Saturday, March 31, 2007

I rub robsters!

Ever wonder what robsters are, and what they look like? Strapya! reveals!

It's bizarre that this upper-crust, elitist food--these crustaceans, are such a status thing; particularly because you're really just eating an over-sized bug. Cultured, no?

Bathroom Graffiti - Pistol Hair Dryer

Bathroom Graffiti - Pistol Hair Dryer

All this good design is giving me lots of as soon as I find my sketchbook and get out of bed, we'll be in business.

Design your own superhero undies.

Good morning, Baltimore.

Rag-rugged this morning, looked at design web sites (oh wait still doing that), and am watching Goldmember, which I've never seen. My ex introduced me to the Connery-era Bond films, and Austin Powers only thrils me more than it ever did. So, very exciting here. Tomorrow is MICA's Open House for potential incoming students, so I've been asked to be working in the fibers' department studios tomorrow, which will probably be some printing, and then some more printing (I'm thinking of making commemorative matzo bags for the afikomen for Oy!'s Paschal Seder next friday.)

Big task of this weekend will also be a grocery shopping trip to get supplies for the Paschal Seder. Basically, MICA doesn't have a huge active Jewish population, but Koinonia is the Christian fellowship here, and last year we had a seder during passover and invited them. We ate on the floor, there was barely enough food, but it was REALLY successful, and we're doing it again. As part of preperation for this, we had an egg-dyeing social with Koinonia and let people decorate eggs, invited people to the seder, talked about the menu and requirements of cooking kosher for passover.

There, of course, will be lots of grape juice and kosher Coca-Cola. And matzo ball soup. Also, ridiculously jewish prizes, a large-scale hunt for the Golden Afikomen, and a nomination for Program of the Year. I'm thrilled.


I can't sleep and I'm addicted to adding stylish design rss feeds like Bluelines from Martha Stewart's Blueprint mag to my RSS feed aggregator.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Blog organization

So, now that this blog has a substantial number of entries (75), I've got to consider whether or not the current 'list everything you talked about in that entry' sort of tagging is going to work in the long-term. (Do you like how I start paragraphs with 'so?' Why or why not? Effectively make you feel like we've just picked back up in the middle of a conversation, or trite and lame?)

Yes, the long term. I am not the most long-sighted of all individuals. After all, each day I have some sort of crisis of self, and I can't POSSIBLY even think about the blip it will be eventually when the world is ending oh g-d my life is horrible!

How do I divide my ponderings as Elle in a way that not only makes sense to me, but that summarizes what my life and this journal are about?

Also, I'm thinking of typesetting my entire LiveJournal as a book and printing it into a physical entity, to see how that reads.

I'd forgotten, actually.

So, a year ago I was working on my post-apocalyptic fashion collection, Dystopolis. A friend recently asked about my AIM name, emagatonsi, and it comes from IsNotAGame backwards.

There's a company called Edoc Laundry, which uses hipster t-shirts to disseminate information related to an Alternate Reality Game (article in Wired here).

For more info on Alternate Reality Games, search "I Love Bees," the viral marketing campaign used by Microsoft to market Halo.

These games often utilized web sites as a starting point, but there are also phone conversations with fictional characters, hidden code in web sites, or in the case of Edoc Laundry, in clothing.

The closest I've ever come to ARG's in person is this one time where I went to Charles Village to play Zombie Nerf War, but ultimately left before the game started because I was so stressed about my fashion show line's progress. So much of my life has been reading fanfiction, being anxious about possibilities, living vicariously through strong female characters in books. I think where ARG's really interested me was the creation of a mythology so thoughtful, so pervasive, that the very line between real and make-believe could be changed in a person's mind. And giving a storyline, guidelines, puzzles, clues, structure, that allowed a person to exist in this alternate world, as they exist in their flesh-and-blood day-job body.

Which sort of comes full circle to the existential crisis of the day. The fibers majors of the class of 2008 are the first class that will be able to have fulfilled the full requirements of the Experimental Fashion concentration here at MICA. A year ago, I took Fashion Graphics, which talks about graphics, branding, type, copy, and design as related to garments. It was a graphic design class, so kind of the entire time I felt underwater in terms of working with print/package/label design/graphics programs. Anyway, I did mediocre in the class, my fashion line wasn't expansive, but now I've got to work with the same instructor for the next entire year. The class is called multi-media event, and I'm really hoping it's like Fashion Graphics for fibers majors and fine art. With the requirements of my major and concentration, I have three art history classes and seven and a half studio art classes to finish in the next two semesters. These required classes mean I can't take the classes I'd really love to. My schedule made itself for me.

