Saturday, February 28, 2009

it's me again

a lovely little consequence of the unravelling course is that it refueled my love of doing fun self-portraits. this month's theme for the self-portrait challenge is "introduce yourself". I was so inspired by all the fantastic submissions, but especially thrilled with this one and this one. I couldn't get the wordle clouds to translate onto the image, so I used words around the edge of the image as a frame. it was fun.

rachel at metaphorical magpie has a hilarious meme up. take your first name and put the word "unfortunately" before it, then google and see what you come up with. rachel's had me laughing out loud. mine, however, were quite gloomy:

unfortunately, lisa fell off the wagon and began using drugs.

unfortunately, lisa doesn't have a good side yet.

unfortunately, lisa never made it that far.

unfortunately, lisa is unmanned and not on mars. (I ♥ this one!)

unfortunately, lisa was brain dead in cleveland.

and so get the picture. as a group, it appears that lisa's are unfortunate indeed. try it yourself, I'd like to see your results.

this is the end of nablopomo for february. we made it! it's getting easier to post daily, but there are days when I feel I just throw something up here and that's not the kind of relationship I want to have with you. as always, the challenge kept me super aware of things that may morph into something to post, and I like that. kendalee and christy posted every single day too and I really liked knowing I was going to be able to visit them for daily beauty and inspiration. congratulations!

happy, happy weekend friends!

Friday, February 27, 2009

friday is beautiful

one of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.
-iris murdoch

Thursday, February 26, 2009


the winter sun has such an unusual quality of softness and brilliance. unhindered by naked trees, it reaches subjects that may otherwise prefer to be sheltered. gentle exposure, I love that.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

the mirror ball beckons

I was waiting for the perfect sunny + snowy day to shoot my mirror ball self-portrait for winter. but yesterday's crispness paired with a little assignment as part of the e-course unravelling allowed me to wait no more. here it is with the mirror ball selfies from autumn and summer. can't wait for spring.

I am thoroughly enjoying the unravelling course, hosted by the lovely susannah. I recommend it to everyone interested in a little self-discovery with pen and camera. visit susannah's lovely blog and click on the unravelling button to open the door...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

the value of softness

a few months ago, I vowed to lighten up in a number of aspects of my life (body, mind and art). not surprisingly, my photos are showing the most dramatic results in this endeavor. not that this progress came without resistance. you see my friends, "big, bold and vibrant" are my thing. as well as "shoot what you like". which in my case is big, bold and vibrant.

I was challenged to see the value of soft light, the play of shadow and the subtle incandescence the two of them create during their dance. but I made a point of looking for it, seeking it out, capturing it, and eventually loving it.

now let's get on with the body and mind part...

Monday, February 23, 2009


tiny b and the rainbow warriors.

who doesn't want this band of merry men behind them? especially on a monday.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

recovery mode randomness

so on friday when I wrote that I was "remarkably better", I understand now that I really meant "capable of moving my limbs". this morning I finally feel that the last of whatever-it-was is gone. I'm back to normal after a yesterday of existing between worlds.

I read in the warmth of the sun until I realized that even godden's words were a bit much. I switched for this month's issue of living etc. and numbly gazed at the pretty pictures. I spilled my tea on the pile of pages I had pulled out for my inspiration binder.

a trip to the market was necessary on my own as ken is at blackfriars theatre for the weekend. everything there--the people, the muzak, the smells--assaulted my senses. but I was able to grab some pretzels and mexican coca-cola (for some reason, this is all I want to eat) without incident. it's nice to have someone around when you're sick to do these things for you.

you probably already know this, but I just discovered you can watch movies on your computer from netflix if you are a member. I watched shakespeare retold: macbeth with james mcavoy all snuggled up in bed with my laptop. I was a bit unnerved to see that both james and garbage men figure prominently in this film (re: my dream on friday) and am trying to figure out if I might have read something about this before to influence my dream or am just a wee bit freakishly psychic. this movie is not vegan friendly.

today, I need to play catch-up with grading papers and cleaning house. I hope you all have something more lovely than that going on.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

casting call

sometimes I miss being on stage. I miss the thrill of being involved with a creative project that has so much energy and passion surrounding it; yet doesn't last long enough for those involved to get bored. I love being another person and living her life in short brilliant bursts.

curious: let's pretend you have all the acting talent in the world and there is no such thing as stage fright...what role do you covet above all others?

for me, it has to be katherine in the taming of the shrew. I know, I know...let's forget the misogynist overtones of the work and focus on what an awesome character she is: feisty, rebellious, independent, quick-tempered, yet capable of vulnerability and surrender. I long to retort the words, "best beware my sting."

who would I cast as petruccio? no mystery there.

