Labor Day Weekend Watch & Listen Play List: Aug. 31 - Sept. 3


time to bbq kollectivefusion

It's the long Labor Day weekend. Invite your neighbors over for drinks and saucy barbecue.

Everybody enjoy soaking up the last of the sun, listening to this party mix.

One Big Holiday - My Morning Jacket
I'm Shakin' - Jack White
I'm Not Waiting Anymore - Field Report
Every Night Is Friday Night - Old 97's
The Only Place - Best Coast
Is Your Love Big Enough - Lianne La Havas
Do You Have Time - TheeSatisfaction
Been There Done That - Brian Eno
Contact High - Allen Stone
Splitter - Calexico
Master of None - Beach House
Again - Family Band
Charmer - Aimee Mann
Tighten Up - The Black Keys
Come on in my Kitchen - Cassandra Wilson
Three More Days - Ray Lamontagne
Alaska - Dr. Dog
Tease Me - Lianne La Havas
Hold On - Alabama Shakes
Heart Full of Soul - Chris Isaak
Is This Love - Allen Stone
It's Only Life - The Shins
Here's Where the Story Ends - The Sundays
Hollywood Forever Cemetary Sings - Father John Misty
Satisfaction - Allen Stone
Gold on the Ceiling - The Black Keys
Big God - Diamond Rugs
Elephant Gun - Beirut
I Am What I Am - Spiritualized
Easy - Deer Tick
Horchata - Vampire Weekend
Venus as a Boy - Bjork
Man on Fire - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
Who - St. Vincent & David Byrne
Everybody Knows - Leonard Cohen
Don't Dream It's Over - Crowded House
Night Song - Family Band
Naturale - TheeSatisfaction
Will You Love Me - Matthew E. White
Blue light 'til Dawn - Cassandra Wilson
Gone - Lianne La Havas

Labor Day BBQ Wish List: Vintage and Homemade Gifts

A round of deserving applause for the folks who made it possible for the rest of us to have a break from our labors.

12 bbq invitations girlingearstudio

vintage 1950 neighborhood summer picnic alaskavintage

2 hobo tin can beer holders stripeycity

in a pickle sweet and hot thepolkadotmagpie

pink patio lanterns carladyck

vintage polaroid 240 land camera theopensesame

photo booth props mistermustache

lettuce turnip the beet elektra

retro 60's apron luluxo

meet me halfway apron baselala

fletcher hopeimages

The Day in Cartoons: The Mormon Moment - Pat Bagley

the mormon moment pat bagley, salt lake tribune
And strangely, so do I.  Can I get a fist-bump, people!
I'm not planning on buying a Team Romney shirt anytime soon, but I do feel a sense of pride and connection in the same way when a local boy or girl succeeds.  
He's humanizing the religion. He's making my peeps look normal.
The Republicans did a fine job at their convention. Better than fine.
Next week it's Team Obama's turn.
Interesting reading:

Quickie Review: Bring Up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel



Quick Thoughts:
Who is telling the story is as important as the story itself.

Bring Up the Bodies could easily be called The World According to Thomas. I would much rather read Thomas Cromwell's interpretation of the Tudor world, its subtle complexities of relationships and not so subtle power schemes, than another histrionic rendering of Henry done Anne wrong. And Henry most certainly did do Anne wrong. But, enough.

Thomas Cromwell set out to make or mar. He was successful in both.

England's Reformation and the morality play of Henry and Anne is recounted through Thomas Cromwell's ever watchful eyes, and told with the humorous and razor sharp intelligent voice Hilary Mantel channeled for Henry VIII's most loyal and adept subject.

Tudor England is equal parts ideological revolution, bawdy soap opera, and den of wolves. Henry is the alpha wolf, while the majority of his court are biding time, sharpening their claws, and waiting for the sight of vulnerable bared flesh to sate their blood lust.

Henry VIII tore his country apart, spat in Rome's eye, and in the process became both Church and State. He discarded his Queen and made his daughter Mary a bastard, ruthlessly murdered scholars, advisers, friends, on a whim and with impunity,  all for a woman he eventually tired of, and had killed.

Thomas Cromwell served his lord and master well. He made Henry rich. He granted Henry's every wish. If Henry wanted a new wife, he got him a divorce, or a beheading. If Henry wanted a new law, He, Cromwell, made it so.

He, Cromwell, was the man that made England. Thomas Cromwell pushed England kicking and screaming out of the Middle Ages into the golden light of what would become the Renaissance under Elizabeth.

Through Mantel's brilliant and gripping prose, Cromwell emerges as a self-made Renaissance man, second to none in power and ability. This was his downfall. We'll have to wait to learn the specifics of his fate, in Mantel's third, and last Book of Thomas, The Mirror and the Light.

