Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Art School Fads

I can't stop. I keep making lists. I want to start making videos of my blog entries on the screen while I read it aloud. Or maybe just start uploading audio clips instead of text because I like to hear myself talk. Today, at 10:33pm, my hand says


In class today I made a list of my known scars:

On my left hand, if I make a mitten shape with my hand, like the shape of michigan and draw a line down the center of my index finger and another perpendicular line down the center of my thumb, there at the intersection, a straight line bisecting that angle: 1/4" long. A scratch that scarred over, from a hedge. 12-14 years ago.

On top of my left forearm, just slightly to the right (my right) of center, spaced at even intervals: three thin parallel lines. As I hold my arm in front of me on the keyboard, the lines point up and down. The one closest to my wrist is about 1/2" long, the next one is about 3/4", and the one by my elbow is about 1". Self inflicted, mostly likely a dull razor blade. 12-14 years ago.

Further up from the last three, above my elbow, at the fleshiest part of my arm: 11 short but dramatically raised lines, parallel to the last, and spaced close together in approximately two rows, one on top of the other. 1/4" to 1/2" in length. Self inflicted with razor blade and calligraphy pen. Blood clotted too quickly in the pen to be useful as writing implement. 12-14 years ago.

Left bicep, two intersecting lines: an upside down "T" with a slightly rounded bottom, each line about 1/2" long, also very raised. 1" above that: fat little line, almost an oval, 1/4" in the longest dimension. Self inflicted, razor blade. 12-14 years ago.

Inside upper left arm, where it meets my armpit: unknown quantity of stretch marks. 4-8 years ago.

Face: unknown quantity of acne scars. 1-17 years ago.

Right forearm, about 2" from wrist: thin, nearly invisible line, 1/2" long. As my arm is held out in front of me, palm down, it points up and down. Source unknown. Age unkown.

Both breasts, where they meet my armpits: unknown quantity of stretch marks. 4-8 years ago.

Both sides of stomach, about a hand's width from the top of my jeans: unknown quantity of stretch marks. 4-8 years ago.

Right thigh on the outside, where it meets my hips: crescent shape about 2-3" long, slightly raised. Below that, closer to my knee, two more curling lines, about 1-2" long, not raised at all, visible only in the right light. Self inflicted, safety pin. 13-14 years ago.

Left shoulder, on the back: tattoo of a fish and leaves. Does that count? I don't know. 10 years ago.

Middle of back, exactly too high to reach with my arm from below, and too low to reach with my arm from above: small indentation (rumored). Minor surgery to remove sebaceous cyst. 1 year ago.

I think this list sounds really self pitying or something, but I don't see it that way. It kind of says something, I think, that I've had no big accidents, no falls or breaks or crashes, no pencils thrown too hard by brothers. Nothing terrible at all.

Friday, February 20, 2009

while the guest book dries

(I wanted to make my guest book, since I now have that power, but I didn't have time to actually put the whole thing together before the show, so I sewed up the inside pages to have at the opening, and then this afternoon I put the hard covers on. It's drying under weights over the weekend. I think I'll actually turn it in for class.)

I was completely unprepared for this event. I remembered going to other people's openings which generally involved awkward attempts at mingling, making non-insightful comments about art, and eating cheese. Thank god for cheese. I was kind of picturing that, except this time I wouldn't be able to leave after 15 minutes, and I'd be surrounded by really unflattering photos of myself naked. I was sort of preparing myself for an ordeal, thinking of it like a performance. I get worried and anxious and then the lights are on and the audience is there and I have a job to do and I can do it. I'd forgotten the part that always happens on stage, when I realize that I can do my job, and I love it. The part when everything comes together.

I didn't quite believe that people would come, because I never think that people will come, because I know that what feels like a life-and-death event for me is almost an errand for other people to remember to do. Drop some things off at the library, pick up some more paper at Blick, stop by Angela's reception, get dinner, go home. But people came, everyone I'd hoped to see. They were all so supportive. It felt more like a birthday party than an opening.

And there's a sense of resolution, because when you're in art school, this is kind of what you're working for. This is supposed to be what I do. And I did it. It's done, it's over, it was successful. I may do it again (rumor has it that the Emma Goldman Clinic has a very extensive mailing list, and might be interested in this work).

