30 April 2010

Domestic visionary in my old blue earrings

Sending a field of wild white horses and a flotilla of pearl-spitting doves to the plains of Texas today, to honor the union of Kamara & Gordon. We love you so.

29 April 2010

The way to do it

I wasn't here yesterday. When the electricity is off, its alright to take it as a sign, and disappear into the atmosphere. A few nights ago, I went to a dear girl's house, and as dear girl, myself, and well-spoken writer friend were sitting around the table, dear girl told us that a woman had come to her in a dream, and told her that there was a hex on her, someone wished dear girl ill, and lighting 50 sticks of incense would banish the hex. Turns out, 50 sticks of incense fits into a slender blue and gold tea glass. We smoked those bad spirits out, man. Yeah.

27 April 2010

Reconsidering, again

detail of Birth of Venus & a page in progress from Horton Hatches the Egg

Let not familiarity blind us to revelations: a protective frond of golden-red locks, the selfless devotion of an elephant "who must weigh a ton." Let us look again, closer this time, and slower.

26 April 2010

My castle, my books.

Françoise Sagan and Jean Seberg, photo frm The Second Pass

I spent the weekend with my "not yet read" pile. We had a delicious time lolling about in bed together.

Was it raining during that first kiss? Did he say goodbye with downcast eyes? I don't know. I was living too intensely. And it was only when I let others live in my place, when I read about them, that my own existence became at last wholly accesible to me. -With Fondest Regards, Françoise Sagan

22 April 2010

Listening to Trane

Oh the beautiful wanderings we can do, the sweet, psychedelic high of discovery, but I do regret and miss beautiful Ms. Mystery. Where has she gone? Who knows...she's so mysterious, that Ms. Mystery.

21 April 2010


On California, and Big Sur, Shangri-L.A. and Joan Didion, Laurel Canyon and Elizabeth Taylor, which might just be a metaphor for my dream-time...

But there were aspects of Los Angeles that I loved: a certain frontier quality and the sleepy, small-town charm of it, the palm trees, orange blossoms in the spring, the coffee shop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the avocado club sandwich at Schwab’s drugstore, the nascent art scene on La Cienega, and, most of all, the amazing variety of our friends. Because both my parents had lived there and worked in the movie business during the golden years of the 30s and 40s, I inherited a ready-made and ultra-glamorous extended family—their friends from the old days. -Brooke Hayward, "Once Upon a Time in L.A.", Vanity Fair

20 April 2010

On Washington Square

Menzel, frm The Ugly Earring

I had plans of sharing another Bergman anecdote with you, and maybe throwing some jazz hands in there, too, but instead, I'm going to share with you a bit of what I've been doing with Maxine Swann. This is what I wrote for this week's assignment, and if you could see me now, you'd see nervous hands shaking away:

It rained on our wedding day. The water fell from the sky like soggy rice, in fat, splattering globules. We were meant to be married in the desert, in a canyon lined with primrose, juniper, flowering agave, and apricot trees. But my mother was dying, so we traveled East and I borrowed her diamond earrings, the ones she was given by the first of her three husbands, the one I never met. We were married in my mother's apartment, the priest arrived like a soaking hassock; my mother was once widowed, twice-divorced, unrepentant and yoked to the past only by the great faith and this apartment. The ceremony and the simple shift I wore were tidy and efficient, and after the guests left, my mother sat on a small settee next to a window overlooking the manicured street, and lit a cigarette. She pushed the bottom pane of the old window open a bit. The water ran in a tiny rivulet onto the seam of the pushed back drape, but my mother seemed to not notice, or not care. Mother has lived in the apartment since she was a child, with spells in and longer spells out. This is where I grew up and this is where she wants us to live after she dies. I'm annoyed with her for letting the rain run onto drapes that she intends to leave me, and I lean over and snatch the cigarette out of her hand and steal a long, slow drag. I exhale out the window, and the smoke dissipates in the midst of hot summer rain. The windows are cloudy now with humidity, and smoke, and the after-effect of bodies pressed in a room, and the air is thick with the smell of tiger lilies, the only flower that itches the back of my throat, the flower that Mother loves like none other. I hand the cigarette back to Mother and our fingertips touch for a second. We both have long, restless fingers. I rub my thumb along the base of my left ring finger, and Mother catches a quick glance at her married daughter. Before she can open her mouth I quickly say, "Please Mother. Don't." She drops her gaze, puffs her cigarette, and trails her left hand out the window. A translucent pink petal falls from above and lands on the topside of my mother's hand, suctioned to her skin by the weight of the rain. Water streams down her fingers and the little puddle at the base of the curtains grows larger. Yellow taxis zip down the block, each one occupied. At the corner I see a man in a slim gray suit, with an umbrella in one hand and a flat cardboard box in the other. My mother stamps out her cigarette and closes the window. She looks at the puddle on the floor, and calls calmly for the maid. I kiss her cheek, one, then the other, gather my pale blue satin heels in one hand, my small veil in the other, and wander slowly down the hallway to find my husband.

