Sunday, January 31, 2010

i'm open these days (random musings)

If I ever have a daughter, I think I might name her Tennessee. I know it's a boy's name, traditionally, but I think it will be nice later on in my life to think about having named my daughter after this strange place. I'm having some good times here. And while I don't plan on being here forever, it's been an overwhelmingly good place to come of age, whatever that means. I think this kid would have to be hypothetically pretty cool, too. Right? I mean, you don't get a badass name like Tennessee Gem Blake-Something and not be a badass.

I'm kidding about the "Gem" thing kinda. That's actually just a song. (Tennessee Gem, Jessie Baylin) although saying it aloud does have an interesting little something.

My brother asked me today why I "can't do normal-girl modeling." I didn't know what he meant, either... but upon his jumbled explanation, he would like to see me do some more commercial-type things versus super fashiony things. 

I realized something about myself. I'm good at making guys want me. I can't make them want to date me or marry me, but for some reason, they always come round with their tongues wagging. Do you ever wonder what's the difference between what a man is thinking when he looks at you and what you want him to be thinking? I do. All the time. It's really weird because I'm soooo not 'that kind of girl' at all.

And it's weirder, because I'm not what I think one would traditionally define as "sexy" although I suppose I can be. I'm thin and tall and have small breasts and awkward baby-deer-like knees. I do have incredible wrists and ankles, though. They tell me that has something to do with it, since the wrists are for some strange reason, the most alluring part on a woman's body according to Dr. Such-and-such, Behavioral Psychologist.

I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore.

Friday, January 29, 2010

leave with love given.

It's strange to think that the last things we said to some people are the last things we'll say to them. Stranger how many of those things we said but didn't mean. And how many things we never got the chance to say.

 I had this really good friend who died when I was pretty young. Still in high school. We were always close. Ever since 7th grade when he moved here and got put in pretty much all my classes (even band, for the very short week he and the instructor didn't totally clash). We were destined to be friends from the start. Anyway, there was this accident and he died when we were in 10th grade. I'll spare you the details for all our sakes, but I remember the last thing I ever said to him. We hadn't seen each other in a while with school and life and being 15 and we ran into each other in the hallway at school. It was in the tunnel past those lockers upstairs leading into the freshman seats at the gym. If you went to my high school, you know where I'm talking about. otherwise, use your imagination.We were looking through the glass into the lobby. I guess because we hadn't seen each other in a little while, but he said "I'm glad I got to see you today" as we were leaving. I said, "I'm glad you got to see me today, too." Out of context, it sounds horrible, but that's exactly the kind of relationship we had, so it's actually perfect. I say that to people sometimes, now. It's not that I'm anticipating anyone going anywhere, but it's usually good for a smile...and I like to part with those, too.

Since then, I always try to leave with love given for that exact reason. I want the people I love to know I love them. It's simple. If they die or I die, or one of us moves away to...wherever and I never see them again, I would want them to know that I loved them while I could. I obviously had no idea that was going to be the last time I saw him, even though he was coming to the party down the road from my house I was going to the night of the accident. I suppose that's how it goes, though. No one ever see these things coming.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

1,2,3,4 Guitars

I'm blogging to avoid drunk-texting. I'm not saying it's the best approach anyone's ever taken, but it's better than awkwardly saying all those things to all those people who aren't ready to hear them. Not to mention you, the fateful reader, probably knows the allure of a good glass or two (or bottle--just one-- in this case) of merlot. Plus, this will have the drunken sincerity that I know I love and you probably do, too. I get honest when I'm drinking, so beware. 

In this case, it hails from so-and-so's cellar. I don't know a ton of people with wine cellars and the ones I do know are almost always someone's parents or boss or the older guy hanging out with the kids. You know the one....the guy who brings the crazy drugs to the party...and since don't have many dealings with people's parents, their bosses, or those creepers so I don't often get my hands on wine someone saved for something, but today...

Today is my little sister's 22nd birthday. She's the baby and she's 22. She and I spent the whole day together getting in to any number of things we had no business getting into (lurking on cute boys, smiling at cute boys, listening to music made by cute boys). Geez...22. I wonder what that must feel like for my parents. They're still so young and good-looking. I imagine it's very odd to have children in their early 20s, seeing as they're not even quite 50, themselves. Still young enough for pretty much everything. Nevertheless, my dad brought home a bottle of wine from Mr. So-and-so that is an inappropiate gift for my sister, because she has cerebral palsy and does not drink but a great gift for me, because I don't and I do.

