Tuesday, January 26, 2010


This month I-

- Decided what I was going to do with my life. For the next year anyway.

-Made new friends.

-Took a meditative breathing class that made me cry because I didn't realize how much I hold back, even just holding back breathing. I felt clearheaded and happy after, I will be perusing this more as a means of dealing with the anxiety/depression that can bog me down.

-Read three books
-"All Families Are Psychotic" by Douglas Coupland
-"The Virgin Suicides" by Jeffrey Eugenides
-"Rage Against the Meshugenah" by Danny Evans

All three were great. Douglas Coupland, as usual, made me want to give up all other plans I made, buy a laptop and work on a book. "The Virgin Suicides" is probably one of the most beautifully written books I've read in a long time. It almost reads like a poem. I'm in the process of reading it a second time, just because it's so spellbinding. I HIGHLY recommend it. Danny Evan's memoir of battling depression was both honest and funny.

-Saw a couple great movies
-Funny People (I was actually very surprised with this one. I kind of expected blatant comedy due the cast, but it actually dealt with a lot of emotion, relationship conundrums, and life questions and had a real life ending which is always a huge plus for me).
- (500) Days of Summer. I admit I am very late on the bandwagon with this flick, but I did love it. I related a lot with both of the lead characters which is pretty rare, and it was a movie I put on my "Time to Buy" list.
- Notorious. Which made me appreciate the Notorious BIG a lot more. I never thought I'd actually tear up during that movie, but alas, my motherhood weepiness got the best of me.
- Taking Woodstock. I'm a bit mixed on this one, but it has Ang Lee's beautiful cinematography and Demetri Martin and hippies, so generally I dug it.

Finally saw Avatar after much prompting from everybody around us. It was pretty good, but Greg and I kept whispering to each other and stifling giggles because we watch Mystery Science Theater way too much. I also kept my glasses and am now using then as faux reading specs-

Because I can.

- Jack became obsessed with the drums on our Guitar Hero-

-Decided for my 22nd birthday what I'll be doing for my next tattoo and I'm so excited I can't sit still.


Just counting down the days.

- Have started cooking more. It only took 21 years.

- Have been countlessly inspired, charmed and eager for more days in which to explore, grow and learn. A first in a long time. Breaking the stagnancy.

That is all.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You're gonna make it after all

As I sit in my apartment staring at the trees rustle and shimmy in the wind, I can't help but use it as an easy metaphor. "Winds of change," I think. Color me cliche but it works, for nothing could be more true in the current juncture.
I've been struggling with the stay at home mom title I've adopted in the last two years (I'm gonna kill my guidance counselor*) and after much long and careful deliberation both out of frustration and financial necessity (we aren't sinking, but this isn't exactly a raft ride down the lazy river either) I decided to make a move, seek a change and starting soon I'll be going back to school to become an aesthetician. Since I've worked in a spa before and enjoyed it, along with the chance to set my own hours and not succumb to too much corporate strangulation I figured it to be a good choice. For the first time in a long time I can feel and electric buzz pulsating through my body out of excitement for change. For progress.
In enrolling for school I discovered I would need three letters of recommendation. When I first read the line I heard that voice in the back saying "who the hell would recommend you? You really think you're the type of person worthy of recommendation?" I've long felt internal feeling of inadequacy. Though at times I may masquerade them in witty say-isms or well applied make-up they still reside somewhere in my skull. Only until recently and through guidance and help have I started taking measures to abandon that voice, kick it to the curb if you will.
I wrote a message to my old coworkers from that spa asking them if they would write those desired three letters. Within the hour all three of them answered with a yes. And more then that they answered with support, encouragement and open arms. Even as I type this I find myself fighting back tears of gratitude, of the beauty of kindness in people.
Also semi-recently, two wonderful ladies in our beloved Tucson have been dealing with the moving of their store. Not too long ago corporate fat cats decided to buy out a prime section of our Congress street. A street that for 2 years had been a home for Preen and other cherished local businesses. It was a big smack in the face for many locals and owners when we realized that many of those store would no longer be there by next year, moved to make room for carbon copy sports bars, gentrification to "help promote downtown culture" while simultaneously stripping it away.
Then I saw this-

*art by Adam Cooper-Terran

And my heart jumped for the second time today. Preen will prevail. Erin and Emilie will continue to give downtown Tucson style and a "mom n' pop" shop that just won't quit. I'm so proud of them for it. The new location will be just as fabulous as the former I'm sure, if not doubly for the character the store has developed in it's attitude of "hit me with your best shot!" They moved, but they did not falter.

Change is happening all around. Beyond this post I have friends in relationships progressing, in new career ventures, some are leaving Tucson and some are staying, simply making it a little brighter. But nevertheless, change. Progress. And I think 2010 may be a good year.

*Not really, my guidance counselor was a great woman.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pandas, pandas everywhere

The whole Martin clan has gone to the pandas. Ever since Jack developed a liking for the 'ol particolored bear, we've all recently noticed how insanely cuddly and cute creatures they are.

