Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Fashion Weeks Review

As this fashion season was approaching, many people waited anxiously to see if the countless designers and shows would help revive the industry that seemed to be slowly drowning.

They were not disappointed.

The shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris resuscitated the fashion industry with imagination, theatrics and a meshing of the past and future. However, these four cities each hosted one show that shone a bit brighter than the others.

The festivities began in New York City with the tents in Bryant Park. While all the shows in New York have reputations for greatness, it was on day five that people were truly blown away by the genius of Rodarte.

The collection, designed by the down-to-earth sister duo Laura and Kate Mulleavy, was a perfect union of primitivism and futurism that rarely works. Waif-like models stomped down a gritty runway, their arms covered in sharpie-drawn tribal tattoos and their bodies draped in Goth-inspired macramé.

Dramatically destroyed, the clothing in the collection was stained, torn and frayed in a way that evoked a sense of wonder and amazement. The way the sisters mashed together seemingly unrelated ideas was outstanding. The presence of fluorescents alongside neutral colors and homespun fabrics, such as plaid, somehow worked and created a masterpiece of a collection that fashion critics across the board raved about.

The inspiration continued across the pond in London, where designer Mark Fast blindsided the fashion world with a dose of reality.

Instead of stocking his runway with svelte, bag-of-bones models, Fast enlisted an army of average-sized girls to show off his clothing. His decision to do so was so shocking, his show’s stylist quit over Fast’s insistence of including models from a plus agency.

Whether Fast’s embracement of the average woman was a publicity stunt or just a good idea, his collection spoke louder than the women wearing them. Fast has always been a master of knitwear, but this season he spotlighted the sexier side of his craft.

Knits that resembled hosiery were what were seen on Fast’s runway. Shredded skirts and key-holed tops somehow created lush female silhouettes – without the use of much fabric. One of the more shocking pieces of his collection was a knit girdle and bra set, which led little to the imagination.

On Fast’s runway, even the frump girls can be sexy and chic.

Milan was the campsite for the larger-than-life label Dsquared2. Dan and Dean Caten, the masterminds Dsquared2, took us “glam-ping” – that is, glamorous camping.

The pieces of the collection all utilized plastic, diamonds, or both, which focused the clothes on light and shine. This opened the door to dresses made of plaid wool blankets stitched with nude satin, a plastic fisherman’s jumper sewn onto a jewel-encrusted t-shirt, and a pair of pants that started out denim up top and trickled down into yellow plastic.

The Caten brothers’ inspiration behind the collection was a city girl visiting her boyfriend while he was camping. She has sky-high heels to keep her out of the mud, yellow plastic pants to keep her dry, and a diamond-embellished hat to block the sun.

When folks go to a Dsquared2 show, they rarely expect to see stuff out of reality. This show was just what they expected.

Saving the best for last, Paris Fashion Week gave us Chanel. And Chanel gave us a roll in the hay. Literally.

In lieu of a runway, fashion guru Karl Lagerfeld gave us a barn and some hay for a romp in the world of fashion theatrics. The collection was a nod to Marie Antoinette hanging out at the Petit Trianon and showcased macramé, tweed, and clogs.

Beige, ivory, and black were the base colors of the entire collection. Along with the pastoral-inspired pieces, Lagerfeld incorporated some deco-chic into the mix. Black bell skirts with white lace gave off a Wednesday Adams vibe, while black chiffon dresses with white leotards underneath evoked a sense of 1940’s Hollywood.

Lagerfeld, with his imagination and unfaltering skill, somehow whipped all these ideas into a frenzy and made them work. Throw in a performance by Lily Allen, and you have arguably the best show of the season.

From New York to Paris, the designers of the spring fashion season revived the fashion industry and helped us eagerly turn our gaze to the future.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Awards Awards!

My dear Jennifer gave me an award today!

With this award, I have to write down 10 things about myself that no one knows. Which is tough, because I share a lot about myself!

Here it goes:
1. I wear my mom's class ring on my right pinky and my class ring on my right ring finger.
2. The first character I ever conjured up was Mathilda. She was a princess who tended her own garden and read a book a week.
3. I think 90% of the things I write are shit.
4. About 6 months after I became vegetarian, I had a slip and ate a burger from White Castle.
5. But since then, I've never had a morsel of meat.
6. I can resist any type of junk food, even if I'm craving it severely. The only exception being cheese doodles. I crumble when they're around.
7. My first vintage purchase was a faded, cropped Led Zepplin t-shirt which I no longer have.
8. I have my dream wedding all written out and stashed away somewhere.
9. I believe that my family members come back as monarch butterflies after they pass.
10. In December, I'm getting my first tattoo of a monarch butterfly.

