SHOWCASE POSTPONED UNTIL MAY 15TH

Remember the May Day swap? Those who participated were able to package up some emblem of spring--lilac-scented soap, crocheted flowers, paper butterflies, raspberry honey, seeds, etc.--and send it off to an eager recipient. The May Day swap was much like the ornament swap from December, only it was organized round robin-style (as compared to the ornament swap's partnerships).

Come May 1 (May Day), I had planned to showcase photos of everyone's gifts. However, after contacting many of the participants, I learned that nearly a third of them had yet to receive their packages! As a result, I have decided to postpone the showcase until Wednesday, May 15.

Admittedly, I am disappointed. There are such wonderful gifts that were mailed out, and I cannot wait to share them with everyone! There are so many beautiful, creative, lacy, pretty, floral, personalized items. However, I didn't want to post only a portion of the packages that were sent, and I didn't want anyone to feel left out. Furthermore, a lot of individuals are busy--with finals, with school, with work, with families, with illnesses. Those things need to come first. Always. 

I apologize if anyone was looking forward to the post; I was, too. However, the May 15 deadline will give the post office enough time to deliver the remaining packages. (That said, if you're a swapper, please mail your package ASAP, if you haven't already! And if you have already received your box of May Day goodies, then I encourage you to send a photo or two my way. I can guarantee that I'll probably end up drooling over some sweet or fanciful thing you received.) 

Thanks for your patience, everyone. I really appreciate it. And I really appreciate each and every person that joined the swap. I'm always amazed that so many people are interested in participating. Seeing so many people connect hits me "right in the feels." If I could--as a thank-you--I would mail all 45 of you a basket of warm, fuzzy, adorable kittens. (Or puppies, if you're a dog person.) 

HAPPY THOUGHTS, A LIST

Photo taken by the lovely Rhianne, whose photo blog is one you should definitely follow.

1. My uncle's surgery went very well. In my aunt's words, "Everything looks great." (My uncle suffered a series of three strokes one evening this past December. He has alternated between the hospital and a rehabiltation center since then. Though his absence from home will not last much longer, prayers for him and the family are still welcomed.)

2. May 30. Indianapolis. Of Monsters and Men. I'm damn excited. Big thanks to Hans for purchasing the tickets for my birthday. Icelandic hipster bands are right up my alley.

3. Texts from my mom, who is listed in my phone as "Head Yak": "Got this terrific package today that brought tears to my eyes and the biggest, warmest sense of love from you. Thank you so very much. You're a much better daughter than I am to my mother. No wonder I love you so much."

4. Developing film, both the surprises and the disappointments.

5. May 9, my birthday.

6. A week off work, as a reward for the exhausting and time-consuming legislative session. After several 60 to 70-hour workweeks, a trip to Iowa will be very much enjoyed.

7. The possibility that I may be able to attend my twin cousins' joint graduation party. The possibility that I will be able to see my uncle when I go "home."

8. Plans for a two-week road trip. One that will take us (Tweedledum, Tweedledee, and I) West.

9. Plans for Hans and I to meet my dad in either St. Louis or Hannibal in June.

10. A birthday party in one week.

11. Lazy, cozy evenings spent in bed with Hans, giggling and watching "The Simpsons" on Hulu.

12. Wonderful thoughts and concerns from the blogging community. You have no idea how much I appreciated each of your comments. Thank you to everyone who "checked up" or "checked in" with me; sometimes, one needs it. And I needed it. I sincerely read each comment, and I do my best to reply to each one. You're not just "blogging friends;" you're real friends. People who care and appreciate and show concern. Individuals who readily cheer you up and know you better than you sometimes know yourself. People who share beautiful imagery--either through words or photos.

13. What I can do, what I could do, what I should do. I can contribute to Historic Indianapolis. I could go to grad school. I should contribute to the publishing world. Read, write, edit, think, critique. Possibilities. Try.

14. Golden sunsets.

15. Blossoming magnolias and pink petals.

16. Having a Twitter exchange with R.L. Stine.

17. Having a kick-ass sister-in-law, a humble and hilarious brother, a there-is-no-way-in-hell-I-can-replace-her mother, a just-the-right-amount-of-goofy fiance.

18. Sunrises on the way to work. The pinks and purples and subtle pastels that reflect off downtown buildings.

19. Being able to save more money than I expected. Having a lower credit card bill than I estimated. Budgeting for the future--for a bike, for a new phone, for a trip to Iowa, for a trip West, for retirement.

