Saturday, January 31, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Lola and her best friend Kaylin both turn 7 in February. Kaylin is first, and we spent today with Kaylin and her mom, celebrating
Getting our hair done at the special salon
Girls have fun at Chee Burgers

Lola loves her hair

and her burger!
It's so hard to choose at Build a Bear!
In the pet store these malti-poo's melted our heart. And even though we already have four cats and two dogs I seriously think we need another :) Right, Mr. Curry?
This kitten cost $1700

Happy Birthday Kaylin!!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Everyday Normal Guy

Here babe, watch this and squirt coffee outcha nose- you want some tissue muthafucka?...

Loving this guy

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Magpie's Nest

( from the sketchbook of David Small, here )


Have you ever heard of David Small? Round here we
love his work as an illustrator and writer of children's books. He wrote this book, Imogene's Antlers, which Lola and I adore and just read tonight in bed :) The story is so quirky and the illustrations so delightful, full of life. Plus, I adore the name Imogene, which is going on My List!!


Yay but ye thought ye was done!

This is one of my all time favorite ever lists from McSweeneys:

What My Dad
Is Talking About
When He Yells "That's
What I'm Talking


- - - -

a seamless reverse layup

a quick turnaround jumpshot

three points from downtown

the effeminate way my brother sticks his pinkie out when downing a Schlitz


And Finally, Can I stay HERE? Let's tick the tocks:
reading in bed
reading in bed with room service
reading in bed with thousand count sheets and room service
reading in bed with an endless library at fingertips, amazing sheets, and rooms service


Thrifted Bunny

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Domino Magazine Folds

What? I know there are a million, billion things more important than this, including the death of my beloved John Updike, but this magazine is one of the Major pleasures in my suburban life. I keep a stack on my white coffee table and when the new issue comes out I am so excited I take two hours and curl up and do nothing but eat chocolate and get inspired. Domino has inspired me creatively as a homemaker more than any other magazine. Their beautiful hard back decorating book sits on my coffee table too, filled with markers of rooms I love, colors that amaze. I'm truly bummed out.

Domino Magazine has closed.

What? I'm really shocked. It seems you can't turn a web-corner without hearing about or seeing images from Domino. I imagined Domino being around for years and years. did i mention this sucks?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rabbit At Rest: John Updike Has Died

John Updike,

So I heard you died. Cancer of the lung. I suppose you already know how important you are to me- I know you've imagined it, because you are a writer, and because you lived long enough ( 76 years ) to see the effect your books had, and because a while back, a young writer happened to write an entire book that was a homage to you, his obsession, John Updike the Novelist.

I first found you in a dusty paperback, on the deeply polished mahogany chest in my parent's bedroom, four drawers high and smelling and looking like Adulthood. I was 13. I grabbed the book and immediately noticed the title- Rabbit, Run = hooked. I was hooked. You had me at ' Rabbit ', Mr. Updike, and then with the addition of ' Run ' I knew, by the quickening in my veins, I had found someone, something special. A special novel. This feeling, finding a book that I know is going to change me, is a most cherished emotion, a feeling I am hard pressed to explain, except that it is like how Lucy felt looking into the Wardrobe; it is the drawing back of a veil, a mystery, and the revealing of something entirely true and yet never before articulated or expressed in just this way. It is the looking forward to sheer, mouth watering pleasure. The pleasure may be in the beautiful lyricism of the author, it may be in the sheer weight and expression of their intellect, it may be in the unexpected and unique voice, or it may be the brilliant expression of truth...and in some, rare and miraculous cases, it may be all these. Mr. Updike, Sir, your book was all of these, and more.

I lay on my parents bed and flipped through the novel. I caught racy scenes of sex that used words like ' cock ' and ' cunt ' and ' spirit ' and I knew I had found a secret door into an adult mind, an adult world. A world I felt was undeniably bound to be more honest and raw than my own, full of secrets, suffering and lonliness. I lay down surrounded by my mother's comforter on her perfectly made bed and read, and read...and read....

excerpts from Rabbit Run
' Rabbit Angstrom, coming up the alley in a business suit, stops and watches, though he's twenty-six and six three. '

' But there were good things: Janice so shy about showing her body even in the first weeks of wedding yet one night coming into the bathroom expecting nothing he found the mirror clouded with steam and Janice just out of the shower standing there doped and pleased with a little blue towel lazily and unashamed her bottom bright pink with hot water the way a woman was of two halves bending over and turning and laughing at his expression whatever it was and putting her arms up to kiss him, a blush of steam on her body and the back of her soft neck slippery. '