Friday, February 20, 2009

slowly rising to the surface

for the past 24 hours or so, I've been zonked, laid out flat by some sort of flu-like malady. it came on fast and hard and is finally making its way on to some other unfortunate soul. I got up around five a.m., just long enough for a breakfast consisting of two sips of joe and a bombpop and to call in sick. currently, I am feeling remarkably better after twenty hours of deep sleep and flu-induced dreams.

dreams are the upside of being sick (well, that and the guaranteed 2-lbs weight loss). james mcavoy was here just like last time. although this time he was the garbage man at my childhood home and I was a child. he was friendly, waived at me and said "hello" with his scottish accent. I waved back as I made my way to school. I met my friend at the corner who happened to be a little orange fuzzy puppet (I've seen this recently, but I can't place it). james was very happy that I had a little friend, gave me a little wink and jumped on the back of the garbage truck as it pulled away.

ok, back to the real world (you must excuse me, I'm still moving in slow motion). I just received the goop newsletter. do you read goop? I love it. the current post is about being spent, a feeling I can so relate to. I've got something going on...I'm not sure if it's circadian dysrhythmia or stress, but it has been persistent for the last few months. I've been very low energy and have been out of work several days sick. all I know is it can't go on like this. I want my old self back.

I am now retreating to the sofa to bury myself under two quilts. here's hoping for more dreams.

update: my little orange fuzzy friend has been identified! he is "hunger" from the weight watchers commercial. hmm...that lends a whole new meaning to my dream...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

to be that teacher

I was raised by a teacher. I like to teach. although it's not my profession, I have dabbled here and there with presentations and visits to classrooms to talk about my job. this year, I feel lucky to have an entire college class for one semester. in the evening we are cozied up in a tiny classroom in the attic of a century-old building. although our subject is grim (child abuse), the young spirits of my students are uplifting. they are interested, curious, intelligent...every teacher's dream class.

remember that teacher in college who introduced you to a world or a concept that was previously unknown to you? remember how your eyes and mind widened with the thrill of exploration? when your brain and heart hungered for more, more, more and that teacher gently led you to make your own discoveries, form your own opinions and feel like an expert for the first time in your life? that's the teacher I want to be.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

what I want

what I really, really want.

simon too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

dear mrs. mother nature

you are so very kind to us here in virginia. you graciously lay out four beautiful and distinct seasons for us to experience and enjoy. may I be so bold to say that I want just one more day of white fluffy snow at which to gaze? I know the whole global warming thing is messing with your winter mojo, leaving us with very few days of snow. but if you would be so kind to squeeze out just one more day, I would be eternally grateful.

xo, lisa

p.s. if would be extra awesome if this snow storm could fall on a work day, just enough to hinder driving, but not enough to cut the power. too much?

Monday, February 16, 2009

a sky like this

makes a curious girl forget her chores and spend an afternoon daydreaming.

some random thoughts fresh from the imagination factory:

  • I have always wanted a white pygmy goat with a set of curlicue horns, a long goatee and a name like pierre.
  • speaking of names, sometimes I want to change mine: sofia, bronwyn, piper are some of my current loves. I wonder would I be a different person with a different name?
  • I fantasize quite often about the ability to time travel. I would love to visit queen elizabeth's court, experience india in the age of akbar, 1920's kenya...then I remember the whole no plumbing and women's rights thing and I'm happy I'm here now.

what kinds of whimsical things do you conjure up in a daydream?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

finding that place

you know, that place. the place where you fit in. the place where you are no longer an outsider. the place where everyone knows your name.

I am still searching for that place. nearly a decade ago, I left my hometown. since then I have felt an outsider, a foreigner, an oddity to those around me. I don't speak their language and they don't speak mine. so much energy is spent trying to figure out what is meant, what is being said, what are they thinking. I long for familiarity, comfort, natural camaraderie, shared interests, like minds. I long for kindred spirits. to belong.

I often find it here, in the land of blog and, of course, in my own home with my amazing husband. but there is something about fitting in with a group of peers who just get you that I haven't experienced in real life in a while. that's what I want.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

the conquering superhero

this week's chapter for the book group 12 secrets of highly creative women tackles secret number 6: conquering saboteurs.

