Run-on sentences.

I really used to do this more often...

I used to do a lot more things in a frequent manner. I used to eat vegetarian meals consecutively, for months on end, until say I smell a roasting chicken in the oven and just know I'll have to live a little and have one taste. Now, I am a sporadic pork, tilapia, sausage, meatloaf, pepperoni, deli turkey sandwich, hold the tofurkey, shrimp-not-tofu-in-my-tom-kha, I'd-try-bacon-flavored-vodka-if-it-were-in-front-of-me eater. Back in the day I'd deejay once a week, forcing myself to put together playlists for the few people who'd tune into my radio wave voice. These days I'll make a mix for a certain someone, maybe for the jukebox or for someone approaching a road trip or for my hunny... but it's just not as regular as it was. On my travels in Italy, I'd stop to have un o due cappucini 1-2 times daily. Shit, I used speak Italian and Spanish in passing, or in my head. Now, there are only remnants of the speech my brain has held onto, like mentally saying, "Here you go, Ziggy. A strawberry... Fragola..." I don't even say, "UNA fragola" anymore! All my foreign articles have dissolved... or relocated in another location of my brain.

Things are about to change. What perfect timing to start playing Barry's friend, Gary Clark Jr., singing about that very thing. His friend who is about to blow up on the popular music scene, who wants to stick to his roots, the constant balancing act of not selling out & losing one's self paired with biting at a bit of fame and money. Changes. Trying to hold on to something at the same time of stepping forward. Naturally, to support all this I gotta play Sam Cooke's version of change here:

I keep speaking of this nostalgia happening all around me, but not of a place in the past; I feel such a strong nostalgia for the present. Moments spent by our spring-fed river are slivers of time that I want to record to replay in the future. Is it possible to long for the past even before it's behind us? Nostalgia mata y hace el hombre. Nostalgia: the dictionary defines it as a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time.

Ahead of me, I have a lot of changes. In about six weeks, I'll be a married woman to the man I love. In two months, we'll pack up our things and move to the wildnerness for the summer. In August, I'll be a citizen to Chicago, my first big city to reside in, the windiest and coldest and furthest away that I've ever been. I'll be labeled a graduate student, which is something I look forward to and am terrified of. Potentially, this blog could be an entirely new blog within a few seasons. And what of me, then?

I don't really write this to anyone or anything, but mostly just to my future self perhaps.. to remember the anxieties leading up to so much change... the holding onto a really formative time in my life that is the San Marcos self I've built from the ground up. I'm going to have to start over, make new friends, ask myself why I am an artist in the most intense way, and begin a life as a wife, as a new family member, a community member in a city where I won't always see people I know at the supermarket... How will I buy bike parts or a fake beard for a costume or undereye concealer or Ziggy's flea meds or a familiar whiskey on the rocks with bitters and lemon or 35mm film or local roasted coffee and farm fresh eggs from friends at the farmer's market or the best nopales y huevos rancheros para mi and a bowl of Barry's favorite menudo for him... GAH it can get really, really overwhelming if for a second you're nostalgic for the moment that is about to pass and you forget to just stay in the moment. I'm the very first of my siblings to marry, the only daughter my dad will give away, the first bride of my huge family to throw nontraditional / DIY nuptials, the only family member that is going to art school... The labels just keep layering on like strata on my shoulders, and I have to remember that life can get this way. In fact, there is a radiant beauty in a transitory shift like the one we're in right now. And it's not just me; hell, last year was hell. This year, we have a spring. The wildflowers are paintbrushing our land. The fires are over. It's election year. It's the end of the Mayan calendar. I'm not saying that pretty soon, poof war is over, Merry Christmas, all the riots have subsided and health care is actually really available and Utopia will win for all! I mean, nah... I won't go that far. But I just feel a shift in our plates, is all. A shaping of my identity, soul and future happy, depressed, anxious, measured, defined, transforming, loving, musical, liberated, bordered, healthy, imbalanced, searching, open, inspired self.