I'm giving this award to amanda & kate of the lovely blog i found you in melbourne.

Expect a poem this week! I'm back in New York and things are going wonderfully. I'm surrounding myself with people who make me feel giddy and help my creativity.

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Land of the Lost

My dear readers,

I apologize for my unexpected hiatus and my lack of updates. A funny thing happened when I left New York after school ended: I lost my inspiration. I'm originally from New Jersey, and I spend my summers at the shore. Being by the beach usually conjures up a lot of inspiration for me, but this summer it failed to. Also, I felt like my writing was something that I had done for me, and if I didn't feel like tapping into my creativity, then it wasn't worth doing. As many writers know, you have to be in a certain state of mind to write a story. Something has to blindside you, like a breeze that carries the scent of a sweet from your childhood, or a photograph that makes you think a different way, even if it's only for a second. I wasn't finding that anywhere. Luckily, about a week ago, I was blindsided after reading a terrific book called Smart Girls Like Me by Diane Vadino. It inspired me to pick up a story that I had begun writing just before I left New York. My writer friend Francis (which is what everyone calls him, but I call him Alex) had read the first part and urged me to continue. I couldn't until after this book.

So at long last, here is my story. Hopefully the proverbial creative juices will continue to flow and more will follow. If not, there's only three weeks until I return to New York.

Much love,



My shrink told me to write you a letter, to tell you how I feel about all the shit that’s gone down the past few months. That alone is embarrassing. I can see you in our kitchen, just sitting at that dilapidated kitchen table you picked up on the side of the road and so lovingly restored, just sitting there with a cigarette between your fingers, shaking your head and taunting me: A fucking shrink, Louise? A fucking shrink?

Yes, I need a fucking shrink. I’m not like you; I can’t just pluck a few cords on a guitar, drink straight tequila and deal. I need to talk. Most relationships are based upon talking, but ours was never like that. I bet I couldn’t fill a one-subject notebook with all the words that passed between us while we were together. Yet we somehow knew more about each other than most people. Like I know that when you were 12, you were making out with Georgia Flannery behind a 7-11 and her father caught you. I also know that he chased you back to your house wielding his belt above his head, swinging it just close enough that the buckle made a whoosh sound next to your ear.

But that’s a verbal story. I could fill a five-subject notebook with stories about what goes on behind your eyes. I could publish novels based solely on the way you’d kiss me in the morning before I was even fully awake and the journeys your fingers made up and down my naked back. Ours was a love based on moments strung together by hand with emotions, like those ropes of popcorn we decorated our plastic red Christmas tree with in the middle of summer.

It was the most fulfilling, realistic, complete relationship I’d ever been it. It was also heart wrenching, twisted, blemished, rage-filled and nauseating. There were nights I would cry myself to sleep because I didn’t know where you were, where we were, what we were, what you wanted us to be or how we were going to pay our bills. But then I’d wake up with your curly hair in my face and know, somehow, that this was right. That we’d make it work, fill in the holes and sew up the tears. It would work. It had to work.

The way we met wasn’t glamorous or romantic like you read in thick paperback novels. I worked at an ice cream place on the boardwalk; you loved medium vanilla cones with rainbow sprinkles. The first time you stopped by, I fell in love with your big, crooked fingers that floated in front of your chest, waiting for your change. The second time you stopped by, I fell in love with your witty, sarcastic humor that I hoped you were putting on for me. The third time you stopped by, you asked for my number and waited around till closing. We drank 40 ounces on the beach. Our first date. We barely spoke, a foreshadowing of the relationship to come, but we spent the whole night lying on our backs and tracing constellation. Every once in a while, I’d feel those big crooked fingers wiggling through the sand, hesitating on whether or not to take the plunge and lace between mine. You told me you dabbled in photography and that you’d love to take my picture. I figured you were either a pornographer or the love of my life. I gave you a chance.

Our second date. You picked me up in your yellow Chevrolet Caprice from the 70’s that you had found on the side of the road and breathed new life into. I had a big Christmas bag filled with yellowing lace slips and oversized loafers. We drove to a junkyard and I changed in your backseat while you sat on the hood and smoked a cigarette. We spent the day taking pictures: me on a couch that was growing springs, me in a rusted out pickup truck, me holding an umbrella with holes like Swiss cheese.