20. Inside jokes. ("I'm mailing you a toothbrush, since you live in a cemetery.")

21. That the list of "happy thoughts" is longer than the other list.

FOUNTAIN SQUARE ON FILM

Hans and I are frequent visitors to the Fountain Square/Fletcher Place area, where these photos were taken. Most of the images are from a roll of Kodak 200, but the last photo comes from my Kodak Elite Chrome roll (the one that was cross-processed). Though the photo doesn't show it, the building to which the blue door is attached is actually salmon-colored. It's a very warm, peachy color, especially at sunset.

All the images were taken while walking around the neighborhood. As Hans intends to buy a house in the area, we enjoy taking walks up and down the streets, staring at architecture and businesses. We watch the renovations, see new homes built on empty lots and ancient homes refurbished. Fletcher Place happens to be one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city (two of the homes I featured on Historic Indianapolis were built in 1865) and has several Italiante-style homes. Fountain Square has more bungalows, and the area is experiencing a revival. Fountain Square is also one of Indy's six cultural districts, and is known for its artists.

And its hipsters.









Camera: Refurbished LC-A
Film: Kodak 200, Kodak Elite Chrome 100 (last photo only)

THIS IS NOT WHAT I ORDERED

When I ordered my LC-A, I also bought several rolls of film, including inexpensive Kodak 200, Lomography 400, and one roll of Ilford. I also purchased one roll of Kodak Elite Chrome. I had fallen in love with the vivid blues of the film after first seeing it on Rhianne's blog and desperately wanted to try it myself. In the end, however, the lab cross-processed the film ... and what I received were not cerulean images. Rather, the white is blinding, the black is darker than midnight, and each one of the photos has a very stark contrast. They are very surreal looking, and are intriguing ... but they are not for what I was hoping. I'm also disappointed in the quality of the scanned images. The prints themselves are much sharper; the ones scanned onto the CD are blurrier and duller in color. I'm almost embarrassed to show them here, honestly. (And, as I personally don't have a scanner, these are what I have to share, unfortunately.)

The lab later told me that the machine they use for films like Elite Chrome was permanently shut down just three weeks before I dropped off my film. Next time I visit them, I plan to ask if there is another place in the city where I can develop it, or if I will have to send it elsewhere.

The photos are from a walk I took during my lunch break. Now that it is warmer, I like to go out and patrol the canal. Or downtown. Or the mall. Something. Anywhere but the office. These particular photos are from around the Statehouse and the Kurt Vonnegut Library (they are just two blocks from each other).






Camera: Refurbished LC-A
Film: Kodak Elite Chrome 100

AWKWARD, ODD, & A LITTLE BIT MAGIC

I’m odd and awkward. Always have been, I suppose. Odd because I played with Barbies until I was twelve. Odd because, in fourth grade, my favorite pairs of shorts were lemon yellow and lime green. Odd because, in seventh grade, I wore purple leopard-print pants to school and adorned my hair with chopsticks.

Man, was I odd.

Odd because I openly expressed my desire to leave, to explore.

My best “partner in crime” was my mother, and I legitimately enjoyed math homework because finding the answer was so rhythmic. I had interests in academics, books, and Ocarina of Time, and yet my first boyfriend’s mother labeled me as a “bad influence.” (Which, most likely, was because of the leopard-print pants.) I was also odd because, when it came to schoolwork, I was competitive, and when it came to athletics (something on which my home community puts emphasis), I was uninterested.

I’m not sure if I was awkward because I was terrible at sports, or terrible at sports because I was clumsy and all limbs. And all toes. And all fingers. And lots of mindless flailing. I wildly kicked at soccer balls and was teased with nicknames like “Grasshopper Legs.” When I was fourteen, I managed to jam my right ring finger by almost catching a softball in P.E. It smacked the top of my finger, scrunched my tendons, and left me with a brace and a claw-shaped hand until after my birthday. When I was nine, I sprained my ankle after jumping on a basketball (though that particular incident was more stupidity than awkwardness). I’ve had only one bike accident, amazingly, and one rollerblading slide that, for four weeks, left me with a raw patch of skin on my ass.

Man, am I clumsy.

In November, I pinched my finger in a retractable garage door. And, every day, I drop things, pick them up, drop them again. I trip over cracks in the sidewalk, nonexistent cracks in the sidewalk, my own feet. I walk into walls. All the time, I slam my shoulder or hip into a door frame. Brown and blue and purple spots freckle my skin. Too many accidents. Too many spots. I’m an accidental leper. On the thigh, on the calf, on the forearm, I count my bruises. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen. A bruise every 1.5 hours.