Favorite Parts:
p. 8 "In this part of England our forefathers the giants left their earthworks, their barrows and standing stones. we still have, every Englishman and woman, some drops of giant blood in our veins."
p. 29 "The king is wearing an expression he has seen before, though on beast, rather than man. He looks stunned, like a veal calf knocked on the head by a butcher."
p. 33 "Where the word of a king is, there is power, and who may say to him, what doest thou?"
p. 34 "Full bellies breed gentle manners. The pinch of famine makes monsters."
p. 41 "But look, never mind all this. Queens come and go. So recent history has shown us. Let us think about how to pay for England, her king's great charges, the cost of charity and the cost of justice, the cost of keeping her enemies beyond her shores."
p. 43 "In a generation everything can change."
p. 63 "All our labors, our sophistry, all our learning both acquired or pretended; the stratagems of state, the lawyers' decrees, the churchmen's curses, and the grave resolutions of judges, sacred and secular; all and each can be defeated by a woman's body, can they not?
p. 67 "He thinks of what Gardiner said: you should write a book yourself, that would be something to see. If he did, it would be The Book Called Henry: how to read him, how to serve him, how pest to preserve him."
p. 91 "God is beyond translation."
p. 136 "Death is your prince, you are not his patron; when you think he is engaged elsewhere, he will batter down your door, walk in and wipe his boots on you."
p. 179 "Who can understand the lives of women?"
p. 209 "You can be merry with the king, you can share a joke with him. But as Thomas More used to say, it's like sporting with a tamed lion. You tousle its mane and pull its ears, but all the time you're thinking, those claws, those claws, those claws."
p. 239 "The queen is plotting something, I know not what, something devious, something dark, perhaps so dark she herself does not know what it is, and as yet is only dreaming of it: but I must be quick, I must dream it for her, I shall dream it into being."
p. 281 "The things you think are disasters in your life are not the disasters really. almost anything can be turned around: out of every ditch, a path, if you can only see it."
p. 299 "He, Cromwell, takes hold of her -- since no one else will do it -- and sets her back on her feet. She weighs nothing, and as he lifts her, her wail breaks off as if her breath had been stopped. Silent, she steadies herself against his shoulder, leans into him: intent, complicit, ready for the next thing they will do together, which is kill her."
p. 330 "Life pays you out."
p. 331 "He once thought he might die of grief: for his wife, his daughters, his sisters, his father and master the cardinal. But the pulse, obdurate, keeps its rhythm."
p. 334 "Henry killed his father's councillors. He killed the Duke of Buckingham. He destroyed the cardinal and harried him to his death, and struck the head off one of Europe's great scholars. Now he plans to kill his wife and her family and Norris who has been his closest friend. What makes you think it will be different with you, that you are not equal of any of these men?"
p. 353 "He changes his mind, day to day. he would like to rework the past. He would like never to have seen Anne. He would like to have seen her, but to have seen through her. Mostly he wishes her dead."
p. 387 "...the king, like the minotaur, breathes unseen in a labyrinth of rooms."
p. 397 "The man is behind Anne, she is misdirected, she does not sense him. There is a groan, one single sound from the whole crowd. Then a silence, and into that silence, a sharp sigh or sound like a whistle through a keyhole: the body exsanguinates, and its flat little presence becomes a puddle of gore."
p. 400 "A gentleman asked me, if this is what Cromwell does to the cardinal's lesser enemies, what will he do by and by to the king himself?"
p. 405 "...this is what death does to you, it takes and takes, so that all that is left of your memories is a faint tracing of spilled ash."
p. 406 "His next task is somehow to reconcile the king and the Lady Mary, to save Henry from killing his own daughter; and before that, to stop Mary's friends from killing him. He has helped them to their new world, the world without Anne Boleyn, and now they will think they can do without Cromwell too."
p. 407 "...they will sift through what remains and remark, here is an old deed, and old draft, an old letter from Thomas Cromwell's time: they will turn the page over, and write on me."

Author Bio:
British Council Literature

Best Reviews:
The New York Review of Books
The Washington Times
The New Yorker
The Telegraph
The Guardian

p. torsion
p. 67 crenellate
p. 93 tonsured
p. 121 oppobrious
p. 135 exigency
p. 144 stertorous
p. 172 suborn
p. 193 emollience
p. 218 condign
p. 235 sotto
p. 322 equipoise
p. 351subfuse

Artist of the Day: Wandering Bears - Cassia Beck

wandering bears cassia beck violetmay
artist bio: Welcome to Violet May where you will find nostalgic and colourful prints of original collages. These quirky and playful scenes are made by artist and photographer, Cassia Beck. Cassia uses vintage magazines, cut paper and her own photography to create tongue-in-cheek scenarios with a vintage feel.
United Kingdom artist Cassia Beck's hip & humorous collages feel very much of the moment. Check out her site to see more of her original work. 

Poetry & Music Mash Up: History of Hurricanes - Teresa Cader + No Sound But the Wind - Editors

isaac nasa

No Sound But the Wind


History of Hurricanes
Because we cannot know—

we plant crops, make love in the light of our not-knowing

A Minuteman prods cows from the Green with his musket,
his waxed paper windows snapping in the wind,
stiletto stalks in the herb garden upright—Now

blown sideways—Now weighted down in genuflection,

not toward,

And a frail man holding an Imari teacup paces at daybreak
     in his courtyard in Kyoto

a cherry tree petaling the stones pink and slippery 
     in the weeks he lay feverish

waiting for word from the doctor, checking for signs—Now

in the season of earthenware sturdiness and dependency
     it must begin, the season of his recovery

No whirling dervish on the radar, no radar, no brackets
no voices warning—no Voice—fugue of trees, lightning

Because we cannot know, we imagine

What will happen to me without you?

I know some things I remember—

the Delaware River two stories high inside the brick houses
cars floating past Trenton like a regiment on display
brown water climbing our basement stairs two at a time

Like months of remission—
          the eye shifts

the waxed paper windows
         burst behind the flapping shutters—

and how could he save his child after that calm,
a man who'd never seen a roof sheared off?

Across town the ninth graders in their cutoffs:
Science sucks, they grouse. Stupid History of hurricanes.