With every click of the camera’s shutter I felt bits and pieces of my soul transplanting themselves in you. I was scared out of my mind, but I was drunk off the very idea of you. I knew in that instant that I would never be whole again if you ever left me. The truth is, no one truly understand that feeling until they’re standing in front of the person who has so neatly and completely embezzled their heart. No, not just their heart. Their entire being.

We were inseparable. It was only a matter of weeks before I moved into your place. Of course you would live in a trailer. It would be impossible for you to even think about maintaining a home. But I didn’t care. Our lives quickly meshed into one another, and before I knew it I was eating mashed potatoes with hot sauce, like you, and you were clipping your toe nails over the toilet, like me. We bought a cat and named him Tiddly Winks. He slept on a doll’s bed next to ours. You and I fell into a routine. I quit my job at the ice cream stand and started working at an antique store in Point. All day, I’d sort through old dresses and jewelry and spatulas and coloring books. I started taking old black and white photos of babies in basinets and big Italian weddings, framing them and hanging them around our house. We pretended they were our family, since we really had none: Aunt Madge, cousin Hector, grandma Natty. But we didn’t need a family. We had each other.

You got work at a furniture store and worked on restorations. I’d love rubbing your callused fingers after a long day at work. I loved you, and you loved me. You spent your days smoothing over cracks and imperfections in tables and chairs. But it was only a matter of time before our own cracks and imperfections started to show. We tried to smooth them over. But they were a little more stubborn. Your paychecks were minimal, which didn’t make sense because you worked 15-hour days. The nights we used to spend together watching Land of the Lost and drinking white wine started to dwindle. You’d come home, shower and go out. I didn’t think to ask you where you were going. Sometimes when you’d come home, your lips would be chapped. I tried to smooth over the cracks. I loved you so much.

The first night I woke up to you cooking crack in the kitchen, I wanted to die. Your eyes had been looking distant, and I wanted you to love me again. But you were just sitting in the kitchen, cooking crack. Next to the pan of uneaten lasagna I had made for dinner. I felt stupid, standing in your Metallica t-shirt and bunny slippers. Like I was in middle school again, and we were watching that sex-ed video, and everyone seemed to know what a period was and how a penis gets hard before sex, and I didn’t. You looked at me and gave me a scary smile. Your teeth were yellow. I went back to sleep.

Things got worse. I’d come home to the sickly scent of burnt Brillo pads and know. We’d make love, but it wasn’t like before. It was violent and painful. Sometimes afterwards, I’d look down at the twisted Superman underwear around my ankles and feel like a rape victim. Since I couldn’t hate you, I started to hate myself. I still loved you, and I hated myself for loving you.

I was alone, watching Land of the Lost with white wine the first night you hit me. I don’t even remember the reasoning, but it was quick and I saw streaks of silver. My cheek swelled. I left it like that. A battle wound. I deserved it. I deserved it for loving you. And it made me hate myself more.

The day I knew our relationship had to end was the day I had to charge American cheese to my Visa. The old lady behind the counter looked at me with sad eyes that seemed to say I know. Looking into her eyes, I felt no self-pity. All I could think about was how I never wanted my eyes to look old and tired like that.

I came home and made you grilled cheese, like you’d asked me to. It was one of those stretches of three days where your normal self would return. You’d be loving and attentive and you’d fix the kitchen table chairs you’d broken on your last binge. We’d re-hang the pictures of our imaginary family that’d crashed to the ground the last time you threw me into a wall. I’d make us Hamburger Helper and you’d make love to me like old times. Watching you eat your sandwich from across the table, I started to think, maybe, just maybe, you’d stay this time. I’d help you stay off the drugs, we’d move out of a trailer and into a cottage on the beach, we’d have a babies and name them after J.D. Salinger characters. Life would be good.

With a mouth full of grilled cheese, you looked across the table and said I love you.

I packed up and moved out that night. You were asleep with Tiddly Winks.