I did relate to this chapter (after last week-hooray!) and thoroughly enjoyed the delightful interview our host jamie had with superhero andrea. I doodled the above while tuning in.

oh how the voices inside my head whisper to me, "not good enough", "really, that's all you got?" and "who do you think you are?" and become louder and more persistent with each new thing I try. I love andrea's advise to just take action despite the voices. this is what I try to do to quell the doubt, the insecurities, the fear of failure. soldiering on through seems to work in most cases. and sometimes I just have to step away and live a life without art for a few moments to fully understand that I truly desire a life full of color, creativity and risk.

do you hear those pesky voices? what do you do to soldier on?

hello cupcakes

normally, I am quite casual about st. valentine's day. I am a girl who likes to share love and hearts and hugs and kisses (albeit quietly, I am not a demonstrative affection-giver) and look at chubby naked babies with bows and arrows every day. I never quite understood why we need a holiday (much less one that falls only once per year) to prompt us to show the love to our friends, lovers and family.

yesterday I was visiting a local elementary school and was waiting in the hallway. a class was having their v-day party and I wanted to go back in time to that excitement of giving, receiving, sorting and reading sweet nothings from friends, classmates and maybe a crush. the girls were giddy. the boys, (acting) aloof. they still make the big envelopes out of construction paper and tape them to the desk, then circulate in a mad rush of 9-year-old silliness with their little deliveries. love that.

love you all, my valentines.

p.s. I made the valentine above for my main man (#42 on the list done). inside it says, "you are yummy".

and other stuff I won't post.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I want to believe in fantastical things such as luck, fate, destiny. but most of the time I think it really is all about hard work and focus. I have seen the power of karma and positive energy in my life. yet I experience such a challenge reconciling the practical, down-to-earth part of me with the mystical hippie that rears her head now and again.

now that I think about it, to be both of these people makes me the luckiest of all.

p.s. I love how tiny b looks so regal in this photo. it's not easy to look regal while perched on a bottle of grey goose.

lucky friday, lovelies.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

rescue me

in case you haven't noticed, I can be a wee bit intense.

most days, I like myself this way. I'm quick, decisive and focused.

but I carry around a great deal of anxiety on a regular basis. when exhaustion or multiple crises hit, I can be seen as frustrated, demanding, not very easy to please. that's really not who I want to be. so I do my best to quell the storm (and it really has been described as a storm) at the first signs of the winds picking up. here are some things I do:
  • rescue remedy really works. it sits on my desk ready to help.
  • yogi tea (after work only, it's pretty potent on me)
  • yoga and breathing exercises. sometimes I close my office door and just spend five minutes doing some deep breathing.
  • color! or make something. I have tiny little collages around my office that I make on the spur of the moment (see yesterday's 'be funky').
  • getting lost in a good story. I've not done well here the last few months. I really struggled with loving frank (it really only made me not love frank) and revolutionary road. last night I picked up the age of shiva and was so pleased with the lushness of the words.
  • if all else fails: a day off, some margaritas and a long chat with a friend far away.

I'm curious, what things to you do to rescue yourself from anxiety, worry, sadness, etc.?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


can a funky girl continue to be funky in her forties? I guess the same pressures to conform and be traditional hit in different forms within each decade we live. it just seems more of a struggle lately to be quirky, fun and dance to a different beat.
nevertheless, a funky girl needs a funky dog. check. I found be funky via em and had some funky fun applying their magic image funkifiers to some photos.

love a funky dog!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

take a bath

not my bath. yet. (living, etc.)

yesterday, beautiful kendalee prompted us to think about daily rituals and everyday moments that bring us comfort, pleasure and inspiration. I love reading the comments to see how others find a wee bit of escape during the busy day. it also made me focus and appreciate all the little things I do every day that bring me certain, blogging, photographing, dog kisses, sitting outside at sunset, that moment when I turn out the light and melt into the bed...

my most persistent ritual has to be a bath. I get the water super hot and pour or drop in something lovely smelling. I can lie there for hours. my muscles unwind, my thoughts drift, a corgi face hangs over the edge and those eyes quiz, "why is it that you like it so much in there?"