It's like, all I really want to do at this point is throw a party for all the people in my San Marcos life that have shaped me. I feel so fortunate. I guess, in a way, in a smaller scale I am doing just that with my wedding. Maybe I'll dream of this party one day, when I miss the hill country the most. I'll remember regulars that I used to serve once a week and past students and conversations and people's specific drink they define themselves with and the sound of the trains being too loud to talk on a cell phone and how the traffic by Hobby Lobby and Walmart is the worst in town and what bliss it is to bike around in a swimsuit all day and the smell of manzanilla on Barry's motorcycle and the feeling I felt after eating at El Charro and how invigorating it felt to just jump in the river and what artists used to inspire me and morsels of advice given to me when I didn't ask but needed it and learning the garter stitch for knitting and what color of paint was in our living room and what exit takes me to Ziggy's therapy and how Danny's thick trucker drawl sounds like and what blind Tom asks me randomly and which flavor of beef jerky from Buc-ee's to send to Shawn in BFE Africa and Eloy's laugh and Richard's watch alarm going off at 5:20 without him ever hearing it and Aliy's accent especially when she says "literally" and "albino" and how 6801 in the jukebox is "Streets of Bakersfield" and how Amy calls all Asian-sounding-people "Patels" and what photosynthesis looks like underwater on a glass bottom boat and which trail to hike to the huge tree at Purgatory and getting CM Allen mixed up with Edward Gary and how the art building and the physics building are the same building just completely separated from the architect and how tall Tall Dave really is and what Barry's trailer looked like when we had a vegging-out day of Lord of the Rings marathoning and what brunch Chris and Dee were cooking up and which yoga class was my favorite and how Brittany and I made tracks on her Garageband for the Catachronicomb series and what Barry sounds like when he plays his guitar only to me and Angie & Morgan showing me footage of Occupy Warsaw and how I could walk to Brendan's apartment and what Stan looked like with a halo on and what Faith's lyrics were written down in her song book and how Nina and I talked about the Venus of Willendorf drunkenly and when my backyard used to look like an overgrown paradise and how stoner-y Jessica my color photography professor's critiques were in retrospect and how I called most professors by first name and how Trevor shakes hands with people and Helen's cattle call to Freckles and how Jessica and I were for once not on a phone-relationship basis and how Topher and I used to say "Jo on the Go" and what Ziggy's ears sound like when she shakes and what acting felt like and how rejection of an art show stung and how hard it hit me when Ziggy got paralyzed and what it felt like to hold Leo for the first time and how, like San Marcos, Chicago called out to me the first time I visited and what it felt like to eat beets for the first time at Caroline and Bill's and Roger giving me the phone number to call a couple that frequently goes to Bosnia and that all-nighter we had to pull before my thesis that we were working on literally until the gallery opened and how fucking great it felt to show my mom and my dad my autobiographical meta thesis work and what youtube videos Barry would show me to cheer me up like the old people playing instruments and Mr. Show episodes and how sweaty Barry's sweatshirt is after boxing and how Otis used to go on walks with us and what it's like to be selfish with no children, yet what it felt like when I said yes to being proposed to and how did it feel before Barry, when I had others pursuing me and when I pursued others and how it just never matched up and thankfully so and so on and so on and so on and so on...

Man, that was winded.



Dear Columbia College admissions,

Press for The Marnie Tape from San Antonio's Contemporary Art Month : VIEW

Press for Ziggy Starfest : VIEW

Press for Stream of Consciousness show : VIEW

Thanks for the browse!
Kellen Stanley


momento mori

My grandfather collected stamps. I didn't know this until a few years after his death, after digging through his and Grandma's drawers of television-recorded VHS tapes. I found a stack of letters sandwiched between Singing in the Rain and Big Jake. They were his World War II letters.

After spending an hour and a half on the carpet of his old office, reading these dated letters he wrote to his guy friends at home and his sister, Sarah, I was moved. There is such a poignancy to these letters-- I could see what my grandfather (John T or Popsi, as we called him) aspired for and dreamed of when he was my age, serving in the Marines overseas. My mind became an old Super 8 projector, thinking of images of him dancing in the forties, having red hair... He wasn't much for smoking or drinking, so I could feel that these letters were one of the only ways to pass time and get through the hard months of war. I wondered what it was like for him to be a part of tactics, targets, and kills. Had he ever killed anyone? I never heard him talk about it. I would never know except through these letters.

I love the handwritten cursive that's so outdated and almost illegible to my 70-years-later eyes. Some were written with a typewriter, scrunched in a tiny V-mail. Postcards of stereotypes to the natives of the land. A page of jokes typed out from a fellow back home. One of the jokes reads: "Did you hear about the little moron who took a clock to bed because he heard it was fast?" This fellow's attached letter writes of women he wants to date, that he "goes with Doris every now and then" and that "we have two girl clerks now and the other one is a cute little brunette and weighs about one hundred and twenty pounds and isn't half bad." He asks about the little girl "you were telling me about like? I bet she was all right and so-so or you would not have gone with her..." I think of my grandma, Iva Heart. She and John T barely knew each other before the war, except that they were neighbors of Midland farms. My grandma describes Popsi as an annoying little brother when they first met. Then he went off to war, and they began writing letters. Through these letters, they fell in love. Once he got back, they got married immediately. They were one of the happiest couples I've ever met.

