Thursday, February 28, 2013

Van Cliburn

I usually keep references to sad things off my blog, but life is life. Which includes death. Today, on my way to school, Fred Child broke the news to me that Van Cliburn passed away. And I realized in that moment, that if my brother were still alive, this would be really big news to him. He loved music, he lived music. I imagined him calling me and telling me and his voice cracking. Or maybe I would call him. Would he be up as early as I go to school?

Anecdote: When we were kids, I complained to him that I didn't like Aaron Copland's music. My brother put on Fanfare for the Common Man and made me sit with my ear pressed against the speaker on the painted brick floor. He turned it up. Maybe I'm not into Copland even today, but I appreciate the power of that music.

So today in school, I am finishing up a print project that relates to said brother. I designed a sugar skull full of imagery relating to his life and, yes, to his death as well.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


The whole point of waiting tables is to earn tips. But I don't get my tips, I only get hourly. So you can imagine the lack of motivation I feel to keep everybody –manager included– pacified at all times. I make Jack Squat.

So I talked to my boss and communicated in the most tactful way possible that I need not only my tips, but documentation of my pay: gross, deductions, etc. (All I get is a handwritten check, normally under 200 every two weeks.)

That was Saturday night.

I'm pretty sure I won't be going back this weekend. I have never been treated as disrespectfully, as degradingly as I was that night. My manager served all the tables herself (effing a lot of stuff up!) on what was a normal (very busy) weekend shift.

I was not permitted to even bring water to the tables. She wouldn't make eye contact with me, would only snap orders.

The kitchen assistant has been shorted a week's pay and the girl who makes drinks just gave notice. She told the boss it's because she has to babysit her brother, but she told the rest of us the real reason: She works 6 days a week and makes even less than I do.

 I have to get out of there!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


You can find so many nice things on the internet. Lately I've been on a Flight of the Conchords kick. Tumblr has been a friend.

And then there's this one:

And this one, too:

Lols and stuff. :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Out Takes

Yesterday, Miss Beatrice played model for me. We got through about 10 garments in under half an hour, a feat made possible by James pressing play and Am drinking an unlimited amount of raw milk.

All these little looks will be up in the shop soon, along with lots more. These are just some out-takes. The ones we really use won't be so blurry.

It's neat to be able to look back at earlier modeling pictures of this girl and see how she's turning into such a kid. As opposed to a baby. Those cheeks are slimming already!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Podcast, reworked

Just the first minute or so, though. I added an opening track, took out some clunky phrases, gave the tracks a cleaner mix. And here it is.


Friday, February 22, 2013

It Doesn't Have to Be Reasonable

In fact, it shouldn't be. Fashion should defy logic.

"VĂ¥rens Nya Looks" ("Spring's New Looks") for Elle Sweden February 2013

Photographer: Marcus Ohlsson
Stylist: Lisa Lindqwister
Hair: Mike Karlsson
Make-up: Katarina Hakansson

Model: Stina Rapp Wastenson

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In Case You Wonder How My Voice Sounds Today

So the speech class I'm taking is one of these new technology intensive courses. This basically means that while we are learning all the general stuff you learn in a speech class, we are focusing more on networking applications than just standing up and talking. Right now, we are learning to make podcasts. Um, it's pretty fun.

Check out my podcast and let me know what you think. If anything is glaringly wrong to you, please let me know. I have until Tuesday to perfect it.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gonna Pay It Forward

I took these pictures to capture a special moment today. 

It was the moment when I realized that I could get at least 80% of my stuff done in one day if James were to take the kids with him and just bring them home for naps. 

This was followed swiftly by the further realization that I actually have pretty potent bargaining power, enhanced by a good hair day.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

School Work

Billy Bragg, Mermaid Avenue, lots of paper, plenty of drawing pencils and a good strong drink. Yes. This is happening.