Basically, while looking over my registration sheet for the next semester, I panicked with the lack of classes I have to take left to me. There are so many classes I'd love to take, hell, I'd kill to take Uniformity (again) with Kristine Woods and Christopher Whittey, mindfuck that that would be. Until talking with the department chair, I didn't know what to do. But, the smiling, silver-haired dutchwoman told me it would be silly not to finish my concentration. And I believe her.

Which goes back to me being Fibers with Experimental Fashion concentration. I realize I don't care that much about fashion. But clothing, dress, design is an expansive and powerful vocabulary with which a fine artist can comment on the world they live in and their place in it, their role as artists. My work's now taken a less apocalyptic, more domestic turn, obsessive about strength of making food as opposed to strength in crisis. It will be interesting to see how my work develops over the next semester to become my final proposal. And, right now I'm not sure what that proposal will look like.

Everything always comes full-circle, no?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fred Lazarus

Little in words can convey the love I have for MICA's bow-tied president of the past twenty years. In his time, the endowment has grown from under $2 million to almost $22 million. He also looks charmingly goofy, what with his kind smile, laughing eyes, and flamboyant yellow tie. Unlike most MICAns, I think MICA's doing a whole lot well. It costs $55 million to run our fair institution per year, and twenty-eight cents of each dollar I spend on tuition goes to the pool of financial aid given to students. I only wish that more people knew President Lazarus, and that he'd get to know us better (as he earnestly professed he wanted to at today's town hall meeting).

Which is why I say, Fred Lazarus III, get thee to Facebook. Who would dare leave a defamatory comment? How can one criticise that smiling face? The very sight of this man on campus makes me giggle like the little schoolgirl I am by comparison.

People don't even realize they can email him at . I also think that we should have more programming involving the president. When was the last time a resident assistant asked Fred out to go duck-pin bowling (a common Maryland pasttime)? Perhaps he makes a mean green-bean casserole and should be invited to a potluck. Maybe he likes feeding pigeons. The point is, Fred Lazarus is the hero of this institution, and I think he should have a waterfall AND duck pond.

Fred Lazarus's great-grandfather also was the man that had them move Thanksgiving two weeks earlier, to lengthen the holiday shopping season. That's pretty great, right?

Also, I kind of adore Provost Ray Allen.

And I wish this CSA would stop cutting cables in the Station computer lab. It's kind of bringing me down.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Tulip Poplars Say 'hello'

And also, I am feeling very bloated and wheezy. Also, the pressures of my all-too-human existance are bearing their weight on my shoulders. Mostly, it's passover. I hate that. It's my favorite holiday next to Yom Kippur, and here I am, not being very thankful for it.

On the up-side, we'll be dyeing easter eggs this Friday. That's pretty awesome, right?

Cranberry apple cook-down.

I saw Tyler Florence on Food 911 (on Food Network) make this lovely Apple-Cranberry Kissel with Sweet Sour Cream, which looked so good that I modified it to make the following. If you like warm, cooked rhubarb, then you'll love the following:

5-6 cheap little apples (I used golden delicious; tarter choice would be granny smith)
2 c of a nice tart cranberry juice cocktail
1/3 c white sugar (if you haven't tried organic, give it a go: so worth it)
1/3 c dark brown or turbinado sugar
2 t ground cinnamon
3 T corn starch with 1/2c cold water
1 pinkie-tip-sized piece of fresh ginger, microplaned

Cut the apples into quarter-sized pieces, leaving skin on for nutritional content.
Add to large pot on medium-high heat, and mix in cranberry juice, sugars, cinnamon, and ginger.
Cook down for circa 20 minutes till it starts to look like a thin, chunky applesauce. Your apartment will smell like Christmas at this point.
Add slurry, a little at a time, allowing the mixture to cook clear and thicken. Add more slurry till you get a nice thin cobblery sort of filling.
Chill at will.
Feeds you and five hungry roommates.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Reading too much Shmuley

I think that the ease of communication between people that occurs naturally, that the two learn to cultivate, is the real basis for long-term partnership. In retrospect, I see that J and I had our differences, and there were certainly times when I could have been more communicative and understanding of my own needs. Instead, I sort of lost myself in him, lost focus on myself.

