Tuesday, December 30, 2008

notes: UA flight 362 SAN to DEN

I am good at organization. This might come as a surprise to anyone who has seen me work, or seen the squalor I live in, but it's true. I can take a jumble of thoughts and arrange them into an argument; I can take a jumble of things to do and arrange them into a work plan. It's not the organization that I struggle with in my life, but the implementation. But when I try to talk about my family, when I try to put together the story, I can never do it. I can't talk about my visit to San Diego last week without talking about my visit to San Diego last year, and I can't talk about that without talking about everything that came before that. And each of these stories is really a dozen stories, because I don't know what the story is or how I feel about it. There are so many different and often conflicting points of view, and sometimes it seems as if I am looking through all of them at once. Somewhere in all of this, for the first time, is my decision to go to San Diego without seeing my mother. I don't really know what to say about that, either.

three down

, originally uploaded by bluest_girl.

three more to go

Saturday, December 20, 2008

oh and also

I filled up my external hard drive,
my camera broke,
and my glasses,
and I lost my iPod,

all in the same two weeks.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I've been looking at other blogs, mostly knitting blogs, envious of other people's projects, or just their attractive and full blog pages, with people who follow them regularly. We all want to be stars. I read recently, on a blog of course, about the size of the internet, the sheer number of pages. Not only is there a page for every person alive, there's something like a thousand pages. Or four thousand pages. For every person. In the meanwhile I dream about having a theme, something to really bring this blog together. I could make a banner to fit the theme, design wallpaper. Themes turn random assortments of essays into books, themes turn diaries into real blogs, the kind with a "readership". But if I had a theme, then I'd have to start another blog where I could put the stuff that didn't fit into this one, and then I'd need another one after that. (And each blog would have it's duplicate on flickr, which would make six blogs total, just for me, which I suppose might be a bit excessive.) So I guess this will do. And you, dear reader, whoever you are, will be all I need.

I've been hermiting this last week. I haven't really seen or spoken to anyone. I graded a few assignments, slowly. I read Twilight, twice, out of what I like to say is simple curiosity about a wildly popular series, but is really an embarrassing desire for some kind of fantasy existence where I'm a high school girl who doesn't think she's pretty but boys line up to ask her out. Where I have a boyfriend who has lived 100 years but never fallen in love, can break trees in half, and would do anything to protect me. "I'm tired of trying to stay away from you," he says. The only thing the book is missing is a horse for her to love, preferably a ornery one that no one else will ride, but through patience, becomes her best friend.

I spun about 400-500 yards of a beautiful spur-of-the-moment-purchase. I've been charting and recharting and trying to test a pattern to knit it up into, but I hate making tests and I hate swatching so I'm not sure I'll ever see this through. All my other projects have been equally non-committal. I have three ongoing ones that I can't manage to care about, even though I know I will deeply love each one when it's done. I complain about my hands being cold all the time but I won't pick up and finish my beautiful mittens. They're so fuzzy! I'd love fuzzy mittens, but they just sit there, not warm and cozy, but unfinished and frustrating.

I started going to the gym again, after a two week haitus. That was my biggest fear, that once I let myself stop, for any reason, I wouldn't ever start again. But I'm back, and it feels good, and I can use the excess body heat I've got afterwards to chip the ice off of my car instead of waiting until later when I'm cold and in a hurry. It was nearly 1/2 inch thick, and it looked like cracked planes of glass when it came off.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

copy & paste

someone said

"and thanks for making my first photo class fun and interesting!"

I could just melt away happily now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

full disclosure

Okay so it turns out that I didn't get excused from my art history final just because he liked my paper. He excused both me and the other grad from the final because he figured we had better things to worry about and because we'd been doing well in the class and he wasn't worried about how we'd do on the final. So I am slightly less special than previously advertised.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

boiled dog fur

, originally uploaded by bluest_girl.

The first attempt at dying (see post on Dec. 2nd) didn't quite work, I ended up with a sort of dull salmon color. But I couldn't wait to start spinning (and I was worried the fiber would felt beyond workability if I put it through the dye again) so I spun it up and overdyed it. I got magenta instead of red, but I'm pleased anyway. It's a blend 50/50 of keeshound and merino.