A List and Some Photos

List of Battlestar Galactica characters with minor guest roles in the first eight episodes of The L Word:


Proof of people at my show reception, hanging out in the first room.

stuff on walls
No one really hangs out in this room.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Today my hand says (in freshly pungent black sharpie):


Monday, February 16, 2009

Smile and Nod

So I'm taking swing classes again, and I'm in the beginning class because 1) it gets out in time to catch the bus, saving me 2-4 hours of paid parking downtown every week, 2) I'm still seriously out of shape, and I'm not confident I could make it through the intermediate class, and 3) if I already know the steps I can concentrate on styling, which is where I need the most work anyway.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

a song quote and a random photo

"you're such a good friend I have to break your heart
I'll tell you that I love you then I'll tear your world apart
just pretend I didn't tear your world apart."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Keep Circling Around Something But I Don't Know if I'm Getting Any Closer

I was thinking more about blurry stuff, about how everyone wants just a little bit in focus, that wouldn't be so bad, would it, since most of the picture would still look the way I like it? If only 1% was sharp, then everyone would be happy. I agree that 1% isn't very much. The difference between 34% and 35% of something is hardly worth mentioning. But when it's the difference between 1% and 0, I think that difference becomes enormous. It becomes, not the difference between something and a little less, but the difference between something and nothing.

And I was thinking about how comforting those blurry images feel to me. I don't ever look at them and try to resolve them. Do other people do that? There's no frustration for me, no sense that I'm missing anything. I go back to the story I was telling last year, about my lousy eyesight, and my dislike of glasses, and I think that maybe that story was truer than I knew. I had been starting to think that the story I was telling was just that, not a true explanation, but something that sounded good, something believable but not necessarily the real reason for this obsession of mine.

I've had lousy vision for nearly as long as I can remember. I got glasses in third grade, but I never liked to wear them. I took every excuse I could find to avoid wearing them. I got used to using the tools of the nearsighted -- color and shape and movement instead of line to identify people and places. Even when I'd grudgingly started to wear my glasses on a regular basis, there were always certain things I would never wear them for. I used to do theater and choir, but I couldn't perform in my glasses. My glasses were like an anchor to myself, specifically the parts of myself I most wanted to let go of. My glasses were like a distillation of my own perception of my social awkwardness. Like a little kid who closes her eyes when she doesn't want to be seen, somehow I always felt more exposed when I could see clearly.

And since I don't wear glasses to bed, all those memories of just before falling asleep or just after waking, those are memories of color and light, sound and movement, but always a blur.

Inventory of the Things Closest to My Right Hand

stack of CDs to grade
empty Itoya 5x7" folder
Calumet catalog
mail (22 pieces)
syllabus for Beginning Digital Photo, Fall 2008
Fallout 2 for Mac
Self Help, by Lorrie Moore
The Best of the Rolling Stones CD
directions to Grizzley's
classroom and time for Bookbinding and Photojournalism, Spring 2009
postcard of Mask, mid-20th century, Kuba Kingdom, Bushoong peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Wood, raffia, clay, feathers, the Stanley Collection x1990.650)
seed beads (loose)
seed beads (in container)
approximately 1/3 ream of plain paper
2 empty CD jewelboxes
gold thread
blank note cards
birthday card
empty keyrings

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Time For a Settings Change Around Here

It's about to get a whole lot worse, sweetheart. You can kiss my fat, ugly, ass:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Things to Not Forget

For Tuesday, February 10, 2009:

8:30am out of bed
9:00am gym
10:00am home
10:15am drive downtown
10:30am cut & sew book pages, begin covering board
12:45pm drive to Menards
1:30pm teach class - black & white conversion, levels, flash controls, ISO control,white balance
3:45pm stop at Walmart, drive downtown
4:15pm finish hanging show - put up last three pieces, arrange lights, vacuum
7:30pm class
10:00pm drink?
12:00am home

For Wednesday, February 11, 2009:

9:00am out of bed
9:30am bus downtown
10:00am photograph in museum
12:00am drop off film
12:30pm assemble hardcover pamphlet, start on another
3:30pm class
5:45pm a) more adjustments in gallery b) tea and knitting, depending
6:30pm remember that class starts at 7:00, not 7:30
7:00pm class
10:30pm wait for bus
11:30pm home

Formatting on this is not ideal.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Progress Report

The shawl continues to do everything I'd hoped it would do.

getting somewhere

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Odds and Ends

I feel pretty lousy.

It could be worse, and it will be if I throw up. I know what it does to my body, and I know what it does to my head. I won't do it.

* * *

cotton candy

I just spent two critiques listening to people tell me I should do tilt/shift work. See, because with a view camera, or a t/s lens, I can have most of the photo out of focus, but still have some small sharp detail!


I know that. But at the end of the day, what you have isn't really that different from a plain ol' 80mm at f/2.8. You got something nice and crisp. You got anything a few inches away from that all soft and smushy. If I wanted shallow depth of field, I'd shoot with a shallow depth of field. And I sure as hell wouldn't be making this stuff.

* * *

And last, I have further yarn updates:

part 2

This is the second skein of the beaded yarn a few posts down. It will look a bit like a Tequila Sunrise when it's done. Or autumn leaves. You can take your pick, I like 'em both.