Which brings us to now.

Lately, I've been working some things out. It's too soon to say if it's working or if this has been a great thing, a good thing, or a disaster. From where I'm standing, we're clear of disaster. I know what real disaster looks like and this is not it, but this is something. It makes me nervous that I still can't tell what.

Ever since I got back, my reactions to things have been a little out of proportion. My excuse for a relationship is ending. I can only presume it's my fault. He's a great guy and I love him a lot, but I feel like he's expecting someone else and she pretty much left the building the minute I saw all those human bodies piled in the streets. More than anything or anyone in the world, I wish he could understand, but that's too much to ask someone and even I know that. Nothing is calm anymore. Nothing can ever be calm again. It wasn't even calm before, so expecting things to have slowed down since all the excitement began is really just crazy. If I don't have anything else going for me, I'm not crazy. Not in traditional sense, anyway.

You know what I learned about love, though? I learned it's not a virus that infects you. It's a choice you make-- just like you  choose the things love makes you do. You have options and they are always there. You can let love make you crazy and sick and miserable, or you can let it make you good. I'm lucky that even when it's hard and one-sided and it hurts, I still feel like love makes me good.

I want to be good. I'm trying to be good now.

Beware, you'll probably still get drunk-texted later.

i am what i am

i'm just not 100% on what exactly that is these days...

model: me
photog: bruce yonce
hair: jessica hallett
mua: samantha yanco

this is my favorite from this particular shoot.

this weather's making me crazy.

so i'm trying a new approach.
you'll hear all about it later.

model: me
photog: jermaine wallace

Sunday, January 24, 2010

because, because, because, because, because.

please God let this storm take me away to Oz.
I hear there's a wizard there who does wonderful, wonderful things.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

not maybe. yes or no.

Alright. We all saw this coming and I'm not going to pretend I didn't know it was coming, too. But the words are here and who am I to begrudge them their moment in the light?

There's a lot of back-story and you and I both know nothing kills a show like too much exposition, but it's necessary in order for you to understand everything that's happening. There are a lot of fun facts about me that not many people know. I compartmentalize. Ask anyone. I think it's important to keep everything in its right place in order to function healthily and with a minimum amount of overlapping worries. I'd like to share some of those things with you now. I'm pontificating. I do that. Just by using that word, I think I'm proving that to you.

I am very much a middle child. Classic middle child. Well, classic-military-brat-middle-child, which might be a little less conventional. I can and often do function completely independent of everything and everyone because attention is so often elsewhere. Early on, I had books. I think my writing style and speaking a testament to that. I am a naturally itinerant person, which has to be as a direct result of it too. I can't sit still and I feel like I always have to be doing and moving and going. The gears have to be rolling or my brain will atrophy. Because of this, I'm lucky to be a natural observer. I watch people. I like to learn their nuances and memorize their body language and familiarize myself with their territory, especially if I like the person. Vivid detail is almost an eroticism, if you ask me. It can be a sensual situation if handled correctly. I don't mean sexual, although I see where that could also apply. There's just something cosmic about the whole idea. The power to evoke memories about the people in your life-- the way they sound, the way they smell, they way they fidget when they're nervous...all of it. I love it all. I get the other end of the middle-child spectrum, too. I constantly feel starved for attention. I think I'm a pure testament to that. I'm the poster-child for attention starved actress...on paper or with words mostly. It's easier that actual drama, because no one else comes along to steal your thunder. It's something to think about. Instead of being a horrid, wretched beast-bitch, just go write down everything and sift through the good and the bad on your own time. It's my philosophy. Plus, because of the way I feel about other people (totally into them) I'm not a fan of confrontation or dramatic events, so I actively avoid those situations. I get panicky in those moments and it rarely goes well.  My career choices and the fact that I'm a Leo (whatever that means) all point to it, too. I don't see any point in denying my nature, and that's definitely it. I embrace myself for what I am.

Please, can you just take a moment to imagine what my parents must have thought when my older brother went away to college to be an artist and I went away to become an actress of the stage?!?! I bet they had a serious WTF moment that night in their jammies. Luckily, I hail from artists. And the whole artist community is a testament to nepotism in action, isn't it?