Monday, December 8, 2008


, originally uploaded by bluest_girl.

just... wow

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Problem With Winter and other stories

The problem with winter is that when I have gloves on I don't see the notes written on my hand. Today it says, "scarf mill!" Because I think I left my new scarf, a scarf I spun the yarn for and knitted by hand, at The Mill, at least I hope it's at The Mill because I know it isn't at Donnelly's and I know it isn't at Joe's or Sanctuary. The Mill has a lost and found and I was going to go look for it when I left Menard's* today. But I didn't.

Other things on my To Do List:

  1. write response to Sonya's presentation (2 pages due Mon.)
  2. fill sketchbooks (2 books due Thurs.)
  3. make spoon drawing (1 drawing, optional, due Thurs.)
  4. study for final exam in Central African Art (due next Mon.)
  5. mat the rest of my big head photos (10 due next Sat.)
  6. something else I will remember while falling asleep tonight
In other news, my self portraits are on public display, a small selection (two nudes, one big head), at the front entrance in Menard's. There was an open house last night with an estimated 2000 people attending. There are now 2000 more people who have seen me naked. Neat. There were moments of discomfort, but I think I am getting used to this. And the response from people, not just people I know, was incredible. I don't know that I deserve the praise, but I enjoy hearing it.

I'd been cynical about the open house because I knew it was designed to be a publicity stunt to convince people that art students are happy, and no one seemed to really know or care what was going on. (I think the photo department, in particular, is bad at disseminating information. They didn't tell me what class I was teaching until about two weeks before it started.) But all day Friday, the building was filled with people, finishing last-minute projects, hanging work, and setting up installations. Freyer brought bagels and coffee, Sonya brought donuts, we played Temptations Radio and yelled at the printers. And there was art everywhere! All this work being made that I'd never seen, or even knew existed. For a day there was an actual arts community, and there was more than gray cubicle walls to look at.

Today I did extra lab hours helping students with their matting. I wrote 4 out of 5 response papers for Margaret's class. I had a chicken florentine omlette for lunch and followed it with a white chocolate mocha and white chocolate cookie. I finally payed my credit card bill, and got the satisfaction of finally telling the people calling me that it was taken care of. I vowed, again, to not let it get to that point. I beat Chris at the facebook geography game, but I doubt it will last. Andrew is still neigh-unbeatable, damn him.

I realized that I've switched to using full names in my blog. On one hand, I can't see how anything I've written could be incriminating in any way. I swear I didn't eat more than $3 worth of Freyer's bagels (and I promise to not let him buy me anything else for the semester). On the other hand, I'm just so used to seeing blogs using the coy-but-not-necessarily-more-private first initial, that to do anything else seems terribly rude. Well, we shall see. I am always a bit surprised to find that anyone actually reads this at all; I'm certainly not at a point where I am worried that my readership will cause any problems.

The rest of the night is to be split between West Wing, carding and spinning, Brisinger, and possibly tea and a hot bath. 'Night, kids.

*for those of you just tuning in, the U of Iowa Arts buildings were damaged in the flood, and so they've moved the Arts into an abandoned Menard's building (for those of you in California or other parts West, it's a bit like Home Depot). The school administration would like everyone to refer to the building by it's official title, Studio Arts, instead of Menard's, or The Art Box, or any of a variety of uncomplimentary names. I am not particularly inclined to grant their request.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

pink shoes

pink shoes, originally uploaded by bluest_girl.

I have no confidence in my drawing ability, so every time I started coloring a new section in, I would think "oh god have I ruined it yet?"

But it's done! And it's not ruined! It actually looks almost exactly like what I had in mind. I am so incredibly happy. Next up: coffee mug.

still flip flopping on format

I still can't decide on which format I like better: the un-searchable jpg that drives my professor nuts, or the regular format. I like optima a lot, and there's something appealing ot me about the weirdness of a jpg as a written document, but it gets fuzzy when translated this way, although I kind of think the font on blogspot is a little bit small. This is probably fixable, I just haven't looked into it. It's close to the same amount of energy to post, regardless of how I do it, either I start by making a jpg , upload to flickr, and then hit "blog this," or I start by typing in blogspot, then copy/paste to jpg and upload to flickr. When I start doing both, and copy/pasting my comments about my blog from one version to another, is when it starts getting really ridiculous.

Nevermind I think I fixed the font size issue.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Who would have thought?

There was a line somewhere, and I crossed it. I don't know when exactly it happened, but the end result is a pot bubbling on my stove filled with red dye and dog fur (well and some wool as well, but that's been happening for ages). I am officially weird.