Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I've moved!

There's a new blog in town, and that's where I'll be posting from now on.

In conjunction with my photography site, I gave my blog a makeover.

So, goodbye BEEB!

Hello, Thoroughly Modern Medusa!

Friday, October 09, 2009

James Lee House

Today's droopy mess of a day seems like the perfect time to post about my amazing tour last week. The James Lee House sits on the corner of Adams and High St., and in its day, it was a proud monument to Victorian architecture and capitalism in all its four-story see all the way to the river glory. Turn around and you're looking at Section 8 apartments and the dreary Memphis Housing Authority headquarters, so let's not look that way.


The house once functioned as the art school that became the Memphis College of Art, but it hasn't been occupied in over fifty years. The house is literally crumbling to its foundations, but its grand, sweeping lines and ornate details are hanging on.





Scott Blake and Victorian Village Inc are in the process of transferring ownership from the city to the Center City Commission with the hope that with all of its tax incentives and easements, the right buyer will come along and restore the James Lee House to its former glory. In the meantime, I want to grab my camera, gather up some girlfriends in long flowy dresses and turn them loose. Doesn't it scream fashion shoot?



Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Soul Sister

I stopped reading the books. I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point I must have realized that I could actually get through the day without unwittingly destroying my child, and I stopped reflexively reaching for the What to Expect or the Google to forsee the next big crisis. It's nice feeling the confidence that you can get by on just your gut telling you that maybe 2 hours of Dora is maybe too much today - that those avocados and green beans she voluntarily ate for dinner don't cancel out the TV and the pretzel you bribed her with at Target. But sometimes I think maybe I should be reading the books. Just because I stopped doesn't mean she's not going through fascinating developmental changes and documented milestones.

At this point she's not going through the crazy day by day changes of infancy, and the changes that do occur have been pretty well documented by the friends and family that have bravely gone before us. How often did you hear friends bemoan that they now had to watch everything they said because the baby now "repeated EVERYTHING." But my kid? She usually just bounces back the last word you said, and I realized to my delight that its like have my own 60s girl group backing band.

Me: (in response to a question) Oh I think we're gonna grab some lunch and head downtown.
Harlow: ...downtown!

Me: I thought you bought the detergent.
Harlow: DeTERgent!

The Target Halloween display: That hurts! Ouch!!
Harlow, repeatedly: Ouch! Ouch!!!!!!!

So it's not always charming, especially when overheard on the phone discussing salient points of Dan Save's latest Savage Love podcast. (So filthy, so funny, and so not for toddlers' ears)

Monday, September 28, 2009


I don't know where you were on Saturday, but I was outside, patting myself on the back for resisting the urge to don every pair of boots and piece of fall clothing I own. After 3 weeks of steady rain and the kind of humidity that makes you feel like you're stowing a pair of corduroy pants in your throat, it was exhilarating to walk outside and just...be. Not break into a sweat, not freeze, but just be outside. Happily I got to spend the afternoon outside shooting Taylor's circus-themed 2nd birthday party. Taylor's brilliant mama Selena put together an adorable spread, and the guests quickly got into the theme.

The birthday girl:









Friday, September 25, 2009

Lindsey takes the cake

I need to give a very big shout out to my sis Lindsey who made this spectacular cake for my signing yesterday. It matched the book! If you ever need a cake for a special event, my sister is your girl. Luckily for me, she's not your sister.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Today at Elmwood

Warm summer sun shine brightly here
Warm southern wind blow gently here
Green sod above lie light lie light
Good night dear heart, good night, good night.

This gorgeous monument is but one of the may, many reasons you need to visit Elmwood if you've never had the occasion. When I was in college, my creative writing professor brought us here for inspiration, and I'd say he was successful.

(Except for the former staff member who imperiously declared in front of my entire class as I handed over a check, "There is no A in CEMETERY!" She does not inspire me.)

I really want to use the descriptor of "haunting" when describing this cemetery, all punnyness aside. There's just something about the rolling hills and marble angels standing watch over loved ones passed on that stays with you long after you leave the grounds. Kim McCollum, the director of the cemetery, is often asked if she finds her workplace frightening or spooky, and she laughs out loud at the thought. She insists it's just too beautiful to be anything but enchanting.

But obviously, it's a cemetery. A very old cemetery. People were taken from their loved ones much too early, and that's why I was so stuck by the monument of Ms. Etta Grigsby Partee. As I learned on a walking tour of the grounds one summer night, Etta died.

On her wedding day.

She was loved so much by the fiance she left behind that this beautiful monument was built in her honor. A glass dome originally shielded her from the elements but inevitably shattered. I stood there staring at her statue long after our group walked on, and it just seemed obvious to me in that moment that this is where I would need to have my book party. This bride never had her wedding day, so the least we can do is eat some cake and sip some champagne in her honor.

I hope you'll join me this afternoon at 5. If not, make an effort to visit one day. I promise you'll be haunted in the best way possible.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

okey gnocchi

This is an ugly duckling story.

I do not mean to say that the ugly little duck turns into a swan. That's a fairy tale. And this?

This is a really, really ugly mound of potato.

The October issue of Gourmet arrives with promises, promises (with photos!) I don't know if it can keep, the kind that compel the easily distracted into their first attempt at making pasta from scratch.

Fairy princess had her doubts.

She wasn't willing to trade her magic wand for a cookie, so we got this.

Not bad, definitely not glorious, but a decent first attempt. Oh, but you know what is glorious? Pan fried sage on homemade pasta. Try it. You will thank me. She will, too. Or turn you into Dora with her magic wand. I can't make any promises.