Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Invention



Maybe this already exists, maybe not. Here's what I need:

It's a window ap. But it applies to the real windows of your house so that you control the view. If you want it to just be clear so you might look upon your yard or neighborhood, fine. But it can also show you programed views.

It is connected to your phone or laptop so that you can just download and install new views as desired, such as Paris from a high window, a prison yard, a veldt, a mountain scene, a jungle. ( Eventually, once it gained enough support, of course, there would be cameras on location in these places so that your views could be live, for an upgrade.)

But here's the best part, you can program it to be nighttime outside whenever you want!

All the best inventions develop out of necessity. My children want to get up as soon as there is light outside. With this? I could sleep until, oh, 8am if I wanted. Imagine!

Feedback?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dolls

Beatrice and I have been checking out these beautiful antique dolls from Rogue Retro. The only one Bea likes is the super expensive Madame Alexander one. I like them all. But she says they would be mean to Jane



I just like the idea of a little girl having a collection of lovely dolls. Maybe because I only had Pete and Sarah when I was little. 

I still have Pete. Everyone says he is creepy and ugly, but really he is adorable and it isn't his fault that he is forever mildew stained and it isn't my fault that he spent a year tied to the top of a tree and I couldn't find him.

As long as a doll has a kind looking face, I don't mind at all if her hair is messed up or her dress is torn.

Did you play with dolls as a child? Do you still have them? 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Greenpeace


I applied for the Greenpeace activist training camp. It's in California in March. During a school week. Well, not just any school week; It is the week right after Spring Break.

When you sign up, you choose a track out of four possible study areas: Arts in Action, Climbing, Blockades and Boating. All these are specific protest tactic areas. I chose Arts in Action. You have to put your second, etc. choice as well. But really, if I don't get into my top choice, I won't go. It's too far and too expensive. And Art Activism is my track, so there.

Will you cross your fingers for me? It's a long, time consuming application and then you are told about a possible waiting list. But this girl holds out plenty of hope. :)

Also, I already emailed one of my teachers who not only approved of the idea, but agreed to be a reference on my application!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Question and Answer

Question: After a very long, very cold and windy day, what is better than a hot, hot bath, a bathroom filled to the brim with steam and a large bottle of ice cold sake?

Answer: Company.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shirt For Sale, Brown, etc.


I wish all my outfits looked like this: a clash of colors and patterns, fitting right, with eye make-up and a hair do to boot. Instead, most days are all about pj pants and whatever top is clean. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Welcome to the Workin' Week


So I'm here today to tell you a little bit about my job. I work in a sushi restaurant/bar in our little downtown. By "bar" I mean sushi bar, not drink bar. We don't serve liquor, only wine, japanese beer and sake. Well, and pop, etc.

I am a server, but I started out hostessing. I did that for a few weeks, all the while studying the menu and trying to find out how everything worked. All restaurants run a little differently and it had been years since I'd worked in one. I had forgotten just how much time is spent folding napkins. We have a pretty and complicated method devised by our own Chef Jack.

Chef Jack and his wife Jacque ("jackie") own and run the restaurant. Chef and his assistant Charlie prepare all the food upon order (everything is from scratch), Jacque and I wait tables, a kitchen boy named Alex washes dishes and an extremely efficient, has-her-sh!t-together teenager named Cindy makes the drinks, busses tables, sets tables, runs food, etc, etc. She does a lot of work!

I also double as a hostess/hostess trainer most nights. You see, since I started waiting tables, they haven't found a reliable hostess. Every weekend I train a new one. We had a girl who was pretty good, but she was too busy with school, then there was the girl who never came back/fell off the face of the Earth, then there was the girl who broke a limb. And last night a trained yet another. I don't hold out much hope that I will see her tonight.

(For the record, I would like to say that I have not, I repeat have not put a curse on the hostess position at Purple International Bistro and Sushi.)