No one can remember one;

velocity, storm surge—
the earth churns as Isabel rips through Buzzard's Bay

A hurricane, as one meaning has it:
a large crowded assembly of fashionable people at a private house

The river cannot remember its flooding—
           I worry you will forget to check
   the watermarks in time

An echo of feet on stone is all the neighbors
            knew of their neighbor,
   a lover of cherry trees

and of his wife who prayed for him at the shrine,
her hair swept up in his favorite onyx comb

Artist of the Day: Steel Mecca - Liz Brizzi

steel mecca liz brizzi

artist bio: A native of France, born of Italian parents, Liz grew up in Los Angeles. Inspired by urban themes, she loves to portray the beauty she captures in the raw, desolate and industrial aspects of cities and their outskirts. Her unique mixed media technique begins with the manipulation of her original photography collaged onto acrylic painted wood panels, finally blended within layers of colorful acrylic washes. She began this series of works with landscape paintings of the streets and alleys of Downtown L.A. A city that is currently changing and developing rapidly, her artwork captured its authenticity and some of the disappearing traces of its History. Her more current work is less lifelike, as she utilizes various architectural details found in her photos to create more complex graphics, structures and imaginary landscapes, while using shapes reminiscent of street art found in the very same cities she photographs. Liz graduated in 2002 from Otis Art Institute with a BFA in Illustration and now works as a graphic artist from her studio in Downtown Los Angeles. She is now represented by galleries such as Thinkspace in Culver City, C.A.V.E Gallery in Venice, and Wide Painting in Paris.
Los Angeles-based artist Liz Brizzi's mixed-media prints remind me of  Salt Lake City's industrial side of town. They are beautiful representations of urban desolation. Check out her site to see more of her work.

Poem Therapy 5:22 P.M. 28 August 2012: Roadside Attractions with the Dogs of America - Ada Limon

Roadside Attractions with the Dogs of America
Ada Limon

It's a day when all the dogs of all
the borrowed houses are angel footing
down the hard hardwood of middle-America's
newly loaned-up renovated kitchen floors,
and the world's nicest pie I know
is somewhere waiting for the right
time to offer itself to the wayward
and the word-weary. How come the road
goes coast to coast and never just
dumps us in the water, clean and
come clean, like a fish slipped out
of the national net of "longing for joy."
How come it doesn't? Once, on a road trip
through the country, a waitress walked
in the train's diner car and swished
her non-aproned end and said,
"Hot stuff and food too." My family
still says it, when the food is hot,
and the mood is good inside the open windows.
I'd like to wear an apron for you
and come over with non-church sanctioned
knee-highs and the prettiest pie of birds
and ocean water and grief. I'd like
to be younger when I do this, like the country
before Mr. Meriwether rowed the river
and then let the country fill him up
till it killed him hard by his own hand.
I'd like to be that dog they took with them,
large and dark and silent and un-blamable.
Or I'd like to be Emily Dickinson's dog, Carlo,
and go on loving the rare un-loveable puzzle
of woman and human and mind. But, I bet I'm more
the house beagle and the howl and the obedient
eyes of everyone wanting to make their own kind
of America, but still be America, too. The road
is long and all the dogs don't care too much about
roadside concrete history and postcards of state
treasures, they just want their head out the window,
and the speeding air to make them feel faster
and younger, and newer than all the dogs
that went before them, they want to be your only dog,
your best-loved dog, for this good dog of today
to be the only beast that matters.
Oh, people, read these words and you will find the whole animal of America howling in each of the syllables.

You and I both know we desire above all things, to be the good dog of today, the only beast that matters.

I feel a letter of gratitude is in order.

Dear Ada,

I wouldn't blame you if you didn't believe me when I tell you that only a few hours ago, before I discovered your poem and in the process the treasure chest of you, that sitting at my desk, staring down a screen of unanswered emails, I had imagined my life as a dog, running haul ass down a country road, legs sparking dust behind me.


P.S. In case you were wondering, I'd be a Border Collie.


Artist of the Day: Seedheads and Pebbles - Jo Aylward

seedheads and pebbles  jo aylward 
artist bio: I'm a painter, also currently dabbling in printmaking. I sell original paintings, collages, and prints. I also run a printing business with a friend, called Pod Press. We make and sell cards,
original badges and brooches, and hand printed fabric items. Visit my website at
I love this piece, especially that pop of mustard yellow. Her prints have an unmannered sophistication quality.

Song of the Day: Big Love - Matthew E. White

Matthew E. White
Big Love

Thought this song was an appropriate beginning to the week in which the news will be all things RNC. Mitt will finally be getting some big love.

Next week will be the DNC and Obama's turn.

Let's hope Tampa dodges Isaac.

 (Apropos of nothing other than the name of the song, and that I love this series, check out HBO's Big Love).


Artist of the Day: Be Happy - MonkiVintage

be happy monkivintage
artist bio: We appreciate good design in all forms, and are drawn to the beauty, functionality and patina of well designed vintage furnishings, home goods and decorative objects. We focus mainly on mid-century and Scandinavian modern design, but our constantly changing inventory – sourced from flea markets, estate sales, and thrift and antique shops throughout the northeast – will often include unique industrial, rustic and retro finds as well. At any given time, we may offer vintage wood letterpress type, 60s Polaroid cameras, weathered antler sheds, Pendleton wool blankets, Danish modern tableware, patinaed wood carved folk art, bright Scandinavian enamelware, and much more. We are honored to have been featured in numerous print and online publications, including Apartment Therapy, dwell, Wee Birdy (who included MonkiVintage in its list of the top 10 etsy vintage shops of 2012!!), thrillist, Babble, Southern Weddings Magazine, n.e.e.t. magazine, indiefixx, rafa kids, Kickcan and Conkers, Handmade Charlotte, Lovely Chaos, oh hello friend, handmadeology, back garage, the daily decorator, the Etsy blog and many more!
Today is the last day of summer break. Back to School shopping is all done. It begins again.
Winter is on its way.
I remember a time when I was excited for fall and winter. Now, I dread them. Maybe a little. Maybe a lot.
This year, instead of clicking Wizard of Oz red-sequined heels together and repeating, there's no place like home, there's no place like home, I'll be repeating, be happy, be happy, be happy.
This year instead of huddling inside my house, lamenting the bike trail is covered in snow, lamenting it's pitch dark at 5 P. M., I'll be at the new aquatic center, swimming laps or upstairs on the rowing machine.
This year, Winter and its bone-cold fingers, is not going to get me. And I meant it!