But, in the end, I hope nothing more than he ends up with someone better for him than I, that he can feel free to be himself. Nothing's harder to watch than seeing him trying to make everyone else happy, but not really being that happy overall right now. I can't wait till he finds himself someone that he doesn't have to be political with (though he will still have to be polite). The last thing we need these days is one more audience to cater to, and someone's partner shouldn't be another person to have to pander to in order to make them happy.

Slowly but surely, I'm learning.

I will eat this sushi, then eat all of Tokyo.

I spent most of the weekend, sans formal, in bed, continuing to recover from whatever virus G-d has see fit to give me. After a morning talking about art brut in Alison Smith's class and showing off my ex-boyfriend's massive boy scout patch collection, I got the go-ahead to go back to bed, which is where I am now.

Above is evidence of my weekend, where I managed to stay awake long enough to make a plate-full of sushi. Big adventure of my sushi-making? I made tamago, or egg-cake sushi (tamago is where Tamagotchi comes from, btw.) It turned out great! I just need to figure out how to get my sushi rice a little bit more moist, and then I am never paying $1.50 for a piece of tamago sushi again.

Hope everyone's enjoying the sunshine in Baltimore today! I'm going to drink lots of fluids.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Yazz Formal

Blogger ate my first post, but I had an amazing time dancing and dining last night at MICA's annual Jazz Formal. I love dancing, I love that I can kind-of lead (though rumor mill has it that I'm now a lesbian; must be the short hair), I love the way I got thrown around the dance floor last night and how much Liz giggled each time I spun her. Photographic evidence above. It was a blast, I looked great, so did my friends, Tabolt has become an awesome dancer, I got matching shoes and handbag at Wal Mart, earrings at H&M, and a dress at The Village for less than $40 total.

Soetimes you just need to get thrown around to a live jazz band, look really really hot, dance till ya sweat, sweat till you slip, slip till ya bleed...wait, nix those last couple. I sort of wish MICA would sell commemmorative dance cards for the Jazz Formal, but I think that's just my 1940's Wellsley girl-wannabe talking. A girl can dream, can't she?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Should be sleeping

Insomniatic again. Sigh.

Friday, March 23, 2007


You just gotta eat creay cheezy gritz, watch Titanic, and lie in bed by yourself to remember how to be happy with yourself and the little things.

Time to go celebrate the opening of Ally's play

Something about Wegman's

Here in PA and northern MD, we have this chain of high-end supermarkets called Wegman's. Wegman's has a huge eat-in section for the yuppies to take lunch breaks in, a large organics section, and, most importantly, a choo-choo train that circulates around the store and entertains the yuppies Montessori-educated children. Where a typical ghetto grocery store trip to Sav-A-Lot will run me about $20, Wegman's is a guaranteed $50.

But it's soooooooo good.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

For the most part, I love my new roommates. But, I woke up this morning to have some leftover egg-drop soup from ordering in last night, and turns out one of them threw out my orange tofu, a huge thing of white rice, a half-full quart of soup, and my un-opened and un-eaten avocado roll. I went to Wegmanns this morning to get milk, eggs, matzo ball soup mix, but those aren't what I want. I want my Asian Taste delivery leftovers. G.d fucking damnit.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The worst patient

I'm really bad about being sick. I don't want to be alone, but I don't want to be social. I want to groan and complain in bed, I want to tough things out. Part of me wants to watch TV, movies, and Wii, and I want to sit alone and read. The more contageous I am, the more I want someone with me, or less likely I will sit by myself and be quiet. My body is unbelievably stiff and achy. I need another popsicle. I need to go to sleep.

I want my mommy to make me matzo ball soup and my daddy to go on runs to Whole Foods for boxes of tea. It's times like these I really wish I'd gone to school near them (especially with Passover on its way). Ahh well. Sometimes it's hard to believe I'm twenty, because a little part of me just wants to be taken care of by someone, anyone.

"I don't know where it comes from, but I just have the feeding gene." -Nigela Lawson

I feel the very same way.

I went to the doctor today and they think I have a virus, so I've got a note to stay out of classes and away from people. I'm eating egg drop soup, sitting in bed watching Foodography on Nigela Lawson, who's certainly my favourite food personality. The show's just goregous, so casual yet fabulous, the real richness of home cooking comes through so beautifully.

Whilst at the doc, I snatched a bunch of latex gloves. Yes, I have a ton of rubber pink and orange kitchen gloves I got in Reading, PA. But, there's something about medical gloves that reminds me so much of my parents, who are veterinarians. They were something always around, I love their sort of velvety, thin texture on my hands when working on fibers.

