Friday, May 23, 2014

The Art of Giveaways

My mum found my desk at a thrift store, where its price was about a fifth of what is was originally. I'd never really had a desk before, but this one was painted black and looked sort of like it had come out of the world of Tim Burton or Lemony Snicket or Edward Gorey or the Bronte Sisters, so it was adopted into our little apartment household and filled with books and miscellaneous sketches.  But now it's overstuffed again, which means I'll have to let go of my slight tendencies to hoard novels and do a giveaway.  It's really actually a detoxifying process if you've never done it before--basically, you empty everything and give away all of the stuff you don't need anymore to a charity organization (Salvation Army, Goodwill...pretty much anywhere that I shop).  It's doing something good for both the world and for the people in your home with dust allergies!
My grandmother, the psychic, was an avid believer in the art of giveaways, and by the time she passed on at age 56 had given most of her stuff to other people.  She was also a Buddhist, and she had very few material belongings of her own.  One day, though, shortly after my grandmother's cremation, my mum and I went to The Salvation Army and saw, hanging near the front of the store, a bag my grandmother had donated several years earlier.  I know that the exact significance of this moment may be difficult to understand without having known my grandmother or the level of importance she played in my family's life, but she was like another parent to me, and sitting by her side and watching her pass away had an incredible impact on my life.  The heart attack and stroke that she had were like straws breaking a camel's back given the fact that she'd been suffering from lupus since my mum's adolescence, and not a day goes by that I am not amazed by her ability to have pulled through all those years acting as though everything was fine.  Seeing her little fabric bag hanging in the thrift store window was like a sign that she was there.  She was physically gone--no longer trapped in the arthritic pain of her disease--but still entirely present.
It's like what Obi Wan says to Darth Vader in A New Hope: "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

<3 Frances

"F" is for Friday, and Filmophelia

Star Wars geeks, when they find out
that someone "doesn't get" the movies.
My life would be an entirely different one had I not been raised by a film and journalism student.  Unlike other children, who were saturated with Disney princess films and karaoke discs, I spent my infancy on Beatrix Potter and Mazzy Star and the rest of my youth talking about books like Watership Down and movies like Stalker (the depressing 1979 Russian film, not the horror flick).  I'm also a first-class Star Wars geek (I took one of my middle school yearbook pics wearing a Princess Leia-inspired hairdo. Fandom! I'll post a tutorial on that soon!).  I don't entirely know what us fans are supposed to call ourselves, though--I've heard "Star Warriors," which I guess is a sort of play off of "Star Trekkies," but it's not as universally acknowledged.  Fortunately the lack of a fan group name hasn't seemed to be an issue for me--most people see that I have a doll house with Anakin and Padme figurines and the truth about the obsession surfaces on its own.
But where am I going with this? Maybe I'm just trying to say that film/lit/music have had a profound influence on my existence, and, chances are, your opinions on them have done the same thing to you.  Some may say that fiction doesn't impact us, but it does, and the characters that unfold before our eyes--be it on the screen or on the page or in the lyrics--have the capability of making or breaking our day. They become real people, and their struggles become ours.  And then we end up wanting to buy the pint of Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch (whoever invented that flavor is both horrible and insane in the best way possible) so that we can binge-watch while eating it and drinking coffee.  (However, if you're feeling this way due to some film you saw or book you read, then your timing is perfect because it's Friday.  TGIF!)

<3 Frances

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thrifting (verb)

My mum and I are like something out of Raiders of the Lost Ark when it comes to buying clothes because we don't just "shop"--we thrift.
Thrifting (verb)
Definition: The act of searching for and purchasing secondhand items.
Regular retail stores, in all their commercial appeal, are way too expensive for anything more than window-browsing.  Or at least they're that way for us.  (I mean, I see a t-shirt with a price tag reading more than $8.00 and an ulcer automatically begins developing in my abdomen.  If I spent that sort of money on myself for a t-shirt, I'd have to live in my doll house.) Fortunately, though, there is the brilliant invention of "thrifting." The Salvation Army, Goodwill, Plato's Closet, eBay...they're shopping sanctuaries for the financially woeful. Not to mention that they're also great places to find vintage steals no one else will have, like $2.00 (!) Go-Go boots and distressed shabby-chic prom/wedding dresses.

My clothes rack--almost 100% hand-me-down and thrift-shop goods.
And, yes, that is my Catwoman mask.

   <3 Frances

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday Nights

Sidebar Adventures

Finding new music can be difficult. Luckily for us, though, there's the YouTube sidebar.  It's like an endless, void-like record store for the good music seekers inside all of us.  Don't tell anybody, but it's how I decided to distract myself this morning, caught up in the folk/alt/indie rock "happy place" that YouTube dragged me deeper and deeper into. And I found some pretty awesome stuff there....

1) "Threads" by Now, Now

2) "Moenie and Kitchi" by Gregory and the Hawk

3) "Young" by The Paper Kites

Check back later for more Sidebar Adventures and the excuse to spend those old iTunes gift cards.
<3 Frances

First Sentences

First sentences, unlike first breaths and first kisses and first days of school, can be done over again. They can be changed--rewritten--and that's part of why they're so difficult. We edit them and polish them and torture ourselves with them in an attempt to make them as close to perfect as we possibly can. But the real world isn't perfect, so maybe we should just give our first sentences a break and let them be who they want to be: themselves.
This is Moth Bird, the blog that never wants to grow up. I'm Frances, and my friends Iris, Jill, and I are the writers behind this production, which was started as a way to keep our heads from exploding due to an over-accumulation of too many unexpressed thoughts. You can read more about us and Moth Bird here.
Regardless of how you managed to stumble across our little world, be it through a vortex or a rabbit hole or even just a computer, we want to thank you for visiting. Welcome to the land of the indie subconscious.