Working at a restaurant is a kinda stressful job. Everyone wants everything like now and they want you to bring a million things from the kitchen and fetch this and that and have a specific and inexplicable ratio of ice to water that must be constantly maintained.

Mostly I do just fine. I thrive on activity. I keep a running list of things I have to do prioritized in my brain as I flit from one stop to the next remembering to grab a tray, drop off another set of chopsticks, bring out the regular soy sauce, prepare another reserved table, etc.

Sometimes the sh!t hits the fan and someone becomes a Jerk. Usually when this happens it is someone who had a sour disposition when they entered the restaurant and ain't nobody can make them happy.  So I kindly explain to them that no I will not stop everything and meet their every demand because A) I have other, more pleasant customers to help and B) the way they are talking down to me tells me straight up that they will not tip and C) it's food. It's just a meal, people. And I'm not working there because I have a deep desire to make sure the area's 1%ers have a great dining experience. I'm working there because I have bills to pay and kids to feed.

And I don't even get my tips; I get an undisclosed percentage of tips along with my hourly. So, when that Jerk tries to punish me by tipping low or not tipping, the joke is on him.

Anyway, after my shift, Chef or Charlie makes me a sushi roll and I go home and do homework.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Anarchist Rant

Sometimes the rules just piss me off!

The first day of class, two main things happen: you find out what textbook you have to buy and you are given the first reading assignment. At this point you have two options: buy the book at the book store (or rent it which still gouges you) or order it for significantly less online and wait for it to arrive.

If you choose the first, you'll be able to complete the first reading assignment. But who can afford the insanely inflated prices in the isolated bookstore market? The publishers know we have to buy these books, so they raise the prices and put out new editions constantly. For some reason, most teachers go along with it, insisting that you have the latest edition even though there may be no changes since the one they put out last year. Sure, if an even later edition isn't coming out, you can sell them back at the end of term, but for significantly less. It is a racket, people.

So most of us just order online, getting older editions and accepting the risk of being a little lost sometimes.

But what about that first reading assignment?

Invariably, at least one student buys it outright, so why not just scan their copy? Like you would notes from a class you missed. The chapter could be emailed to everyone in class or better yet, put on Blackboard. (Blackboard is a website most campuses use. You have a section for each class where assignments are posted and you get grades and the teachers send announcements. Only people in that particular class have access.)

Here's the part where I got annoyed: I suggested this in my speech class and was shot down by the teacher who referenced copyright laws and today a mass email was sent out to all students warning of extreme, life-altering, debilitating fines for peer-to-peer sharing of any copyrighted material.

Please, publishing companies, don't have a heart attack. We are all going to buy the book. We wouldn't even consider going through the trouble of scanning the whole darn thing. What I'm talking about here is a chapter to get us by until our books come in.

Well, eff the first assignment. I am waiting on my book. Which is an older edition I got from a student who couldn't sell it back to the bookstore because it was no longer the latest edition.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Leaning


I'm one week into the semester and already overloaded with amazing projects. I love what I do! I have a three part printing/letterpress project that I have started but not completely fleshed out. The first part is to create a design in which you "say something" using words or a phrase, no imagery allowed. It's not just about putting any old words down; It's about making a statement.

The statement I am making might not mean anything to most people, but it would strike a chord with people involved in 21st Century Socialism as found in progressive parts of South America; Mink'a is a Quechua word and a concept that has existed for centuries. Mink'a is community, it is a way of life. Members gather to complete tasks that benefit the whole community. It is considered each individual's obligation and has to be fulfilled to earn water and voting rights.

From now on, I want to really think about everything I do as a potential portfolio piece and think about what I want to communicate with my portfolio. I want to be able to send it to activist groups, community organizers, groups like SOA Watch, Adbusters and ZNet (I know, ambitious, right?) and for them to see that I get it. You know? I want it to be a left-leaning portfolio.

Because the thing is, I'm not out to get a job in a flashy corporate office. I will do whatever local, mom and pop freelancing I can. But my bigger goal is to work for the causes that need good designers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Back in the Swing of It All


Today was the first day back after a long, long Christmas break. Let me tell you, it was a long day.

