She clambered up the boulder in Groom Creek, berating herself for being out of breath. Maybe at the top she’d find clarity. She reached the apex, feeling the porous rock under her hands and appreciating it’s sharpened, pockmarked texture from thousands of years of elements and having once been under water. That she could respect; it some how soothed her. There was a time when she lived there, and though she hated the company she had kept, she could always be calmed by her surroundings.
Photo Credit DigitalRvNet
Deep sigh. Just another view. She’d seen beauty, landscapes, created dreams in her head that she lived in life, and each one lacked. She knew that it was due to her own failings in looks. Every dream had to begin with envisioning herself as attractive first, an extra step that stung each time. Everyone who lived the life she envied was pretty, plain and simple. Strength and confidence seems to attract the same. Those that she attracted were the weak and inherently flawed. She wanted maturity, initiative and certainty, something she hoped to have in herself, but wavered all too often. She became ambitious out of need, and resented it.
Through years of hardships, “Be my pillar,” he had said. “Look how I fall, look how I’m so damaged by others that I must be cruel to you, only to forget when it suits me. Be my pillar because I need.” And as she stood like scaffolding for him, arms raised, stiff, floating away from herself and her dreams, motivated by necessity rather than desire, he turned. “Oh, look, I didn’t need you after all. Didn’t need any of it. I guess I was kidding.” And faded away.
She couldn’t remember when she stopped loving him, but she knew it was before he’d come to this conclusion. Whether or not he loved her, it was not the passionate love of a spouse, but that of a child. And that, at 30 years old, was not something she could handle. But was it better to be alone, unloved in her shameful and permanent ugliness, than to be with someone who at least needed her in some sense? Where was that decision? Had she reached a point where she only wanted disposable companionship, having been used and tried to exhaustion? She was thankful there were no children to consider. Now there were sure to be none.
So, another view. Another line of sight that went on forever. It was beauty, made her ache for things that were unreal. The rocks, the stillness, the trees that harbored streams and javelina, deer and sweet smelling earth. And the gentle pine needle covered ground that soften footfalls and emotions. And she’d seen it all before and had some how hoped this time it would be different.
“I used to live here, you know. This one time I accidentally hit a javelina that ran out of the brush into the front of my truck. I stopped short; it shook its head, stood, and rammed the front of the Toyota, annoyed at my intrusion. It couldn’t have been more than 40 pounds, but it was tougher than me.” She said it softly and to no one, just sharing something that made her smile with the wind.
She loved being alone and was never lonely. Her chest and throat hurt in the sunset as she turned, knowing that she’d continue looking for something she could not identify. It was the way she’d always been. And she had accepted it.
This isn’t a story about being scared to love. This is quite the opposite.
On a bit of a whim last summer my husband and I decided to join a couple of friends on a trip to New Orleans. I made Will, the planner, promise that the hotel would be nice and clean, and everything else I couldn’t give a damn about. I had decided to visit my folks alone for few days before the trip and flew into to NOLA after my husband and friends had been there for a couple of days. It was raining when I arrived and, as Austin was experiencing a record drought, it was the first time I had seen a drizzle in months.
As I moved through the airport I smiled at the gas lamps and live musicians. I was used to stray guitarists and full bands within airports from living in Austin, but the internal gas lamps had the exact romantic affect on me that they were supposed to incur. I was tired from traveling, but ready to be out and about in a new place.
Will and I are not people who waste time; we dropped off my things at the airport and immediately went right back out to explore. I find the best way to become intimate with a strange city is to walk it’s streets. We wandered through rich areas and poor areas, as well as the French Quarter. Our hotel was a single block from Du Monde’s and I’d stay there again in a heartbeat, even knowing the amount of children that died within its walls.
We walked down cobblestone, by 200 year old homes and areas that had been ravaged by Katrina. Eventually, we found ourselves in a cemetery, all white marble and above the earth. If it’s one thing New Orleans knows well, it’s that buried bodies float. Many of the tombs were beautiful, a handful ornate, a few were vandalized, and some forgotten. I’m not particularly melancholy, but the cemeteries of Louisiana embody a sullen beauty that New England doesn’t quite get to. Spanish moss and bright stone rather than dark earth and old rock.
We passed through Bourbon Street without incident; I appreciate the architecture and I love a good drink, but I can do without wading through puddles of vomit at 10am. We went to the aquarium and even the zoo. There were hat shops, and usual tourist crap vendors, flowers for sale, and plenty of sidewalk performers and artists. Most of all, though, you could smell how old the city was. I felt her past through each cell of my body and the more I explored the more she sunk into my bones. She had been beaten, diseased, dishonored, and raped, and still New Orleans holds her head high, unembarrassed and rather proud by what has made her.
