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the favored ten: actresses

March 30, 2013


lauren bacall
the mirror has two faces
(okay. so i've only seen one film in which she's starred,
but the gal had class and a voice. and bogart.)


cate blanchett
charlotte gray
(LOVED this movie.)
the aviator
(loved her as hepburn.)


patricia clarkson
miracle
no reservations
one day
(small part. but so perfect for it.)
pieces of april
(oh. my. god. she was awesome in that movie.
not that you would know this from the trailer.)
playing by heart


jennifer connelly
creation
a beautiful mind
the house of sand and fog
(i even liked her in...)
he's just not that into you


dame judi dench
uh. hello. EVERYTHING.


katharine hepburn
ditto.


rachel mcadams
the family stone
the notebook


gena rowlands
playing by heart
the notebook
something to talk about
(NOT a good movie. but i remember liking her in it.)


elizabeth taylor
who's afraid of virginia woolf?
the taming of the shrew
giant
cleopatra


kate winslet
eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
revolutionary road
the life of david gale

random quarter

March 27, 2013

one. i don't understand instagram. you want the pictures you take today to have an aged look to them? twenty years from now, your family's going to look at them and the images won't be accurate reflections because you tweaked it with filters to make it look older. i guarantee you, technology will have improved so much that a basic photo taken today by you will appear to your children like the basic photos your parents took of you in the seventies. there's genuine vintage. and then there's the fake.

two. i keep hearing that line from he's just not that into you, the one jennifer connelly spoke when her philandering douchebag of a husband, bradley cooper, stands before her holding up two samples of hardwood flooring, one of which is laminate, and asks her to pick the real one. she can't, because they seem to be identical. but when he shows her the fake, she snatches it and says, "this is a lie."

i'm tired of deceit and disappointment.

the other day, i texted one of my so-called friends and asked if she was free that afternoon because i could use some of her sunshine. her kids were down for a nap; she was gonna take one, too. i asked her to text me when she woke up. perfect! she never did text me back. this kind of thing happens a lot with her. this kind of thing happens a lot with my friends, though i don't usually come right out and say i need them.

it's march. i hate march. i used to love it. winter was over. the trees and the flowers and the sun and the breeze and the blue and green... the color! after two months of gray and gloomy. spring break! my birthday! i used to love this month. now i hate it. i dread it. for SO many reasons. my allergies. my birthday. my brother. i HATE this month. my parents go to colorado, because that's where his grave is, and they need to be there. my mother needs her brothers. and that's where they are. my other brother has his wife, his children. i get to do this by myself. every year. i don't even have reliable friends upon whom i can lean. my parents' friends, maybe, but i don't like calling them, because it'd get back to my parents that i couldn't do it on my own. and then my birthday. two weeks later. i abhor this month.

for three decades, i have picked myself up every time my spirit's crashed. i have made myself get up under the delusion that at some point, picking myself up would be easier, because at some point i'd find a good support system.

it's laughable, really, that delusion. i don't know that i can keep maintaining it. and it's hope, you see. it's important that i do.

there's this other part of me that feels guilty, even as i'm typing this, that i can't always pick myself up so quickly, so successfully. the world would want me on medication because my brain is sick. and i ought to be. but when i am, i cannot write. i can't. and that is SO MUCH WORSE. then instead of a rainforest or swamp, my mental landscape would be a desert. i'd rather have the rain. the world doesn't want to hear about misery. and yet i'm writing about it. again.

i like me so much better when my head is clear.

that's a very long two. i'll try to keep the rest short.

three.  a friend gave me this picture. i like it. good stuff.

four. i've managed to keep my room clean for a week. go me!

five. i'm getting clumsier as i get older. this morning i broke some ceramic thing my mother had in her windowsill and just now i almost spilled my giant houston rodeo coke-filled cup on her computer. go me.

six. my parents have asked me several times now what i want for my birthday. what i want they can't give me. and of the things i could ask for, the only one is aggie season tickets which are now hella expensive, and i won't get those. i had to take phineas to the shop because my eight-year-old car was making godawful noises. so his repairs? that's now my birthday present. what a way to celebrate my having survived thirty-nine years of this shit.

seven. it's beautiful out today. i think i might go sit outside and read.

eight. i haven't read anything this month. i now have four days to read eight books. yeah. that's gonna happen.

