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Avril Brown Presents:

 I love my apartment.

Until a few months ago, I was sharing a two bedroom apartment in Chicago with my sister. Chelsea and I are among the fortunate few; namely, we’re sisters who actually like each other as well as love one another. We have our random similarities (we both think that the first National Treasure movie pretty much rocks), but in many ways we are incredibly different.

One of those ways is our taste in decorating.

Three years of cohabitating with a beloved sibling who also happens to be a bit obsessive-compulsive about certain things taught me the value of compromise, patience and good old fashioned walls. My sister has a great eye and a natural flair for fashion, as I’ve mentioned before, so I let her take the reigns on fixing up the living room and kitchen. My bedroom, of course, was left to my own devices, and devise I did. She often told me how it resembled a college boys’ dorm room.

Now I have a lovely, spacious studio apartment that looks like a college boys’ dorm room.

When someone visits my dwelling, I want them to have a glimpse into what I’m passionate about. My sister’s manner of decorating shows off her general good taste, and that’s fine for her. My style clearly shows off what I’m interested in.

Directly across from my door I have some beautiful wall tiles that my mother gave me, and two photographs by my extremely talented father are also on display. Next to my bed are several posters that have followed me from my college years: the Blues Brothers complete with one of my favorite quotes from the movie (“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, its dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it.”) The ‘I Want to Believe’ poster that Agent Fox Mulder had displayed in his X-Files office is to the left of Jake and Elwood. Smack dab in the middle was a birthday present from a college friend; a large poster of James ‘Amazing Abs’ Marsters, also known as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

So I have a vampire fetish, sue me.

Point being, you learn a lot about me from those three posters. I love movies, I love aliens, and I love chiseled bad boys with piercing blue eyes. Does this pronounce me a deep person, capable of complex thought and emotion, ready to change the world? Not really, but then again they’re just posters.

I have a drawing on real Egyptian papyrus of Cleopatra, given to me by my dad. Inspiration, for when I am ready to change the world. By my door is a sand painting of a man holding a squirrel on a string my parents picked up in Arizona. (That one tends to raise a few eyebrows.) I have a retro poster of The Devil’s Harvest I picked up at the Custer Street Fair, calling marijuana ‘a wicked vice, with its arms around our children!’ Near my desk is a beautiful aquamarine watercolor of an eastern-style dragon, painted by a very gifted friend of mine. True love is captured in a photograph near my computer. 1932, on the steps of a Chicago high school, my grandfather is gazing into my grandmother’s eyes, his larger hands encompassing her tiny ones, utter adoration apparent in both their faces.

And I have the crème de la crème, my Comics Corner. (Yes, I actually did just put that in capital letters.) I only have a fraction of my collection in my sizable-yet-still-a-studio studio, but those few long and short boxes I have with me are tucked in a visible corner of my large door less, walk-in closet, flanked by my array of comic posters. I have an X-Men poster that features Jean, Scott, Wolverine, Rogue, Cable, Psylocke and Storm, all dropping from the sky, ready to kick ass and take names. Gambit is draped in his trademark brown trench coat, holding a charged card with a seductively evil look in his red eyes in an individual skinny poster. A stunning painting of Rogue I picked up at the latest ComiCon hangs in a mahogany wood frame that sets off the color of her hair. Two pages I removed from a free comic have pictured some of the most ridiculous covers ever created. (My favorite is a little boy with a voodoo doll, looking in a mirror and seeing a super-hero version of himself with Hitler bent over in his arms, about to get a dagger shoved up his ass. The caption describing the scene made comments about little Timmy having ‘issues,’ but also pointed out the obvious fact that if anyone deserves to get stabbed in the butt it’s Hitler.) I also have a mini-poster showing Wolverine, Colossus, Storm and Nightcrawler all facing to the right and walking single file. Nightcrawler leads the way, sporting a white suit jacket and pants with his hands casually stuffed in his pockets, and Colossus isn’t wearing any shoes. (Major brownie points go to anyone who knows what that poster is referring to. Hint: think floppy hair, sexy accents and a certain road in London…)

I love interesting art, vintage posters, comic books and other various forms of fantasy. And I really enjoy talking about it, which I inevitably do whenever I have new guests. I light up like a kid on Christmas when someone who has never seen my apartment walks through my door and begins examining my walls. If there is something on display in my studio, chances are it has a story that is simply aching to be told.

Decorate the way you want, despite protests of childish tastes and general geekiness. This is YOUR apartment, YOUR bedroom, YOUR sunless little cubicle. It should say something about YOU.

My apartment is loud, colorful and a bit unbalanced. Me to a tee. And I love it.


Avril Brown

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