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// she's only happy in the sun.
Aug 10

hype about type.

i love words and i’ve always been really curious/particular/interested in how they are rendered. this is why i constantly take photos of signage. this is why the font on a menu can put me off eating at a particular restaurant. this is why i refuse to read emails that are written in comic sans.

when my fellow word-enthusiast and type-lover, Q, sent me this link, the humble paperclip was redeemed.

i love linzie hunter’s approach. it inspires me to buy a plain notebook and spend a few minutes each day drawing and decorating my own colorful, custom alphabet.

her atomic alphabet collage is fun too:

i’ve always appreciated type made out of random objects. more of what’s below here.

sticks and stones might break my bones, but they make an awesome N.

and hooray for leaves:

this is my kind of sky writing. (not sure who created this, but i spied it here)

and finally, i’ll leave you with artist, sam winston, who takes type and words to the next, next, next level and creates these beautiful, delicate, pieces of art.

Aug 10


in the spring of 2007 i was working at CAA in the ‘ticket counts’ department. which meant my job was exactly that – counting tickets. as you can imagine, my master’s degree came in reaaaaaallll handy as i spent 8 hours a day calling venues to find out how many tickets had sold for each touring artist that CAA represented. this period of my life taught me a lot about the not-so-glamorous underbelly of the entertainment industry. but i got to go to great shows for free. and i’m a sucker for a silver-lining.

anyway, one of the first days on the job, this friendly blue-eyed blonde, named angela, introduced herself to me. we quickly bonded on our mutual love for australia and the ocean. we also figured out that we shared a passion for photography, so armed with our point-and-shoot cameras we’d scout nashville’s finest alleyways and take photos. lots of ‘em.

fast-forward 3 years and we’re both living in LA (this was bound to happen since being land-locked never really agreed with us). we’ve upgraded from point-and-shoot cameras to nikons with fast, wide lenses. and we finally figured out a day where our schedules aligned. a few weeks ago i’d spied this gorgeous field of wild sunflowers in topanga – so, armed with our cameras, one bear hat, and our unabashed posing, we took some vaguely andrew wyeth inspired photos and relished a sunday in the sun.

sidenote: i haven’t shot digital in a LONG time. and i have to say, although it was fun, fast, and instantly available, i realized i have become really partial to shooting with film. i crave the texture of film, the dust specks, the light leaks, and overall the experimental nature of it. i think i’m going to start some kind of business slash project slash awesomeness where i can fully embrace and share my love for film photography. stay tuned.

Aug 10
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i like bike(s).

for someone who has ridden a bike about 3 times in the past 10 years, i take an awful lot of photographs of these two wheeled wonders.

dev bought us both awesome beach cruisers earlier in the year, so i’m thinking we need to embrace the cliche – dust off these beauties, rock some sweatbands and hit up venice beach.

Aug 10

wednesday wants.

to be standing where the photographer was when they took this photo.

my iPhone needs this case. especially because i use it more to take photos than i do to make calls.

i want a crochet blanket like this for autumn picnics in barren fields under big skies.

i don’t like overhead lighting in general. but these are an exception to the rule.

in case you hadn’t noticed, i have a thing for craspedia flowers. even felt ones.

i’m constantly wooed by watches like this one.

i am grateful that my life no longer requires an alarm clock. but if it did, it would be this tasty one.

dev and i fight over who loves this print more.

and this dress. but not the attitude. thankyouverymuch.

Aug 10
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twitter me this.

i have a complicated relationship with air-conditioning. there are times when it’s a sweet relief to walk into an air-conditioned room and escape the stifling anger-inducing heat. but there are many other instances when the vent blasting arctic air at me is my #1 nemesis. moral of the story? LAYERS.

i feel the same way about twitter. there are days when i really enjoy it. something someone tweets makes me laugh, or begins a link-fest that leads me to something interesting / creative (i’m looking at you @ltowfigh).

however, there are other times when i feel like twitter is an overwhelming, vacuous vortex of meaningless information. or maybe that’s just the stuff i tweet about.

along the way, i’ve collected some of my favorite tweets and when i read them i LOL (as the kids say). so if you are planning on jumping onto the twitter bandwagon, i’d recommend following some of these fine folks:

Aug 10

furniture. and the finding of it.

