brianna thinks...

Read more than you write. In expressing the ambition to be a writer, you are committing yourself to the community of other writers. Your originality will mean nothing unless you can understand the originality of others. What we call originality is little more than the fine blending of influences.

Be ruthless in your use of what you’ve seen and what you’ve experienced. Add your imagination, so that where invention ends and reality begins is undetectable.

Be courageous. Nothing human should be far from you.

Spiders

I’ve never had a pet spider. I’ve never played with them. I was never really a huge fan of Charlotte’s Web (I mean it was cool and everything, I just don’t really find talking animals adorable like most people do). But they’ve never particularly freaked me out. I played with lizards and frogs when I was little and was fascinated by snakes found outside, after I got a good scream out of my system of course. While I view daddy long legs as disgusting (I found a huge group of them under a rock once and it was just weird), they don’t frighten me.

Spider’s webs, I firmly believe, are beautiful. The uniqueness of each web is like some sort of animal-made snowflake…woven by the creators on earth rather than fallen from the heavens. With morning dew, they glisten with purpose and pride. Even today I love to search a web, examining all of the different bugs that the spider outsmarted. All the spider has to do is spin this weapon and wait. They are intelligent and patient, masters of subtle attack. The worst I’ve ever really viewed spiders’ webs is a sign of an unkempt space, the cobwebs in old Disney house just waiting to be cleaned by a lovely maiden. That sort of thing. But even then it still shows the brilliance of spiders. They just pick a corner, go to town, and wait.

And you know what? I kind of resent the phrase, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Because 1. Spiders would never get tangled in their own webs 2. When they get other things tangled in their webs it’s for the sake of survival therefore 3. Technically weaving a tangled web would lead to helping your life rather than hurting it.

Which makes me think of tarantulas. They’re basically the cliché freaky creepy crawler ya know? But really they are only freaky because they move differently than anything else. Yes, they can cause harm, but so can a lot of things. They’re hairy, weird, and big. Let’s not forget about black widows. They catch a mate then kill it. They’re, obviously, black and have some red design thingy on their ass. So there is the stigma for being cruel and all that jazz. But they ARE animals, or should I say belonging to the class Arachnida, and should be judged on their ability to survive. Clearly, spiders have unique, intelligent, and badass methods of survival. 

Throughout my life I’ve come across a lot of people who were deeply afraid of spiders. Mostly people I didn’t end up liking very much. I’ve always felt a sense of power by my fascination and complete lack of fear for a creature that has strangely served as a symbol of strength for me. I stumbled upon this writing from a couple of years ago and was reminded of the constant appearance spiders seem to make in my life. Whether it’s a figurative reminder or something as literal as a beautiful painting my grandmother did with a spider as her muse, these arachnids continue to seem almost magical to me. 

Not a Writer but a Live-r…

I always say I want to be a writer… but right now I just want to be alive. Want to live and feel so much that my heart physically aches of emotion and my blood is thick with adrenaline. I want to belong to a world of newness. To see and hear and smell and taste things that could have only come from kitchens of my childhood imagination. Want to throw my being into waters over and over until “sink or swim” must become “swim or swim”. I want to know “hello” in so many languages that I never feel like a stranger. Hold so many currencies in my hand that monopoly money seems like a possibility. I want to learn about so many cultures and customs that things stop seeming different and simply feel human… every shade and stroke of chromosomes and cells that breathe and laugh and cry. I want to pray in so many churches and cathedrals and chapels that God forgets where I call home. I want to effortlessly know the exact time in any city, belonging to all time zones and yet none at all for time escaped me long ago. I want to be moved by love. Physically pulled and pushed by it. Taken and forgotten by it. I want to be called crazy and beautiful and stupid and brilliant. I want to inspire paintings and poems and songs and bad decisions. I want to skip over so many bridges I lose my fear of them breaking beneath me. I want to give in to fate with so much fidelity that I lose the word “regret” from my vocabulary. And maybe, If I take a break, from running my hands along the bricks and skins and sunshine of each continent for a moment or longer…then I can become a writer and try to explain to the world what it feels like to actually be a part of it.

Masks

We all find different ways to hide who we really are.

And maybe the way we choose to hide who we are is the only way to figure out who anyone really is…

maybe the masks we choose to hide under reveal us more than the faces we are trying to conceal. 

