Just when I finally think I’m getting into a groove of writing consistantly, I lose it.  The photo project has taken the back burner and I might end up just compiling them at the end of every week.  Saturday maybe? Who knows.  

Today was my first crit in Printmaking II and last night was our first major shoot in Video II with our show.  I anchored and after watching the playbacks, I realized that it’s best I didn’t do the live show.  Between my mouth and my inability to look at the camera and read the teleprompter, I looked as though I was going to fall out of my chair.  The crit went well–I could have done some things better, but it’s what I will work on in the next project.

My life is heading in a very different direction yet again.  I’m trying to keep it together while still maintaining a smile on my face.  No one said it’d be easy, but I’ll try my best to make this all work.  When you’re not faced with any other options, there’s nothing else you can honestly do but try.

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My Life Pursuit.

January 22, 2009

When you grow up in a small town, you’re often encouraged to dream. As many people from my graduating class haven’t even left the zip code, I look at myself as a small success story. Either way, we were all required to write a short “life goal” list that was included with our pictures in the senior yearbook. For me, I listed a bunch of stuff that I had hoped to accomplish. On that list I mentioned visiting Germany, graduating with my Masters, and continuing my journey to feel infinite. I still haven’t made it to Germany (India instead), I’m nearly finished with my undergrad and I have every intention of going on for my MFA and the journey still continues. Over the last few days, I’ve really been thinking about what I truly want in this life after being recommended to look at my life, figure out how I want to continue, and shoot for it. So, in no particular order:

  • solid foods: this is at the top because it’s short-term. I have been semi-restricted to liquids the last six days or so for some unknown reason. I do, however, enjoy being able to drink Icees and eat unlimited quantities of Jell-O without even feeling guilty.
  • visit Germany: this stays. I still really really really really really want to go.
  • be in love, get married, have kids, blah blah blah: I want the whole she-bang. While I’m in a relationship now, I know that I want to have my special day with pretty dress and flowers (which is, I’m pretty sure, the only real reason I want a wedding) and I want kids. Not one. At least two. With cool names and middle names that make other kids say “what were your parents’ thinking?”
  • get into a school for my MFA: I really feel that despite a lackluster portfolio, if I’m given the chance to go somewhere for my MFA (Chicago? Baltimore? Rutgers?) I could really excel. I have the desire, I have the drive–most days–and I know that it’s what I want. I’d love to teach at some point but more than anything I’d love to have the opportunity to learn more than I already know.
  • Tell every person I know exactly how I feel about them: This isn’t quite as much of a “thing I want to accomplish” as it’s me being honest with myself and the people that I love. I should get on this, pronto.
  • Get over my fear of spending money: I have a phobia that prohibits me from buying anything I don’t actually need. While most people (men, moreless) look at this as a good thing, it’s a bit out of hand when I’m standing in line at Wawa and I walk back, put every item away, and walk out empty handed because in my head, I knew I wouldn’t die without that bag of trail mix.

So, that’s it. Now I’m off to chat up my vag and down the rest of my 16 ounce blue Icee. Nothing says adult like that.

Piling Up.

September 23, 2008

The book-binding process has begun.  Yesterday I purchased somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 worth of materials to begin working tonight on creating a hardcover book.  Tomorrow I plan on photographing my objects during class, printing, and inserting pages.  It’s going to be a process but I’m extremely excited about working on it.

I will be adding a written component to the blog that explains each image. I will post it Monday evening (after the book is presented) so interpretations can remain open during the initial presentation.

Beyond that, the week is going to be very busy.  I have four prints due Monday (and they aren’t even started), this book due, work, two hours of dance, and a life to attend to.  I also have a roll of film due Monday that hasn’t had the chance to be worked on yet.

What a week already.

These Complete Me.