Later, after reading these letters, I ask my grandma where their letters are. The conversation went a bit like this:

ME: Grandma, where are your letters with Popsi?
IVA: Our what?
ME: Your letters, from when he was in the war.
IVA: Oh! (lightly) We burned them.
ME: What?
IVA: Oh yes. All the boys would promise their girls the moon through those letters and then when they got home they couldn't keep them. We decided to start over.
ME: And you burned all of them? The letters?
IVA: Oh yes!

Cute as my grandma is, and as honest as her reply was, I was disappointed that there weren't the tangible letters that showed the timeline of their awkward, brother-and-sister-ish friendship to full-on hot and heavy soulmate status. Still, I set out on a journey throughout their house, thinking I'd find just one of their letters that got stuck in another drawer. This is when I found Popsi's stamp collection. The stamped envelopes are ripped at the top right corner to show the postmark, stamp, and price. The postmarked years span from the late thirties to the early nineties. All of these corners of stamped envelopes have something about them; either it's the design on the stamp that tells of the era, or perhaps the price or location it was sent from or, to me, the accidental design of how Popsi ripped off the excess envelope. Some of the compositions of the stamp, the ripped paper, the postmark and negative space of the envelope are stunning. There are also some loose stamps he kept, probably thinking they'd be worth something later but more so because they have a history to them. I took this stamp collection home with me, knowing I wanted to use them for collage. I wanted to preserve them somehow. I wanted to showcase the dying era of letter-correspondence, envelope-and-stamp buying, and cursive & handwritten or typewritten text.

There's a certain death to these stamps and letters. The paper is beginning to yellow. The typefaces tell a history of evolution of mid-forties slick sans serifs to late eighties not-so-comical Comic Sans (and on a stamp? Preposterous!) Even the envelopes were made better the older I see them, with rad designs in the inside to create a mid-century, curious privacy. I began to make collages as postcards to recycle their historical material back into the mail again. As I collaged, I thought of the latin term, Momento mori. It literally translates to "Remember you must die." A Momento mori is particularly famous through the invention of photography when exposures had to be minutes long. A photographer would take a daguerreotype of someone who recently died to remember them well; the photo would turn out crisp and sharp for once because the long exposure didn't have a fidgeting, alive person as its subject. There's an eerie stillness... an image frozen in time... to remember, yet to easily forget, to yearn for, to ache, to regret, to mourn.

Here, I have frozen the recycled letters and stamps of my grandfather into zeros and ones in the blogosphere. Made with love and sent to all my ladies and gents in the SMAC / Snail Mail Art Collective!!



This is to John T, rest in peace my love.



slow dance at the roller skating rink

disco ball a'turning,

this is my newest playlist, inspired by the lovely Skippy Cooper and our idea of having a Skype slow dance date...

That one reminds me of fifth grade chaperoned dances..

and once the lights turn on signaling all the kids to go home....


havent been round these parts

today i was at a red light, windows rolled down
i was coming from petting some out-of-town friends' cats--
still allergic, but it doesnt matter anymore. im a changed woman. liking cats is like learning a new language for me.

so there i am, driving home from a house full of felines...
waiting for the light...
thinking of a guy who fell to his death.
fleet foxes playing on KUT, turned up
squeaking, squeaking,

and the guy in the truck behind me gets out of his car. i think hes about to come say something to me-- was there something wrong with my tail light? dunno. i hear this squeaking. shrill. bitter. squeaking-- almost mechanical sounding. i see that the guy isnt walking over to my car... he goes to the other lanes of opposite traffic-- they, too, at a stop. we're talking busiest road in san marcos texas-- not 5-lane super highway, but this hot, dripping time of day is when everyone uses this one particular road. this guy-- within seconds-- he picks up a squealing, pint-sized baby kitten. i come to my senses and realize the squeaking sounds werent mechanical at all. it was a newborn animal screaming at all of us-- selfish, dazed and zoning out on the hot pavement, waiting for green. the man and i make eye contact and he half smiles and runs to his truck. the light turns green. i give the biggest thumbs up to him out of my window. i then look in my rear view to see the guy clenching the kitty tight to his chest. we hit the gas, almost simultaneously, and i look to my left at the lane that was now swallowed by accelerating tires, careless and hurrying. this man. he made a decision within a moment to get out and save this kitten. what a coincidental, subtle series of events. damn.

in other words, unrelated or not...

for john fox.

frances fishpaw.

flat top haircut.


dylan is rapping, i swear.

i have found my 1990 video-ee match.

Three Minutes of Nine Year Old Me: 08/03/91 from Robert Jeffrey on Vimeo.


currently looking

pictures found on fecal face's photo of the day, butdoesitfloat blog, monica canilao's genius, y mas