I have some serious $#!T to design and no time for Downton this chilly Sunday night. So I am staying in and werking

Cherry Blossom Saketini

cheap cold sake (just keep pouring)
peach twisted gin (two mini bottles)
a few splashes of pomegranate juice
enough cherry juice to get this color ^
a squeeze of lime

Work. Yes, Work.

Last night, three people didn't show up for work. In a crew of seven, losing three is a big deal. We lost our dishwasher, our bus-girl/drinkmaker and our hostess. And we had so many reservations that the place was full to capacity* all night.

I have never been spread so thin. I started out just seating people. More and more people. Once every table was full, I began taking drink orders and asking people to "please be patient, we are a bit short-handed."

But you can't ask that of elites in crisp khakis who are accustomed to having what they want when they want it. Afterall, that's how it is at the country club, so why not here, in the understaffed, underpaid, overworked, small town sushi bistro? Huh?

I can't tell you how many times I thought of this scene from Bottle Rocket. 92% of our clientele seem to be of the John Maplethorpe variety.

From Crackle: Mr Henry vs Futureman

*We aren't supposed to exceed 70% capacity.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Update, you guys!

UPDATE: I have reached my fundraising goal! (take that, ETV radio!) In under 24 hours! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME! A million thanks to all of you who support me in this. I promise I will keep you up to date on my trip and give a full report when I return.

What I Wore :: Happy V.D.

Happy Valentine's Day, folks. I hope you are having a good, good day. My day is an awfully long one.  Class, a meeting, another class, then work. A good 18 hour day.

But at least I have this amazing and rare Betsey Johnson sweater to make everything a little brighter. I scored it at a clothing swap. What?! Yeah. I've searched online and can't find one the same so I really know nothing about it except that it is perfect for a sardonic Valentine's look.

(If you are curious about the title of this post, check this out.)

Thanks for your support!!! If you have not yet donated to my cause, it's not too late. Just click the donate button on the right side bar and contribute any amount you want!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Support My Cause!

So, nobody likes asking for money, but I'm going to do it anyway! I'm super pumped about the Greenpeace Action Camp and need to buy that round trip ticket like ASAP. That's all I have to pay for; Room and board are provided!

Look over there, on the right side bar. See that donate button? That's for you. Go ahead and click it and enter any amount you want to give. I appreciate every dollar! And I only need to raise about $380.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Light in the Middle of the Tunnel

So right smack dab in the middle of the semester, I will be gone for a week.


I got accepted into the Greenpeace Action Camp! This girl's going to California, baby!

I'm excited and daunted and overwhelmed and excited again. All of my teachers are really supportive and will let me work ahead to make up for what I'll miss. (One teacher even high fived me when I told her today.) James is also supportive and will keep the kids while I'm gone.

The frightening thing is that I have to arrange my travel plans by Monday or my slot will be given to someone else. Yikes! I guess I'll fly out. Maybe sell a guitar or two to buy the tickets. If I had my way, I'd take my time about coming back so as to see a bit of the country. But, oh, well.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


My friend Lucy shared this great article about becoming a mother. It rang true. If you are expecting or have kids or wonder what a lady goes through, read it. I've never read such an accurate description of those feelings of isolation and identity loss.

But, as the gays say, it gets better. Now that I've been a mama for almost four years, I'm starting to get my sea legs and I have a clearer idea of who I am. And now that I have children to raise, I have more motivation than ever to be that person.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hanging at the Library

I made this poster and it is on display in an exhibit at the Spartanburg Library, the one downtown. So, if you are local, go look at it. And maybe even buy it. That's right; It's for sale. 

disclaimer: the writer takes no responsibility for the possible misuse of the semi colon on this blog.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Nap Time

Today I have gotten a lot done! It's 4:30, so I probably ought to be getting the kids up, but whatever.

I have two potential plans for my next print. See part of one up there? I also came up with a text-based poster for the next Club Art and Design event. It's entirely hand lettered. I'm going to print a few extras and number all the prints. Like it's real art or something.