nine. of the marriage equality images i'm seeing everywhere on facebook, this one's the best. and i really, really can't understand why anyone would deny anyone else any semblance of happiness. that's just stupid.

ten. i am fat. again. another reason why i hate this month. i stop caring about my diet. and the number of adult beverages i drink. and all the sudden my gut's rolling over my waistband.

eleven. i'm not nearly as much of a fan of the voice as i used to be. i might stop watching that show.

twelve. i used to like peonies the best. especially the white ones with the flash of red. they look so fragile and so feminine. so delicate. the opposite of me. mostly. i'm pretty delicate, i guess. i break easily. but i don't act delicately. or something. i'm too clumsy. too brash. too crass. anyway, when i'm feeling like that bull in a china shop, i go to the store and buy a batch of these if they have them and take them to pappadeaux's to leave at the hostess stand for the restaraunt's guests to take. makes me feel better.

but ever since reading the language of flowers by vanessa diffenbaugh, i'm conflicted. according to the floral dictionary in the back, the peony means hate. how fitting, then, that i would like it, right? i've been handing out hate. and now i feel a little guilty.
maybe i should learn to love ranunculus: you are radiant with charms. at least, i think that's what the book said it meant. i lent my copy out. i do like the colors.

thirteen. i pray almost every day that my niece will not be like me and that my nephew will not be like my older brother.

fourteen. i've been to church three times this month. and the masses have been good. prodigal sons returning and reconciliation and all that crap. and i feel good while i'm there. i feel loved by lord despite all my shit. but then, i leave his house...

fifteen. carrabbas makes the best tilapia. they also make the best chocolate martinis. and their desert rosa cake is my favorite cake of all of'm. i like it better than chocolate.

sixteen. the pear tree in my front yard is blooming. sometimes, i look at it and think my brother did that for me. i know it's not true. that the sun did it. but, there's a delusion i don't mind perpetuating.

seventeen. i bought justin timberlake's new album. i don't understand the fascination with this man, and i thought that perhaps listening to it from beginning to end might enlighten me. i don't like his voice. i don't like his lyrics. so all he's got is a beat, and i can find that anywhere.

eighteen. i've been stuck on the script. i keep hitting repeat for tracks two and three: for the first time  and nothing. i'm a little annoyed with myself that i can't click them off.

nineteen. i need there to be good movies in the theaters. and that ain't gonna happen for two more months. ARGH. and then it's only two: iron man three (which won't be that good, but i'll be content to stare at robert downey jr. for two hours, plus i like his voice) and star trek into darkness. then it's just the lone ranger. otherwise, the cinematic industry sucks ass right now. they're making a fast and furious six? and the hangover three? and before sunset? and smurfs two? what the hell for?

twenty. i'm seeing a significantly greater number of gray hairs on my head. i am adamantly opposed to coloring it or hightlighting it, though.

twenty-one. i have to rewrite five chapters. they are the crucial ones, and so they must be awesome, and i'm a little worried that i can't make them so, as their subjects are not things with which i am overly familiar.

twenty-two. i really wanted to have this book finished by my birthday.

twenty-three. i really don't want to weigh one-sixty, either.

twenty-four. but i'm too damned lazy right now. i can't bring myself to care enough to do something about it.

twenty-five. oh, i miss my brother. i miss his laughter. i so could use some of that right now.

as it is, this will have to do.

eight. favorite posts

March 26, 2013

The Austin Family Diary
 
by courtney kendrick
 
by bonnie larsen
 
by jenny lawson
 
by alexis lesa
 
by erin kotecki vest
 
and my girls, my babies. the bitches i've been fighting with for more than a decade:
 
isabel necedah spencer
august elizabeth kennnedy
 
piper jane valentin
(she has a middle name, but i don't know what it is yet)
 
catriona davina garcon

nine things i won't change my mind on (and it pains me to conclude that with a preposition, just so you know.)

