Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sublime Sundays

I usually don't do blog posts on Sundays, not because I'm religious but just because I like to sleep in, laze about, and wait for Mad Men to get my weekly dose of early 60's vintage nostalgia and Joan Holloway's beyond words amazing cleavage. But right now Greg is in the kitchen making salsa (and I try to avoid being in the kitchen with anyone else because I get all hot and clausterphobic) and Jack has decided to take a nap, so here I am, trying to kill some time before we head to the lovely in-laws for swimming and general merriment.

So! A video-



And the house I wish we could afford-
http://mls.thepepper.com/listingdetails_97970.cfm?
startrow=1&&list_id=20916493&PageID=102370

How amazing is that dwelling?! The charm is almost too much to stomach. And the price (albeit so far beyond our budget I shouldn't even be looking at houses like it) isn't all that bad for being so amazing AND located in the Sam Hughes neighborhood. Le'sigh. To sleep, perchance to dream...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jellicle Cats

I've been toying with the idea of getting a cat as of late. We tried the puppy route and when I discovered I was no Wonder Woman at managing both (it is very much like having two toddlers, two very needy, destructive, stubborn toddlers...and this is why I have an IUD now), we put the process of raising a puppy on the back burner until Jack is old enough. Cats, however, are much more independent, less boisterous, destructive, and just less in your face. I've also discovered that Jack really likes cats, which wasn't exactly the case with the puppy. So, I presented the idea to Greg and we're seriously considering it. When plans are "seriously considered" I tend to prepare, so here is my list of possible cat names!

Boy Cat

1.Rumpus (short for "The Great Rumpuscat" which was a character in T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats")

2.Lestat (from "Interview with the Vampire"...I'm not falling into the vampire trend, so don't worry. It's just an all around good movie and a name I thought appropriate for a cat)

3.Hemingway (after the writer and huge cat lover)

4.Edward (from "Edward Scissorhands")

5.Ichabod (which I think is my favorite so far)
--------------------------------

Girl Gatos

1.Margot (after Margot Tenenbaum)

2.Dietrich (after Marlene)

3.Beatrix

4.Mia

5.Maggie

----------------------------------

And I think those are the top favorites. We rattled off so many last night but I must have lost them in my sleep.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blank Becomes Her

I read and peruse a lot of style blogs. Most of the time for glorious eye candy, ideas, inspiration, photography, etc. The thing that I notice most though, is that in many of these blogs the writer generally has a specific style down. Some fancy the look of the 40's, some were deeply affected by "Grease", some dig the 60's vibe. But what happens when you don't have a specific trail to follow. I've always loved almost everything when it comes to fashion.

I've sighed looking at Dita Von Teese's book.



And I've bought shirts that reminded me of Penny Lane. I love pencil skirts but I've also been known to wear more bohemian frocks. I've mastered the cat's eye and I've thrown a flannel shirt on in the same day. I've no specific style to tell of, and sometimes it drives me crazy. It drives me batshit crazy when it comes to finding something to wear when going out. My mind ever indecisive and my closet just as confused. I can commit to marriage and child, tattoos and calendar dates, but when it comes to defining myself in fashion I have a mini panic attack.

Perhaps it's from being in drama. Hiding in the wardrobe room and trying everything on only to realize that one dress was just as fun to wear as the next. I wanted to be a 40's librarian and maybe tomorrow I can be Bridgette Bardot! Today I'm a flapper and tomorrow I can be a girl who danced at Studio 54. It made me giddy and though I've left the wardrobe room back at my old high school, I've taken the same spirit with me.

So maybe that's it. Maybe I'm not a 40's incarnate or a 60's muse. Maybe I'm not a 70's disco queen or a Seattle transplant. Maybe I'm just a girl who likes to play dress up.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Muse of the Day

Marlene Dietrich















Monday, August 24, 2009

Picks of the Day- Episode 8



This song is very effective in making me wish I was in a villa in the south of France, where the only required articles of clothing are sheer white bathrobes (linen boxers for the men).

I came across some wonderful pieces of jewelry by a seller called tamar's shop on Etsy and lost myself in some of her beautiful pieces such as-







I could go on for some time. Seeing her earrings made me want to haul my ass to Claire's and re-pierce these lobes of mine. I have this little issue with my ear piercings staying open for more than a year. They just close up. I had them pierced for a good year, wore earrings consistently and then suddenly I wake up one morning, go to put in a new pair that I loved and BAM! Closed up. Quite annoying. But I'd certainly bare the pain of the gun for some of this ear candy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Feminine Mystique

I am- a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a lover, a provider, an equal, a thinker, a dancer, a writer, a friend, a woman.