September 15, 2008

There are a few things that simply have to happen or that I must have in order for a day to work out.  Not even for it to be a good day–a few weeks ago, I tried to mix up my morning schedule, and it took all afternoon for me to get on the right page.  I have learned that over the years I’ve adopted a morning routine that must be followed precisely.  It goes a little something like this:

 

  • wake up:  naturally, this must happen.  I wake up within two snooze button hits (as opposed to Zach, who punctuates the morning with a terrible cell phone ring every five minutes until I leave the apartment).  If I sleep too long, I have to rush.  If I beat the alarm, I feel like I lost precious moments of sleep and relaxation.
  • head into the bathroom:  after shimmy-ing (is that a word..?) out of bed, I undress, and jump right into the shower.  As the water warms up–and it must be followed this way–I brush my teeth.  Once in the shower, there is a very, VERY strict regiment: wash my face,  wash my body, shave, wash my hair, and condition.  If I switch it up (I did at the recommendation of a friend) I feel off all day.  It is probably just a huge mental thing, but trust me, it’s better to stick to the routine.
  • get dressed:  I would never call myself a typical girl, but when it comes to getting ready, I surely take my time.  The biggest problem for me is trying to figure out how warm it will be as the day continues.  When I wake up (usually around 7:30) it is freezing, and during the warm fall months, it’s tough to imagine what temperature it will be as I ride my bike home after class and work.  
  • get breakfast/tea:  after I get showered and dressed, I make breakfast.  While it’s cooking (or while I’m just in the kitchen), I wash the dishes from the night before and straighten up anything that’s out of order.
  • pack my bag:  I double check my yellow backpack to be sure I have all of my things I need for class–although I usually leave at least five things at home.

 

Beyond my routine, there are several “must have” items that always make their way with me out of my suburban apartment. 

<—ankle bracelets:  Clearly, my feet come with me every day.  My ankle bracelets have been on since May and I normally keep them until they fall off by themselves.  I have had a toe ring since 4th grade and I’m almost positive I’ve only taken it off once in that time (for a dance recital in junior high).  

ring—>

I have always wanted a ‘nice’ ring, but I have never had the money.  I also quickly realized that I lose rings very quickly, so I’ve kept it to cheap department store rings.  I found this lovely piece of jewelry at Kohl’s during my freshman year. I always ALWAYS have it on.  It’s not for any specific reason… just a small something that makes me feel a bit more feminine.  Plus, I feel like I have “old” looking hands, and I feel like anything to distract from that might be a good idea.

<—my sandals:  yet again, another leather item that I feel guilty for owning, but based on their condition, I won’t have them for much longer.  These are my FAVORITE shoes that I’ve ever owned.  I bought them on sale (in the winter) and I have worn them everywhere (even India).  Despite my mother forcing me to buy new ones this past summer, I have kept these in my daily footwear rotation… mostly for sentimental reasons.  I have warned everyone that I will continue to wear them until they fall apart, despite many threats from my friends to destroy them personally.  Until then, they will remain my shoes.

my Nalgene bottle–>

I carry this every day.  It’s best because it means a) I don’t have to buy bottled water b) it’s yet another little thing I do that makes me feel like I’m single-handedly saving the environment and c) I like the flashy color.  I always try to remember to freeze it the night before so it’s at least a bit cold by the time I reach campus but typically forget it next to my potted plant (where the leftover water often gets used to water my half-dead plant).

<–sunglasses:  last but not least, my sunglasses.  I have a rare disorder that has left me without pigmentation on my retnias, so I am required to wear sunglasses every day–even when it’s not sunny.  I’m also a forgetful person, so despite my need to ALWAYS have sunglasses, I typically stick to cheap ones since I lose them constantly.  These are always with me.

 

These are just a few more things that shape my unique identity.  I feel like while many people may not understand, or take them for granted, they are important things that help me to define who I am.  While I would be the first to say that a person isn’t defined by the material objects that they have, I have reflected my personality into the way that I schedule my routine and the things that I keep with me.

Soon soon soon I will blog again for real… once I reign in my life again.  Back to my 100 drawings for now.

You Are What You Eat.

September 9, 2008

Identity is formed in many ways.  Often times, our identity is formed by figuring out what we’re not.  I’m not a guy, so I naturally identify as “female”.  I’m not athletic, so I’ve always gravitated to “artistic”.  It’s not saying you can’t have one without the other; simply stated, it’s easier to try to place meaning based on what you know you can’t do or don’t have.  

