Monday, August 31, 2009

What Sunday Sounds Like

What Sunday Sounds Like from Melissa Anderson Sweazy on Vimeo.

Local Color

After my India Fest post, I'm craving more color.

local color

local color

local color

local color

1. The gorgeous quilt Mary Allison made for Miss Harlow's big girl bed 2. Whitton Farms flowers 3. balloons from Avery's Under the Sea party 4. swimming with Thomas

Sunday, August 30, 2009

India Fest

We took a break from scouring the house for a new realtor (yep, we're back on the market) to grab some lunch over at India Fest. When we arrived at the Agricenter, we were pleasantly surprised to find the parking lot packed...until we saw all the signs for Delta Fair staging areas. But our spirits were lifted again when we entered the Cultural Arts Hall and found it packed with folks who had the same idea as we did - scoring some excellent Indian food for lunch.

I hope that when I am stranded on my desert island, it is somewhere in the vicinty of India, because I could happily subsist on nothing but naan and samosas and curry until the end of days. Then perhaps I would actually return as an Indian, because then I could get away with wearing bejeweled saris everyday. If I ate nothing but chicken tikka masala and plates full of samosas, I and my burgeoning waistline might not have a choice.

India Fest

India Fest

India Fest

India Fest

India Fest

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Face Paint

Avery's third birthday was a Little Mermaid theme, so as the doting aunt I dutifully tracked down an adorable mermaid tail the Queen Mermaid could wear at her party. As a bonus, her mom hired Connie, the Parties by Pickles facepainter, to transform all the party guests, and the Little Mermaid herself requested...a tiger.

So I give you the birthday girl, the butterfly tattooed, tiara wearing tiger-mermaid hybrid.

face painting

Miss Connie was a big hit. She has some mad skills. I could dig hitting the grocery store done up like spiderwoman.

My creation

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Avery's 3rd Birthday

Today was another milestone in my daughter's life.

Today was the day she did not turn three.

Her cousin, however, did, and this required cake and presents and singing and general adoration heaped upon...not Harlow.

The entire week before we tried to prep her, gently reminding her that she, too, would one day have a third birthday party, but I don't think she could hear me over the omnipresent ping pong battle of

Avery: My Birthday!

Harlow: MY Birthday!

It was not Harlow's birthday, despite her very loud, sobby insistence that it was while Avery blew out the candles on her cake. Fortunately some quick thinker shoved ice cream under her nose, and all was forgiven.

And because she is my daughter, I think I am beginning to understand my parents' institution of the un-birthday present when I was growing up. Lindsey turns four, Melissa gets a new Nancy Drew. The world continues to spin on its axis. I'm gonna try to avoid this technique for now, so...

So, Happy Birthday, Avery, and what's that? More ice cream, Harlow?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sous chef

Good thing for us Sweazys there is a baker in the house.

She makes some wicked awesome chocolate chip cookies.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I've been visiting Colorado for the majority of my life, often in the winters, sometimes in the summers, but whenever I am there, I truly feel at home. The only hitch in that plan is that home doesn't seem to like me as much, as I spend the duration of my trip with fresh eczema from my corn-cob dry legs, bloody noses, terrible nights' sleep from the perennial lack of oxygen and the inability to lift a jug of milk from the refrigerator without feeling winded at 9,000 feet.

But the sight of endless snow capped mountains and wildflowers and rushing streams and half-baked hottie ski instructors is worth the hassle, especially when the average temperature in Keystone in summer is 70 while at least one tourist partaking in Elvis Death Week is sacrificed to the Great Heatstroke Volcano that is Memphis in August*

Because they are smart, my parents have been spending longer summer stretches out in Keystone and don't have to do much arm twisting to convince us to visit. They've had the chance to get to know their neighbors, some of whom invited us over for an ice cream social for all the kids to have the chance to play.

Adorable, right? Hadley made the robot who greeted us at the door:

ice cream social

These were some of the treats that awaited us:

ice cream social

ice cream social

ice cream social

I'm always amazed at the ease of children who can just sit down together, throw on a strand of beads, grab a pair of binoculars and play Candyland trains, no acquaintanceship required.

ice cream social

My creation

ice cream social

ice cream social

ice cream social

Thanks to the Walkers for the excellent afternoon! No thanks to Keystone who refused to be crammed in my suitcase and dragged home.

* Can we all just agree that there is no sane reason to be here in August? Why can't we all just agree to close up shop, get the hell out, and come back refreshed and cool just in time for the Cooper Young Festival? If any mayoral candidate can promise me that, you've got my vote, sir or madam...or His Majesty.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Harlow: A Glossary Part II

Strange things are happening with this child.

She says things like " Where are we going next?" and "What are you looking for, mama?" and "I need to go shopping" and I respond in kind like two people actually having a conversation. You have to understand that up until very recently the typical exchange is more like:

H: Mama.
M: Yes, honey?
H: I want mumumumum(indecipherable)mumumu no!
M: No?

Even stranger was her reaction to her new parents-day-out classroom and teachers, where instead of trying to gouge my eyes out in fury over being left behind with kids and toys I know she loves, she calmly walked to a table, sat down, and briefly looked up from her game to wave goodbye.

I was so proud and kinda devastated all at the same time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Scary Mary

I'm filing this under, er, research.