It’s been a month. You haven’t tried to look for me. Or if you have, you just haven’t found me yet. Maybe you didn’t even realize I’d left. Maybe you finally overdid it with the drugs. All I know is, I still love you. And I don’t hate myself for it anymore. I know that you love me, too. Maybe one day you’ll come back for good. Maybe the drugs will end. If that day ever comes, I want be here waiting for you. My shrink says that’s not a healthy plan, but I don’t care. I’m perfectly content with spending my days sorting through the rubble of our relationship, wondering what you saw that night on the boardwalk. And why you lost sight of that.

I love you, too.



Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I watched this video today on Le Love, which is one of my most favorite blogs. Definitely check it out if you enjoy cute pictures of love. This video, however, just made me smile. I admire people who have the patience and skill to create art with stop-motion. 

Take the time to watch the whole video. I promise it will brighten your day!

On a separate note, I have been searching and searching for a summer job at the beach. I'm currently in the midst of writing a short story, which is a bit different than some of my other writing. I had hoped to have it done by the end of this week, but I've come down with a terrible case of writers block and don't know how to end the story!! But look for it soon. I feel it's best not to rush a story. I'll find the ending eventually.

Until then, my lovelies, take care and enjoy the beautiful weather!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Awards + Summer Winds

Hello lovelies!! Once again, I apologize for neglecting my blog. But the semester is finally over and I have seemingly limitless time to lounge around, dig my toes in the sand on the beach, and read read read. I just finished up a really fantastic book called "I am Charlotte Simmons" by Thom Wolfe. I have to say, as an older writer, Wolfe completely understands (after extensive research, I presume) the life of a collegiate. If you're looking for a quick 600-page read, I suggest you pick it up.

One of these days, I'm going to put a list up of my favorite books of all time. I believe that reading is the most fruitful pastime one can partake in, as it expands your mind, vocabulary and quickly transports you to another place - cheaper than buying a plane ticket! I'd love to share my favorites with my lovely readers.

I plan on writing a lot more now that I'm on summer vacation. So look out for some more poetry, short stories, etc. And the beach town where I reside for the summer is chock full of antique stores and vintage shops. I can't wait to share my finds with you! Anyone have any plans for the summer time? I'd love to hear.

On a separate note, I've received my first award! This is from the lovely Mila of Loveology. Loveology is one of the first blogs I ever followed and is one I read religiously. Please, check it out! A million thank-yous, Mila!

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen.

Since I'm a new blogger myself (in fact, May is my 6-month anniversary of the start of this blog! Hooray!) I don't have 15 blogs that I've newly discovered. So I'll just give it to the lovelies I have discovered thus far.

1. Jennifer of Make.Tea.Not.War - we have a shared interest in vintage books, and she makes the most effortlessly beautiful jewelry!
2. Kara of All Things Ordinary - who just put out her first zine! Pick up issue one, which is available via her blog. It is absolutely breathtaking!
3. Kim of  COFFEE OVER CONVERSATION - one of my favorite fashion bloggers. This beautiful girl has such a daring eye for fashion!
4. Sarah of kissing her cage goodbye - the newest blog I've been following. Such gorgeous photographs and adorable quotes. I found a wonderful quote from Rumi via her blog! Beautiful...
5. Lucia of Lucia's Patterns - this girl has such a fun and unique sense of style that I LOVE reading about! The best part is she shares her inspiring outfits with her readers!
6. Angela of Rags and Scribbles - one of the first blogs I ever read. Angela's post are raw and emotional, and she has the most beautiful eye for photography I've ever seen.
7. Micaela of The Drifter and the Gypsy - while she is currently on a personal hiatus, Micaela delivers beautiful passages accompanied by wonderful photographs. She even interviews with the photographers themselves!
8. the tea drinking english rose - I could read this blog for hours! Sprinkles with tea parties, macaroons, yummy sweets and treats and gorgeous china teacups, you are instantly transported to a lovelier place.
9. Michelle K. of Make Polaroids Not War - Michelle shares with us a wonderful collection of fun, vintage photographs. She also lets us take a peek into her world with extensive personal posts. Such a treat!

So there they are! Once again, mucho thanks to Mila for such a lovely award and for giving me the opportunity to showcase my favorite blogs!

Take care, my sweets.

Maria Angela

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Water Levels

We were alone. It was night.

Fingers outstretched and grappling.

Mine for yours, and yours for something different.

Your pale skin glowing in the dark.

My own personal moon. But you were twice as cold.

Where were your fingers? Entwined in another’s hair?

Turning the page of your novel, ending my chapter?

All I could tell was that you were elsewhere.

And I was still here.


I kept you at arms length.