' I'll tell you, ' he says. ' When I ran from Janice I made an interesting discovery. ' The tears bubble over her lids and the salty taste of the pool-water is sealed into her mouth. ' If you have the guts to be yourself, ' he says, ' other people'll pay your price. '

If I did some kind of free association, and let out what comes to my mind when I think of reading that Rabbit book, Mr. Updike, that day on my parent's bed at 13, I get

the colors, the way you made suburbia sharp and delineated and then muddy or watercolor
the sex, a constant, constantly wanting, yearning
trying to connect
failing to connect
paying the price, making others pay the price for failures
the voices, the way i could hear them talking
the honesty! the sheer bravery of putting down things the way they are, and after writing
a novel and working on another i will never, ever take that for granted or underestimate it's difficulty or importance
the images of women's bodies, constantly looking at them through Rabbit's eyes
details made precious, precious, human details
longing, hunger, spirit, sex, mind, body, move, eat, feel, work

Mr. Updike I read your novel and lay there on my parent's bed dumbstruck. What was This>? This amazing ferociously vivid life form smashed into so many small black letters on a page?
Oh shit, this was WRITING!! Your novel graduated me, abruptly and gratefully, from Anne of Green Gables to Rabbit Angstrom- I love that name, so perfect, summing up his twangy lanky youthful ridiculousness ' angstrom ' sounds like a twang. I lay and smelled the paperback like it was an illicit sex object- and maybe for me, it was. Intellectual sensuality- the ringing of phrases in my ears, observations on American life that stayed with me forever, visuals of the sex, the smell of the paper, the crinkled corners, the lay of your name, bold on the spine, Janice drunk in the house, Rabbit walking the streets at night, arguing with the priest, cowering around his parents, the look of his hand in his pocket that you had never described to my recall, Mr. Updike, but I was sure I could see exactly.

There was a fire lit in me and I read until, like an old lady with arthritis, my fingers cramped. I read the next Rabbit and tons of books not by you, Mr. Updike- Sophie's Choice and Carrie and Frost and Agatha Christie. I read and I was comforted and transported- perhaps the most eager believer of the Reading Rainbow commercials ' you'll fly away / i can go anywhere / take a look / it's in a book / '

There was a thing of terrible beauty in your book. By now, of course, I have read many observations on your works, essays taking apart your particular genius and meaning. I knew nothing about this and had never heard of you before in my life, but I knew that your shimmering intellectual and emotional story of Rabbit and his poor Janice and their poor doomed baby was ferociously alive, true, and it made me feel less alone, which really makes no sense, because I was a 13 year old girl and you were a grown man writing about grown adult life- only, it makes perfect sense, because that is what great novels do, engage you so entirely that you are simply not alone when you are reading them. You are in the company of another person's mind.

And of course, there is the magic alchemy that cannot be expressed, when a person picks up a novel and opens the page to find that this particular voice is the one you fall for over and again, without another soul in the world to agree or care or have a single opinion; at 13 I found you Mr Updike, and I never stopped reading. I never have. I'm 34 now, with three children of my own, a husband of my own, work, writing- a life that has always included your books on my shelf, and always will. I've read most of your works, ( love those Eastwick Witches! thank you for them ) and some of your essays and poetry; but like first love, Rabbit, Run ( oh how I love that comma! you speak my language! ) remains emblazened in my emotional memory, and I keep seeking that trembling excitement and gratification with every new novel I crack open.

Thank you John Updike. You changed my life.

Rabbit, Rest.


Maggie May Ethridge

In a 2005 "This I Believe" essay he wrote: "I seem most instinctively to believe in the human value of creative writing, whether in the form of verse or fiction, as a mode of truth-telling, self-expression and homage to the twin miracles of creation and consciousness."

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm In Love with Michelle and President Obama

In la la love!

Anxiety and Motherhood

Last night I woke up every hour, heart pounding, a little confused, upset. Anxious. At one point I leaned over Lola and touched her cheek, it felt too cold, I turned her, she didn't move or budge or blink and so I pushed my hands under her nose and her eyes flew open

Mommy? What's wrong, Mommy?

I'm sorry honey. I...thought you had an owie. She put her hand on my arm, smiled. Mommy if I had an owie, I'd wake you up and tell you, it's OK Mommy. And she went right back to sleep.