5 minutes on craigslist and i’ve found all of these delights. something tells me furniture foraging in LA is going to be fun.

Aug 10

the post i should be too embarrased to post. but obviously, i don’t have enough filters.

about one decade ago, ricky martin was starting his Livin’ la Vida Loca world tour. he was all over the TV, and the radio was blasting his songs nonstop. it was around this time i turned to my mum one day, and matter-of-factly announced that i planned on marrying ricky martin. i don’t know whether it was his hip shaking or dreamy eyes, because let’s be honest, it wasn’t his thought-provoking lyrics, but i didn’t care. he was gorgeous, his smile was infectious, and thus, he was the ONE. (just blame the late nineties. or my sheltered musical exposure growing up in timaru, new zealand.)

anyway, fast forward 10 years and i’m sitting in a gorgeous studio while dev and kelly mix tracks and finish devon’s album. we’ve lit candles to make it ‘vibey’ and these two creative cats are pouring over the tiniest details because there is no room for ‘good enough’ when you are a musical genius with OCD.

anyway, this is where things get WILD. are you ready for it?

this studio i’m sitting in is the SAME studio where ricky martin wrote and produced the breakthrough albums which thrust him to stardom in the US and the rest of the world. the room i’m sitting in is where ricky tracked his vocals. he shook his hips right HERE. he might have even worn these velvety soft headphones.

so even though i didn’t become mrs. ricky martin (and as we know now, there will probably never be a mrs. ricky martin), i feel like i am very close to my teen crush right now. and so in honor of this moment, i’m gonna blast me some Maria.

Aug 10
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late to the game.

just started listening to and loving janelle monae.

image credit: jesse hora
(i love the hair and the lashes. and the laces on the shoes) all of it actually.

Aug 10
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err. is LA to blame for the fact that i kind of want these sunglasses?

be honest with me. i can take it. i realize they’re are as ridiculous as the signature kanye west glasses in terms of being able to SEE and actual protection from the sun. so why am i drawn to them? is it because they are Chanel inspired? is it the lace?

is it just that this site has some hex hold on my senses?

Aug 10
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Aug 10
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monday mimicry: if drawings were photographs

i love this idea that was dreamed up by designer rob matthews & illustrator tom edwards. as they explain in the article i linked to – “Tom gave drawings to Rob and Rob tried to make them into photographs.”

such a simple and delightful concept. i would LOVE to pair up with an illustrator and try something like this out. anyone care to be my teammate on this venture? your task is to create the drawings/paintings/illustrations and i’ll recreate them as photographs.

and then we’ll release a book.

and take over the world.

Aug 10
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what happens if you live in topanga too long.

sweatbands become routine headgear. exhibit a:

Aug 10
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painter of faces.

a few weeks ago i was talked into a one-off gig as a face-painter. do i have any professional background in this industry? err no. do i like children and feel relatively competent with a paintbrush and my knowledge of spongebob square pants? yes. so it didn’t take that much convincing, and truth be told, i was excited about it. i have distinct memories of getting my face painted as a kid, and that moment when you look at a mirror and see a glittering butterfly gazing back at you was fun, albeit a bit creepy.

the event was a coca-cola corporate sunday funday extravaganza located at the coca-cola warehouses. it was a scorching day and under the shade of a white tent i sat with 3 other face-painters and we got to work. as you can see in the photo below, i was taking my job very seriously. note my informative name badge.

the highlights of my day were the adorable children who beamed when i showed them the mirror. for the most part, no matter how paltry my paintings, they lit up and giggled in glee.

one lowpoint was the little boy who asked me to paint him as a: half real man / half Terminator. i did my best. i left half of his face alone and then did my best menacing robot on the other half. he opened his eyes at the end, looked in the mirror and scowled. then turned back and asked impetuously where his laser eye was. um. what? sorry, i don’t have the capabilities to turn you into a killing machine. i’m just a mere face painter. i’m doing my best with red, blue and yellow kid. give me a break.