The Book of Mormon Girl - Joanna Brooks Weller Book Works Reading

balcony view from rare books collection

This is the third time I have written about Joanna Brooks or The Book of Mormon Girl this week. Although I've been on the outside of this faith for all of my adult life, this is the first time I feel like my story is finally being told. This is the first time that I feel a pinprick of hope that change is really coming. That there is finally room for all of the stories, not just the streamlined official story. That there is room for everyone at the table: orthodox, unorthodox, those inside the faith, and those firmly outside of it.

Like I said here, she just may be the dark horse of the Mormon Moment.

Perhaps, she's just cool.

Joanna Brooks may be unorthodox Mormon, but she still considers herself a Mormon. I think there were many at the reading last night that are struggling to stay in the faith. Many told their stories. Some were hilarious. Others raw. All needed to be heard. I am glad I went.

If you are curious, interested, maybe even alarmed, by the tsunami of information and disinformation about Mormons and Mormonism in the news of late, read this book. You just may find yourself within the pages.

For further reading, check out Modern Mormon Men and Feminist Mormon Housewives.


This Moment: Golden Braid Bookstore 2:07 P.M. 24 August 2012

A steady stream is flowing from a brass pipe onto a rock. The water slides from another worn rock and collects in a small rock-lined pool. A collection of pennies, and assorted change forms a capital "m" in the bottom of the fountain. I share the narrow bench with a Buddha, the size of a small child. I hear my daughter's voice at the back of the store. She is a woman now. Strange, how just yesterday she was a child I would have to remind to stay out of the fountain, that the money was an offering to luck. I know I showed her to make a wish, but I don't remember where or when. I have seen her take coins from her hand bag, close her eyes and fold into her secret self, then toss the coins and watch them sink. She knows to keep her wish a secret. Only she and the water know it's content. A bearded man in shorts and sandals is pulling cards from a nearby rack. He is leaning forward now, arms crossed, examining the selection. He walks to the other side of the stand, his shadow visible on the book case behind him. I have traded the hard bench for a wide bench with a cushion in the children's section. I am surrounded with color and images designed to foster joy. My companions on this bench are a raccoon puppet and books about blue horses and great art in numbers. A man in a blue shirt wears a smile so broad and warm I have to turn away. Why must I turn? A store employee brings a basket of lotion samples to try. I choose Moonflower. It is her favorite. She says it reminds her of her childhood, which I imagine, like my daughter, she left a few years ago. It has a hint of talcum and the distinct sweet and earthy notes of a freshly bathed infant's head. The young woman agrees and adds it smells like her old babydolls. It saddens me to wonder in which cardboard box or closet back her discarded dolls harbor inside. Each of us put aside the simplicity of our youth and then spend the rest of our lives in search of it. The lotion shimmers on my hands. The music switches from acoustic guitar to a woman singing happily in French about the tragedy of love gone terribly wrong. I am instantly aggrieved, and want to tell someone that broken love isn't funny, but then the playful trombone behind the voice points out it is an inside joke that the whole of the world is in on. I look to my companion on the bench and smile. The raccoon, trickster of the animal world would say "broken love is the best of jokes", if it could speak. Yes, I would have to agree. It is the best joke of all.

The End of Summer Watch & Listen Playlist: August 24-26

vintage vw bus michael cheung

All good things come to an end. Grab your favorite soda or make your favortite cocktail and sing the summer out with me.

Golden - My Morning Jacket
Summer's Almost Gone - The Doors
Someday the Waves - Iron & Wine
Hot Fun in the Summertime - Sly & the Family Stone
Will Summer Make Good for Our Sins - Mum
Summer - Buffalo Tom
Summer Song - Louis Armstrong & Dave Brubek
Neste Sommer - DeLillos
All Summer Long - Kid Rock
Long Hot Summer - Girls Aloud
All Summer Long - Beach Boys
Summer's Over - Rialto
Indian Summer - Beat Happening
When Summer's Over Will We Dream of Spring - Cursive
Summer's Over - Jon Robert
Surf's Up - Beach Boys
Last Days of Summer - Johan Agebjorn
Last Days of Summer - The Cure
Last Day of Summer - Monki Twinz
Way of the Sun - Archer Prewitt
My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion - The Flaming Lips
The End of Summer - Dar Williams
We're Going to be Friends - The White Stripes

Artist of the Day: Olivetti Valentine Typewriter - Victor Cavazzoni

olivetti valentine typewriter  victor cavazzoni rumorebianco
I love this print by Mantua, Lombardy, Italy- based artist Victor Cavazzoni, who did not provide a bio, so I will make one up for him: artist bio: I am a brilliant graphic designer obsessed with vintage typewriters
This vivid print would be perfect in a sleek black frame hung on the wall right over my desk!