Opening the window, letting you make your own decision

About staying or leaving.

But the water levels rose, and the waves rolled in.

At first, they soaked our ankles, so we were able to ignore them

But riptides don’t like to be overlooked, so they became more violent.

And now we’re trapped in this current.


The salt is making my lungs heavy and burning my eyes.

I’ve gone blind. Yet, my hands are still fluttering beneath the water.

You swim freely. I drown trying to catch up.

We’re swimming in circles.

Around and around, the same waves wash over us again and again.

I slip further beneath the surface.


And then, I get a life preserver.

My head breaks the surface and I gasp for air.

I reach for the sun and flip its switch on.


The water is draining. The window is open.

You are gone along with the waves.


I dry out and am left with salt.

Scooping it from my mouth and eyes, I can finally breathe and see again.

What appears in front of me is calm.

I take a breath and enjoy the sun

Waiting for something new

To break the horizon.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Before I begin this: I just want to apologize for how terribly neglectful I've been to my blog! The semester's coming to a close and I've just been completely bogged down with work. But know that I love you, my lovely followers.
xo Maria Angela


She inhaled, and he could almost see the air rushing into her mouth, in between her parted lips that had turned blue from the cold. He couldn't help but notice the way her thin cotton dress clung to her shoulders... her ribcage... her hip bones. And he was aware of how severely he wanted to crush those slender hips into his. Her hair was mated to her head and pale face. She exhaled, her sweet breath escaping from her sapphire lips, that were still parted.

Don't lose sight of what we are. 

He grabbed her hips and pulled them against his. His lips fit like puzzle pieces between hers. Their breath mixed. Hers was sweet with rose water, his was salty with soy. His rough and dirty fingers grapples with her wet cotton dress and fixed themselves in her chestnut hair. A passer-by would not be able to separate their bodies. 

Don't lose sight of what we are.

He wrapped his olive arms around her waist and placed her feather-weight body around him. Her pale white legs encircled him, her hands exploring his body like an unknown land. As one single being, they made their way to the unmade bed with clean white sheets.  Her cotton dress somehow made it to the carpet and was forming a puddle alongside his grey t-shirt. His jeans came off, but his socks stayed on. But he didn't care. Their bodies tangled, the two collapsed onto the bed with a satisfied sign. Like a weary traveler finally returning home after a long journey.

Don't lose sight of what we are.

They paused for a minute. He lifted his head and looked over her, memorizing her body like a map. The drops of rain that were left behind from her discarded cotton dress ran across her skin like miniature rivers. He took in the valleys and mountains of her curves, her now pink and swollen lips that produced the sweetest breath he'd ever tasted.  She was a cave that was so familiar yet so strange at the same time, and he was trembling, waiting to enter. Her breath quickened, and she caressed his shoulders. That was his invitation. He took a step, pressed forward, and basked in the wave of pleasure that overtook him.

Don't lose sight of what we are. 
Don't lose sight of what we are.
Don't lose sight of what we are.

When it was over, her sweet breath was labored. Streaks of dirt crisscrossed her stomach from his fingers and her mouth was dry. He lifted his head once more and looked into her eyes harder than he ever had before. Hers were smiling back. She parted her lips... still pink and swollen and waiting to accept his. He pressed his mouth to hers, and somewhere in their mix of breath whispered "I love you."

We are one.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Weekends with Tara

Thank-you all so much for all the lovely comments you've been leaving about my short stories! It's so wonderfully encouraging to hear people's kind words about my writing. You're all the absolute best!

I had such a great time this past weekend. My beautiful cousin Tara came in for the night on Saturday. We got all dressed up and met a friend downtown at this club called Country Club.

The crowd was a little older, but we had such a fun time. Our friend had a table and we danced all night. Our feet were covered in blisters. It was one of those wonderful nights where you pour yourself into bed around 4:30 am and sleep sleep sleep.

 And I had a Bellini at Country Club that tasted almost as delicious as the ones I drank while in Italy. For anyone who doesn't know, a Bellini is a champagne cocktail that includes raspberry puree, peach puree, and of course champagne! The best one I've ever had was in Harry's Bar in Venice, were the Bellini was actually created. But the one at Country Club was almost as delightful. It even had tiny raspberries floating in the flute! So yummy!

The next morning, Tara and I set out for an adventure around the East Village.

Adorable, aren't we?

