Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday inspirations

My rat's little hands. Clean and careful and clever

People in love, especially newlyweds, especially my sister and her husband (they have been married four months now and were visiting us this week). We all went walking at Fort Funston and I couldn't take enough pictures of the spaces between their sides and elbows (contracting and expanding), the way they turn their heads to listen to each other.

The Russian alphabet and the sound of my mouth trying out its words.

Maya's poems

Funny postures

Remembering when Ellie was here. Texting with her in bed during her morning commute.

Yann Tiersen [composer].


Stained glass. I bought a big book of it when I missed my train to church on Sunday. I sliced all the pages out and now I'm wallpapering my room with them.

Late nights + dim lighting + creative work.

Scent associations.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Queensland, part one

I arrive in Queensland late at night. A marvelous sky full of stars, one marvelous little bloggy sister.

When daylight comes I find out that it is very very beautiful there.

Summermoon and I went to walk on this beach (i.e. we did not wear swimsuits). So we ended up swimming in our clothing. Cotton gets heavy and a little scandalous, but it makes you feel like a nymph the way it floats around you.

And we make a pavlova. A delicious, very antipodean meringue-y dessert with passion fruit and strawberries and mango and kiwi on top. Oh-so nice.

Summermoon's secret: She is savvy in the kitchen. Quite savvy.

Friday, November 27, 2009


For your eyes: lomo b&w Iceland.

For your ears: "Pirouette" by Lisa Mitchell.

For your hands: give something away.

You may make your report back here when you are done.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Perth part seven

(SEVEN and I'm not finished? Well, was a busy leg of the trip and I don't like massive posts. Or skipping things.)

So here are Em and her husband Reece. Here they are spoiling me to a post-jiu jitsu Chinese dinner. (Yes, that is right. I do jiu jitsu. NoIdon't.)

If I am ever married, I hope we'll be like Em and Reece, because they are truly actually my favorite couple that I have met. Even before my sister and her husband, because while I love them they lack the companions-in-creepery thing that The Two Pictured Above have going on.

They were marvelous hosts too.

So seeing as this is my last night in Perth and Em's blog is, she rightly concluded that she needed to bake some cupcakes. She keeps her secret vanilla recipe in that there book.

Also, she is a cupcake gangster. (I love her.)

I sat on her counter and blogged and ate baby-sized pink and white marshmallows while she did her thing.

And then there they were. A tray of flawless, lavender-frosted cupcakes.

Did I lick them? Oh yes. Did I like them? Of course. They were delectable.

These two from Emma.

Please note my amazing necklace which she MADE. It is a ribcage. With a heart.

It and its wicked Em-made brethren will be for sale presently on her etsy store. Go bookmark it.

This proves that I licked her cupcake. In case you couldn't tell that's what I was doing.

Sunday inspirations

A tea party in the middle of a Japantown mall.

The labyrinth at Grace Cathedral.

Grimm fairy-tale atmosphere.

My flickr contacts.

Romaji Diary and Sad Toys, by Takuboku Ishikawa.

Waiting for winter. (You see I live in San Francisco, but in January I will go back to Chicago and stay there until May.)

Sidewalk astronomizing.

Describing a friend.


Intelligent criticism.



The long poem I am working on.

Singing along with Fiona Apple's "Waltz (Better Than Fine)."

Miso soup.

Speech bubbles.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Right now (another rainy Friday)

1. When will I see Greenland? When, when, when?

2. I sit up against the storm door sliding with rain while I eat my lunch. The trees in the neighbors' backyards lashing in the wind, rain spattering through the gap at the bottom of the door. Rain on my toes, inside, here on the floor with my leftover casserole and fork.

3. I wrote a thing last night about how I do things sometimes that make me tired and sad. The feeling still clings to me a little bit. Morning: I think to myself, Let's get up. Change my mind and say, Move the left leg. Then the right leg. Put your feet on the floor.

4. The solid pieces of chocolate in a brownie.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Perth part six

We go to Mam's uni(versity) for two exams she has. One of them is oral and in Italian, so I get to hear it. :)

Being on their campus made me realize that I really do miss college. I mean, I'm in college now,'s community college, and I take all my classes online. I still get to do awesome reading, but I've never set foot on this community college's campus and will never stop in at a professor's for office hours there.

It'll be good to be back at [old college], windchill and all.

The Swan River is everywhere you go, as far as I can tell. Or something like that.

We sprang Manda's very cool little sister from school. Had pizza and gelato in Fremantle, wandered the streets a bit, inspected the prison as much as we were permitted to do without paying an entrance fee.

We stopped briefly by the Den of Mustache, where, of course, we had to take some pictures in front of the webcam...and Mam caught me in front of the Wall of Mustache. With Fred the Brontosaurus, of profile picture fame.

THEN, we stopped by Mam's nonna's house. Yes, that is correct, a real live Italian-Australian grandmother. We had tea and biscuits and cake, and played at the playground in the wind a little bit. It was the best.

I resolve to make pasta with them sometime before I die.

Mam picked three carnations from her nonna's garden before we left.