5:15am
I got up and started the coffee. I did my hair and put on my face, packed my bag and got dressed.

6:00
James and I got the kids up, packed them up, took them to my folks' house to spend the day.

7:00
I dropped James off at work and headed to school making a quick pit stop for more coffee.

8:00
Speech class. We will be giving one real speech this semester, but also learning about twitter and how to record and mix a podcast.

9:25
Printmaking. I think I'm going to love this class. At this point, I just have to trust that ideas will come because right now I am a little overwhelmed and can conjure no imagery. The ideas always come.

12:?? (I can't remember the exact time, but the next class always starts 10 minutes after the previous one ended. Which would be great if they were all in the same building or general region of campus so we could take a Number One break or rehydrate or scarf down an energy bar.)
Environmental Science. I sat in a chair without a desk and took notes frantically in my sketchbook because I am not really in this class. I just hope someone will drop so I can register and I am going and taking notes so as not to fall behind. I should probably just give up and try again next semester because this is crazy, right?

1:40
Graphic Design III –with an Emphasis on Printmaking as it turns out.
At first I couldn't stand Professor Mack, but all that's changed. It seems that he tailors each assignment to my specific needs (if not always wants). That's totally self-obsessive and I know it's not true. It just feels that way. I'm really interested in printmaking, text based work and content. This class is all those and more. So excited. The class goes on for hours. Until 4:20 then at

4:30
I picked up James from work and we got the kids and that was very much that.

Aaaaaannnnd, I'll do it all again on Thursday.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Quick Question


How do you plan to incorporate a sufficient amount of color into your looks this week?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Just One Really Good Day

8:30am I woke up and made coffee. A whole pot because two people. I took a shower and straightened my hair, which I never do. (The kids stayed over with their Godsent grandfolks last night so a mama had time for all this.)

9:45 I sat on the couch and did nothing for a while. What?!

11:00 St. Mary's Catholic Church for high mass. It was lovely and just what I needed.

1:00pm I came home to a mostly clean house thanks to my heathen husband. Seriously, though, thank you!

Then I stopped keeping track of time. We went out for a lunch date to India Palace, our favorite restaurant. We tried to go see a movie, but they wouldn't accept the tickets I donated blood for because Bollywood movies are $15 instead of whatever regular movies cost these days. Yeah, we could've gone to something else, but my own life blood is worth more to me than Hollywood. 

So instead we came home and had more coffee. 

I wore this dress to church:


But not the head scarf or cardigan

Then this evening after James got the kids and I put them in bed, I went over to Irene for a glass of wine and Downton Abbey. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Marina, baby!


I'm really loving this right now. I listen to her album on Spotify a few times a day and the kids don't mind because they like it when I dance.

Friday, January 11, 2013

More and More

I've spent all week working on my etsy store, adding new pieces every day. Oh, how I wish I had had the camera remote at the beginning of my break instead of just this final week of it! I have to go to work in a little while, but I'll have more to put up later tonight or tomorrow. For now, check out this sweet pink and white gingham blouse.


In other news, I had lots of fun with two lovely ladies yesterday and I wish we could just hang out all the time. Christi and I played dress up and made silly faces. Beth and I watched Marina and the Diamonds videos and talked and talked. But I am looking forward to going back to school. I am the president of the art club, so I oughta be excited, right!? Bring it!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Friends


A 2003 drawing on paper by Lamont E.A. Scanned from the exhibition catalog for Made In Prison: Contemporary Art by Incarcerated Men and Women, Co-curated by Julia Dzwonkoski and Kye Potter, 2003-2004, Herndon Gallery, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio.

I am having two friends over today. 

During naps, my friend Christi is coming over. No one loves eccentric, inexplicable clothes as much as she and I. Therefore, I shall offer her tea and see if she wants to play with my camera remote.