16 April 2010

and the Vedas say, and we all say, too, it would've been your 97th birthday day today

photo inscribed by my grandmother for my grandfather:
"To Leonard darling, with all my love, Hannah"

My grandmother, her only daughter, and her only daughter's only daughter were all born under the first sign of the zodiac. Our terrestrial bodies (1913, 1954, 1979) are pulled by the tides of the same celestial bodies.

This morning, my mother said, "I can't imagine what she would look like. I wish I knew. It has been such a long, long time."

15 April 2010

Achieving Atmosphere

picture frm?

It's alright to hold tight to what we loved when we were seventeen. All of a sudden, the world feels small, scalable, and the stratospheres, endless: Francesca Lia Block offers writing instruction in Los Angeles, a city I've never been too. But Shangri-L.A.? I've been there.

Once, in a city called Shangri-L.A., or Hell-A, or just Los Angeles, lived Weetzie Bat, the daughter of Brandy-Lynn and Charlie Bat. A genie granted Weetzie three wishes so she wished for a Duck for her best friend Dirk McDonald, "My Secret Agent Lover Man for me," and a little home for them all to live in happily ever after. The wishes came true, mostly... -Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block

(for Elizabeth)

14 April 2010

Custom, uncustomary

Thanks again, NBC, for posting about Jezebel. This post is on my custom work, something I've been really excited about lately. I'm also still really excited about 30 Rock. Do you hear me, NBC? Interested in Jezebel custom? Email me at jezebel@ilovejezebel.com, and we'll chat.

13 April 2010

In the library & hidden in the playground

Earl Greyhound's new record, Suspicious Package, lands today. Buy one, light a candle, and go on a tour of the cosmos. Oh, and speaking of cosmic journeys, I'm 31 today.

12 April 2010

08 April 2010


Blanche & Hannah Daisy, Blanche Susan

My grandmother loved her mother Blanche so: when her fourth child and only daughter was due two days after her dearly departed mother's birthday, she begged the doctor to induce her. The doctor refused, and Blanche, my mother who I love so, was born on April 9th. The two Blanches never met, though this April 7th, birthday of my great-grandmother Blanche, my mother received two phone calls wishing her a happy birthday. I like to think that one phone call was on behalf of my grandmother, and the other on behalf of the first Blanche, herself.

"Byron's great star had risen"

All Sacred Heart convent schools are the same - the same blue serge dresses, usually, with white collars and cuffs, the same blue and green and pink moiré ribbons awarded for good conduct...the same curtsies dipped in the hall, the same early-morning chapel with processions of girls, like widowed queens, in sad black-net veils...the same tiny, old whiskered nun was reading, no doubt from Emma or A Tale of Two Cities to a long table of girls stiching French seams or embroidering bureau scarves with wreaths of flowers. -Memories of a Catholic Girlhood, Mary McCarthy

07 April 2010

Diamond eyes

Off to St. Kilda, or it could be the beach. I have very distinct notions of what is appropriate, seasonally, i.e. seashell necklaces in the winter, appropriate, Fire From Heaven in the summer, inappropriate. I'm thinking about making a questionable decision this morning, and pinching off a drop of Black Coconut oil. Too early, too early! Oh, I may just do it anyway.

06 April 2010

Dialogue? I will win!

It's spring and this photo is dark, so Go! Fast, fleet feet! Listen to light ecstasy. I'm running off, this morning is quick. We've already been to the park, and I must eavesdrop this week, and listen to how we sound.

05 April 2010

The Experimentalist

Coral in the music room

Today is a day for starting fresh. Today is a day for Making Progress.

02 April 2010

When we go to Joshua Tree

The night-blowing cereus. [Cactus Grandiflorus.] (1807)

Don't you know that we already have it all?
We are blessed.
This is grace.