After digging through my drawers the other day and realizing that a close examination of something as simple as my junk in my desk can reveal a lot about me, I tried to think of something a bit more obvious.  I know I am going to document my route home–this has become quite a defining factor for me.  I’m the girl with the pink bike, the girl who doesn’t drive; it has worked its way into my “identity”.  

Food can really place a definition to a person.  One glance at the outside (and inside) of my refrigerator reveals a slew of information about me, my lifestyle… even who I live with.  So, for now (and this Wednesday’s assignment), here we go:

 <–my refrigerator:  from the front, you already see a mess of chaos.  It has homemade letter magnets for writing out fun messages to my roommate, a pirate sticker from the Sunday newspaper, a dry erase board for reminders, and Post-Its keeping me up to date with everyones’ schedules.  

  condiments —>

  As a vegetarian, food can sometimes be less than exciting.  I’ve always loved food that you can put a lot of stuff on (burgers, salads, sandwiches), so it wasn’t difficult for me to cut out the stuff that was usually found underneath the toppings (typically meat).  I learned that I was in it just for the fun stuff you got to add on top–sauces, spreads, even homemade jam.  In our apartment, we always have hot sauce (right now we have super-spicy homemade hot sauce), organic almond butter, salad dressings, soy sauce, and the basic ketchup and mustard.
<—beverages:  As previously mentioned, I’m a vegeterian.  I live with a vegan, however, so we don’t have many dairy products (aside from my cream cheese and occasional slice of cheese-topped pizza).  We always have an endless supply of Chocolate Silk (my absolute favorite), regular soymilk, and some kind of juice–this week, Tropicana Orange Strawberry Banana.   Hiding back there you can also see our dairy-free butter spread and super-huge organic tortillas–great for making fajitas and wraps.

veggie drawer—>

Typically this is a more happening place in our refrigerator.  Right now, we don’t have much produce in the fridge (both me and the roommate HATE cold fruit).  This lettuce will probably find its way into our “weekly salad”; something normally put together during the weekend and then divvied out during the week for salads that we take for lunches or snacks.

 

<—Eggless Egg Salad:  This is one of my favorite vegan concoctions.  This is made from tofu, Veganase (a dairy-free mayo substitute), mustard, and tons of spices.  It’s the best lunch ever, and my roommate makes it all the time.  We always have this in our fridge because it’s an easy fix any time of the day.

 

Sugar Free Snacks–>

These things are my “guilty pleasures”.  Once again, things like this keep me from being strictly vegan; I still can’t give up my Jell-O or yogurt.  When I moved here this past summer, I found sugar-free Jello that came in Mint Chocolate flavor and I have since been addicted.  They’re the perfect snack when you get home from a long day and are just dying for chocolate.

 

So my refrigerator is a good way to place me into a “catagory”.  It tells that I’m vegetarian, somewhat poor (by the lack of food right now!), and completely obsessed with condiments.  

Two Minutes, Too Late

September 8, 2008

Have you ever worked hours on something, really given it your all, only to find you made no real impact? That the project sucked?  That no one cares? While it might not always be the case, for me, I feel this quite often.  I often throw my entire being into whatever it is that I’m working on–my art, my relationships, my laundry–only to feel like it didn’t matter; that the extra time didn’t make a difference in the end.

What is the measure of change?  Of success?

Overall, this is a rant stemming from realizing that I can’t load a roll of film.  Film.  And the kicker–it was after a demo showing us the proper way of doing it.  And I still mess it up.  Now I’m left on a Monday morning looking to rescue my first Photo I project, after working on it for at least five  hours this past week.  Excellent.

He Said So.

September 4, 2008

Things are a-changin’ around here.  Two days ago, I learned that as part of my Studio Art Foundations course, I would be working on the theme of Identity through documentation.  As a part of this, my professor, Justin, has decided to allow us to blog.  Me, beaming from my seat in the classroom as I learned this, asked quickly if I could use the blog I currently keep.  He said yes, but (of course), as long as I didn’t mind everyone reading what I have to say.

There was a simple answer to that.