"Artists raise their kids differently. We communicate to the point where we probably annoy our children. We have art around the house, we have books, we go to plays, we talk. Our focus is art and painting and dress up and singing. It's what we love. So I think you can see how artists in some ways raise other artists." -AJ

My parents are both veterans of the usaf and somehow both thrive today with a nice balance of the hippie mentality and the practical professionalism of successful so-an-so's in their late 40s. They're not staunch military types, although they do demand a certain level of respectability, which I think is a good philosophy for anyone. They're both good looking, which is nice (score one for us kids!) But they love art and thinking and deep discussions. They think about things and talk about things and aren't afraid to go there. I admire that about them. We're really real with each other, my family. No bullshit here.

My brother is an artist. He's an incredible cartoonist  and sculptor with a very weird view of the world. He's one of those guys who is good looking and knows it. He's comfortable in a room and can handle awkward situations very well. I learned this from him. For most of my childhood, my brother and sister were the only other kids that were ever really around. We had some neighborhood kids and school friends that came in and out of our lives, but we were basically it...

...well, that's not true. There were ALWAYS boys around for my brother to play with. There was never any shortage of boys anywhere we lived. That probably explains why I get on so well with the rougher sex. I feel more comfortable, because I paid attention in all those Psychology classes and I know guys see things more broadly than women. You don't have to worry about the details so much and I like that.  It wasn't all boys all the time, though. I remember Jessica and Jennie moving in next door in early elementary school and it being perfect. Jessica and I were even in the same second grade class. What?!?! Fuggeddaboutit, instant best friends (and I'm glad to say still friends to this very day!). There was a while when I was a little bit older that I lived down the road from Linda and Christy who I haven't seen since 8th grade.

My sister, the baby, had cerebral palsy. If you don't know what that is, look it up. Hers is fairly severe, I suppose because she's never been able to walk or talk or feed herself or anything like that, but she's not unhealthy. And her mind is fine, she's just kind of trapped in there. Man...what that must be like. She's my best friend, even though I think she's a pain in the ass sometimes, but I'm allowed to because she's my little sister. I love her, though. More than anyone I've ever met up to this point. We're only a year and a half apart in age, so I wonder sometimes what it would have been like if she had grown up with the use of everything and no problems, so to speak. But that's not what happened.

t's weird because sometimes people look at us with that awful Christian pity that you sometimes see. The "Bless your hearts" and "Lord have mercies" but those people really missed the mark. My family is awesome. Everyone in my family is messed up in their own special way. My little sis is just so good on the inside, her going on had nowhere else to go but outward.

Plus, she's the most adorable kid you'd ever see. Without any exaggeration, she looks like a live action Anime character. I would post a picture of her, but I don't want you to stalk her....just kidding, I don't have one on this computer, but I will.

Since I grew up with a kid with special needs in my family, and since we were the girls, close to the same age, I learned to take care of her just by spending time with her. I got lucky because we get to share girl time together, listening to Justin Timberlake (her faveski) and looking at pictures of cute boys (this has always been our favorite past-time. ask anyone.) I also learned the caregiving stuff. It came naturally because it's my sis, but I also had to learn how to do certain other things (post surgery care and home-nurse type duties). Since I was about 12 or 13, I've been learning this stuff. So, it's been 10 years. That's why I got to go to Haiti. I got to go because I have years of experience working directly with kids in unique situations with varying degrees of physical health. It just so happened I knew a guy who knew a guy who makes things happen and with our powers combined...a scary ass flight to an indescribable place on a little ass plane. It's pretty simple. You know? And people always ask, "why don't you just go to nursing school?" and I say, "because I'm an actress."

This is pretty random, but I thought I'd tell you a little something about me you might not know. I'll let you in on the compartments one at a time because I'm having a moment of existential panic where the realization sets in that the ephemeral is all there is and all there will be..

here's looking at you, kid.

on a very good day,

from Le Love
so be it, i'm your crowbar, if that's what i am so far...until you get out of this mess. and i will pretend that i don't know of your sins until you are ready to confess. but all the time, i'll know. i know.  and you can use my skin to bury secrets in, and i will settle you down. and at my own suggestion, i will ask no questions while i do my thing in the background. but all the time...all the time, i'll know. baby, i can't help you out while she's still around...
so for the time being, i'm being patient and amidst this bitterness, if you'll just consider this, even if it doesn't make sense all the time, give it time. and when the crowd becomes your burden and you've already closed your curtain, i'll wait by the backstage door while you try to find the lines to speak your mind and pry it open hoping for an encore. and if it gets too late for me to wait for you to find you love me and tell me so, it's ok. you don't need to say it.
"i know" -Fifi

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Everywhere I go I'm a tourist. But if you stay with me, I'll always be at home.

