Monday, September 26, 2011

The Greek Food Festival of Dallas

Thanks, Georgakis family! We love you!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Soccer Season

It's that time of year again. We've been doing this since he was three and I always look forward to it. I particularly love the fields at practice time (dusk, my favorite time of day) in the fall. That first chill is in the air and the fields are quiet, the ringing of children's voices sounds distant thanks to the sprawl. There are hay bails on the other side of the fence. I spread out my blanket and lay in the grass to watch him practice. The other parents usually drop their kids off, but I love to watch or just read a book and enjoy the cooling day. I feel most mom-like during soccer season, and I enjoy that feeling. I've been in some sort of nesting phase lately, ready to build a little home, nurture and provide. To be a great mom. I fuss over things (the right water bottle to take to his soccer game, not steaming the vegetables for more than 10 minutes so they're extra nutritious) and yet am a lot more fun than I used to be (letting him drink a sugary non-coffee frappucino now and then, or buy an extra book at when we go to the book store). I enjoy the ritual of pulling on shin guards and tying cleats (and then promptly getting my foot stepped on). I'm relishing these things like I used to before everything went sour for me a few years ago, but I'm appreciative of them like I never have been before. Here are some pictures I took as the sun set at soccer practice the other night, when I was perfectly content and happy. Not missing New York or thinking about the job and house and family that I still don't have, just happy to be there in that moment being a mom.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Downton Abbey 
I love a British period piece as much as the next gal, but usually they are reserved for those days when illness (or monthly affliction) has me resigned to my bed with a pint of Coconut Bliss feeling sorry for myself. 

That was before Downton Abbey. Have you watched? Do you love? I'm obsessed. There are only 7 episodes (until it returns in January) but they have been consuming my days! I love the characters, the drama, the castle they film in, the English...ness. THE CLOTHES! I love it. It follows the lives of an aristocratic family and their servants in the years just before WWI. The study of a crumbling class system and country on the verge of war are interesting, but I am particularly interested in the nuanced female characters. I'm so happy that in recent years even some period dramas have begun to deeper explore the lives and minds of women within their societal roles.

I can't wait for the second season. (How will they handle the war?!) The first is on Netflix (and I think rebroadcasting on PBS from time to time, especially now that it's won Emmys) and you should watch it. Maggie Smith's one-liners are reason alone.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

All I can think about right now...

FIRST, A NOTE: I was foolish to suggest that the job situation is hardest on 20-somethings that have recently graduated. As my friend Moya pointed out, things are tough for everyone right now and I'm sure it's incredibly frustrating to be several years into your career and hitting these brick walls, especially when you've worked hard and done exceptional work for a long time. My heart goes out to anyone who is dealing with this. It's rough. The unique problem that I and my friends that are around my age have run into is being offered little-to-no money because we are young, which suggests we have the luxury of not needing the paycheck and are naive enough to not know our own value. Well, many of us are self-supported (some of us have families to support) and we're getting sucked into these catch-22 situations where we don't have a salary history and therefore don't have any leverage to request a salary worthy of our skills. I truly hope things start looking up for all of us.

With that said, this is all I can think about today:
A balcony in Greece that looks out at the sea and the flowiest dress imaginable (courtesy of the Man Repeller). 
I want this in my life. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

with all my fellow unemployed 20-something college graduates in mind...

I've had a hard time organizing my thoughts lately. (Hence the lack of posting.)

I'm frustrated that I still haven't found a job, but I'm even more frustrated by all the chatter about my generation's plight in this economy. Every week it seems there's a new article in the news about how bleak our futures are, what with all the student loans, the lack of jobs and minuscule salaries. Most of them suggest that we buck up, enjoy living back home with our parents and find a hobby to keep us busy during this tough time (I'm not kidding, this was in the New York Times). They suggest getting creative, creating our own jobs or working multiple part time jobs. Like it just... works that way.

Even worse, there's been quite a bit of talk in my own field (a very long email exchange that had me pulling my hair out all weekend) about the massively reduced salaries for new positions, most of which are short term and not very prevalent at all. I don't know how to proceed. If I had known two years ago that it would be like this, would I have followed my passion down this road? I don't know. But here I am and I've got to make it work.

My specialization is film archiving and preservation. I want to work in an archive or library and my long term goal is to restore this beautiful old movie theater in Denton, Texas. I want to get to a place where I can make movies. I've got a plan but where is the money, right? That's what I'm trying to figure out. I wait, I work, I email, I call, I apply, I wait. I often wonder what I'm doing, and the best I can come up with is - what I can. I know I'm not alone in this and I don't mean to complain, but I do have a dream and I'm working hard for it. I spent a lot of years making nothing or next to nothing, working around the clock for people who told me I should be grateful for the experience of working for them... of doing their work. Still, I and others my age are so frequently told that we should be satisfied not making enough to live on or even interning for free because we're getting invaluable experience, getting the "perks" of working at respected institutions, and so on. I'm ready for some recognition. Nothing big, just a title, a desk and a paycheck would be nice. I want to see my friends' hard work pay off. We could have it worse, sure, but why has the door we were always told was just in front of us suddenly shut? Where's the window?