We started downtown near Lafayette Street. There was this vintage shop I always wanted to go to  called Screaming Mimi's on Lafayette, but it didn't open until 1 and we got there at 12. So we went searching for some lunch and stumbled across this yummy restaurant called the B. Bar and Grill on E. 4th Street. I had the most delicious portobello mushroom burger with roasted tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil aioli. Tara enjoyed a panini with grilled chicken and a whole bunch of other stuff I can't really remember.

Screaming Mimi's was such a treat! It was a haven for someone like me who loves vintage clothing. It was a little on the expensive side, but they had a huge selection of clothes that were sorted by decade. Tara and I had a lot of fun looking at all the pleather and hot pants from the 80's! If you're into vintage, I highly suggest you check it out.

After Screaming Mimi's, we wandered our way up to Union Square, stopping into stores here and there. Tara bought a black Pashmina to match mine, and we both bought cute high waisted skirts from American Apparel (Tara's in red, mine in mustard.) I also got a fun cropped t-shirt. It reminds me of Flashdance!

We then took the subway up to 66th and walked up to the new(ish) Magnolia Bakery on 70th for...

(what else?)

As you can tell, we really enjoyed ourselves! These cupcakes were a little different, though. Every other red velvet cake, or cupcake, I've had has had cream cheese icing. These ones had just regular whipped vanilla! They were still SO yummy though!! Tara said it was probably one of the best red velvet cupcakes she had ever eaten, and I'd have to agree with her.

I was sad to have to put my lovely Tara back on the train to New Jersey because since I started going to school in New York City, I don't get to see her as much. We always have fun on her visits, though. And when I'm home in New Jersey, we always have lunch (or brunch!) and go shopping. She's like my sister and I love her.

Only 4 days until I meet my whole family in Florida for Easter! I can't wait to be in the sun!

How was everyone else's weekend?

Maria Angela.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I wake up and for a moment I am seized with panic. Today's the day. You've finally left me, haven't you? And then I realize your arms are still wrapped around my waist. A calm washes over me as I enjoy the weight of your arms through your thin New Order t-shirt that I love to wear to bed. I could be naked and still be warm in your arms.

It's hard to find warm places this time of year at the beach. Winters are always cold and wet. But I tend to like the poetic way the drops of rain splatter across the sand. It's part of the reason why I stay around here. It's not for the company. There are all of 30 people in this tiny 1/4 mile wide town on the Jersey coast during the off-season. But this place seems very romantic to me. And I love the pebbles. Pebbles are different at the beach. 

I check the clock. 6:30 am. Perhaps I should sleep for a little longer, but I can't doze off again. My mind has been racing lately. It's been 2 months since you showed up at the coffee shop, and I'm beginning to wonder how long you'll be around. Not that I mind at all. I kind of enjoy coming home to you all bundled up in front of the fire reading Virgil. It's a change from coming home to emptiness. 

It's odd though, how close we've become in these past months. Yet I know so little about you. Do you have a middle name, or a family? Is the dirt underneath your nails there permanently? Do you always scoop sand into your pockets and empty them onto the carpet when you get home?

The grey is getting lighter through the yellowing lace curtains on our window. I pull your arms around me tighter and turn to face you. The second-hand bed frame squeaks beneath my weight and I hope I don't wake you. You look so peaceful when you sleep. 

I start to imagine that you're dreaming about the first day. That day you strolled into the coffee shop and my heart. I came from the kitchen to see you sitting in a booth near the back. Like you were waiting for me. You were a perfect stranger, and yet I felt like you'd been waiting for me in that patent-red booth forever.

I wiped my hands on my apron and walked over to you. I can't imagine how you knew to look up and watch me walk over. My steps were silent. The whole coffee shop was silent. It was a rainy day in November. Not many people enjoy beach days in late November.

My breathing stopped once I reached your table. You motioned for me to sit. You'd known too. I'd been sitting in that kitchen waiting for you forever. I wiped my hands on my apron again and placed them on the table. You laced your fingers in mine.

"So now what?"

I was speechless. You rubbed my palms with your callused thumbs. Why are your fingers so rough to the touch? And why can't I ever stop myself from grabbing them? My breathing resumed.

"Why the beach in November?"

"I'm an artist. But I recently sold my space in Santa Fe and decided to see the East Coast. I'm a Springsteen fan, so I figured I'd check out what he's always singing about in his songs."

"You're a little north of Atlantic City."