This Moment: Side Deck - 8:27 A.M. 23 August 2012

The morning air feels like an over-starched shirt. The days of summer are numbered. A man lumbers down the sidewalk in his green shirt, hauling his body as if it were a load of cordwood. The small dog is on the bed, his hind leg striking repeatedly as if it were rock on flint. Now he has settled into snapping at a fly. In little less than a month, the vibrant blooms of my flower gardens will darken and shrink into themselves. Soon the world will turn the hue of embers, dusty khaki, withered cornflower, then a stark bluish white. Yesterday, an enormous crow double-hopped across my back lawn to my back door. It knew I was only a few feet away, yet it advanced. I've read crows recognize human faces. I wonder if it knew me, if it has watched me the last few months as I planted and weeded and picked. If it hopped up my sidewalk every day, would I then be able to distinguish it from it's fellows when flew overhead? I am reminded of the dove that stood its ground as I approached last week. It did not fly away, even when I stood only inches away. The peach tree is bent with the weight of it's fruit. Three geese call out as they fly overhead, then disappear into the sun. A cluster of red tomatoes in the tangle of green vines, resemble grapes. A police siren wails, then suddenly stops, clipped. The jets have begun their assault on the morning's silence. I think to shake a futile fist at them. The old dog watches me from the sidewalk. The black fur around her eyes is streaked with white. Her eyes are alert, despite the blurry cataract light that dims them. The small dog curls it's warm body into my arm and sighs heavily. He shifts, scratches, then commences his elaborate bath, licking his fur clean, until he breaks off and meets my watching eyes. If I were to describe his expression, I would say guilt-ridden. Of course, in reality, it is an affect of submission to me, the alpha of the household. He rolls to his side and offers his small, warm belly. If I were able, I would enter the secret world of animals, I would roll on my back and offer myself up to a careful and loving hand.

Artist of the Day: Cool Mormon Women - Scott Heffernan

cool mormon women scott heffernan poprocksdesign

The illustration includes Carol Lynn Pearson, Chieko Okazaki, Gladys Knight, and Joanna Brooks. The illustration of Joanna Brooks is the lower right corner.
Joanna Brooks will be in Salt Lake City tomorrow!
I read The Book of Mormon Girl last week and reviewed it here, in something of a 40% personal narrative, 55% emotional excursion, and mini-meltdown, and 5% book review.
I am so excited that Joanna Brooks will be reading from her memoir at Weller Book Works , at the bookstore's new Trolley Square location this Thursday, August 23 at 7 P.M!
Usually literary readings here in the City of Salt are intimate gatherings, but I'm guessing there will be a crowd. It's a small space with room for fifty, so get there early and please save a seat for me! I will be the one wearing huge dark sunglasses; as my grandmother used to say, Danna has a talent for weeping. I can't help it!
If you didn't catch her interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, check it out here and here

Back to School Wish List: Vintage & Homemade Gifts

single strap shoulder bag  kinies
vintage office supplies in green tackle box   sushipotvintage

11 harry potter pencils  cloudandclover

great american novel notebooks  creatingstuff

paper airplane etching on real wood iphone cover grandmaswoodentooth
shakespeare mini booksi dock for iphone and ipad richneelydesign
autumnal library book necklaces pegandawl
mod ethnic dress neonthreadsdesigns

handmade vintage dunlap ruler bangle  jacq
yellow gold citrine earrings  kristinenoeldesigns
day of dead handpainted bag - sacchetto
 clara - custom fairy tale red shoes fairysteps
vintage denim flared shirt dress redliz81 
tiny gold skull necklace petiteco
woodland - bangle bracelet set  frostedwillow

when in india  sin

Poetry & Music Mash Up: Breathe Me - Sia + Earth Tremors Felt in Missouri - Mona Van Duyn

bliss shirae

Breathe Me


Earth Tremors Felt in Missouri
The quake last night was nothing personal, 
you told me this morning. I think one always wonders, 
unless, of course, something is visible: tremors 
that take us, private and willy-nilly, are usual.

But the earth said last night that what I feel, 
you feel; what secretly moves you, moves me. 
One small, sensuous catastrophe 
makes inklings letters, spelled in a worldly tremble.

The earth, with others on it, turns in its course 
as we turn toward each other, less than ourselves, gross, 
mindless, more than we were. Pebbles, we swell 
to planets, nearing the universal roll, 
in our conceit even comprehending the sun, 
whose bright ordeal leaves cool men woebegone.

Artist of the Day: Undress - Clare Elsaesser

undress clare elsaesser tastesorangey

artist bio: Hi, my name is Clare Elsaesser and I live and work in the beautiful, hillside town of Jenner, California where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean. I was super lucky to have been an Etsy featured seller. You can read the interview here if you'd like to find out a bit more: You can also take a peak inside my home:
I couldn't decide between the paintings, so I chose both.

Back portraits fascinate. They tell a much different story than traditional frontal portraits, in which the viewer looks to the face to make assessments of beauty, character, temperament,  intelligence, and gauge the subject's essence through their eyes.

Portrait's from this perspective remind me of Man Ray's solarized Nude with Shadow photograph.  

Poem Therapy 10:58 P.M. 20 August: Day of Grief - Gerald Stern

Day of Grief
Gerald Stern

I was forcing a wasp to the top of a window
where there was some sky and there were tiger lilies
outside just to love him or maybe only
simply a kiss for he was hurrying home
to fight a broom and I was trying to open
a door with one hand while the other was swinging
tomatoes, and you could even smell the corn
for corn travels by wind and there was the first
hint of cold and dark though it was nothing
compared to what would come, and someone should mark
the day, I think it was August 20th, and
that should be the day of grief for grief
begins then and the corn man starts to shiver
and crows too and dogs who hate the wind
though grief would come later and it was a relief
to know I wasn't alone, but be as it may,
since it was cold and dark I found myself singing
the brilliant love songs of my other religion.

The first hint of winter is in the morning air these last few days. The bitter dark days are coming. Outside my back door wasps and bees scurry, dragonflies dart and the occasional butterfly floats around the cucumber and squash blooms. The fields are blanketed with geese gleaning the leavings of harvest.

Early this morning, I leaned into the circle whirlpool's current after laps. A woman walking with the current told me she used to make forty laps against the current every morning, but now she has cancer. I asked her what kind on the next round, and then she stopped and told her story, water breaking around us.

I recognized the story and the pain she described. It is the same pain that my husband began describing these shortening days of summer.