in conclusion, i present you with:

my list of 10 rules for face painting

1. if you are over 16 years old, you don’t need your face painted. if you want art on your body go get a tattoo. and asking me to paint a bottle of jack daniels on your bicep isn’t cute.
2. pick ONE theme. none of this half-vampire / half-ninja crap.
3. it’s not ok to ask me to paint your bewildered baby’s arm. especially not a heart and arrow with ‘mom’ written inside.
4. if you say you want to be a witch, i’m going to assume you mean a regular mean green witch. not glinda the good witch of the east, so if you don’t want to be green and covered in hairy looking moles then be SPECIFIC.
5. i cannot paint any kind of sports team logo. and no, i won’t look it up on my iPhone. come up with something else.
6. according to the little girl who chastised me for not representing all 50 stars, it appears i don’t know how to paint the american flag.
7. if one of your eyes is weeping fluid and screaming PINK EYE ALERT at me, i will not use that eye to paint the eye-patch for your ‘pirate’ look. you need to see a doctor.
8. to all the wanna-be cool mom’s, you know what’s not cool? asking me to paint a tribal print on your arm. i’m here for the kids. move along.
9. screaming children need not apply.
10. just because i can paint faces does not mean i can make you balloon animals or do magic tricks. i am not that much of a triple threat obviously.

Aug 10
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cozy cabin in the canyon.

lately i’ve had to describe where we’ve been living the past 2 months, and no matter how much i try to get across the small size and adorable-ness of the space, i feel like i fail. it’s literally a storybook cabin in the woods. we are surrounded by trees, chirping birds, and scampering squirrels. it’s the kind of place where you feel like nothing bad could ever touch you. a literal safe haven.

in an attempt to capture it more effectively i busted out my iphone and some app called ‘vintage movie maker’ to bring you this…ah…riveting exposé. now you can truly see how small our space is, since i basically stood on the spot and whirled around to give you the panorama view, and you get a sense for how we truly live in a fairytale minus a big, bad wolf.

in just over a week, we’ll be moving to our new spot in silverlake, but this little patch of earth will always hold a special place in my heart. it’s where devon and i first lived together as mr. & mrs. gundry. it’s where we would smash our shins DAILY into the bed frame because we still haven’t managed to figure out how to fit in a space so small. it’s where we excitedly poured over the first full color printed proofs of the SoulPancake book, and the place where i finally came to a resolution with the (many) spiders – you stay out of my way, i won’t smash you with my shoe. that’s a truce right?

Aug 10
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a snail with shoes melts my heart.

thank you to leili for sending me this gem.

Aug 10

the post wherein i admit to not owning a brush. or comb for that matter.

my hair is so long that i only have 2 options – wear it out and succumb to the tangled mess. or tame in a side ponytail.

if i was coordinated, i’d braid it. but that takes patience and my hair is unruly and doesn’t even like to separate into 3 equal segments, let alone be persuaded to stay in a braid.

the truth is, i don’t own a brush. or comb. or any kind of straightening serum. or alas, any expensive product. so my hair gets a bit forgotten about. it’s there. doing its thing. falling out when i’m stressed. and generally, getting in the way. sometimes, i’ll swear there is a spider crawling along my arm, only to find a stray hair that is lingering around being annoying. at least 2 times a week, dev will pull a strand of my hair out of his mouth. i know that’s gross. but it’s true. that’s HOW invasive my hair is.

here’s my brief hair history from random photos i found on facebook:

me, age 3, holding a very large knife with wanton abandon. hair was already overtaking the world.

me and my brother in spain. i’m all for america and matching my red hair ribbons to my skirt accents.

me and my family posing with lit candles, as you do. i was around 8 and still rocking the super thick bangs. my dad’s chops have a force field all of their own.

this is me and my little sister, anisa in the 90’s. anisa had gotten a bit carried away with pink lipstick. i guess i was too busy having the thinnest, creepiest bangs in history, to notice.

there is nothing much more awkward than being posed by your mother amidst the foliage. (note how i’m still rocking the red/white/blue even though i’d never set foot in the USA at this point. it was always my destiny.)