I don't have much else to report (another reason my blog has been quiet). I've started getting up at 5:30am to work out - something I would have thought entirely impossible two weeks ago before I started boot camp. Now I can't imagine starting my day any other way. I'm eating healthy, boosting my metabolism, meditating on my health and movement. I want to dance again so I'm waking my body up.

I'm spending all of my time with my boy. I pack his lunches, send him off and miss him so much while he's at school. We go to the local farmer's market on Saturdays and eat frozen watermelon. He's difficult and brilliant and wonderful.
I miss Taso, so I wait till October when I can be in my best friend's arms again, in the city that I love.

This is what I can do right now.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A story.

On Sunday B and I picked up my best friend Justin, his boyf William and their cute friend Cody and went to Fort Worth. On the way out to the car, he said, "Oh, mom, I forgot something, I'll be right back!" And while I started the car, he ran inside, slipped off the nice navy shorts I made him wear and ran back out to the car wearing the mesh soccer shorts he wanted to wear. Of course I didn't realize this until it was too late to turn around. Oh well, I thought, he should be allowed to wear what he wants... pick your battles, Brittan. We had a delicious vegan brunch with our friends at my favorite restaurant, Spiral Diner. All was well. B got his unlimited pancakes and I got my vegan blueberry pie. I could write a book about the merits of this pie...
But I digress...

After brunch we went to the Kimbell Art Museum for a little art history lesson. B enjoyed reading some of the notes and checking the dates to see how old each piece was, but was over it much quicker than he used to be. By this point I was irritated but, okay, maybe nine-year-olds don't have the same patience for art as six-year-olds and after going to the MoMA, maybe Fort Worth's options weren't as impressive as they used to be. Then, as if to prove to me once and for all that he's abandoned any effort of being charming and polite anymore, he farted loudly - more than once - in the quiet galleries, deeply offending a security guard.

It was time to leave.

We went outside and spent some time playing in the big sculpture outside while Justin drafted his Fantasy Football team on his phone. The sculpture is designed to amplify sound and is sturdy enough that you can run around inside, screaming, banging on its walls and creating a symphony of noise.
This entertained us for as long as it took Justin to draft his starting line, but eventually B grew tired of even this. All he was interested in was going back to Justin's house and finding the most violent video game he could get away with playing (that T rating is misleading, is it not, moms?) and gluing himself to it. I was discouraged. It seems the older he gets, the ruder, grosser, smellier and the less motivated. That's not to say he is any of those things in full but he just seems to be less interested in being at his best... ever.

Feeling like a failure as a mother (as I do, frequently), I took him home and went off for some alone time, just me and the sewing machine. He was in need of new pajama pants and I was in need of a task that required patience and allowed room for thought. His legs never stop growing. They're always sore and often so awkward that they can barely walk a straight line. They burst through the knees of his jeans and grow a full size every few months. His feet are bigger than mine and, I realized, his mind is racing to keep up with his ever-growing frame. I need to have more patience and give him more freedom, but how can I be sure that I'm still guiding him in the right direction and giving him everything he needs at this point in his life?

It wasn't until I finished the first pair of pajama pants, blue and white extra soft flannel, that I realized I hadn't heard a peep from him in a few hours. I called him in to try them on and he excitedly bounced into the room, instructed me to keep my eyes shut and lead me by the hand out of the room. He had something to show me. Standing in his bedroom doorway, I opened my eyes to see every inch of his walls, floor to ceiling, covered in little works of art done in marker, pencil, construction paper and watercolor. "I made an art gallery!!!"

And, just like that, my heart rose back up to its proper place and I decided that maybe we're doing alright after all.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

the end of august (good riddance).

Not much to say lately, I suppose. 

I went to Austin to meet my career hero and see Vertigo in 70mm. Both went very well.

Hitchcock movies should always be seen big, if you ask me... but I do have a special weakness for 70mm film. We just get each other. It's BIG and immersive and I have a fantastical imagination. We work well together. It was double great seeing it at the Paramount because you always feel a little fancy walking in there. (I regrettably took this picture once the marquee had been changed but we did, in fact, see Vertigo.) I think it's so cool that they did an entire series based on a format. Sounds like something I would (will?) do...
It was also wonderful being with my best friends. 
Sometimes you go to barbecue places even though you're vegetarian because that's what you do when you like like someone. Also fried okra... it's not doing me any favors but I'm not complaining.

It was just fun being in Austin where I can buy popcorn tofu (by the pound, just FYI) and the heat doesn't seem as terrible even though it's actually hotter. I can't go all the time like I used to so I appreciate it more now.

Then Taso moved back to New York for the rest of the year and I was sad.