"I won $1,000 there last night. Felt like I should leave before my luck turned."

"You picked the off season. No one's ever around during the off season."

"It's more romantic during the winter."

I took you back to my little crooked house on the beach and made love to you. You told me your name was Oliver. I never officially invited you to stay, but the little belongings you had made their way into the bookshelves and corners of my house. The second time we made love, you painted me with a sheet tangled between my legs. We walk on the beach barefoot and rescue deserted pages of novels and beer bottle caps from the sand. Whenever we find a seagull feather, you take it home, wash it, and then weave it into my hair. We spend our days drifting through space and our nights making love. What is your last name?

And now I'm afraid that you're going to disappear. You're like those tiny fish that swim near the shore. I used to always try to catch them in little jars to take home. But every time I thought I had one, I'd come up with just a jar of salt water. I want to keep you on my mantle like the pieces of sea glass we find. But I'm afraid, my dear, that you might just be like one of those fickle little fish and swim away from me.

Your arms tighten around me, and I know your awake. I can't wait to begin another lazy day with you. But there's something I need to do first. I look you deep in the eyes. My Oliver is still groggy from sleep. You smile the laziest, yet most beautiful smile I've ever seen at me and I know. Just like I knew that first day. 

But before I could pour my soul to you, to tell you how lonely I was before you came and how desperately I need you to never let me leave your arms, you speak.

"I want to stay."

Sunday, March 22, 2009


The sea's only gifts are harsh blows, and occasionally the chance to feel strong.

Now, I don't know much about the sea, but I do know that that's the way it is here.

I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong

but to feel strong.

To measure yourself at least once.

To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions.

Now I don't usually like doing tiny posts like this, but I absolutely adored this quote from "Into the Wild." I watched it over my spring break. It wasn't like I expected at all. 
If any of you love the writings of Thoreau, Tolstoy and London you will love this movie. I need to read the book, too. 

I'm headed back to school today, and I finally found the charger to my digital camera! So no more grainy cell phone photos or pictures I take with Photobooth on my Mac.

Look for a more interesting post soon and have a lovely day.

all photos from here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Blossoms

I'm on break from school for the next week so I've been catching up on things away from the city. My first weekend home has been lovely. Daddy picked me up on Friday afternoon and he, Mom and I went out for a yummy sushi dinner. 
I couldn't wait to spend the night in my big, cozy bed. 

The next morning. I woke up bright and early for brunch with my cousin Tara. We went to one of our favorite restaurants: Raymond's in Montclair. We munched on omelets and fruit bowls and big cups of coffee and we split a basket of french fries. After brunch, we went to Gimmie Jimmy's which is a yummy pastry shop across the street from Raymond's.

I had a delicious red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting... my absolute favorite.

And even though Tara said she didn't want anything, she had a few nibbles of my cupcake. I mean, who can resist a red velvet cupcake? And this one was especially yummy. It was so light and fluffy and the frosting wasn't too sweet. It was perfect.

After dessert we shopped for a bit, and then I met Lizz, my Pearl, at our old high school to see the spring musical. It was one I'd never heard of: How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying. It was wonderful! Besides the musical itself being hilarious, the cast did a wonderful job!

This morning, Mom and I went down by our beach house to do some antiquing. She needed a new coffee table and I've started collecting old books. I found some very lovely ones.

Aren't they darling? My favorite one is the one second to the top. It's a book entitled Cassy. I'd never heard of it before, but when I opened the front cover, I had to have it.

It reads:
Presented to
Sam Woodhouse
For Regular Attendance
And Good Behaviour
at the
Methodist New Connexion
Salem Sunday School,
October 25, 1877.

And the boy who this book belonged to, Sam I'm guessing, doodled little pictures of horses on the facing page. Adorable, right?

So overall, I had a lovely weekend. I hope yours was just as beautiful.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chapter 1, Part One (Background)

And so my writing continues...

I didn’t always love Keith Aldridge. Well, at least not how I loved him now. Not this all-powerful, all-consuming, all-I-can-think-about kind of love. Oh no. Up until that moment at L’Elefante, I didn’t even think I was capable of feeling those kinds of emotions for another human. I never understood why I felt this way because I have been surrounded by people who had experienced love my whole life. Even if it did take a while for them to get there.