After a couple of days, we decided to take an evening historical tour of New Orleans’ alleys within the French Quarter. The second stop on our night adventure was our own hotel, where we were informed that dozens of school children burned to death in the areas that were now the rooms we had been sleeping in. We learned about paying a man to duel for you on church grounds and of nuns who smothered hundreds of babies to keep their orphanages from becoming overrun with the unwanted. We listened to tales of Civil War atrocities, of slaves burning themselves rather than being torn from their families. We already knew about Delphine DeLaurie and her bizarre bloodlust, but we were surprised to hear that Nicolas Cage eventually purchased her home…and then had to sell fast when his own money ran out. Needless to say, we went back to our hotel in the evening with a shiver down out spines.
But as I leaned on the hotel balcony late that night, I wasn’t bothered by the remnants of the man who hung himself in the floor below me or the children who had burned around me. I felt the cool air, smelled the river, and tried to stare into the apartment across the way, loved so much by it’s residents that they didn’t bother with window dressings. I thought of what it would be to live in such a place. A city flooded and reflooded, burned and buried. Diseased and destroyed. And so very, very beautiful and beloved. It was a city who made those who cared for it even stronger.
For the first time in my life my body and mind ached to be apart of a place I barely knew.
We weren’t in New Orleans long, and we left feeling incomplete. We drove the trip from Nola to Austin, weaving in and out of plantation areas and stark highway. I’ve enjoyed previous vacations, missed the romance or a pretty sunset, remembered an incredible restaurant or a neat day trip. New Orleans was different. We left New Orleans feeling different.
And I’ve been unable to stop thinking about her since.
Let’s do this.
* I love the accepted awkwardness that is Zach Gallifianakis. Here he is talking with one of my favorite women in the world, Tina Fey. Open your heart, be one with the Uncomfortable.
*There are never enough Geek periphinalia shops!…Okay, maybe there are, but The Novo Geek strives to make useful geek tools. As they state, “..no mugs with faces on them!” Need a journal? How about one from the Galactica, with weird corners and all? Going out and need some fancy new accouterments? How about a discrete and classy Star Trek tie? I wouldn’t recommend a red one, though… They only take on a few creative products a month, good design and excellent userability. It’s a fantastic concept and something that I hope continues successfully.
* Cover Browser is a relatively new (to me) site that allows you to flip through over 450,000 comic book covers. May I recommend not doing this at work. It will suck up the rest of your afternoon with awesomeness and totes get you in trouble with the boss.
* Speaking of Comic Books, Comic Book Resources has a list of the highest grossing comic book movies of all time. Good for these movies to make millions upon millions upon millions of dollars!…next to not a single cent of which actually went to the creators of these characters or their families. You make me fucking sick, Hollywood. No, I haven’t seen the Avengers. Thanks for asking.
* Even in the future, people get sick. Fantasy always maintains a bit of reality in the terms of health needs and Blastr has compiled a list of the top nurses that have gotten us all hot and bothered throughout time. Me? Well, Rory Williams can give me a sponge bath any day he wants. [Blastr]
* Artist Agan Harahap has created a photo series imagining what it would have been like if Spiderman was a participant in World War II. Well, obviously it would have ended a lot sooner saving millions of lives, and Hitler would have been captured alive rather than committing suicide like a coward in an underground bunker. It also would have probably been known as World War Awesome. [Flickr]
* What’s awesome? Star Wars! What’s delicious? Pancakes! What’s deliciously awesome?! STAR WARS PANCAKES!
Photo Credit WalYou
* Simply cannot wait for Wes Anderson’s newest flick, Moonrise Kingdom. An new Making-Of featurette has been released to wet our appetites even more. This will be a great year for movies.
* While we’re doing featurettes, let’s talk the newest release from Prometheus, shall we? Their newest gift to fans shows what’s believed to be the origins of life. Prepared to be surprised. Let’s watch! [Blastr]
Let’s do this. And then let’s get some sushi.