i don’t have the photos from my highschool glory days but there were some really interesting experiments – like the one time i henna’d my hair into orange oblivion. and the time i cut it all off to 2 inches because i wanted to be winona ryder in reality bites.

in 2006 i went to auckland and had my friend nina take me to her stylist, james. he gave me one of my all-time favorite haircuts.

in june 2007, i had enough of most aspects of my life and chopped it all off. the hair i mean. i felt so much lighter and freer. (is freer a real word?)

last summer, i went to nyc and got myself some heavy duty bangs at a barber shop. the whole experience was terrifying. there was no hair washing, or consultation. there was just a barber with huge scissors that grabbed a chunk of my hair and chopped it off.

the annoying thing about bangs is that they grow out in 3 days and so i had to walk around with this nonsense going on until they were long enough to blend into the rest of my hair:

lately i’ve been having struggles with the part. i want a center part. my hair refuses. so i’m thinking of resorting to this:

Aug 10
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it all started with my dad’s olympus camera. stashed away carefully in a heavy-duty samsonite blue canvas bag, it was not to be messed with. on rare occasions however, i’d get to hold it. first, the strap would have to be placed around my neck in case i dropped it. i remember it being heavy in my small hands. i fell in love. with the sound of the shutter. the buttons. the dials. it was magical.

when i was about 9 my dad bought me my first film camera. it was a black point and shoot. canon i think. and in its sleek modernity it lacked all the knobs and dials and complexities of the mighty olympus. it just called for film and batteries for the flash. i began shooting photos constantly. i’m not sure what most of them were of. probably our assortment of pets.

when i was 21 my friend ryan lash gifted me a gorgeous manual pentax. complete with auto film winder and lots of lenses. i was elated and awed. up until that point friends had told me i had a knack for photography, but it meant a lot to have someone who took photos for a living to invest in my passion like that.

then there was the digital revolution and i carried a little sony cybershot everywhere i went. i loved the immediacy and the fun i could have with photoshop.

in 2008 my friend mona sent me an incredible vintage polaroid camera. sporting a  grey case with pink stripes, this beauty has been one of my favorite cameras. there is nothing much cooler than a camera that actually boasts COOL CAM on its body.

the past two years i went a little camera crazy. i purchased all kinds of plastic film cameras, rolls of expired film, and even managed to get my hands on some polaroid film before it was extinct. the last roll that i developed is courtesy of my little ‘black slim devil‘ camera. i’m pretty impressed with the saturated color and vignetting.

today i came across sebastiaan bremer and then my heart promptly stopped. his photos are incredible because he mixes mediums. (aha! a new art project). to these photos below he added colorful acrylic paint. in others he uses ink. aren’t they gorgeous?

Aug 10
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the cowboy boots conundrum.

living in nashville, no matter how much i appreciated cowboy boots, i didn’t feel like i could wear them. because, well, i lived in nashville, the home of country music and cowboy boots. i didn’t want to be ‘branded’ as a tennessean. wearing cowboy boots in nashville isn’t ironic, and there is something about buying into the culture that i was resisting.

adopting a certain look/trend is something i’ve become increasingly aware of. i constantly think to myself, do i want x, y, z, because i’m being told to want it. or do i actually like it?

clogs/platforms are a great example of this. i totally loved my clogs back in the early 90’s. they made me taller. heck yes, i wanted a pair. and now they’re back in all their glory. and i find myself loving the look. but in between these two decades, i wouldn’t be caught dead wearing them. so what’s that about?

the idea of being a slave to fashion is enough to make any free-thinker feel uneasy. when i look at my husband with his tornado of curly hair being tamed by a sunshine yellow headband, i am inspired by his attitude about it all – he wears what he likes. not because he saw some celebrity rocking a headband or because american apparel seeped into his brain. he has a few items of clothing picked up from thrift stores etc, and he makes do. he probably puts about 30 seconds of thought process into what he’s gonna wear. it’s basically just a decision whether it’s a ‘jeans day’ or ‘grandpa pants day’. it’s seriously that simple. is he at the height of fashion rocking super skinny jeans with a bow tie and a reverse-mullet hairstyle? no. does he care? no. i like that approach.