Monday, February 9, 2009


some days, when winter has set in with its greyness and chill and my sweet little southern town feels particularly traditional, I want to escape to l.a.

these days, it's not a matter of making the one hour drive over the hill to soak in the brightness and love that is quintessentially my los angeles. when I need to go, it's all in my head. and now on my blog. join me on my perfect southern california day. since we are fantasizing, let's drive this car and wear big sunglasses and scarves. on the radio: something cheerful, from the '80's...the go-gos!

first of all, we will need some calories and caffeine to get through it all. let's stop at jerry's on ventura. I'll have my usual: the lox benedict plus avocado and lots and lots of coffee. we can sit and plan amidst the entertainment professionals starting their day and the musicians and writers ending theirs.

our morning is jam-packed with shopping (fantasy=unlimited funds). let's start with fred segal. you can't get more l.a. than fred segal. then on to aardvark's on melrose for hours of vintage shopping. a short drive to la brea brings us to american rag cie and maison midi, two of my all-time favorite stores. (in case you're hungry from all the shopping and gawking, I recommend the salade nicoise at cafe midi.)

we hop on the 405 and exist in stop-and-go for a while (is it possible to miss pollution?) before we reach the getty. we roam for hours in this heaven on the hill. the stunning views of the l.a. basin rival the art inside.

back on the 405 to the 10 west, we drive to the edge of the world. we stroll the santa monica pier with the pacific underfoot, have a smoothie, people-watch, ride the carousel and mug for souvenir photos in the photobooth.

let's step off the pier because I want you to see something. take off your shoes. feel that sand? it's crunchier than east coast sand. hear those waves? they are louder, more commanding than atlantic waves. the seagulls squawk and chatter and fight for the popcorn that kid is throwing off the pier. let's sit here awhile because the most spectacular show awaits us. that giant yellow sun slowly descends, casting light through pink and purple and orange (again, the pollution comes in handy here) and sizzles as it becomes one with the pacific. the. most. beautiful. thing. I. have. ever. seen. I am so glad you were here to share it with me.

if you're not too tired, let's catch at show at the palladium like back in the day. after, we can drive the freeway in darkness, top down, radio quiet, you and me traveling along the grand expanse of asphalt all alone.

I feel better now.

p.s. next time, let's hit the rose bowl flea, have mint tea at the casbah, visit moca and pick up the best veggies you've ever tasted at the farmer's market. maybe a summer show under the stars at the greek. after the sunset, of course.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I want this and other things

photo courtesy lucky magazine

I want this outfit.
oh wait, I think I have this outfit.
I just don't look gamine in it.
ok, then, I want to be gamine.
ga-mine\ga-meen\n 1: a girl who hangs around on the streets 2: a small playfully mischievous girl.
doesn't that sound like a fun thing to be?
other things I want right now:
  • more february evenings like last; I sat outside and gazed at the moon in my bare feet.
  • why can't the weekend be five days long and the work week be two?
  • to not watch or read the news this week.
  • a bit of motivation, I'm a bit of a slacker these days.

maybe being gamine will be just what I need.
happy sunday, my gamine ones.
p.s. here's my polyvore twist on gamine (love those vintage lanvin peach sunglasses and I have to have a giant bag):

I told you I was a slacker.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

wanted: focus

I both celebrate and take umbrage with chapter five of 12 secrets of highly creative women. I find myself increasingly annoyed with the author's narrow definition of the female gender. in this chapter, committing to self-focus, she includes a comment from an artist who declined to be in the book because it was limited to female artists. while I do believe that women have several unique characteristics when it comes to being an artist, I tend to agree with the decliner: it's about the artist, not the gender. it appears that when the author is referring to being female, she means "females like me."

the chapter goes on in attempt to persuade the overworked, over committed, caretaking, long suffering woman to take some time for herself and create. and please, please, please don't consider this half-hour of luxury to be selfish. with all due respect to those with very young children or an ill loved one to care for, the whole martyrdom syndrome is tiresome. the concept of sacred time to create is beautiful, but she cages it in this weird gender blah-de-blah and you lose the message. the pervasiveness of this martyr=female tendency makes those like me who tend not to take issue with taking care of myself or putting myself first on the list feel very un-female and a little wrong (ironically, later in the chapter, the author advises us to not judge those who do this...I have to say, I felt a little judged).