My fear stirs it's hydra head now and again at different levels of aggressiveness, and I do all I can to keep it from poisoning my children. Too much coffee on Sunday, the juggling act of full-time work, parenthood, marriage- sometimes it is beautiful work and sometimes it is graceless stumbling. Traumatic events of my childhood, of friends lives, or even strangers on the nightly news stay finely drawn and felt in my mind, and at times rise darkly. Last night I was thinking of my friend Anna as I leaned over, and her son Jordan. He died at age 21 a few years ago, at home in his own bed, in the bloom of health as far as his mother believed; he had been sick for a week but a doctor had checked him out and found nothing alarming. The reason for his death was eventually understood to be a heart attack resulting from an invasive virus. I have turned and turned the image of Anna coming into her son's room and finding him there, turned it in my mind, trying to focus my prayer on her, her grief, her son. Still, as I lay in the darkness, I could not help but find Lola, touch her skin, and fear her loss.

" Dread is a sympathetic antipathy and a antipathetic sympthay. ' - Kierkegaard

I take a small dose of Zoloft to avoid panic attacks, chronic debilitating anxiety, the kind that causes enormous, roller-coaster worthy jets of adrenaline to pour into my abdominal area ( home of the 'second brain', the producer of hormones that rule our emotions ) and make me feel light-headed, out of breath and terrified. It's my conclusion that this is the result of a genetic predisposition to mental illness ( runs on both sides of my family in all stripes ) and the chronic abuse and fear of my childhood. This is probably also why my thyroid went bad at such a young age- 22 - because the constant rush of hormones ( adrenaline, cortisol, testosterone ) 'kills' your thyroid and your adrenals. I've had a number of physical problems that are the direct result of my childhood. A wonderful book, if anyone is interested, on this cause and effect is called The Body Never Lies, by a Canadian psychologist who has researched the connection between abusive childhoods, the retaining of guilt and fear, and disease.

' Perfect fear casteth out love. ' - Cyril Connolly

Today I will work out after work, at 6:30pm when I least want to. I will drink decaf tea. I will pray, although I don't have faith. I will let my husband hold me and kiss me. I will make it my job to strengthen my spirit and lessen the fear, so that I can lead my children into life with a brave heart and upturned chin, and not a night spent wasted on what might be. What will be, will be, and I don't want to waste a second of this beautiful life on the anxious machinations of my mind.

' Anything scares me, anything scares anyone but really after all considering how dangerous everything is nothing is really very frightening. ' -Gertrude Stein

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lola and Harry

Harry Potter, Come here. Let's play!

Come on Harry, hold still now, I'm going to tell you something wonderful. But it's a secret....
So listen carefully, and don't tell Mommy.
I love this world, Harry.
Hi Wolfgang, don't step on my roses please.
I love to make patterns with the world.
See? (see Mommy's toes?)
The back yard is a whole little world. I can find so many things!

This world is so beautiful!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Nas- I Know I Can Barack- Oh No You Didn!

President Obama, Sir,

You are on my mind. You rock my world.

Love, Patriotism and Humanism,


And WHAT DID SHE SAY!!! Barack and Michelle do WHA?? Oh Lordy.

Saturday is Slick and Gives It Up

(picture by ???)

he asked me dirty laundry
i left him in the rug
curled in scat and semen
and a birthing plug

he was born poor
and he is dying rich
married to madame who purrs:
’that’s right bitch’

his mother was on welfare
his father sold suitcases
from the moment i saw him-
just one of those faces

his beard never grew in full
his testicles were lopsided
constipation ruined our sex
his penis was widely divided

i never saw him cry
he never saw me laugh
we faced each other in half measures-
everything, by half

half loved, half assed, half screwed
half terrified we would never die
and stay this way, every day
half alive

he flunked college basketball
lost a scholarship
became a lightweight wrestler
broke his arm in a half nelson grip

i met him feast or famine
and i starved at his side
growing thin at his whim
he liked the skinny-eyed

after years of nothing
it hit me what it meant
how i hated him and this was good
i wanted punishment

we both did, he his pervert
leather whip
and me with a non entity
in a non relationship

one night he licked
the anus of a mutual friend
and i finally liked myself enough
to get it up and leave him

he inherited a fortune
and bought all the ass he could afford
i let him lick it without regret
i’d rather be poor than be that bored.

-maggie may ethridge

Friday, January 23, 2009

Roses in the Kitchen

My roses

Magpie's Nest

Gateway sells this M-Series Notebook, and I'm drooling. Want.

These clutches are so pretty! I got one at Wal-Mart in a beautiful purple for 10$
Anthropologie and Nordstrom are selling pricey ones :)

The delight filled JCarolineCreative has so many amazing fabrics. I'm choosing one for the chair in my front room. These are two patterns I'm loving!