The bruises are deep. In P.E., I was often picked last.

I'm awkward.

I'm odd.

But I'm also MAGIC.

While getting ready for work, I thought I would "surprise" Hans by suddenly and quietly appearing in the bedroom doorway. Said doorway is just off the main room, straight across from where Hans keeps his computer. He was on reddit, pecking away at the keyboard.

 I shuffled across the bedroom, a change of clothes in my arms, and swept my entire being into the doorway. I stood there, silent, straight.

Hans halfway turned his head toward me, distracted. "What'cha doing?"

"Surprising you. See? I magically and suddenly appeared."

"Yes. You're very special." He turned back to the computer.

I pointed my finger at him, shook it as menacingly as I could while holding a pile of clothes, and said, "Remember, I'm magic." I raised my eyebrows, daring him to challenge me. Hans just stared, amused. I started to make my way to the bathroom, finger still stretched accusingly. "MAGIC," I said.

And then I tripped over a chair.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

For a visual comparison, watch Steve Buscemi's drunk character in "The Wedding Singer."
 

LISTS

I keep a lot of lists.

Groceries to buy.
Things to do.
Buildings to feature on Historic Indianapolis.
Cards to send.
Bills to pay.
Blog posts to create.
Books I've read.
Movies I've watched.
Wines I've tried.

I have a lot of lists.

And, this week, I'm keeping a list of all the terrible things that have happened.

Boston.
West, Texas.
Fearing, and then confirming, that my mother is ill.
Losing the opportunity to tour a house.
Hearing that a happy couple suffered a miscarriage.
Admitting to myself that I don't want to live in my apartment anymore.
Having to cope with racism, hatred, name-calling, partisanship, suspicion, conspiracies, and conflicts.
Learning that my mother has lost her job.
The "What are we doing?" talk-not-really-a-talk between my Hans and I.

A list of the emotions.

Sadness.
Depression.
Shock.
Anger.
Frustration.
Confusion.
Sympathy.
Remorse.
Embarrassment.
Helplessness.
Homesickness.

It's just one of those days.

One of those days when, after hearing from your mother, you set your phone down and hang your head in your hands, fighting tears at your office desk. Shaking your head and breathing deep because you can't be bothered; not here, not now. Later. Later, when you can crawl into your sweatpants and eat monster cookies and sob quietly into the sheets. One of those days when, after pulling your car into its usual space, you turn off the heat, turn off the headlights. But you're not ready to go inside. Not yet. No, you sit there, gripping the steering wheel and finally letting the tears fall into your lap. You leave the car running, a Foo Fighters song playing. You hate the Foo Fighters. But you keep listening, and you take comfort in the sound. The lyrics and noises and half-screams are a way to stave off sadness, just like a television's background noise almost convinces you that you're not alone.

But then there are "some days."

Days when you're just at a loss. Days when you want to crawl into your childhood, into your past, into your old life and your old home. Barefoot and innocent. Days when you want to fix everything, when you want to say all the words, when you want to do anything but realize damn it people are dying and I can't remove heartbreak. When you wonder how you're going to take care of your mom. How you're going to move her to where you are. If you even can. How you will even survive when you feel you'll never be good enough. You'll always be poor, always drive a leaking and rusted-out car, always live in some half-forgotten structure with malady upon malady. You'll always be...

That you're going to be alone ... because you can never make a decision. Because, instead, you've bundled yourself in sweats and sheets, making mental lists of all the things you're afraid of.

MARCH LEFTOVERS









1. I was overdue for a new profile picture. (Taken by Hans at the corner of Indiana and Senate avenues.)
2. The canal, dyed green for St. Patrick's Day.
3. Across the canal from the Indiana Historical Society.
4. Tile work decorating a bridge over the canal.
5. Testing the 50mm f/1.8 lens my dad got me for my birthday. (It was originally meant to be a Christmas present, but since it came so late, it turned into my birthday present ... two months early.)
6. Hans taking a photo of downtown Indy.
7. Downtown Indy from the jagged intersection where Indiana and Senate avenues meet Vermont Street.
8. An old advertisement for 7-Up on a commercial building in Fountain Square.
9. ... so many layers of paint.

EASTER












Blueberry muffins. Fancy dresses. Church. Cooking. Prepping. Flowers. Puzzles. Lemon-glazed cookies. Phone calls home. Eggs. Laughs. Missing pieces. Driving. Loading. Driving some more. Eating. Praying. Puppies. Homemade gifts. Handmade pins. Lace. Rain. Sunsets.
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