There's a local print competition hosted by another school and the submission deadline is today. Luckily, I have a good camera and a few prints at my disposal. It's $5 per print and you can enter up to 3. I'm entering the maximum quantity allowed. Just to be extreme, you know?

In other news, I'm getting awfully tired of the Avett Brothers latest album and The King Is Dead by the Decembrists. What are you listening to that one ought to check out?

Dune, the Game

So I just searched the dune tag here on my blog and realized that I never showed you the Dune board game I made! It has real rules and all the pieces and all original artwork and a lot of hand lettering. And it has a glossary of terms in case you are not saturated in the Duniverse like I am.

I made it from scratch last semester for one of my projects. We took pictures of all our projects at the end of term.

So what do you think? Want to play or is this going too far?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Days Like This

Some days are like yesterday and some days are like this. You know, as in, "Mama said there'd be." At least my makeup looked good. If nothing else, I have some small consolation in that. 

(One of my favorite things to do is annoy James by messing up words, switching out letters for other letters to turn the expected word into a similar, but out-of-context word or into nonsense syllables. It is just a silly game. But, due to the fact that I rarely find need of the word "consolation" in conversation with elsewhoms, I have for years used either consternation or constellation in its place. So that I find it difficult to even write "consolation" anymore.)

Back to today. I was in school for almost all of it. And other than that I was driving/dozing. Sometimes one must be excused for feeling spread too thin, yes? It's not that I have too much school work. The load is fairly light so far. I'm working on a podcast for Public Speaking, an edition of linocut prints in one color for Printmaking and I just completed a logo design project for Graphic Design 3. I have some stuff to read, but no other homework between now and Thursday. Oh, and plan my next print. 

I'm not really this pale. I only look like it. 

Monday, February 4, 2013


I just wish there were enough Almodovar movies so that I could watch one every day. Every day. The colors, the stories, the people, the writing. All so amazing. That combination of heart and quirk is some kind of alchemy. Talk to Her and All About My Mother and Volver and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Oh, all of them. 

There was one I didn't get through, but I can't remember the name of it. It was Antonio Banderas as a disturbed young man. I might try it again. Do you know the one I'm talking about?

Anyway, tonight we watched Volver for the umpteenth time. Therefore, obviously, my hair and makeup and shape are going to be more intense for the next few days because how could they possibly not be?


Today, a number of hours slipped by without any of us noticing. It is now almost two in the afternoon and I just got around to getting the kids in some naps. They are both still awake. Normally, we'd be at least an hour and a half into naps by now.

Where did those hours go? Maybe when we were playing school and the kids did all their flash cards and called me Miss Nichols. Or maybe when we played oatmeal musical chairs, passing our bowls around the table to see who had the tastiest.

Who knows? But I sure love these kids!

(P.S. Don't be fooled by Amby's skirt. This little wild thing is a man through and through. He cusses and farts and only laughs at potty jokes.)

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Have you figured out what you are wearing for St. Valentine's Day? It's a Thursday this year so I'll be in school all the live long day. Aaaand, it looks like I will be waiting tables that night. So I talked my manager into making it mandatory for everyone to wear something special for the occasion. Not sure what that might be for me yet, but I happen to have a devilishly hot Betsey Johnson sweater in bubble gum pink.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


When I pack up the week's orders, I like to pretend they are presents for my sisters. They have to look pretty and fun. I use white tissue and white ribbons. And now these business cards and matching stickers help pull the look together. (from here)

Want a pretty package? Order from my shop! :P

Friday, February 1, 2013

These Days, an appreciation

photo by christi

Stopping for just a minute to realize that these days will pass and my babies will be grown and gone, I will have my degree and be done with school, my husband will have gray hair, more of my siblings will have scattered to the four winds. 

It all makes me really glad for these days. 

These busy, stressful, tired days. These days of unmopped floors and not a single clean dish in the house. These days of dirty laundry used for collecting spilled water from the bath. These days of no food in the fridge except rice and beans. 

These are the good old days, the happy days of baby feet running down hardwood halls.