*Shamrock shakes are back at McDonald’s and are now available at every location. Run out and get one, and get fat…ter. According to USA Today
“The Shamrock Shake weighs in at 540 calories and 16 grams of fat for a small, or 840 calories and 24 grams of fat for a large…”
Awesome. [USA Today]
* A daughter wasn’t supposed to use Facebook and she certainly wasn’t supposed to talk shit about her father while using the social networking site. What’s a parent to do? Well, according to her father, Tommy Jordan, the answer is to murder the laptop. But before you go believing he’s an abusive mad man, Jordan makes an 8 minute video case to his daughter explaining the actions – and where she went wrong. There’s a difference between freedom of speech and a punk, spoiled brat. I’m all for tough love. Unless the daughter worked a part time after school job to purchase that laptop herself, I certainly don’t feel this is any form of abuse. She broke the rules, and I know that if my parents merely took my laptop away and hid it, that I would find it. Nice. [MSNBC]
* So, a few months ago, somebody posted on a Civil War era photo on eBay. The seller pointed out how much the gentleman in said photo resembled Nicholas Cage…and then speculated on the possibility that Cage was, in fact, a vampire. Because apparently vampires can either have sparkly skin or a massively receding hairline. Anyway, in an attempt to stay relevant, Cage brought up this photo while on The Late Show with David Letterman last night. And, no, starring in the next skull-on-fire movie thing isn’t keeping him relevant. [Blastr]
* Every Best Of… List always lacks something, and this tournament for the Best Sitcom Episode Ever is no different. Splitsider is giving fans the opportunity to vote for their favorite of all time, but be prepared to be disappointed. Also, be prepared to totally want to go watch some 80’s and 90’s tv after reading through their list – ooooh, Marge vs The Monorail – Classic! [Splitsider]
* Amy and Rory are leaving us. It’s not up for discussions; it simply has to be accepted. But I am not up for Moffat to tease us with the possibility of a new sidekick. I really liked Rory and Amy, just as I really liked Rose Tyler. If he continues to go through companions like popcorn, we’re going to have to change the The Doctor’s name to the Space Whore. In regards to the Doctor’s 50th anniversary Moffat states “There will be shocks, surprises and heartbreak—the Doctor is about to say goodbye to his very best friends, Amy and Rory…And then he’s about to say hello to someone very different.” Oh, Moffat. This I don’t need. [Blastr]
* I don’t need any more of a complex. I am a chubby-lady-geek. I wear that badge with pride and a crap ton of girly insecurity. It’s what I do, it’s my thing. So, the dude who totally photoshopped classic works of art to have the women featured appear thinner as today’s standards? Oh, he is just begging for me to key his car. Which I imagine is a Douche Mobile. [The Gloss]
* I don’t want an XBox 360. I don’t. I mean, a PS3 makes much more sense…So stop trying to woo me, Lucas Arts! A c3po/Artoo special edition Kinect?! EVIL! [MTV Geek]
* Speaking of Star Wars, a dude made a custom Millennium Falcon guitar. It totally shreds and dodges asteroids. But the coolest thing about it? The little bit are R2-D2 detailin’. Bad Ass to the max! [GeekIsAwesome]
* And, finally, this happened:
Photo credit Blastr
Thank you, and good night!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChicGeekDaily !
I like staged houses. I really do. I like original bright art on white walls, clean lines, and a void of family photos. I like flow and bursts. Bare and pops. Simplicity and vibrancy. I like darkness turned to light. Which is why I love Nakatomi Inc.
I’m not one for plugs, but holding back on that which is awesome is also not my style. Artist Tim Doyle takes the most memorable scenes of movies, shows, the pieces that all hit us – and not necessarily in a reminiscent way – and makes beauty where there’s bloodshed, calm silence and awe where there’s chaos. I personally have a number of his works from his Wes Anderson series. In my bathroom, a beautiful barefoot woman ties up her hair prior to cleaning another motel room (Bottle Rocket) and in my living room a well traveled suitcase is in the hand of an unseen man boarding a train (Darjeeling Limited). The prints are amazing, iconic, and beautiful pops of color in my otherwise drab living space. And the last thing any viewer ever thinks they’re admiring is a movie poster. They stand there staring, it can’t be helped, seeing something creative and really gorgeous, but also attempting to rack their brains on why they feel connected to the prints. On the very rare occasion that people recognize a print’s inspiration, they seem even that more attached to it.
In Doyle’s work I get to unabashedly feed my geek soul with scenes of my favorite stories in a very unique way, balancing darkness with bold colors, sometimes turning scenes of horror into love, or the mundane into beauty. There are scenes our minds don’t want to visualize again, but Doyle manages to capture these points and depict them in such away that soothes and states that it’s not only okay to stare, you want to stare. But his works go beyond that. Doyle’s prints give new life to a renewed Pop movement for a new generation of art lovers. His works are not only visually stunning, but imaginative and inventive without being hokey or analogous to any other artist.
Please excuse the poor lighting in these photos.
The best way to check out Tim’s work is to check out his websites, Nakatomi Inc. If you’re lucky enough to live in the San Francisco area, you can catch Unreal Estate, a Tim Doyle solo show, at Spoke Art. I’ve known about this upcoming show for a while, but at work yesterday I had a coworker run up to me, Macbook in hand, to show me something “awesome” he found online. He revealed an image of a building near cooling towers, it may be early dawn or a dirty night, an unwelcoming, dirty parking lot, a poor part of town that is cold, but not unattractive in its honesty and industrialism. And I immediately recognized it as Tim Doyle’s piece of the Kwik E Mart. From the Simpsons.
You may have to know it to get it, but you don’t have to know it to appreciate it.
I don’t watch Breaking Bad, but there are a few prints Doyle has done of the show that I can’t imagine I’ll live without for much longer.
Along with the Simpsons print, the Spoke Art show in San Francisco will also feature works depicting locations from The Sopranos, Seinfeld, Sesame Street, Arrested Development, and more.
I will not be attending the San Francisco art show as I live in Austin. I will, however, be spending my weekend obtaining a new frame and hanging the new print I purchased from Nakatomi Inc yesterday. And I can’t wait.