The Day in Cartoons: The Todd Akin Solution - Randall Enos

the todd akin solution randall enos

Legitimate rape? For real, Missouri Congressman Todd Akin?

It's unlikely you haven't heard about this, but in the off-chance you haven't, Congressman Akin said in an interview with KTVI-TV, "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child."

In an effort to apologize and save the rag tatters left of his campaign, he apologized with this statement, “In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it's clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year,”

The GOP pulled funding for Akin's Senate race and has given him 24 hours to think about his options, meaning, have his speechwriter pen his resignation. Akin says he not quitting. He's going to continue his bid for Senate. 

Instead, perhaps he should seriously consider volunteering at the local Rape Crisis Center.

Interesting Reading:
The Christian Science Monitor - Did Todd Akin just cost GOP a US Senate takeover?
The Huffington Post - Obama on Todd Akin: "Rape is Rape"

Song of the Day: Convict of Conviction- Sonya Kitchell

Sonya Kitchell
Convict of Conviction

She has a gorgeous, soulful voice.

This song made me think that all of us can be prisoners of thought, chained to a belief.

Meta cognition. The word means examining your own thoughts, literally thinking about what you're thinking.

Have you tried this?

I've been paying attention to my thoughts recently, especially the thoughts that run themselves weary on the hamster wheel.

I'm letting them run, but I'm watching. I'm writing them down. A theme is emerging.

Artist of the Day: Reclaimed Wood Desk - Erin Norton True

reclaimed wood desk erin norton true

artist bio: This is real wood with a real history and story to tell. This wood once held up century old buidlings and barns. It has the age and love spots to prove it. Each piece has it's own unique characteristics....often knots, dents, saw marks, nail holes and grooves in each piece of wood I use. I once heard someone say "If it doesn't have a past, it's not worth having!" I have embraced this idea in my own home, in my Etsy shop and online at my own shop at I have always enjoyed creating things of all sorts. In 2009, after spending 8 years in the Detroit area as an art teacher, I moved to the Chicago area. I decided to pursue my own artistic endeavors in a new medium....Old Growth Wood...mixed with items I would discover at estate sales, flea markets, and old barns. I began creating small furniture pieces like benches and console tables. Not long after people began contacting me to create larger pieces like reclaimed dining tables, desks, media stands, shelves etc. I often like to add vintage boxes, locker baskets, wood crates to many of my pieces making each piece one-of-a-kind. Possibly, my favorite part about starting Urban Wood Goods has been the little adventures I have found myself on in the hunt for "Good Wood." My friends and family are always amused by the places I tell them I go to in the middle of nowhere in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan and the interesting characters I meet. I hope to start documenting these places and people soon on my blog.
I love this wood desk and I love Chicago-based wood worker artist Erin Norton True's story, even more. She uses pre-1920 wood to create her pieces. Every bench or table would look great in a loft or farm house.

Are any of you woodworkers? I wouldn't call myself that, but I tried it, and to mix my literal artisan metaphors, found it to be like sewing, but with power tools. My favorite part was designing, then joining, then planing. I did not enjoy making the cuts at all. My very first cut was on the radial arm saw and I thought I would have a heart attack.  I made a Shaker kitchen table, start to finish. It is now an upstairs computer desk. I also made an entertainment center and a lot of frames for my artwork.

You will love the Urban Wood Goods website and blog. Head over there and be certain to watch her video in Our Story.

The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith - Joanna Brooks: Quickie Review

FYI: Joanna Brooks will be reading from her memoir at Weller Book Works this Thursday, August 23 at 7 P.M! It's a small space with room for fifty, so get there early and save a seat for me! If you didn't catch her interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, check it out here and here

Copious Thoughts otherwise known as Quick Thoughts:
There is a lot of talk that Mitt Romney running for President of the United States, is the Mormon Moment, (and I suppose if he is elected, the talk will be that it is now a post-religious America).

With all the dissembling and mean-spiritedness inherent in political elections, Joanna Brook's speaking her truth and speaking truth to power in her fearless memoir, just may turn out to be the dark horse Mormon Moment.  

From what we know about the major historical movements of the United States, it is always the voices on the margins that change the course of history. The majority of our leaders rarely introduce any type of radical change to the status quo, but look for a popular movement and run like hell to get in front of it and proclaim themselves its leader.

Think about this: a handful of Quakers, on the fringe of society and considered fanatics and not allowed to hold public office, opposed slavery, which to simplify, led to the formation of the Abolitionist Movement, which led to the Civil War, and eventually the Emancipation Proclamation.

Women's Suffrage, The Civil Rights Movement, The Women's Movement, The LGBT Movement, the Occupy Movement, both tea parties, all began on the margins with a handful of committed individuals who dared to imagine a better, more inclusive democracy.

Try to silence or dismiss an idea, an entire gender or population, and listen to the quiet swell of voices rising to a deafening cry for justice.

Instead of silencing voices that tell a story outside of accepted narratives, these unorthodox, questioning, dissenting voices may lead to the realization that the Mormon religion is not so weird, that it isn't scary or a cult. Mormons may have their own book and prophet, but they also have the Bible and Jesus. Rather than being threatened by the voices on the margin of the Church, a greater transparency may lead to the realization that this church has more in common with world religions than differences.

Joanna Brooks is an unorthodox Mormon woman who loves her faith, yet could not keep silent, nor find a place for herself within the Church. She is a woman who refuses to be silenced. And for this, I am grateful. There are many stories about this dynamic, complex, industrious, flawed, and very young American faith, that need to be told. 

Book of Mormon Girl is a personal accounting of Brook's experience. It is her Mormon story, but it is not the definitive story. Hers is only one story. There are a million plus more.  

There is room for all the stories, for all the voices. All of them. America needs them. The world needs them.  To my surprise, I need them. 