Take my mother, Nadine, for example. Before I came along, she was a photographer for the magazine Global Artists, a job that gave her the opportunity to be in a different country every week. My mom was, and still is, ravishingly beautiful: pale skin, full lips, grey eyes and long dark-brown hair. Her beauty mixed with her frequently used passport equaled numerous love affairs with various artists. With every stamp in her passport came a new handsome man who fell for my mother the second she walked into the room with her camera around her slender neck. There was Diego, the abstract artist from Seville; Alain, the photographer from Paris who took black-and-white pictures of people throwing trash into the Seine; Okito, the Japanese performance artist from Tokyo who once lit his hair on fire; and Axel, an English painter who was working on a series of interpretations of Las Meninas that rivaled Picasso’s. There are more, of course, and some I imagine my mother will never tell me about. Keith and I usually were able to get some stories out of her after she’d had a few glasses of white wine. I told her that one of these days she should write a book on her escapades. She had looked at me from the floor pillow where she was sitting, barefoot and balancing her practically empty wine glass on her knee, and said simply, “Why would I want to give anyone the opportunity to rival my brilliance?”

But that was just my mother.

I was conceived somewhere between Dublin and Siena. Most people who grow up without knowing who their biological father is complain about feeling incomplete or out of touch with their true selves. They spend years on a therapist’s couch wondering who this man was and whether or not they were like him. It never bothered me. My mother had enough love to go around.

I traveled with my mother around the world, taking pictures of art and visiting far away lands. Even though most of those memories are fuzzy, they evoke an intense sense of happiness and freedom. I can still remember the spicy smell of India and how my first pink macaron in France tasted. I believe I was meant to be an artist since birth. I mean, come on, I was bread from two of them.

A few weeks after my 6th birthday, which we spent in Luxembourg, my mother decided I needed stability. I also needed to begin "real" school. So she took a job as a senior curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and we settled into Massachusetts. It was only 6 months later that she met Stuart Roderick, a professor of the history of art and architecture at Harvard. A tall, white haired, ruggedly handsome academic, Stuart was immediately infatuated with my mother. They were married a year later. My mother became Nadine Roderick and I got my father figure.

It was around this time that I met my Keithy. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Here is a sampling of what I've been working on with my latest project. Enjoy. And please remember, this material is my own.
Thanks so much.


I was sitting in our favorite booth at our favorite Italian pastry shop, L’Elefante. He slid into his seat across the table from me. “Hey, I came over as fast as I could. The subways were running slow and… is everything alright?” I was expecting a question like that. I could feel the anguish inside of me twisting over my facial features. Although perhaps I was overreacting. Even when I was most composed Keith could tell if there was something wrong.

     And at this moment in time the entire universe was at a standstill.

     I dropped my gaze and picked up my pack of cigarettes from the table. “I need to tell you something.” “What is it Clara? Tell me. I thought there were no secrets between us.” That was like taking a bullet. Because it was true. The man sitting across from me had been my confidant, my ally, for the past two decades of my life. And now I was about to throw that away, just toss it aside like a ripped out chapter of a paperback novel. All because of a silly thing called love.

     I gently tapped on the bottom of my cigarette box and watched the thin white tube shimmy its way out the other side. “Keith, I don’t really know how to say this…” I twirled the cigarette between my black-varnished fingers. “Clara, I thought you’d quit smoking.” I thought I had, too. I ignored his statement and forced myself to continue. “As childish as this sounds… I don’t think we can be friends anymore.”

     Silence consumed us. Because in truth the idea was virtually impossible. I don’t think a day had gone by in which I hadn’t at least had a telephone conversation with Keith. Even when I was in Florence for two months studying art, we always worked out the time differences so we were able to speak on the phone. And now, the man who had somehow wound himself so tightly into my life that I couldn’t distinguish his from mine, sat across from me with a look worse than pain in his eyes. Betrayal, confusion, was that tenderness? More emotions than a human has words for were flashing across his face. I thought for a second about how the Inuit have an unusually large number of words for snow. How many do they have for love?

I placed the cigarette between my lips as he began to speak: “Clara, I don’t underst-“ I finally raised my glance, but I couldn’t look at him. The words came out just above a whisper. “I’m in love with you.” I caught my reflection in the mirror behind him and noted the tragically poetic way my cigarette bobbed between my red painted lips when I uttered the five words that would forever change our friendship: I’m. In. Love. With. You.

     I forced myself to look him in the eyes. They were blank.

     And then came the tears.


More to come.
Maria Angela