watching Coco-Before Chanel on the plane from toronto i was so inspired by her guts. the biopic depicts Chanel as an instigator of fashion, not a mere adopter. she was a visionary who disliked the corsets and feathers and fluff that the parisians were caging their bodies in, so she stripped her designs of all the excess and what was left was delicious architecture and minimal lines and lots of black. after watching the movie i wanted to go into my wardrobe and purge. get rid of anything that wasn’t beautifully made, or had a lifespan of 13 minutes. but i’m also frugal. and SOMEDAY i might need my white leather jacket with lime-green silk lining, so that’s not going anywhere.

today, when i saw urban outfitters new ‘silverlake’ hoodie. i felt annoyed and was insulted by the superficiality of fashion. yes, silverlake is a trendy neighborhood, but to brand the location on clothing is super contrived. and from what i can tell, if you are a fashionista who lives in that neighborhood the LAST thing you would do is wear a hoodie that informs the world of this fact. right?

i guess, i’m feeling sensitive about fashion/style lately. LA does that to a girl. there are beautiful boutiques all over the map and i’m constantly admiring people’s creative stylistic decisions. but it’s still just stuff. stuff that is uber cool today, and passe tomorrow. and before i mislead you, this post isn’t some rally against fashion. some of my closest friends are the most style-forward people i know and i truly think fashion design is an amazing outlet for creativity and artistry.

but how do you figure out your own voice in the midst of an ambush of messages?

Aug 10

unhappy hipsters

this blog will make you laugh. or induce a wry smirk. either way, it’s gold.

here is a tiny sample (the magic is in the captions):

After spending tens of thousands in renovations to bring the outside in, all he really wanted was to be outside.
(Photo: Jens Passoth; Dwell)

Every ridiculous, overpriced, overwrought accessory in its place.
(Photo; Jeremy Liebman; Dwell)

He’d finally decided to eliminate the one thing that blemished the uninterrupted expanse of concrete and plywood—himself. (Photo: Dave Lauridsen; Dwell)

He’d finally decided to eliminate the one thing that blemished the uninterrupted expanse of concrete and plywood—himself.(Photo: Dave Lauridsen; Dwell)

Aug 10
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one of the BEST things about our new habitat?

we will be one block away from our favorite ashtastic.

Aug 10
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i have a crush on a keytar.

this post is dedicated to ryan lash who i think about every time i pose with shameless abandon.

Aug 10
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gaga over google streetview

i think i’ve mentioned it before but i find google street view to be incredibly fascinating. there are lots of reasons i can get lost in the process of street-viewing a location – the sense of stillness, the strangers faces, the lonely streets captured early in the morning. the novelty of being able to ‘visit’ a location on the earth and ‘look around’ is not something that has worn off yet.

as we’ve been apartment hunting, i’ve become even more enamored with google street view. i can virtually scout around the neighborhood and get a very real sense of how close things are, whether there are established trees outside, whether the area seems ‘friendly’ etc.

these creative creatures staged montages for google street view, so if you go to this address on google maps [504 Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh, PA, United States], hit the little pin and then click ‘street view’. and now look around the corner, and you’ll see a marching band. awesome.

this capture is amazing too. and this one should win a prize.

and finally, i think we’re making the decision on our apartment today! we haven’t signed a lease yet, but here’s the street view of our potential future habitat!

Aug 10

loft love

so we thought we had it all figured out, and then we went and scoped out some incredible artist lofts for rent.

we are now super conflicted.

huge, raw open space oozing with creative possibilities in the middle of industrial downtown LA


cozy house filled with character and a little garden oasis in the middle of hipsterville, silverlake LA


Aug 10
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hunting for our habitat

today we began the adventure of hunting for our next home, or ‘habitat’ as we refer to it. since relocating to LA we’ve been tucked away in the beautiful topanga canyon – surrounded by the ocean, mountains, majestic trees and massive spiders (which i’m assured are the garden variety and not at all something to be scared of). i’m not convinced about the spiders, but what i do know for sure is that if you are a fan of the pace of life moving a bit slower, growing your own organic produce and spending time communing with nature, then topanga canyon is the place for you. this is the place where ‘hippy’ takes on a whole new meaning, and sitting around a cauldron fire, playing guitar, and having a ‘godess gazing’, or discussing what your shaman guru advised you about the local herbs, is a totally normal way to spend an evening.