This is fun: 12SecondsTv is where you 'micro-blog'- record 12 seconds on a webcam saying what you want to say, and walah! you are featured.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Mommy. Mommy LOOK at these. Mommy please?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Open Letter to My Sister, Lura


You've been gone from my life since Lola was born. Six years. My daughter has your eyes, enormous, long fringed, clear blue. I went through a stage, when she was about three? or four?
where looking at her hurt, in my stomach, in my mouth. Her rounded cornflower face, glossy
blonde hair, sloped pale belly, long, long legs. So much like you, so much like you at the age when you were beginning to be hurt, and no one protected you, and your eyes saw what I would kill to ensure my daughter never sees. Remembering you as a girl. Your innocence was radiant. Palpable in your trembling purple veins, paper thin skin, the turn of your impossibly long lashes, but most of all, in the direct clarity of your gaze. ' I have never hurt anyone ' your face said, ' I think this world is safe. ' Then that was gone. You were left strung tightly, arms crossed over your stomach, head lowered in every photo, eclipsed into sobs at the thought of wearing a bathing suit to the local pool. You made Mom come in and help you rearrange every piece of furniture in your room and scrub the walls and closet down with disinfectant. Your hair was braided so tightly you had headaches. You came into my room at night and slept with me, and it is one of the smallest gratitudes I can claim from that time, that I let you. You were always other-worldly, keenly, intimidatingly intelligent, straight A student, violin, your friends wore glasses and had braces and you were never mean, but after a certain pause,

you were truly angelic, you were suffering in complete isolation, and the purity of this never ending burn left you in such distance from the rest of the world ( you told me you left your body, remember, you said ' i went out the window and flew and saw the cat and looked in the window and saw myself and him and i stayed outside the window until i flew back in' and i sat helpless without knowing what to say, i said i love you, i'm sorry of course i said those things but what else... ) that you became distant from your body, your arms cued the fat cells and they folded over and shrank, and you were smaller and smaller, anorexic. A tall girl, 5'9, and you were smaller than I at 5'7, and we were always thin to begin with, so in the later years when you were hospitalized they made you eat, you had to weigh on a scale every day. Meanwhile you stayed knobby kneed into your teens. You had such a ferocious intelligence and beauty and otherwordliness that everyone was attracted to you, everyone. Everyone wanted to see you better. To be close to you. Boys wanted to love you and you wanted to let them but you couldn't, so of course, of course the only one you loved was the one who was far far away from your heart so that when you gave what you had to give to him he turned away and did not want it anymore.

I remember when you went to homecoming and you had chopped all your long hair to the tightest boyish crop and you came home and you told me he likes me so much and you never talked to him again, I remember understanding about that, because I understood much more than I realized at the time, in part because we are sisters, and because I lived in that house, too, because I grew up across the room from you in my room, sending a car with folded notes back and forth when were in trouble, because we were always in trouble, and we understood this long before we could articulate it.

I love you of course I do and maybe you will find these letters on the Internet.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Lola In Bloom

small children in the sun

junebug, blonde baby of sun
hot sweet hair melting in the
afternoon like cotton candy
stuck to your bare brown

one finger absentmindedly stuck
deep inside your ear, worming
and jiving the wad also melting
in the sun,

everything melts in this sun.

you stab the grass blades at
the melting underbelly of a snail,
catching dinner;
i'm pretending to sweep but i'm
watching you,

everything you do, you swam
from my cells and my soul
flopped out my vagina like
a great fat fish into water,
no less, water baby, you

tore me apart when you were born.

putting myself back together
feels so good, the greatest pleasure
of my life, to be reinvented by
you two, irish french southern
western mutt babies grown
as beautiful as anything,

as anything could ever be,
i watch you but you think
i'm sweeping, you furrow
those dusty eyebrows and
lick your own palms,
i have no idea what's there

but it tastes very sweet.

-maggie may ethridge

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sex is the New Couture

Sex and Food: Marriage Devolves, Happily
Best Pre-Dinner snack that turns into a full meal:

Krinkle Cut Salt and Pepper Kettle Potato Chips
Thick, creamy Spinach Dip
Extra Dry Champagne with a splash of Cranberry Juice

Mr. Curry is making barbecued chicken and a plethora of also barbecued veggies. Last night we had an entire night alone, without the children (spending the night at Grandmas) and it was an act of desperation: I don't care if my stomach is spinning or you, Mr. Curry are tired- take me now, or lose me forever! ( Thank you, Top Gun) Despite said exhaustion and illness, we did have 30 fantastic minutes in bed, in which I remembered how powerful lust and how amazingly life affirming and simply pleasurable sex is. A simple 30 minutes did more for me than EmergenC and my acupuncturist can do in a week. In a recession, Sex is the new Couture: the new Expensive Vacation, the new Iphone, the new hand carved furniture, the new bespoke suit, the old is new again new.