A Super Serious List of Reasons I Will Inevitably Be Forced Into Reality TV

1. I am good at a lot of things but amazing at nothing. Except…

2. I talk about myself a lot 

3. I like to look in mirrors a lot.

4. I’ll eat anything.

5. I like to have people like me. 

6. The fact that I took time out of my day to obnoxiously compose this list says something. 

7. I like boys a lot…

8. And girls sometimes too ya know? I mean they’re pretty and cool ok?!

9. I’m easily convinced of things. 

10. I’m white middle class with a desire to [easily] become successful. 

11. I like alcohol. 

12. I can get a little feisty sometimes. 

13. I’m from the greatest state in the country y’all. 

Homemade Fresh Low Fat Peach Cobbler

                      peaches

Being born and raised in Texas meant that my big family meals were never focused on calorie counts or nutritious value. They were of course about who could grill the biggest steak, who could drink the most beer, and which grandmother made the best dessert.

My daily meals were no different. I grew up the daughter of a restaurant manager and spent my dinners eating meals made by restaurant equipment rather than hands conscious of health.

As I got older and moved to Austin for college, I was suddenly opened up to a new world of food. Eating local, fresh, and making things from scratch became ideas that had never previously crossed my mind. There I was, living away from my family and 21-years old. It was time to come up with a cooking compromise.

Peach cobbler was a classic favorite in my family. It reminds me of hot summer nights by the pool and fireworks filled 4th of Julys. The version of peach cobbler made in my grandma’s Cypress, Texas kitchen may have been delicious but it was full of preservatives, heavy butter, and whole milk. I wanted to figure out a way to keep the flavor but leave the guilt.

I worked with my father, who is still in the restaurant business and a bit of a cobbler expert, to create a recipe. My first step was making sure that every part of the dessert was as fresh, local, and low fat as possible. Taking the time to use fresh Texas peaches instead of canned or pre-sliced ones was definitely worth it. So here’s my recipe (of course with much credit to my father) for a delicious and (mostly) nutritious dessert!

Fresh Low Fat Peach Cobbler Serves 6-8 slices

Ingredients
8 local peaches
1/3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons reduced-calorie margarine

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. Set out margarine to soften it to room temperature.
2. Boil a large pot of water and set a large bowl of ice water on counter
3. Put the peaches in the boiling water for a minute then transfer them to the ice water for another minute. This will make them a lot easier to peel and separate from the pit.
4. Peel and slice the peaches.
5. Combine 1/3 cup of the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
6. In a large saucepan combine peaches and lemon juice.
7. Add the bowl of 1/3 cup of sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon to the saucepan of peaches and lemon juice. Toss to coat peaches.
8. Set pan on medium heat and bring to a boil.
9. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to an 8-in by 8-in baking pan.
10. To make the topping, combine flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
11. Work in margarine with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
12. Drop tablespoons of the mixture in 8 parts across the baking pan.
13. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

We go hard…go Spurs go baby. 

We go hard…go Spurs go baby. 

Reasons Why I Can Watch “Drive” Over and Over

1. Ryan Gosling

2. Ryan Gosling

3. The soundtrack 

4. Ryan Gosling’s acting 

5. The sound of cars going fast

6. The elevator scene

7. Ryan Gosling liking kids

8. Ryan Gosling chewing on toothpicks 

9. The subtlety of all of the acting

10. Watching the build and climax of the story 

11. R. Gosling

M83 at Stubb’s putting on an awesome show.

M83 at Stubb’s putting on an awesome show.

Things that are bad about Sex and the City

1. Too many white people. 

2. The character Big. No need to explain that further if you’ve seen the show. No man that makes a woman feel that way is worth the time and energy. 

3. Samantha’s voice.

4. The obsession with fashion and expensive shoes…particularly how most of them don’t appear to be very attractive.

5. So much cheating y’all.

6. Viewing the show as a step for feminism while it is only portraying four white females with a mostly high socioeconomic status and lives revolving around men. 

That being said, I have seen every episode and often like to pretend I am Carrie Bradshaw…hypocrisy is a slippery slope on which we all have tried to ski. If you went to Colorado with me Spring Break of ‘11 you would know that I had a panic attack on top of the mountain during my own attempt to ski and had to be carried down by emergency assistance.

I’m not going to deny my partial love/infatuation/comfort by this wildly popular show of the ’90s but I do feel the need to present an obnoxiously whiny and slightly pretentious blog post about it, even if I heard Sarah Jessica Parker’s voice narrating the whole thing…