d i s c o v e r i n g monsters

Like All Big Moments, Everything Has Changed And You Feel The Same.

Posted in change, finals week, Graduation, school by Jules on 11 May 2010

I suppose I feel  something akin to relieved. Flashes of The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967) are running through my head. Those moments of old ladies in pearls shaking their cocktails, and old men with cigars bombarding you asking “what are you going to do now?” Or else, the desire to simply float in the pool, and do nothing.

Big! Life! Moments! usually leave me quiet. But quiet should not be confused with lost. More, that moment some time after The Moment when you’re just sitting doing something horribly ordinary and dull, and someone looks at you, and you smile, because… everything has changed, and as wonderful and big as that is, it’s also just another something. I’m a middle child. So in fitting with that, I would rather skip the spotlight and the speeches. More than would rather, would prefer them not to happen at all is more appropriate. But, some moments in life have to be recognized, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

Since others often find the words I’m floundering for, I’ll leave this to someone more talented “I imagined feeling a lot of things about the end of all of this – but I didn’t really think I would feel quiet inside. As if this was all about something so much bigger than school, obviously, but still … I sense I won’t get it for a long while down the road.”

And here’s to you Mrs. Robinson…



Posted in change, everyday life, seasons by Jules on 4 October 2009

Kenna in Papa & Granny's Backyard

I haven’t started chewing on sticks yet, but sometimes I think I’m not too far away from that. I’ve been quiet, spending most of my time writing papers – lost in my own little world of films, theories, histories and criticisms.

If I were more disciplined I could be spending my Sunday afternoon at a tea shop, reading The Atlantic and enjoying the fall weather instead of what I am doing… sitting at my computer in the basement typing, typing, typing, typing—desperately trying to avoid becoming, as this brilliantly hilarious and deeply honest woman said, “[feeling] like and eyeball and a finger attached to a computer.” (A visual that never fails to bring a smile to my face.)

If last semester was the semester of barely-hanging-on, this semester seems to be shaping up as the semester of mindlessly drifting. Papers are being finished, midterms handed in, tests completed—nothing going awry… and I’m 1/2 way done with Fall Semester 2009. I’m working hard, but assignments just seem to keep coming in and going out—a well oiled machine. Not in a completely calm way, more in the vein of Chaplin in Modern Times (Charles Chaplin,1936).  I am still awaiting the deluge of work waiting to dump itself upon me when my weekend course on Hitchcock starts 10 October. More reading, more discussion, more watching, listening and writing. As much as I would like to say that I am fully! present! in! my! current! situation! it just isn’t true. I simply stand, like the tramp, screwing in bolts as they pass in front of me. Waiting for the whistle that tells me I can stop.

But until then it is Sunday, with an entire service dedicated to blessing little kids goldfish, old ladies cats and family dogs, with football, newspaper, The Amazing Race, Mad Men, and the Ladies are back!… and, least you become too relaxed, the ever-looming paper due in the morning.


Posted in change by Jules on 13 September 2009


When all else fails, and you can’t deal with the strange twilight zone that your life has become, what better way to cope than to completely dive into work? Keeping busy painting “my” room, picking out Flor Tiles, bedding… and sort of writing papers while the paint dries. Literally.

One thing is for sure, I feel that I cannot keep up with the lifestyle of the ever-popular gals at 2720. Or for that matter the lifestyle of my almost 2-year-old niece – she’s hosting her own toga parties, obviously. C-l-e-a-r-l-y cooler than I am. It’s been a wonderful, completely exhausting weekend. I just wish that I could crawl into my own bed at the end of these long, long days.

Didn’t see it coming

Posted in change, love, seasons by Jules on 6 September 2009

Autumn Leaves

I walked outside tonight, and truthfully – it no longer smelled like summer. And my heart leapt. I love summer. I love being able to eat outside. I love wearing flip-flops. I love lawn games. I love the smell of Jasmine. I love going to the lake house in upstate NY. I love porch sitting, and camping, and going to the beach. I love entire meals cooked off of the BBQ. But my heart… my SOUL loves the fall. There was a SMELL outside tonight. And it was autumn.

My toes are a little too cold.

I needed a sweater to go outside tonight.

And then – as if by MAGIC. THE smell. THE autumn smell came wafting over. Sneaking through bushes, and yards, and still ripening tomato plants…. fire. Not forest fire. Hearth fire. Fire in a fireplace. Someone just lit the first fire of the season in their fireplace! I almost wanted to cry and jump around – to sprawl on the driveway, and stare into the sky and just take it in. Usually on these evenings Sean is around, and he holds me and smiles and kisses me, and says yes to taking the dog on a walk at night just so that I can SMELL the coming season. That smell

The spring is difficult for me because winter hangs on SO LONG, and the spring seems only to tease me with the coming summer. I’m READY for summer, and spring seems to simply be an annoyance, a penance I have to pay to get through to summer. But autumn.. ahhhh my love.

