I Thrive in Chaos

Here comes a quirk ball: 

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Let’s cut right to the best part of this post – the Rachel Ray reference. That was my LIFE, I tell you! I subscribed to that magazine, and read it religiously…me and 70,000 of my closest soccer mom friends. Everyday with Rachel Ray, to me, was the epitome of all things domestic, glamorous, and container-organized…

…and then there was reality: my warped, cork-topped card table. I didn’t have much space in my room growing up, so most of my artistic endeavors happened in the basement next to the oft-roaring fire. I’d crank the Carrie Underwood Pandora station and spend hours down there painting, sewing, drawing, or crying about my life. It was like a man-cave; but hormonal, and manless.

Since everybody loves a good transformation photo, I thought I’d take a picture of what my workspace looks like these days. I’m studying writing in college, so my desk is where I read, type, and stress eat. In fact, I’m sitting here now. Spoiler: it’s still chaotic – though the thriving part is up for debate.

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For bonus points, count the mugs!

…and here’s a close-up: 

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Me chillin’ at mah desk:

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I know what you are thinking now. You are thinking, “what do those inspirational quotes on the wall behind her computer SAY!!?!? What INSPIRES this near-genius into GREATNESS????”

I will not share all of my secrets with you, but I will share one of my favorites:

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It’s a quote from an old Sherlock Holmes story, The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

“Working as he did rather for the love of his art than for the acquirement of wealth, he refused to associate himself with any investigation which did not tend towards the unusual, even the fantastic.”

Isn’t that a lovely way to choose creative projects? When I sit down to write, I try to keep these adjectives in mind…unusualfantastic.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it…do you know who else was known to thrive in chaos?

Sēnior Sherlock himself. 

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Have you not seen the Robert Downy Jr version?

I’m basically him, but a chic writer.

See how I did that? See how I connected this post back to the idea of chaos even though I started off by talking about Rachel Ray?

THAT, my friends, is called writing. Or self-obsessed pretentiousness. I’ll take either one.

All hail me,

Amy

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It Came And Went So Fast

The above picture is an artifact from a time long ago when I still brushed my hair and showered. The below post was written in the same eon…

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Shelb’s on the left, I’m on the right.

In case you haven’t realized by now, I live my life on the precipice of life and death. In the light of my personality, the word “dramatic” barely describes the shadows. For me, high school was one extended Battle of Hogwarts – only worse, because my life is sooooooooo hard wah wah wah.

I’m also a bit of a sap. This post was about my friend Shelby.

Shelby’s house was the first place I went after I got off bed rest during my junior year (this was after I smashed my heel, cliff-diving.) I hadn’t moved in weeks. She and her mom padded their car with blankets and pillows, picked me up, and transferred me to their couch where we lay and watched rom-coms with thrillingly promiscuous leading ladies.

Another thing – the first Saturday night I was mobile was the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. I needed to be Luna, but was unable to make a costume because I was sedated. Guess who put together my costume? That’s right, Shelb-a-licious. She even made me radish earrings.

So, I repaid her with a watercolor painting in which she has a clump of course straw for hair. Isn’t she so lucky?????

Shelb is an engineer now, one of the smartest people I know, AND she has a boyfriend. Karma has been working hard.

I didn’t go to college with her, though, so here I had to find a new friend who would take care of my broken mind and body. Thank gawd for random roommate selection. I met her freshman year.

Her name is Danielle. She is my warrior speed racing queen. Once, before an end-of-year flight home, I realized 25 minutes before take-off that I’d gotten my departure time wrong. I was downtown getting drinks with Danielle. The airport was 20 minutes away.

You better believe she got me to that flight on time.

A few weeks ago, I was in bed with a migraine throwing up all over myself when Danielle entered the danger zone and brought me a steaming mug of coffee.

So, now I’m repaying her with a drawing in which she has a clump of wrinkled straw for hair.

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Danielle’s on the left, I’m on the right. (That’s also funny because Danielle’s a democrat and I’m a republican haha )

Life sure is poetic.

It is strange though, how quickly time goes. Almost exactly four years ago I was saying goodbye to high school, and now I am saying goodbye to college.

It came and went so fast.

I’m just thankful that my girls held on, though it all.

Not talking about boobs,

Amy

Why Don’t You Just Marry Them?!

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…long, loooong ago…

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For someone so adamantly against marriage, I sure was fixated on it.

“If you love them so much why don’t you just MARRY THEM?!” I scream at no one in particular in the above post.

