south.

Noticing how crumbly adobe is.

Training docents. I should make a post about the castle, but that requires me to upload photos from my cameraaaaanoooo

But, some brief observations: it's not fancy at all in there. In fact, it's tiny and far less than I had expected. The grounds are more impressive, with all manner of Sonoran flora, and rabbits and quail and falling down wood buildings and historic dump sites (from construction and later rehabs) full of god only knows, but the bomb squad was there about a moldering can of black powder.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012