Is it Halloween yet??

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Lunch date

It's not every day that a lunch date turns into an excursion through three cemeteries and walking tour of a mausoleum, but not every lunch date is with my friend Michael. I had all sorts of plans lined up for my afternoon while Harlow was with a sitter, but they had to take a back seat when Michael revealed that Elmwood cemetery had a section devoted to the Order of the Odd Fellows, a fraternal order that has long been a fascination of mine. Before I knew it, we were touring Travelers' graves at Calvary, dodging dragonflies at Elmwood and peeking inside an open, vacated tomb inside Forest Hill's mausoleum. No lunch date with MIchael is complete without some good ghost stories, so I learned about the Crying Angel in Millington, the Blood Family and why it was never a good idea to agree to visit cemeteries with his Uncle Jimmy.

While the cemeteries and Victorian architecture were the icing, the sheer act of doing something spontaneous made for one of the most freeing afternoons I've spent in a quite awhile. So thanks for that.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

She is mine

I know she is mine not for her curly hair or her once every three minute dramatic spells or her lust for anything with cookie in its name but for her outburst this afternoon.

We pull into our driveway and she immediately starts sobbing.

"What is it?" I ask. "We're home."

This makes her cry harder.

I'm out of ideas. "Did you wanna go somewhere else?"

"Uh huh," she says between sobs. "Airplane."

Me too, baby. Me, too.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Cupcake Stare

There's a Harlow cupcake stare:

It's cute.

Stains the Dog's cupcake stare about made me pee my pants:


It's been a little nutty in Sweazyland, what with Daddy recording an album and doing manual labor in 100 degree heat and prepping for a half marathon next month while Mommy is trying to get ready for her photography show and work on the launch of a book whose physical arrival to her home may ultimately require human sacrifice. I know I am about ready to volunteer for it.

So not much blogging.

But we still have a kid, and I must say she's crazy busy, too. She's really, really into letters, physically hauling around at least half of the alphabet in a red bucket wherever we go, because you never know when there might be a spelling emergency. I think she must read my facebook posts.

We made the switch to a big girl bed, and by big girl bed I mean mattress on the floor. Daddy is going to build you that platform bed anyday now. (See above) The day she managed to rappel out of crib like a baby this guy was also around the time the pacifier fairy came to take hers away, we explained, to a sweet newborn babe.

This did not go over well.

She broke us after a week when, on the last night, she was up from 11 PM - 4 AM. Too tired to fight, we gave her back the pacifier, and to thank us, she stopped taking her afternoon nap. Overnight this child went from luxurious 2 -3 hr mama-gets-a-decent-amount-of-time-to-work naps to nada. It never occurred to me that the afternoon nap was something that could go away, and now that it has, it seems to have been replaced by some kind of crazy supertoddler energy that boils over a good three hours before bedtime. It is because of this phenomenon that by 5 PM I'm ready to write a master's thesis on the origins of cocktail hour, cold beverage in hand, while daydreaming about kissing the inventor of white wine full on the mouth.

One glass of wine followed by a 3 mile run in the hot dusk (I hate you, August) = signing off.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Found at Spruce

Already thinking about this coming weekend? Me too.

Fellow photographer Kerri Dugan and I will be showing work at Spruce, Memphis' best boutique, this Friday from 6-8.

5040 Sanderlin
(right by Interim restaurant)

Pardon my crappy scanner, but my fave photo made the cover of the invitation!

p.s. Does this bagmonster look familiar?

Sam Anderson

This may be the first book review I've read that made me want to immediately read everything written by...the reviewer.

Sam Anderson on William T. Vollmann's new opus, Imperial:

I was sitting on the train one day chipping away at William T. Vollmann’s latest slab of obsessional nonfiction when my friend Tsia, who incidentally is not an underage Thai street whore, offered to save me time with a blurby one-sentence review based entirely on the book’s cover and my synopsis of its first 50 pages. “Just write that it’s like Robert Caro’s The Power Broker,” she said, “but with the attitude of Mike Davis’s City of Quartz.” This struck me as good advice, and I was all set to take it, but as I worked my way through the book’s final 1,250 pages, I found I had to modify it, slightly, to read as follows: Imperial is like Robert Caro’s The Power Broker with the attitude of Mike Davis’s City of Quartz, if Robert Caro had been raised in an abandoned grain silo by a band of feral raccoons, and if Mike Davis were the communications director of a heavily armed libertarian survivalist cult, and if the two of them had somehow managed to stitch John McPhee’s cortex onto the brain of a Gila monster, which they then sent to the Mexican border to conduct ten years of immersive research, and also if they wrote the entire manuscript on dried banana leaves with a toucan beak dipped in hobo blood, and then the book was line-edited during a 36-hour peyote séance by the ghosts of John Steinbeck, Jack London, and Sinclair Lewis, with 200 pages of endnotes faxed over by Henry David Thoreau’s great-great-great-great grandson from a concrete bunker under a toxic pond behind a maquiladora, and if at the last minute Herman Melville threw up all over the manuscript, rendering it illegible, so it had to be re-created from memory by a community-theater actor doing his best impression of Jack Kerouac. With photographs by Dorothea Lange. (Viking has my full blessing to use that as a blurb.)