I think I stole this turn of phrase from my mother. One day while we were riding in the car I was waxing on about how much I looooved pizza! I love it! Love it, love it, love it! Then, my mother, generally a rather reserved, conservative woman, looked at me and said “well, if you love it so much why don’t you marry it?” It was a bizarre outburst from a usually predictable woman. But it was funny – and funny sticks to me like chewing gum in a tangle of hair.

What if we could marry inanimate objects? I’ve read a bunch of articles about the advanced sex robots that’ve been invented, so maybe human-object unions aren’t actually so far away. I bet the longevity rate would be higher than it is for human-on-human relationships.

Here is a list of inanimate objects I would marry if it was possible:

  1. Pizza
  2. Coffee
  3. Butter 
  4. Spinach (If history tells us anything, spinach and I would divorce within minutes. At least I’ll try.)
  5. Chunky orthopedic wooden glitter platform heels (My DREAM clunkers…yet to be designed)
  6. Ice cream sundae-scented candles
  7. Money
  8. Money money moneyyyyy

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Because of my true personality, I would eventually divorce all those other inanimate objects and marry money for good. What can I say, I was BORN to love da cash. Also, I can buy that other stuff anytime I want it when I’m married to money. HA. Game hack. Genius.

Something sweet about the old blog is the fact that I drew many of these sketches long before I decided to go to art school. The doodles are just a guttural urge to get ideas down on paper. I hadn’t ever been critiqued, and wasn’t drawing to complete an assignment or follow the rules.

These days, I’m a fashion school drop-out. Woo hoo! BUT I didn’t leave before taking a giant handful of flashionable classes. I KNOW you won’t be able to sleep tonight unless I give ya a peak of today’s doodles (tomorrow’s joke fodder). Here are a couple of chicas I whipped up today while I was supposed to be tutoring – inspired, once again, buy the “high-waisted-wuddup-Marilyn” look:

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All together now:

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On The Great Wall of China:

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In Moscow:

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And now, I have hooked you, because you must be wondering: is this girl in cahoots with Putin? Is she in bed with the enemy? Is she a sexy-slutty-spy woman?

Check back next week for the answers.

Прощай,

Amy

What Can I Say? I Love to Love

Four score and many bitter years ago…

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All facts considered, I am still exactly the type of person who should hate Valentine’s Day.

Mope, mope.

Mope mope mope mope mope mope mope mope mope.

Mopey mope.

And last, but not least, I have been single (eh, mostly) for the last four years.

My seventeen-year-old self would be shattered.

Sorry, bitch. Maybe it’s your personality.

The thing about the first five lines of “The Holiday I Shouldn’t Like” is that they are all still pretty much true. I could’ve written them in my diary last night. Some things never change. Instead of finding this depressing, I’m going to think positively about it. Time can be really scary! The train of life never stops! Nothing stays the same! People die! But alas, my soul, be quiet. Single you will always remain.

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I do still love Valentine’s Day, though. It’s happy, and in a world full of hate I think any excuse for love should be honored.

Did you just vomit a little in your mouth? I did, a bit, writing that. My apologies – this was never supposed to be a hippie sap blog.

The happy vagina thing is hilarious. I swear to you that it really is true – I did go around telling people in my high school “happy v-day,” and chuckling creepily to myself. Although, with the way fourth wave feminism is shaping up, I could be considered a hero for this. How dare we celebrate a holiday that could potentially gives legitimacy to white males having feelings about a woman!!! Let’s change it to a holiday about vaginas! The whole WORLD should worship vaginas!  LONG LIVE THE VAG.

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Do you think this could be why I’m single?

I bet you’re dying to know what my plans are for this Valentine’s Day. Let me fill you in.

8ish am – wake up. Remove foot detox pads from the feet. They smell weird, so throw them in my roommate’s trash can. Go on Instagram and watch viral videos about pizza.

9ish am – make coffee. Drink coffee. Worry that my coffee machine has mold in it. Drink more coffee

10ish am – go for a walk while listening to Wuthering Heights. Feel angry that men these days don’t understand subtlety. Worry that maybe I am the problem because I have no feelings and am a robot. Think about the fact that I might be a robot experiment. Switch to an angry political podcast instead.

11ish am – text my roommate that I miss her. Do various bits of homework.

1ish am – eat something. Probably rice and vegetables, because this is what the tiny Asians I used to work with always ate and I would like to have the physic of a petit, 60-year-old Asian.

2-4:30 – go to class. Hand out candy and wish people “happy V-day” with a glimmer in my eye that only we (that’s you and me, reader) understand.