I know this through and through, and yet sometimes I wonder what it is the world sees. I wonder what the world sees when it is face to face with women in general. I've decided to post this particular blog after looking at videos of burlesque online. I do it for inspiration, for lessons in what to do and what not to do, for originality, etc. It's part of my homework in creating an act, so to speak. Anyway, I came across a video of a troupe of mothers who took their act to "America's Got Talent" and after I watched it I went on to read the comments. What I found was purely disheartening. The act itself wasn't (in my humble opinion) a very good representation of burlesque at it's best, it also wasn't choreographed very well, but I disregarded that and felt these women deserved a pat on the back because it isn't easy. It's not easy at all to put yourself out there, both intimately and on-stage, and in burlesque both of those things are very prevalent. You're presenting a piece of yourself and you're presenting it to many people in a moment that is both personal yet accessible. Just like any art form, be it a song, a painting, a sculpture the artist, when presenting their work, becomes a catchall for opinions be they bad or good.
And the opinions (because EVERYBODY has one) that I read were not pretty. I could have been offended, since I myself am a mother that is also in the burlesque scene, but more than anything I became sad. Not just for dancers or mothers but for women as a whole. We've evolved so much, and yet some people fail to see it. Some people believe that once a woman becomes a mother she is immediately stripped of all sexual desires or identity, she must give up her pursuits, become a martyr for the sake of her children. Or-

"What whores!"
"I can't believe that!"
"I'd be ashamed!"
"Sluts!"
"...bad parenting!"

And this doesn't stop at only mothers, it extends to young women, older women, tall, thick, thin, black, white, asian, hispanic, gay, straight women. The judgement is relentless and the ignorance is frightening. We live in a society where as much as women can be equals in a board room they are also pegged as merely sex objects. It breaks my heart. I wish it was different, and try to do unto others as I'd have others do unto me, but it just isn't enough. For every time I pat a woman on the back for empowering herself someone is turning around and calling her a "skank".

So I beg, if there are people reading this blog, please know that I want this to be a safe place. A place for women to read and feel kindredness. Because in this world, though I'll battle labels and eyes daily, though we'll ALL battle labels and eyes daily, I want this place to be a tiny corner of the world where everything is okay and we are free to be. We are all human. We all belong here.

Always,
Amanda

Monday, August 17, 2009

Picks Of the Day- Episode 7



I adore Freddie Mercury, and often find myself listening to Queen in the car to cure road rage. It's been pretty effective so far.

We had a pretty laid-back weekend at the Martin casa. I went to help out Kate at the burlesque show Friday night (I'm putting off my act, again, so I can re-work it with another song) and I (by my own free will and fucked up logic) wore heels for about 6-7 hours straight, walking around, ushering people, cocktail waitressing, going up and down stairs, basically a giant night of masochism for my feet/legs. Consequently my feet were DONE for the weekend. I laid up on the couch and watched movies with my son and husband (I feel like just aged 10 years by writing that last sentence), ate, slept in, enjoyed a foot massage from the aforementioned husband, and waited for Mad Men to premiere. I eventually coaxed myself down the flight of stairs it takes to exit our apartment and checked out Buffalo Exchange where I finally found some boots! Huzzah! And a shirt to celebrate. We went home and pretty much reprized the previous 24 hours. All this lazing about and I'm STILL tired. I don't know what it is. Maybe I just need to jump into action and work out or something. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. We'll see how that works out. As it stands, we still have a fridge with some left over Papa Murphy's and once those mid-afternoon cravings start rockin' don't come a'knockin'!

Oh! I forgot to mention the absolute best part of this weekend. I've often written about how amazing my in-laws are, well, my father-in-law, inspired by his recent motorcycling tour through Switzerland with my brother-in-law , decided that he wants a bonding experience like that with everyone. Can you feel the climax building? I can....And he wants to take my mother-in-law, Greg, Jack and I on a cruise up to Vancouver (a place we've been itching to go to) and Seattle (a place I love and have been dying to get back to again). So next spring we're supposed to do that. I'm already way too excited. For the first time in awhile I actually took sweaters semi-seriously when I was at Buffalo yesterday. I'll finally be able to utilize scarves people! This is huge for me.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And now- my favorite poem.

If I could get the whole poem tattooed to my body without looking freakish, I totally would. However, I'm thinking about adding "Let us go then you and I..." to my most recent piece somehow. I just truly love this poem so much. It made me want to really become a writer, writing poem after poem with this piece always in the back of my mind as a beacon to strive towards. Eventually during my senior year of high school, I received recognition from a Native American writer who told me "you need to cultivate this. You need to nurture it and live your dream." I wish I could say that I have but so far, being caught up in the midst of life, I haven't had the time. I haven't written a poem in a few years and when I think about it, it hurts my soul. But reading this inspires me. It's the warm tea sliding down my throat or the blanket I wrap myself in. It never ceases to bewitch me. Every line perfect. Every nuance sacred.


The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock


S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.


LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats 5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question … 10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, 15
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, 20
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; 25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate; 30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go 35
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair— 40
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]
Do I dare 45
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, 50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all— 55
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? 60
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
It is perfume from a dress 65
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets 70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! 75
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? 80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, 85
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while, 90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”— 95
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while, 100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: 105
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”
. . . . . 110
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use, 115
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old … 120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me. 125

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.








The Natural indeed.

Picks Of the Day- Episode 5

I've had this song stuck in my head since last week. Non-stop. Jack's next word is probably going to be a toss up between "tutu" and "shut up woman!"


Monday, August 3, 2009

Picks O' the Day- episode 4



Because I can't help it. I love this song so much. I also looked to my left and realized that I have a picture of Bowie wearing that exact shirt.

And I want this SOOO bad-

I think it may very well be one of the cutest bathing suits I've ever seen. I love vintage inspired ones. They're understated yet sexy.