Then later, Beth will be over. I call this meeting Last Chance Landing. It is our final opportunity to spend a few coveted moments together before we are sucked yet again into the whirlwind of the semester. We are seniors in the same degree program, so we will see each other most days in the coming months. But our head space will be entirely taken up with projects. Which happens to be how we mostly like it. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ka-Chow!

I've spent the last couple days working hard on my etsy shop. Y'all, this is hard work. It may look like a lot of fun and acting silly, but it is a lot of work, too!

Seeing a pile of awesome vintage clothes should be exciting, but to me it is daunting. Styling, photographs, editing, measurements, descriptions, listing fees. All that and then a little breather before packaging up (which just has to be pretty), shipping, customs forms, more fees, etc.

But all that aside, this part is fun.


Taking the pictures used to be the most daunting of all, but I got this cheap little wireless remote for the camera and, viola! Fun! What used to take hours, now takes minutes. Sheesh, Lily, get with the program sooner next time, ya?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Shrinking

The sweater was medium. It was too big. It was made of cotton, so I did what I had to do. The results were even better than expected.

The sweater under discussion is the yellow one. Here it is shown beside a blue one, the original size of the now shrunken one, for comparison. I washed it as usual and put it in the dryer on low heat, delicate. I checked it every 15 minutes until the desired size was reached. 


Now the yellow sweater fits just right. Shrinking it tightened the knit but not too much. Probably because the original knit is too loose for my tastes. I like a sweater to not feel like it's going to fall apart. Even if it is. Hopefully it won't. 

Now it's the blue one's turn.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Spending Time With James


One of the things I want to do this year is get back to a closer relationship with my husband. It's not that there's anything wrong as it is, but life gets busy and we have kids and we work so much that sometimes we just end up not hanging out. The kids go to bed and he reads and I work on school stuff and that's that.

But I had this idea. See, I drink wine almost every night. A glass of red. It's supposed to be healthy, right? But it's not good to drink alone, they say. But I do anyway because James doesn't like wine.

Well, on a recent date, I got him to try this unfiltered sake. It turns out it is a solid overlap of his taste preference and my own.

So I got three bottles from the liquor store. The first bottle was consumed while chatting on the couch and watching Sound of Noise. (good movie!) The second was consumed while folding 6 loads of laundry. We still have one bottle left and already we have spent more time hanging out together than usual.

At work last night, I found myself missing James and wondering what he was up to and looking forward to seeing him. Like I said, we are fine. But 9 years into a relationship? There are bound to be peaks and valleys. If some Japanese alcohol can warm our winter, I say it's a good thing.

This is kind of a pity though because one of my heretofore unspoken resolutions is to drink less.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

What's in my Art Kit

I see a lot of bloggers do posts about all the stuff in their purses. It's all pretty and cute and useful stuff. I'm not going to show you what's in my purse. It's all receipts and tissues and diapers. And nothing cute. But I will show you my art kit. It is a handy wooden box, inexplicably labeled 1996. 


Those beautiful soft pastels were a gift from one of my longest-standing friends, Kara, herself an artist, now more of a writer.

The strange and lovely print of Adam and Eve over the world is by my own aunt, my father's sister, Stephanie Jo. Her work is very inspiring to me and I hope to follow in her footsteps this next semester as I embark on a printmaking path.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hair, Hair, Hair

I am growing my hair out and I want long hair, I really do. I can do fun things with it already, like this. I have a whole pinterest board of hair-spiration. But sometimes I think a quirky, actually ugly cut might be more up my alley...



Ok, so maybe not that last one, lol. But the others I could rock. 


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wantsies :: Hokusai Leggings

Most of what I want in this life is A) what I already have/money can't buy or B) DIY-able. This is an exception. It isn't often I come across something I can't live without that can't be (sorta) recreated at home using common household objects. James says this is surely not what the artist had in mind when he created this amazing print and I said, "oh, well."


Could you resist? Plus, new members get 20% off. So for $11 one really can't blame oneself if she weren't to resist, right?