I believe that we make choices every moment about the value of our time, effort and commitment. quite frankly, if I have surrounded myself with people, work and commitments that require so much of my time and so much maintenance and suck every ounce of life from me, I have pretty much chosen not to be an artist. whether or not it is because I don't want to be an artist or am afraid to be an artist matters not. do you follow?

okay, enough umbrage. on to celebrating self-focus (well, just one more thing, the euphemisms!). I believe that this concept transcends being an artist and really is about being a functioning, viable, dynamic human being in this world. focusing inward on our desires, imagination, ideas and taking time for fun, learning, rest, solo adventure, reflection, silence and focus is required for a life well lived. the benefits of this time, coupled with setting those boundaries and not apologizing for it, make us better lovers, friends, mothers, caregivers, workers and artists. I do applaud the effort here to normalize this concept for those who have lost it.

our lovely book group host jamie does a fantastic interview with christine mason miller about this week's topic and challenges each of us to experience some focus on ourselves and our artistic endeavors and to support others (really, it's not just women) in doing the same for themselves.

Friday, February 6, 2009


do you want to be when you grow up? I want to know. I'm fascinated by others' aspirations.

(I'm sacked with a bad cold today, so not a lot of words. the photo of the bionic woman is here because it was my answer to this question one year at school. and it was written down. yes, that's right, at the age of 11...when I should have known better...I wrote why I wanted to be jamie sommers for a school assignment.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I want to do great things with my camera.

I was reading this month's marie claire and was captivated by the work of french photographer JR. he captures the joy and light in the eyes of women who have suffered the unthinkable. then he makes the images so much larger than life and, in a giant decoupage project, posts them on trains, rooftops, buildings as a reminder of the precious life and spirit that each body holds.

go here to see his mission, click on "projet" to watch a beautiful little film.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

have a heart

I want to. I really do.

but often I have to make decisions with my head based on evidence, patterns, observations and consequences. there is little room for error in my work and the consequences of error can be devastating.

these are the days I wish I worked at the flower store. everyone is happy in the flower store.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I want to introduce


simon is my 1 year old pembroke welsh corgi. he's made his appearance at curious girl before, here and here. and also here, here and here. but I wanted you to get to know him for the jolly little creature he is.

cheryl wanted to know more about what it's like to live with a corgi. it's the best. I have been a terrier girl my whole life (we also love a wire fox terrier and a cairn terrier at our home). I love a terrier. but the corgi is a different kind of friend: solid, balanced, adoring. he always wants to please, but not in a nervous kind of way. he is always watching for an opportunity to help and love.

simon has a goofy smile. his mouth opens so wide and that tongue, for pete's sake, it's so big! his eyes dance and always say, "no matter what, I love you." simon likes to be near, but not underfoot. at night when I read in bed, he does his ritual of placing his corgi head on my chest, so I can't read my book and must love on him. his big brown eyes look up at me and I am gone. he gets pets and rubs and words of love, then retreats to the foot of the bed to commence his nesting ritual. he always sleeps flat on his back, corgi style.

there are very few cons to a corgi. simon does shed heavily (so far, it's only been once and it lasted for a few weeks). he has a really, really loud bark and uses it to get attention and when someone is at the door. he has a strong herding tendency and I'm not sure that would work with really small children. he's like a little rugby player and uses his low center of gravity to take down the terriers.

simon is so smart and was easily trained. his fur is like velvet and he is very low maintenance. but it's the corgi spirit that won me over. and that smile. it gets me every time.

Monday, February 2, 2009

mosaic monday

sixteen things I want to do right now:
  1. stand and stare at a field of sunflowers
  2. learn to belly dance with a thousand silver coins tinkling on my hips
  3. roller skate (I can go forwards, backwards and shoot the duck!)
  4. ride a vintage lambretta
  5. eat basque food here with a table full of friends
  6. take a road trip
  7. speak the truth
  8. have a mendhi artist do my hands
  9. drive a rainbow mini cooper
  10. swing in the sunshine
  11. (I think this one makes it on all my lists)
  12. see some palm trees (preferably west coast ones)
  13. get another corgi (they really are the best dogs)
  14. tell everyone to see this film, it's amazing
  15. go to the fair
  16. alternatively, smoke french cigarettes in a dark neighborhood bar and get all broody

thank you, fabulous flickr friends, for indulging me visually.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


these are the things I want to be right now.

strong: grounded in reality, defended by the truth.

transparent: you know where I stand. you can trust me.

vibrant: we can choose to be beautiful even while dealing in muck and ugliness.


nablopomo is back! the theme for february is "want". since I am a girl who has a strong sense of wanting, wishing, desiring, planning, dreaming, I figure this will be a piece a cake. each day this month will be devoted to something I want. for you. for me. for our world. care to join me for twenty-eight days of magical thinking?

yeah, I know, you can't always get what you want.

but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.