topanga has been a lovely retreat for us and we will always treasure the memories we created in our little log cabin, however we’ve both learned that though we love a lot of the topanga way of life, we also feel a bit isolated and remote out here. we need an indie coffee shop we can walk to and the truth is, we enjoy our daily dose of hipsters in jorts and cardigans. so sue us.

we checked out a few places today in the silverlake/los feliz area and also a few lofts downtown. because we’re new to the process we’re still wide-eyed and hopeful. our optimism lands us in trouble because when a loft is described as ‘raw’ we think exposed brick and beams, when the reality is that the door doesn’t actually have a handle so you have to open it with a screwdriver. when i see photos of expansive rooms with massive floor to ceiling windows i assume that’s what the room actually looks like and forget how a wide-angle lens exaggerates. we found a few places we felt blah about and then a couple that were cute on but we didn’t really love the area. then, as the day wound down we called a friend to see if we could drop by and we mentioned we’d been apartment hunting. our friend told us about a house for rent in the hilly part of the los feliz area so we vespa’d over to check it out. cue the clouds parting, angels harping, sun shining, world peace, etc. this little house is PERFECT. it is spacious and full of natural light. it boasts charming spanish style architecture with plaster arches, and nooks, and alcoves. it’s newly renovated with delicious bamboo flooring and lots of windows. and just when you think it can’t get better, you step out into a private OASIS – a garden sanctuary where you can easily pretend you don’t live in a city. under the branches of a big oak tree i looked up at the dappled light and then looked over at dev. i knew we were in trouble. we were both smitten.

we are going to keep looking, but something tells me we may have found our next habitat.

Aug 10
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lists, and the loving of them.

dear creative cohorts,

meet debbie hill. this artist collects/finds shopping lists and then uses them as inspiration for pieces of art. so delightful, simple and sweet. i don’t write shopping lists, but next time i find a stray one i will definitely try using it as a ‘canvas’. in conclusion, debbie hill, you’re awesome, and i think we would be great friends.

PS. i also was intrigued to find this site which claims to be the largest collection of found grocery store lists. here is my favorite:

Aug 10

on knowing not much

tonight dev and i gave a talk and shared some music at rainn & holiday’s home on the theme of ‘love & marriage’. since we’ve been married just over 4 months, we’re obviously experts ;)

dev and i were definitely nervous but as i looked out at the crowd of diverse, creative, friendly people that had showed up i suddenly felt incredibly safe. i had a sense i could say anything and this merry band of strangers would store whatever i shared it in a collective vault of intimacy and trust. sometimes i feel like i’m watching myself, standing outside of my skin and observing, and in those brief moments i’m awed by the journey i’ve taken to get to that particular point and the whole thing seems a bit surreal. and yet there i am, sitting in rainn wilson’s living room talking candidly to a room full of near-strangers about love and failing and marriage and fear and that the latin word for respect stems from the meaning ‘to gaze at’ and how beautiful it is to really be ‘seen’ and to truly ‘see’ another person for all their flaws and imperfections, and feel an abundance of love and acceptance and joy.

it was a really wonderful evening.


i don’t have a tattoo but i’m constantly admiring other peoples inked-up skin. today these beauties caught my eye.

photograph by chris glass


in other news, i received 2010’s first handwritten letter the other day. it was a wonderful reminder of how precious real letters are. here was a person halfway across the country, who i barely know, putting pen to paper and sharing her ideas, thoughts, desires and hopes with me. i joked to dev that it was ‘fan mail’, but the reality was that i felt incredibly humbled that someone had taken the time to share with me how my little blog had helped them through a difficult time.


and finally, i can’t get ENOUGH of my vivitar panoramic film camera. or the brightly painted plaster walls around LA for that matter.

Aug 10

how to woo me

picnic + ocean + dusk + this boy.