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The male-to-female physique ratio

4:30 – 12:00 a.m.– lay upside down on the couch with my roommate and talk about what we should do to celebrate the evening. Settle on getting drunk on vodka and diet coke. If you think this sounds depressing you should know that I will also be eating anothe
r bowl of rice. Once we get drunk enough, we will watch Sex and the City and discuss the perfect ratio of male-to-female physique. We will decide that it is Aiden, although Big is more sexually fascinating. Remember that I will be sleeping alone tonight. Climax towards a black-out.

12:00 a.m. – 12:01 a.m. – remember that it was my mom’s birthday yesterday. She was born on Valentine’s day because she is a beacon of love and light. And I am the shithead daughter who forgot to call. I don’t deserve to be loved at all.

Call me sometime, I’m a lot of fun.

Amy

Beauty in Brokenness

From Amy Tunes Out:

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There are a lot of funny thing about this post. The fact that I drew fashion sketches with prosthetic legs that look like knotty toothpicks. The adieu at the end that sounds like it came from a suburban spirit guru. Get the laughs out. Ha ha. It’s all ridiculous, isn’t it?

It is, but there’s another layer to it.

There’s a thread of tenderness that runs through this post. Something inside of me was grasping for light. I was clawing at the idea that there’s an antidote for the kind of pain that runs deep. My foot, at the time, was held together with three, 3-inch long screws. At every moment, my leg throbbed. I couldn’t escape it, so it leaked into my drawings. And in a way, it felt like healing.

Another thing that inspired these sketches was a photo that I saw on my faaaavorite street style blog, The Sartorialist, of a woman in an orange skirt and low-backed tank biking down the streets of new york.

The strength of that woman gave me hope. Her situation is obviously far more serious than mine was, more severe, more life-altering. I did eventually heal, and I can walk, in moderation. So if she could survive, could live, could ride a bike and look stylish while she was at it, then I had absolutely no excuse.

Beauty really is strength.

It’s one of the reasons I ended up at art school. Art helps people cope. It did more for me than therapy ever did. The things that made me feel like I wasn’t alone – a photograph, a sketch, that woman’s style – are all different forms of art. Of aesthetic pleasure. Beauty.

This is one of the more basic facts of life, that beauty = pleasure, but it is true that as humans we sometimes forget the facts that ground us.

Instead of leaving you with one of my present-day hippie wishes for good vibes, here’s a quote that I’ve always liked.

Art washes from the soul the dust of every day life.

                                                            Pablo Picasso

I do love me a good bath.

Amy

I Don’t Believe in Marriage…

If I had access to a time machine, one of the first things I would do (after going back in time to meet and save Abraham Lincoln) would be to tell high school me that there is a difference between a blog and a diary. As you can see below, this is not information that I was aware of, then.

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Alright, so I didn’t believe in “True Love,” even though I considered it sacred enough to capitalize. Fair. Also cool that I never wanted to get married. My experience with men up until that point had been limited to future frat boys and chunkalicious hockey players. Watch this, and you will frankly be amazed that I didn’t get me straight to a nunnery:

I still have hope for the old age and many different lovers thing. So far, that’s going well.

Next, I consider my dream man. To this day, Chuck Bass is my ultimate fantasy. To all you goons out there who didn’t live vicariously through the Upper East Side to escape real-life bullying (heh heh), Chuck Bass is a character played by Ed Westwick in the CW series Gossip Girl. His character is kind of a jerk and a douche to everyone except Blair, his one true love. Ohhhhh and he does have impeccable style, maximum posh, verging on garish, which is what I defined to be impeccable style back then.

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So here in this post, I’ve designed my hypothetical wedding dress. Amy Bass. Amy Stoltenberg Bass. It actually sounds pretty good. (Tied for first with Amy Gosling).

I’d never taken a creative writing class before, so you’ve got to give me credit for the sparkling visual image that comes next: “If I saw a man in a perfectly tailored suit with plaid pants, a matching tie, and an arrogant swagger step out of a limo in New York City I would yell ‘Lets Get Married’ at the top of my lungs.” Mmmmmm, picture that, and relish the image. I really did know how to hook a man.

The sketch itself is precious, and typical of my drawing style at the time. I always drew boobs really big, probably as some kind of psychological response to having tiny ones IRL. The legs are a little odd; my friends used to call them “pee feet” because it looks like she has to pee. I can’t argue with that. Maybe she has to pee because she’s so freaking excited about getting married. Or, I don’t know, maybe she’s just really enthusiastic about staying hydrated.

Maybe she’s planning on living forever and having a bunch of different lovers, and she knows that for that to happen she’s got to have wrinkle-free skin, so she harnesses the power of water as a natural moisturizer. A princess has got to plan.

Royally,

Amy