This is a blessing for me.  I will get to expose my writing to a number of people who would (probably) never otherwise get to read this.  I might not have much to say, but knowing someone–anyone–different may get to see it makes me thrilled.  It makes me want to write better.  And more.

My first assignment was to take a critical look at myself and document through pictures, a list, etc.  Me, loving lists (and pictures) immediately knew where to look:  my junk drawer.  Now, I won’t like.  I have several of these sacred places throughout the apartment: my desk, my dresser, the basket in the living room, and my stuff in the bathroom.  It’s a catch-all that is home to forgotten items and the necessities that just didn’t seem important enough to display prominently somewhere.  I thought the best would be my desk drawer.  I feel like the mix of things can really tell a lot about my personality–and how badly I need to clean.  So, here it goes.

My Green Leather (yes, I know--I shouldn't have leather) Fossil Wallet
My Green Leather Fossil Wallet (yes, I know–I shouldnt have this… As a vegetarian, I always feel guilty for owning anything made of leather).  This bad girl calls the desk home because look at it–it’s too large to fit in any pocket.  I’ve always refered to it as my “big girl” wallet because it carries my checkbook, and, if you look close enough, you’ll see my Social Security card.  Somewhere, an identity theft is rejoicing, knowing that naive twenty-somethings are still carrying them around.A Picture. of Pictures.  It’s not as if these aren’t important and that’s why the’ve been relocated to the desk.  In fact, these pictures are of some of the most important people in my life.  In the six weeks since I’ve moved into my new place, I haven’t found a home for these and to be honest, frames just aren’t an option right now.  So they sit.  In the desk.Beads and Hemp.  I fallen in love with jewelry making since learning how to do some basic designs this summer.  After gaining a few important components, I set one week making a multitude of bracelets and necklaces.  This is something I do to pass time, but more often than not, to distract myself from other things and to keep my hands busy with a constructive task.An array of office supplies.  These chosen items–Post It flags, a few pens, and my dollar store stapler, have actually gained in rank.  I typically keep my desk supplies in the bottom drawer, but due to constant use, I have found it much easier to keep them conveniently located in the top drawer.  As a writer, I can never have enough pens and who doesn’t love a post it flag once in awhile?I never had a locker in school growing up.  I believe I made my mother buy me this the summer before fourth grade after seeing some other kids need them for their lockers at the public school in my hometown.  Going to a small Catholic school, there was no need for a locker as you typically spent the entire day in one classroom.  I still don’t know how, out of all my possessions, this one has managed to travel with me all of these years.Ipod accessories.  My iPod has become my best friend in the last few months.  After moving here and enduring a twenty minute commute to school every day, I find something wonderful in being able to simply enjoy a song or two while I get from one place to another.  These guys keep it going–the arm band for the times I actually go running, and of course, the trusty charge adaptor for my laptop.Batteries.  As a photographer (using film and digital cameras) I go through a countless number of batteries.  I try to keep a few extras on hand, so out of constant need, I keep these in a handy place.My Journal.  This was actually something that “fell in to my lap” so to speak.  I worked at Hallmark when I was living at home, and one day, they were about to destroy a bunch of stuff that hadn’t sold in a recent sale.  Realizing that me, the starving college student, might want a few things, my manager first asked.  I obliged, saying I knew I would need a journal for an upcoming trip to India.  Since starting my blog, this has been more than neglected, but I still keep it around for the times I want to relive my adventurous travels from this past spring.This is the actual junk in the junk drawer.  A car cell phone charger, small photo album, a lighter, the thing that came with my iPod that I still can’t figure out what it does, and this one has traveled with me so long (and still remained unopened), but now I find it resting peacefully in my junk drawer.Last, but not least (of course), is this lovely Spanish Grammar sheet. I’m not quite sure how this has come into my vast array of things that never get used. Despite the unknown arrival, it, like so many other things, has taken up permanent residence in my top drawer. In case I ever need to figure out the -ar endngs for infinitive verbs, it’s good to know I have the resources.

So, that’s that.  There will probably be other interesting (I hope!) components of this portion of the class.  Til then, I’ll pray my readership doubles–meaning it’d go to a whopping 12 reads a day!–and attempt to stay afloat my school work.