Aug 10
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snippets and sundry.

so i’m back from the lovely sojourn to toronto. my friends marabeth & ken were married in a beautiful historic school house and the day couldn’t have been prettier. we spent the wedding morning adding the last minute touches to the venue and i ‘drew’ the couples initials using an antique abacus. this was a trickier task than i’d initially bargained for and moments after i took this photo an adorable and *highly* energetic child came along and scrambled it all up. there goes 20 minutes i’ll never have back.

the wedding was lovely. the room was filled with joy, sincerity and sweetness. the adoration between the couple was so tangible and infectious that even in the cheesiest of moments (i.e. when ken busted out ALL THE WORDS to moulin rouge’s ‘come what may’ in an attempt to engage his new bride into a duet on the dance floor) we all gazed on with tear-drenched lashes and collective sighs of ‘aw’.

one of the highlights was also the choreographed dance to ‘step by step’ that a few of us showcased at the end of the night. NKOTB for life.

so, i’m back in our cozy cabin in the woods. dev’s little brother, collin, was staying with us for a few days. all you need to know about collin is that he can do a standing backflip and if you’re not impressed by that, then i’d like to know what your fancy party tricks are.

like the pseudo californians we are, we played frisbee on the beach yesterday and i lunged and jumped in efforts to pretend like i have a sporty bone in my body. so today, my non sporty boned body is heckling me: oh really? like to pretend huh? well pretend THIS. and i can’t walk properly.

in other news, i won’t actually send this letter, but i needed someplace to vent my grievances with bureaucracy / the man / america. whatever you want to call it.

dear US immigration office,

a few months ago i requested that i get my name changed on my green card. not just on a whim, but because i done got ma-self hitched (as they say in the south). yes, that union where two units become one family. i decided to keep ‘lucina’ as my professional/pen name, but legally i’ll be Golriz Gundry thank you very much. and yes, i’ve been told that this name sounds like a super hero or sci-fi movie character, but it was no big deal.

at least, until you decided you didn’t believe me.

and the thing is i’ve paid you the (ridiculous) $300 fee for a replacement card. and even trekked off to your beige office building adorned with star spangled banners in somewhere-ville, tennessee, to get fingerprinted and my photo taken, and my retina scanned and 2 hours of my life robbed while i waited for all these procedures JUST to prove to you i am who i say i am. and that i am in fact married. and i do, in fact want to change my name.

remember that marriage license that i gave you, and that your staff EXAMINED closely and photocopied for their records? yep, that one. well that was all you told me i needed and so i went on my merry way expecting my new card in the mail in 3-5 months. (not a typo. this is how long you informed me it takes for you to print a piece of plastic). but no worries. i can be patient. i mean the card is pretty complex what with its numerous holograms etc.

what i can’t be is very understanding of why a few months later i get a letter from you in effect stating: ‘we’re not changing your name on your card because there is insufficient proof.’

um. excuse me? there isn’t enough proof that i’m married and want to change my name? what else can i do to prove it to you? shall i send you a link to my wedding video? perhaps you would like a bound album of all our wedding guests in our makeshift wedding photobooth? no? how about an itemized list of all terms of endearment my husband uses to refer me throughout the day:

darling heart
smooch heart

i could go on.

so i call you, wait on hold for 45 minutes and finally reach a bored-out-of-her-mind-human who tells me to read the form and send in the material i’m being asked for. and let’s pause for a minute and reflect on the document you are asking for: my BIRTH certificate. somehow you have decided THIS piece of paper will prove to you that: a) i’m married and b) i want to change my name.

you see the problem is, last time i checked, i wasn’t married to devon gundry at birth, so my birth certificate doesn’t really prove my new name. or indicate that i’m now married. i hate to sound like a bossy knowitall, but your logic is flawed.

i’m going to jump through the ridiculous hoops you’ve set up, but for the record, i’m not feeling warm and fuzzy about it.

and you know what the kicker is? that you addressed this official we-reject-your-new-name letter to: golriz gundry. which i might send back to you after i decorate the envelope to indicate that while you don’t believe i’ve changed my name, someone in your mail room is fine with it.


AND FINALLY…because who wants to end a blog post with a passive aggressive rant:

let’s all agree that there is nothing better than being spooned by the one you love.

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