They are what Amandas eat, you see. The secret ingredient that makes them Amandas, if you will.

Back to Emma the Great at the end of the day for my last night in Perth.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

All the Liv-long day (Perth part five)

Lovely last evening at Liv's. She cooked again (she is a savvy one in the kitchen). We watched a British movie. We ate fairy bread. She tried to teach me to hula hoop. (I still can't, but she can with the utmost grace.)

I remember hanging my laundry in her backyard. It amazed me to be hanging my laundry to dry in Australia, under Australia's stars. I felt like I was in a poem.

In the morning I try to discover how to make her skip work again. No success there.

We drive to Liv's work-land and I get to see her desk, and then I am passed off to Amanda and her origami minions.

Writing this post makes me kind of sad. I got to spend just enough time with Liv to know that she is a brilliant co-adventuress and a kindred spirit of the highest order whom I love even more in person. Just enough time to miss her a lot when she crosses my mind.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Read in October

Umm, I only read one book in October.

1. Daddy Long-Legs, by Jean Webster
It's kinda like Anne of Green Gables, except epistolary and not as awesome (mainly, Anne pwns Judy). Still enjoyed it, though. Thanks for the loan, Summermoon!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I shut my eyes

Someone I know IRL has committed to match half of whatever you donate towards a Compassion child's sponsorship fees.

That means if you can come up with $58 each month, with his contribution it'll be $86. $86 is enough to sponsor two children.

You gave $50 in the first day.'re pretty close.

I tend to think that once you commit to something a little too big, you sort of grow into it and find a way.

Shall we go for it? Two children?

I was this girl
wrapped up in a yoga mat and smuggled into your meeting
Tell me your secrets I said
You laughed in coalition and said
Eat our flesh, drink our blood, don't stop being merry


Returning to [my college] always stirs up a mania for collecting props. If I only have the right props--two copper bangles--a yoga mat--woollen tights--perfume, even though I don't wear perfume--one-and-a-half pounds of roasted chickpeas. If I only have the right props, exactly the right props and not a thing more, I will have the right semester. I know, it's not true.

We have to do a film critique this weekend for one of my sociology classes. I've picked the movie Taken. I'm going to tear it apart and I'm going to enjoy myself.

It's always a little dismaying to find that a person transferred onto a blog doesn't always make more sense there than in, well, person. Me, for example. I would like to post about Australia, post about how great you are for stepping up to the plate so quickly for Jeanima, then maybe some posts I've been saving, and then I could write about now. Now is always more interesting for me to write about though.

Now...I'm saying to myself, Stop being so angsty and weird, Holly. You don't have to do everything. People like you. You can sleep a little less. Have some cinnamon bread. Learn, learn, learn, Holly.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bouncing in my chair

Did you guys ever see those commercials with that man walking around a third-world garbage dump where children were scavenging, and he says, "For less than a dollar a day, you could sponsor one of these children?"

Right, so I've sponsored a child through a similar organization since 2003. Sponsorship is $38 a month and it provides food, clean water, medical care, and fees for school. His name is Kapurua; he lives in Kenya. We write each other letters and he sends me his drawings of helicopters and cows. He's pretty great.

Anyways, this organization sent me the profile of an as-yet unsponsored child, a girl in Haiti. The idea is that I can ask around to try to find a sponsor for her by Christmas.

"Jeanima lives with her father and her mother. Her father is sometimes employed as a farmer and her mother is sometimes employed as a seller in the market. Jeanima works at home carrying water and gathering firewood. There are six children in the family.

"For fun, Jeanima enjoys playing with dolls and playing group games. She attends church activities regularly and is in primary school where her performance is average." She's seven years old.

I'm not sure I could find someone who will want to spare $38 a month.

But I know I can find thirty-eight people who will spare a dollar each month.

And that is where you come in.

Guys -- what do you say to collectively sponsoring Jeanima?

You don't need a PayPal account to donate, just a credit card. I will keep an updated total of how much you've given in my sidebar -- any money that comes in goes towards her first sponsorship payment.

If you want to read about the organization first, Compassion International, click on over to their website. They're a top-notch charity that is very open about their finances. They recently reached the million-sponsor mark -- they now connect a million third-world children with sponsors. They're a Christan organization, but they don't require that children convert, attend church, or anything like that in order to be sponsored or be in their program.

Um...let's DO THIS PUPPY!

as ever,


edit: Holy COW, you've given the full $38 before I've even turned in for the night!

A thousand thanks to those of you who donated. It is so good to have faith rewarded.

Any more donations that come in this month will go towards next month's payment for Jeanima.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Perth, part four

Tuesday morning Liv and I met up with Mamda again for a wander at King's Park, which has the best view of Perth.

After that, Liv and I went to the Peel Zoo with Shannon and her Ava, which is one of the best places I've ever been because they let you pet EVERYTHING. I didn't take many pictures there, so I made a gallery for you of some of Shannon's and Liv's photos. Go look, it's all us with adorable animals. Me kissing a baby kangaroo, etc.