I found myself in these pages. There were brief phrases and passages where I found that I literally couldn't breathe. There were a few times I had to put the book down and walk away. I cried and raged. A lot. I will never, ever, lend my copy of the book out because of the nature of the commentary I wrote in the margins.  

I find it remarkable that Joanna Brooks is so deeply committed to her faith, and although she could not find a way to remain active and true to herself, she is an unorthodox advocate for a religion in which she is considered a dissident. Some call her an apostate, which implies a dangerous enemy, but in reality, is a person who renounces or abandons a belief, religious or political. Brooks has neither renounced, nor abandoned her faith, her religion.

Brooks unflinching account of her experiences resonated, and in the process of a few hours of reading, unlocked the door I had closed, nearly three decades ago.

As a very young child, I loved Primary. I loved the songs, the activities. I remember the thought of how lucky I was to be born a Mormon and in Utah! I really believed the Earth was seven-thousand years old.  I read the Book of Mormon, and although I didn't receive the burning testimony everyone else was claiming to have experienced, I had an intense desire to create my own versions of the Golden Plates. I wrapped an old brick with tinfoil, wrote on it, and then buried it under the tree in the pasture behind the house. When I dreamed about the Church, Michelangelo's Moses was always a menacing presence, horned hair and angry eyes enough to keep my restless self in check. As a young girl, I loved girl's camp: hiking, canoeing, swimming in the lake and the horror or leeches; hobo dinners around the campfire, crafts, huge assembly-like breakfasts, sack lunches, and starchy dinners. I loved the skits and programs. The program when the Lamanites turned white because they were so faithful was always popular, even if it was weird, and of course in retrospect, condescending and racist. I hated all the praying, probably because it went on too long, and the person giving the prayer usually cried or their voice quavered. I came to dread the last day of camp because there was an unspoken expectation to bear one's testimony. Each year as we sat in our groups around the fire, when it was my turn, I remained silent until the girl next to me finally got the hint and spoke up. I wasn't being defiant. I refused to bear testimony because I had doubts. I couldn't pretend something I didn't feel. I knew I had forced an invisible wedge between myself and other girls. Of course I got in trouble. I was always getting in trouble. I asked a lot of questions. I needed answers. 

I was livid that boys got the priesthood. Livid! And that boys that I knew who were totally unworthy were blessing the sacrament. I refused to take the sacrament in protest. I got in so much trouble! Later, I refused to be baptized for the dead because I thought the living made their choices and I hated it when anyone made decisions for me, and, who was I to go against the living or dead's wishes?  I was not allowed to refuse the trip to the temple, but once there, I refused to do anything but sit on a bench and wait for the girls to finish. I don't remember the drive home. It goes without saying I got in trouble. I do remember I never had to go for baptisms again. I didn't refuse Seminary. I enjoyed it my Sophomore and Junior year, especially the scripture study and memorization contests. We got a new teacher Senior year that moralized on proper conduct for girls and boys, mostly girls, and made examples of modesty infractions. I started wearing tank tops and mini skirts. I remember he told me that, football was my god. I had no idea what he was talking about. I still don't. I know he was earnest and well-meaning. I also know the only life he saw for me was very limited.

I remember the thought that as soon as it was legal to leave, I was out. Legal meant 18 and moved out of my childhood home. I had tried very, very hard to stay, but there was no place for me. I knew it was my right to be a full partner, not a helpmate. I asked questions and kept asking and wouldn't accept vague answers. Once I was legal, I made a great show of slamming the door, but eventually grew up and gently closed the door for good, and just forgot about it, and wondered every now and then what all that distant knocking was. What I am slowly learning is that locked doors shift and unhinge with time and demand to be opened.  Demand validation and resolution.

Reading Book of Mormon Girl also prompted the thought, lose one woman and you have lost countless generations.

I respect the religion of my youth. I do not regret that I walked away. I credit the Church with a lot my core strengths.  I see the joy of community, of belonging, the comfort of belief and faith in lives of my neighbors, friends and family. And I see the struggle, the quiet desperation of silent questioning. I have made a community and belief system of my own. It is a work in progress. By walking away, I have had to find my own path. And my own light.

Lose one woman and you have lost countless generations. I haven't been to church, unless it was to support a family member's baptism or blessing or primary program. I have not spoken against, nor in favor of the religion of my youth, to my children. All three children chose to be baptized, but none are currently active. Two of my children now have young children of their own. They did not have them blessed. If recent history serves, these grandchildren may chose to be baptized. Time will tell if they will remain active participants.

It could have been different. I chose to leave. I chose to listen to my own voice, telling me I needed a safer place, where my voice could be heard, where it was possible for me to lead, rather than follow. The faith of my youth has lost far too many women. I know great inroads have been made, are being made, to rectify this. Even so, by walking away, I found I have walked back to myself.

First Sentence:
"On Monday nights, my father and mother gathered their four children around the kitchen table in our tract house on the edge of the orange groves and taught us how the universe worked."

Favorite Parts:
p. 11 "In the world I grew up in, it was not okay to tell unorthodox stories. We did not hear them in church. We did not read them in scripture. But sooner or later they break through to the surface in every Mormon life, in every human life, in every life of faith. I am not afraid of them. Because this is the story life has given me to tell."

p. 26 "When I was eight years old, I could not yet see the shadows in my world of sparkling difference, the hard edges of the lines we drew to distinguish ourselves from others."

p. 28 "These are the unspoken legacies we inherit when we belong to a people: not only luminous visions of eternal expanses of loving-kindness, but actual human histories of exclusions and rank prejudice. We inherit not only the glorious histories of our ancestors, but their satisfactions with easy contradictions; their wisdom as well as their ignorance, arrogance, and presumption, as our own. we inherit all the ways in which our ancestors and parents and teachers were wrong, as well as the ways they were right: their sparkling differences, and their human failings. There is no unmixing of the two."