Just hours, now. No more days to hide behind. I am terrified. I'm not too proud to admit it. I'm shaking in my boots. But I have to do something. Forget money and fame and all those things that would be nice. I'm not so selfish that I can't differentiate between what's real and those little notions we've created for ourselves. If it comes, word. If not, well... I'm sure I'll have some other cool stories to tell. Ultimately, I want to be a part of something relevant. If someone remembers me years down the line, I want them to think overwhelmingly good things. I'm not saying I'm anybody's saint. I'm not. But I'm trying to be the best person I know how to be. I don't know how to be anyone other than me.So, it seems logical that I might want to like myself. I do finally. I can't just sit around thinking about me all the time anymore. It's too exhausting. I get lost in a head that's not my own and I start to think I'm more important that I actually am. We all do it, I'll readily admit that. But I refuse to get caught up in that. Life is deeper. We are deeper.

I won't get all space-girl on you, but we are sentient beings with the ability to do good. I don't know why we're here or how we got here, but I know we're here. We can choose to do what we want with that information. I just so happen to choose love.

Recently, I made a couple decisions about my life that I think you might be interested in knowing. It's not much, but it's a start. It's been a year now, since I graduated from uni and it seems I'm mostly on schedule. I will still be doing quite a bit of traveling this year, even if the earthquake has depleted the Vancouver apt-search fund by nearly 1/2.
My itinerary will take me to a lot of places in the US and Canada and to Europe. I'm looking forward to it because I have never traveled alone, per say. There's always been some handler of some sort until now. Until 23.'s time. I spent more time working this past year than I did the entire time I was in high school and college combined. I scored some pretty big jobs this year, too.

Paying back student loans and hospital bills (my only true expenses) isn't really helping my cause, either. But, luckily I do have this really great job and I work fairly consistently. I realize I'm much luckier than most. If it weren't for this job, I would never get to do even half of the incredible things I'm so lucky to do, or see some of the amazing places I'd otherwise have to join the service to get to. I know I'm lucky. I'm grateful. I know modeling sounds really glamorous and exciting and it is. I'm not even, like... rich and famous and I think it's the best. But it's also really hard, which most people don't understand. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, because obviously, I'm not. I'm just saying that even though it's not physical labor (all the time) it's not all "stand here and smile, sit here and look serious" either. It can be really lonely and that can be tough on a little girl.

And you spend so much time alone. Hotel rooms, planes, driving here, going's not easy. But I really wouldn't have it any other way (except maybe with some company)... everywhere I go, I'm a tourist.

So anyway, I'm ranting now, but I'm really nervous. How am I supposed to prepare myself for what I might see and smell and feel and have to do? I guess I probably can't, but I'm done with so much philosophy. Now, it's time for action.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

remember that depth is the greatest of heights.

I got some late night free therapy, which I sometimes need, and I want to share it with you. I don't know if you can gleam some sort of meaning or usefulness from this, but I hope you can. I did. I don't know what to say, other than it did something to me that I can't explain. I've been torturing myself's my least attractive quality, I think. Somewhere along the way that turns to worry and somewhere along the way my hopefulness turned to sadness, then bitterness, then anger, then vengeance. Then somewhere along the way, exacting vengeance gave excitement, somewhere along the way that excitement turned to pleasure,  then to madness, then to pain.  You see where I'm going with this? But I realized something along the way, too. I realized that I own it all and it's who I am. I'll take it.

Julian Casablancas gets it.

Go after him. Fuck! Don't sit there and wait. Don't even listen to me when I tell you it's stupid and a waste of time. What do I know? Go after him because that's what you should do if it's love. Don't ...wait for them to give you a sign because it might never come and then, you will never know.
There are people you might have loved had they gotten on the plane or run down the street after you or called you up drunk at 4am because they "cannot regret this" and you ALWAYS thought you would be the only one doing crazy things for people who would never give enough of a fuck to do it back or to act like idiots or be entirely vulnerable and honest. GO SCREAM IT and be with him in meaningful ways, because that is beautiful and that is generous and that is what loving someone is. That is raw and that is unguarded and that is YOU and that's all that is worth anything, really.

Something inside me has changed. Somehow, my attitude has changed. I'm walking taller (I'm grateful I can walk at all) if you see where I'm going. I feel new in a lot of weird ways. It's not all sunshine and rainbows, and its scary and I don't have a clue if I'm  actually prepared, but here we are. Here it is.