Favorite fall films are Dan In Real Life, and You’ve Got Mail….Hocus Pocus, Ghostbusters, and Sleepy Hollow. As well as a smattering of Halloween cartoon tales Charlie Brown, and Ichabod Crane…

I will miss this most about Colorado. The real smell of fall. I will miss FOUR! VERY! DISTINCT! SEASONS! I will miss the last winds of fall that are so cold they make my nose turn bright red and run. I will miss the snow at Christmas. I will miss ducking into cafes for some coffee & warmth. I will miss the elation that comes in spring – the almost righteous anger at winter that you can yell out at the sky that has been pelting you with snow, “Take that bitch – summer’s coming!” And then sweet, sweet give-you-your-life-back summer with all that it brings.

And it’s as if I am ONE with Mother Nature … I picked up some Pumpkin Ale earlier today when I was out. I know, I’m really chomping on the bit when I’m buying pumpkin ale on the 6th of September. But it’s my FAVORITE. No surprise there. And they only have it for TWO MONTHS. And now… NOW I get to have my pumpkin ale, and let the first smells of autumn waft in the windows while I watch Mad Men.

Tomorrow morning I will wake up, and the sun will be bright and still hot, hot, hot. And it will still feel like summer. And that will be all right. I’m not one to kick summer out ungratefully… But I needed the smile and excitement that fall brings me.

Everything The Same, Nothing Familiar

Posted in change, everyday life, family, love, photography, Post by Jules on 5 September 2009


I’ve started something new for someone old. A project.

And I am starting to catch glimpses of myself again.


Posted in change, moving, photography, Vacation by Jules on 24 July 2009


I am finding some peace behind this new lens.


Last Day Of Work

Posted in change, family, Life, seasons by Jules on 28 May 2009

Ron McCraw 1977


After almost 40 years of teaching, etc., etc., this man, my father is retiring today.

He will now have time to play endlessly with his replacement child Cody – a beautiful, albeit rambunctious, Red Golden Retriever Puppy. And obsess about his lawn, and listen to baseball games, and watch basketball and football, and visit his actual children, and granddaughters in so cal, drive around in his little red car, and have friends over for dinner, and maybe just maybe he’ll now have time to go on a vacation… 

I have watched this man work harder than anyone else in my life, and I am excited to watch him now do something that I have never witnessed in my life – relax endlessly. He has provided everything his family ever needed – but more importantly, we have always felt loved, and known, and cared for by him. My father is generous to a fault, and I hope that he is as generous with himself during his retirement, as he has always been with his friends and family. 

We could not be more proud of him, and we could not be more excited for what awaits him.

It is difficult to believe that he is actually retiring. As my beautiful niece Gwen asked him, “Are you joking me?”


(…just look at that baby face! Ron McCraw age 30, about 6 years after he started teaching.)

I will forever remember this.

Posted in change, Life, seasons by Jules on 14 May 2009

The Face of A Girl Who Survived.


…As the year I spent more hours glued to my computer screen than I did living.

…As the year I fought harder for myself than I ever have before. 

…As the year I found a best friend – a soulmate – a kindred spirit at 25.

…As the year that resurected the pen-pal in the most impressive way.

…As the year that pushed me far beyond any imaginable boundary I had constructed.

…As the year I lost my sister.

…As the year we moved to Denver.

…As the year my husband was accepted to Medical School.

…As the year my beautiful niece Lyla Starr was born.

…As the year I took 33 credit hours, and got straight As. 



Winter Fruit Bleeding Into Summer Veggies

Posted in change, food, Life, school, seasons by Jules on 21 April 2009



…So that for a brief moment we have spring. 

My computer is fixed. It was simply a problem with [insert lots of technical, incomprehensible jargon here] but now it’s fine!

Lately I have been experiencing the typical pull between oh-my-gosh-my-life-is-moving-so-slow-it-feels-like-the-turtle-in-Steinbeck’s-novel and WHAT-THE-HELL-MY-LIFE-IS-MOVING-TOO-FAST-I-PRACTICALLY-HAVE-ONE-FOOT-IN-THE-GRAVE! Which is fabulous because it really wreaks havoc on my digestive tract, the constant nausea only intermittently stifled by the shoving of anything resembling a carbohydrate into my mouth. (And no, you baby-crazed loons, I’m not pregnant, this is s-t-r-e-s-s, or grief, or fear, or any combination of the above.) I’ve been in a continual stall pattern for the past five years, and now all of a sudden we’re packing up the apartment, Sean’s moving to California, I’m moving back to Boulder, in August I will begin my final year of this degree, Sean will start medical school, and so all of a sudden the stall is over – the flood gates have opened. Hence, the nausea and shoveling of carbohydrates. It’s been difficult living on the merry-go-round of life, but I at least understood how to do that, now I feel as if the merry-go-round sped up and flung me off… leaving me in a patch of itchy, dry, brown-ish green grass, with my head spinning, still trying to understand what the hell just happened. There is nothing unique, or particularly interesting in this experience, but it does cause a bit more silence in my life. Less inclined to write, and more to contemplative staring while I wait for my head to stop spinning.   

I’m doing a lot of this, and reading her, and him, and lots of other people with their brilliant thoughts on film, but I feel more like a ghost, and less like a sponge lately – more passing through than soaking in. Simply tired.

The spring sunshine, and early beginnings of summer vegetables and herbs have been a welcome change from what has been a long, long winter season. I am starting to believe that summer might just come after all, with it’s barbecues, and sangria, and sun dresses, and long, long evenings outside.