March 21, 2013


this morning, i was scrolling through my facebook feed and found a link for a post another blogger wrote about the rape culture. in it, the woman included a montage of tweets, snippets enraged idiots posted about how horrible it was that a man should be accused and convicted of such a crime when it's the woman's fault for getting drunk in the first place.

i spent an hour reading link after link about rape cases and their backlash.

the only thing that evokes more rage in me than people defending rapists is people molesting children.

i'm apalled that a company would create such an advertisement as the one above. i will no longer be using belvedere vodka. i would hope my friends would cease doing so as well.

a friend had written a post about the things she wouldn't change her mind on. i felt inspired to write one, as well.

one. i favor the death penalty. i live in texas, about thirty miles from huntsville, home of death row. hell, i used to live in that town. and i know the perception most have of texans is that we're all gun-totin, bible-beatin hicks who live for football and barbecue. and don't you fuck with us, y'hear? i don't tote a gun. i don't beat my bible. heck, i've been to mass maybe five times in the past five years, and two of those times have been in the past month. i hate barbecue. but i do love football, and i'd rather you not fuck with me without my consent. but i'm catholic. i'm not supposed to advocate for things like abortion and lethal injection. the abortion one's iffy. i don't want to get into that. that's a damned ugly hotbed that i'd rather avoid. but... the death penalty? put'm in the chair. lethal injection's much, much too civil. fry'm. and let it not just be murder that would bring a bastard (and i use that term gender neutrally) to such an end. pedophiles and rapists? burn them, too. get'm off my planet.

two. coke is better than pepsi. always and forever.

three. i'm over people adopting babies from other countries; there are plenty of kids here who need love, rooftops over their heads, food in their bellies and warm beds at night. rather than adding to the population (there ain't enough room for us all as it is!), maybe you should go find an adorable boy or girl--in your hometown--and save him or her from what could be a godawful life. someone couldn't love that child. be the one who can.

four. flowers are a copout. wanna cheer a girl up? give her some posies. wanna apologize for being  a douche? make her day easier. say you're sorry for being a shit. create something just for her. but don't go to the florist and pick out two dozen long-stem, red roses and have them delivered. LAME.

five. the fine residents of louisiana need to go home. i sympathize with your plight. i do. hurricanes are nasty, nasty things, and i'm fortunate, every day, that my family and the majority of my friends have not known such devastation personally, but prior to katrina, houston's population was, i think, around four million. now? it's twice that. the crime rate? the cost of living? they've skyrocketed, in part, because we had to make room for you. yes, our state is better. but yours is home! make it good again.


six. i would rather go on a date with a guy who was forty-five minutes late and did not buy my dinner than on one with a guy who wined and dined me and disappeared. at least the first one's honest.

seven. certain people should not breed. and that's all i care to say about that.

eight. stories saved me. not my parents, though they've gone to bat for me more times than any should have to do for their child. not my brothers, though there were times the only friends i thought i had were they. not my teachers, though there were certainly some who gave me hope when i needed it. but all that hiding i did in my youth in stories i read or watched or heard... i survived because someone wrote something beautiful, and i was fortunate enough to know it.

nine. aggie football is the best kind of football. kyle field. tradition. their band is better. their fight song is better. their team is better. they are generally badass.

The Austin Family Diary

okay. so it's a thursday topic. whatever.

random quarter

March 5, 2013


one. the best gift i've given: the other day, a man told me i was beautiful. outside of my family, i've never heard a man say that to me.

two. the biggest surprise i encountered this year: that compliment.

three. what makes life fun for me: good company.

four. a perfect day, morning to night, looks like this: good weather, good food, good company... or a day at kyle field, win or lose (but preferably win) during football season. (not that i'll be in that there stadium any time soon... season tickets are twice as much as they used to be, and now i'm twice as poor.)

five. how would i describe myself: contradictory.

six. my heart's desire, at this very moment: that the novel i've been slaving over for more than a decade will soon find publication.

seven. the dream i've had since childhood: that i would belong.

eight. the greatest adventure i've had: the summer i toured europe with my cousins.

nine. right now i'm obsessed with: that compliment.

ten. my defining personality traits: bipolar-ness.

eleven. i am most grateful for: my parents.

twelve. my sanctuary: my room, the backroads on a glorious day, kyle field, my uncle's monastery.

thirteen. in a friend, i look for: humor, patience, compassion, fun.

fourteen. what i love about myself: talent.

fifteen. my personal motto: i don't have one.

sixteen. what i would tell my younger self: quit fucking around.

seventeen. the best advice i've ever been given: write.

eighteen. what i want to spend more time doing: writing.

nineteen. what i hope to do differently this year: get published.

twenty. what motivates me: pithy checking account balances.

twenty-one. what makes me feel alive: music.

twenty-two. what memory i'd love to relieve: passion.

twenty-three. what inspires me: love.

twenty-four. i admire: honesty.

twenty-five. what i'd like to be better at: reading people and trusting them in their absence.