P. 36 "I learned that if the United States of America adopted into its Constitution the statement that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex," these words would in fact not correct long-standing gender inequities but rather endanger our families, demean the special and sacred roles of women, and harm the nation."

p. 43 "We grew up always ready to abandon this world, to take out small backpacks of bottled water, freeze-dried food, first-aid kits, and candles, and simply walk away, walk as far as Missouri if we had to, if that was where the New Jerusalem would be built."

p. 47 "The year we all turned twelve, the boys in my Sunday School class received the priesthood; the spiritual authority to lead, bless, and baptized, passed from Mormon father to Mormon son by the laying on of hands... I got Marie Osmond's Guide to Beauty, Health & Style."

p. 64 "You and me, Marie, wrestling the dark energies of childhood depressions and nascent eating disorders. You and me, with visions of self-harm, dark impulses we could only describe as religious."

p. 74 "Threatening? Us? Mormons?"

p. 84 "We waved our pom-poms for Utah, for pioneer grandmothers, for wheat sealed in tins against the apocalypse...I waved my pom-poms because I was not afraid of polygamy, sacred underwear, or the idea of eternal godhood..."

p. 98 "...I tried to get used to the feeling of being in the backseat, never driving, always driven, headed for destinations not of my choosing and vast beyond my control."

p. 111 "You, your body, your self---you are not an object lesson."

--- "How badly I want her to know that after many years of confusion, she will come home to a house she chose herself, with a man she chose herself, a man whose body does not menace, a man who does not dream of owning her."

p. 115 "What is to stop a people who have sized up the infinite forest of human souls tangled and uprooted by the avalanche of time, and said, cheerfully, yes, we will sort it all out and have it stacked as neatly as a cordwood by sundown."

p. 122 "So it happened that I was there at Brigham Young University just in time to witness a remarkable upwelling in Mormon feminism, a feminism that started very simply in basement classrooms with the idea that all were alike unto God."

p. 130 "I graduated from BYU, without a husband, returned my diploma in protest, and left Utah for a PhD program in Los Angeles."

p. 132 "Though I spoke very few words about it to the people with whom I shared my everyday life, during this decade, Mormons like me found ourselves in the grip of a terrible turn in Mormon history, in the grip of a fear provoked in part by the strength of our Mormon feminist vision: a fear of the full, glorious, strange, and difficult humanity of our Mormon past; a fear of women who openly claimed the power of a Heavenly Mother; a fear of mothers and fathers who refused to sacrifice their children to protect the public image of the Church; a fear of our own gay and lesbian relatives who refused the confines of the closet."

p. 136 "To my family, my choosing to marry David would mean that I was choosing not to be with them in heaven. But for me, choosing David meant placing my trust in a God bigger than doctrine."

p. 144 "No one should be left to believe that she is the only Mormon girl who walked alone into the dark. No one should be left to feel like she is the only one broken and seeking."

p. 150 "Forced to choose between my nostalgia for the faith of my childhood and my dignity as an adult, I... drove away."

p. 156 "What will I leave my own daughters, my own granddaughters? What stories will accompany them across the miles they will travel in their lifetimes? For their sakes, finally, I decide to stop feeling like a bad daughter in my own tradition. For their sakes, I decide I must make and tell my own version of the Mormon story."

p. 160 "I am not an orthodox Mormon woman like my mother. I am an unorthodox Mormon woman with a fierce and hungry faith... I need to remember all the risks being forgotten in a Mormonism where telling unorthodox versions of our story is sometimes viewed as the work of enemies and apostates.

I am not an enemy, and I will not be disappeared from the faith of my ancestors. I am a descendant of the Mormon pioneers."

p. 168 "I stare at a wooden Jesus on the cross suspended above the altar. It is an unfamiliar sight: this Jesus, arms outstretched and bound, on a cross, suspended in the chapel. Mormons do not have crucifixes in our chapels."

p. 171 "The Church as said that it respects the rights of its members with dissenting opinions. Still, as I write my speech, terror sits on my chest. I wrestle with the specter of excommunication that haunts every dissenting Mormon who writes or speak in public."

p. 177 "I hold my tongue, but I also hold my seat. This is a church inhabited by people willing to give up their own children for being gay. This is also a church of Millie Watts and the church of my grandmothers. This is a church of tenderness and arrogance, of sparkling differences and human feelings. There is no unmixing of the two."

p. 179 "My name is Joanna," I say. "And I am a straight Mormon feminist."

p. 181 "Sometimes the world does split apart, but writing can help but it back together."

p. 183 "As I wrote, I brought myself back from my own exile, the silent excommunication I subjected myself to when I was convinced Mormonism was not safe for women like me."

p. 186 "I am a believing Mormon woman, and I'm worried that the church seems to be losing so many women."

p. 188 "There is no way forward, I believe, but to tell our whole story. Not the made-for-television version, but the entire very imperfect story, the one that reveals the human flaws of the ones who came before us."

p. 189 "An orthodox story is nothing to be ashamed of. It is something that deserves to be shared."

Author Bio:
Joanna Brooks is a national voice on faith in American life and an award-winning scholar of religion and American culture. The author of The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith (Free Press), she is a senior correspondent for the on-line magazine and has been named one of “50 Politicos to Watch” by and one of “13 Religious Women to Watch” by the Center for American Progress. She is the recipient of the 2012 Eve Award from the Mormon Women’s Forum. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two children.

Best Reviews:
Publisher's Weekly - Book of Mormon Girl
The New Yorker - I, Nephi
By Common Consent - The Book of Mormon Girl