I mean, c'mon-

The one that started it all. I think it's safe to say that he is Jack's "security item".


Monday, January 11, 2010

More songs that turn on my heartlight...

When I worked at the Marriott (which I semi-recently discovered made a cameo in "Away We Go")-

Here we have what I would start a majority of my weekdays with. 7 a.m. bright and early, this is where I developed a longstanding addiction to Starbucks caramel macchiatos and a renewed appreciation for Tucson sunscapes.

And here we have my office. I worked in the spa where I developed in odd talent at folding towels, assisting guests, and arranging things "just so."

I digress...Anyway, during my many trips to the Starbucks in the lobby, I passed upon many a c.d. of "Starbucks Favorites". One day I buckled(I promise this is the last "buck" in the post) and bought their Valentine edition because, well, it had a good track listing. Nothing vomit inducing which on a whole is good. What really shone from the pack though was "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen. I heard it and immediately I was lifted away to a place of solitude and beauty. If only for my lunch break...

(I apologize for the McWhack ad).

Friday, January 8, 2010

Vintage Muses and Nick Cave

The other morning I caught "The Night They Raided Minskys" on tv. A movie about a small town Amish girl who finds herself in a burlesque house hoping to dance. Love, mischief, and good times ensue. It was very cute, and funny and I really enjoyed it. But I was also mesmerized by the Swedish nymph Britt Eckland. I guess I'm just a sucker for big eyes and a full pout.

Britt Eckland I salute you!

And the Nick Cave song that sears into my heart...

That is all.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"You're a stone fox"...

I'm most definitely not the first blogger to write about Sofia Coppola's "The Virgin Suicides", and I'm sure I won't be the last. The thing is, every time I see it, it sticks with me for weeks after, always leaving me with something different to ponder. The last time I watched it (they've been showing in on Flix probably once a week lately) I realized why it affected me. I had been them.
I am the only daughter to a traditional and overly protective Mexican man. Naturally he wanted to keep me safe from the harsh realities of the world, a butterfly cupped in his hands, pixie dust rubbing off as I tried to crawl through any crack I could find. I was a dreamer, I kept diaries filled with pre-pubescent (and post-pubescent) musings. I wondered a lot of what it was like to be in love, and consequently I was a die hard romantic. But I never really had a proper outlet for any of it. Not while I was being watched, cautioned, kept away. When I hit my sophomore year of high school I started dealing with a slew of different emotions and when they culminated into one thing the only word for it was "depression". But nobody outside of my precious handful of friends saw that. Adults merely writing it off as a switching of hormones, the angst that comes with teenagehood.

Once the schools counselor called my parents to inform them of my "concerning outlooks and behaviors" I quickly found myself in the office of people who "knew what I was dealing with" who could check off symptoms and suggest remedies.

"Obviously, doctor, you've never been a 13-year-old girl."

There was no considerable progress made until a counselor named Sally came into our home, and told my father- "You need to learn how to let go."
All the years of social and romantic isolation led me to develop very secretive behaviors. I had had a boyfriend for about seven months without them knowing a thing. I started smoking after school. I had developed a great arsenal of excuses to explain the cuts on my arms or why exactly I was wearing cardigans in our frequently hot Tucson climate.
What is so mesmerizing about The Virgin Suicides is how Coppola effectively captures all of this. The long afternoons spent in a room filled with the sounds of records, boredom. The seemingly tragic hopelessness that can stagnate in a teenage girls mind.

"We knew the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love, and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them."

She captures the rapidly beating heart that sits under the bleachers sipping alcohol with the boy whose intentions are befuddled, somehow aware of all the things she's not supposed to do, but also aware that nothing will stop her now.

"You'll love it. Peach Schnapps. Babes love it."

For Lux it was peach. For me it was peppermint.

Obviously, I hadn't taken it as far as the Lisbon sisters. During my senior year the situations arising one by one in my family left little spotlight on me and in the dim light, I snuck around the corner and ran. I took the reigns and invented my own life. But as I watch that movie I will always find something all too kindred and harrowing.

"What lingered after them was not life, but the most trivial list of mundane facts: a clock ticking on a wall, a room dim at noon, and the outrageousness of a human being thinking only of herself."

Perhaps it's the fact that though I've grown out of my old room, my old diaries, my old life, that secretive girl who only talked through pages, lyrics, metaphor still resides in these bones. I find her in the car sometimes, silent and too enveloped in an old song to realize there are other people there. I find her in the melancholy I feel when being in a room for too long. I see her in scars and old pictures. And with Coppola's masterpiece, I see what could have happened if I hadn't picked myself up. Forced myself to live despite the naive girlishness that hindered me for a few years.

"So much has been said about the girls over the years. But we have never found an answer. It didn't matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls... but only that we had loved them... and that they hadn't heard us calling... still do not hear us calling them from out of those rooms... where they went to be alone for all time... and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together."