Between sweating over which one of our piling bills to pay each paycheck, the children's various needs, full time jobs, house upkeep, our circus of animals (vet bill, flea bath, snipsnip oh my) errands, doctors appointment, paperwork (piles and piles oh my), and every other mind numbingly stubborn fixture of adult life, who has the money or time to pursue things, when a hot-blooded, delicious body is right next to you? Even if said body is exhausted, careworn, a bit crinkled round the edges, that body offers two things nothing else possibly can: love, divine eros, the bliss of love sweet love, and the impossibly transportive primal get-down that sex is, even in it's muted, softer forms. It is one of the few actions left to us modernized, slick hipsterized city-dwelling cellphone carrying adults that reduces us to our simple, physical humanity: we are physical beings with mysterious and powerful physical desires, and the act of lovemaking with the one you love is the closest thing you can get in daily life to a naked dance around the fire.
In a time of our life when we are (happily, mostly) pulled in every direction but together, Mr. Curry and I will be damned if we let our sex life dwindle before the all mighty daily grind. We make time to get down, be it five minutes in the bathroom or an hour on the floor, I'll take it. So the fact that we had gone two weeks without sex was unusual and obvious- we were jittery, a bit mixed up, a bit lost, reaching for each other all the time to be pulled apart by a certain 6 year old who at the ' Mommy will hold no other ' stage or dinner burning on the stove or the realization that D or I still haven't done their homework.

" [answering phone]
Bridget: Bridget Jones, wanton sex goddess, with a very bad man between her thighs... Dad... Hi. "

Saturday night it was written in stone: we will have sex, come hell or high water. And so it was.
I was sick, he was exhausted, neither of us were in particularly good moods, but the effort was made and the sex was incredible. We weren't reading, we weren't blogging, we weren't writing, creating a new life (as far as I know) we weren't unselfish or sweet or accessorized with high gloss case and interest free for two years, we were simply screwed to our heart's delight. ( However at some point, we had this conversation: Flux: I think I'd get like a billion more hits a day if I renamed my blog 'penis between my tits' Mr Curry: And then you'd have all these dirty old men coming to your blog and going ' crazy ass white woman, this ain't nothin but a bunch of poetry, aw shit! ' ) When my life does not find room, or I don't Make Room, for this with my husband, I feel adrift, like I can't find my feet on the ground- for all the reality of daily life, the spiritual and animal reality of sex remains paramount to my happiness and my wholeness as a person. I've had friends say ' I don't want sex to become a chore ' , but I say I don't want sex to become obselete! If that means that I'm giggling with Mr. Curry on top the kids bunkbed (sorry kids) despite my long day at work and smelly pits, all righty then. It's always, always worth it.

There is something interesting about the way our society views the sexual life of married parents, a duality of mindset: on the one hand, we better make room for sex or else! Oprah and the mags remind us, on the other hand, good parents don't realllly put their needs before the children: what if dinner's not made, and you are riding the pony with Daddy in the loo? Is that REALLY NECESSARY?

Well, yes, I do declare (in my best Mississippian accent) it surely IS.

Mr. Curry is about done with the barbecue. Dakota Wolf is sitting behind me, waiting for my reply about spending the night with his best friend, Lola Moon is dancing, the house is definitely on the messy side, but I think I'm getting lucky tonight anyway. Didn't you know, in a recession- you have to make your own luck? :)

Evolution of Dance

Loving this right now, and so has everyone I've shown it to :)
My 14 year old, Dakota showed it to me
It's worth it to watch through. Wait till he does the Ice Ice Baby Dance!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

saturday morning

**gone to mrs. basil's files

maggie may ethridge jan 09

Friday, January 16, 2009

Magpie's Nest

These are silkscreens and papercuts by Rob Ryan, who does all kinds of amazing work with paper

(Cover Girl lipstain in Wild Berry Wink? You are Mine. )
I've got swimsuits in my eyes, loving these retro polka dots on Squidoo

and these flirters from Victoria's Secret

Lingerie, here from Moss and Spy's debut collection 'Jardin de Paris'

I can't wait to read this book, reissued this year


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