I'm going to do some relief work in Haiti. I'm not worrying about anything other than getting there and helping. I don't know what it was, but something inside me clicked when I heard about the quake. I had to go. I have to go. If there's anything I can do, I'm going to do it. That's my new philosophy on life. I heard about it and instantly thought, "if my biggest problem is that the guy i like likes me enough, but not enough theeeen... I am a complaining piece of shit." I'm better than that, though. I just needed some perspective.

I don't want to regret anything and I never want to be stuck with 'what if?'
I vow to live and love and that's it. There isn't anything else.

And if I make it out alive, I'll just be thrilled to be so lucky.

When the pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king. What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight, and he'll win the whole thing before he enters the ring. There's no body to batter when your mind is your might. So when you go solo, you hold your own hand-- and remember that depth is the greatest of heights. And if you know where you stand, then you know where to land, and if you fall it won't matter, because you'll know that you're right.

FiFi gets me, too.

all photos by Jermaine Wallace for Milestone

Monday, January 11, 2010

creep by radiohead.

the title is "creep" by radiohead, because I am one. don't read too much into it. it's simple as that.

I shot with Bruce Yonce today. Let me just say, he is crazy good. I worked with a couple of the members of my new favorite glam squad, Samantha Yanco, incredible MUA and Jessica Hallett, extraordinary Hair stylist. I have a major style crush on them. Those babes have got vision. I'm not even gonna lie...if I need the be dolled up for any reason, they're first on my list. Nashville, take note.

There were some boobs in this shoot, and you will be seeing them here. I warn you in case breasts offend you, in which case, we don't really have much in common, most likely and therefore, you shouldn't even be reading this in the first place. Bye bye, you.

Here you go:


I'll treat you with more tomorrow as he sends them. There's a lot of variety in the styling. We did 3 looks and their all totally different. This is the last look (French Vogue-y) and the first look (glam rock-y).

INTERVIEW MAGAZINE, here I come? Or, I dunno...maybe ZINK?
perhaps sooner rather than later.

I'd explode into a million pieces just to be in the background of any page in either one.

I had a very good day, although it seems I've been injured during the course. Whatever. I don't even care. I'm not even going to wash this hairspray out of my hair tonight. That's just plain ridiculous, but I'm living on the edge and you can't bring me down.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Holy shit. I think I'm in love.

And maybe it's not fair to call these feelings love, but the intensity is there whatever it is. This isn't really news to anyone and I don't even really know why I'm telling you now, but it's snowing and that never happens here. As is the story of my life, we're on different pages though. I don't even mind that so much, because it's not like I could even see us married, or like longtermming it. To be honest, I don't even know that I could see us dating-- at least, not where we are right now or even where we have been in the past with the exception of key moments here and there. BUT it's been so complicated by our friendship and all those late nights/early mornings that mixed up my brain in the first place. I hate it because I had the control for a long time and something weird happened in the new year and it slipped through my fingertips.

Lucky me, I made peace with the tortured artist thing a long time ago. It's who I am. I know what to expect. Just because you're into someone enough to make you feel like you might go crazy, doesn't mean you have to go crazy. No matter how much you like another person, you have to like yourself more than to let someone have that much power over you. That's my philosophy and it's kept me from stalking, or serial killing, or even freaking out, thus far. So..I'd say I'm doing alright.

I'm fine, you know? Just changed in many ways. I'm lost in a head that's not my own again. I appear to be a statue of something good. When I go up I go too high and coming down, I'm like an ash, who knows where I'll land? Before I go far away, will you hold me close and maybe then I'll stay, eh?  I'm fine, you know? Just changed in many ways. I watched the steam rise off a broken heart. I never felt such sympathy. In waves they come and go and I shut down because it's easier that way. Before I go too far, will you hold me close and maybe then I'll stay, eh? There is a way that I'll survive. I'll jot it down so you can hear how my story ends. Before I go too far away, will you love me? Maybe then, you'll understand. It feels like I've opened the gates to a lonely Heaven. -j.b.

I shot with Jermaine of Milestone Photo. It was awesome. It was 10 degrees and we were shooting outside in fields and in parking garages and all these other outrageously freezing cold places. Got some good commercial and fashion stuff and rocked it (as usual). I've only seen one shot after post from it so far, and now you've seen it too (above).

This weekend, I'm shooting with Bruce Yonce. Our last shoot got cancelled, but we'll show them!

I'm just going to stay busy until everything I need to do is done. By that time I'll be dead or dying, most likely and I won't have time to let the winter (and all that it implies) bring me down.



My photo
Model citizen. Badass.


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