I looked up the RA who replaced me, and it's funny what a small world we live in. The same fantasy series I loved as an adolescent, and the same hometown. As much as I'd love to hate her, it just doesn't make sense. If anything, there's a lot in common, and we both probably want what's best for the residents. But I'll give myself some more time. There's no hurry, it's something I have to be certain of.

Has anyone got an amazing biscotti recipe?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A year ago today....

One year ago today, I wrote the following:

I can't believe J and I have been going out since Monday, as of tonight we'll be starting our sixth day together. Our first date was Monday, I took Justin out for sushi. We watched movies till we fell asleep together when we got back to MICA.

We've just been spending every moment, waking and sleeping, together for so long, that it's bizarre to think that now J's going to get busy, and I've got to get down to business on Fashion Show, and we're going to see eachother...-not every day-. Today instead of dawdling when we woke up for a couple hours talking, J's alarm went off at six am and he got up to go to the annual boy scout shabbat.

It feels like it's been a month.

Justin took me and a few other MICAns to Sonar to see his sister's band on Wednesday night. Thursday night I met his parents. Surreal...last night we both told eachother that after a couple hours away from one another we felt symptoms of withdrawl. The break hasn't been unproductive, but I haven't gotten a lot of work done.

And then there's also the wrinkle of working together and our roommate situations. I don't want to deprive his roommates or his Residents of his presence, but our relationship is becoming the most important thing to me, which is of course risky. A huge part of me can't even help talking about "us" like we're going to be together for months.

Sort of adorable. So twitterpated, you know?

My throat's SORE, I can't fall asleep (again), and I'm reminiscing. These are dangerous grounds, Elle. All the cable in the world, the reading, sewing, and even studying--can't let me go to sleep.

Looking back on where I was a year ago, and where I am today, I can't help but think I like me better now (sans bitterness). And a year from today, I'll probably think the same. So glad the work's not all about the end of the world anymore, aren't you?

Insomnia hits again.

Sometime after four this morning, I wake up, blue. Like, real blue. Like, Blind Willie Johnson blue. In passing, people say "how are you?" as a greeting, not a question. I reply "good," or "fine." What would I say to people if I didn't have those two write-off words to turn to? "Why, actually, I have a terrible headache and my boogers are black and every time I see a happy couple in love I want to shoot them." Or something like that. Some days and moments are better than others, but for three hours I channel-surfed, ate gingersnaps in bed, smoked one of my roommates' cigarettes, flossed (twice), folded laundry, and otherwise puttered my sleep-time away. Sleep would not come.

I just laid awake and wondered how I could screw up so badly, how I'm never going to be an RA again, and how the thing I loved the most in my life is gone. Happy thoughts, ladies and gentlemen, these were not. But, I'm making art, and I'm working hard, and I'm still doing two jobs on-campus, and I still have camps to apply to. There's even a small part of me that'd consider taking next year off, if only so I can re-apply to be an RCA my Super Senior year. But, I've got to move on sometime. Soon would be nice. I'm not holding my breath.

Commemorative Bedsheet

In honor of the end of my first big love, hacking off all of my hair (twice), I printed this commemorative bedsheet, using my hair as opposed to rubylith or a drawing on vellum or acetate to block the light on the silkscreen when I exposed it. I wish my screen mesh were a little finer, but even at 137 count, there's an interesting quality, wherein the hair sort of emerges, isn't entirely obvious, which I like. There's also something interesting about hair and sheets, because if this was ACTUAL hair, arranged in a repeat pattern, we'd be dealing with a totally different animal. First image above is of the sheet, the second is a close-up of my test prints. I've got one more screen to print, and then I'll be somewhat done with that project, though part of me does beg another part of me to do pillow-shams as well. They'd look great strung up on a line outside.

Rag rugging

The most recent project for Alison Smith's commemorative textiles class here at MICA, I'm turning old commemorative t-shirts, my mom's comforter from college, my scraps of the fabric I've designed and printed, and incomplete projects into a very colorful, very practical, rag rug. I'm braiding then sewing, and there's lots of cutting fabric on the bias, which I'm finding surprisingly enjoyable.

The concept of this piece isn't monstrous--(that should be an m-dash, but I don't know how to do that in this here courier) take things which are taking up space, no longer practical for what they were intended, or take an emotional toll to look upon, to make something which goes on the floor and keeps your feet from feeling the chill. Something so inherently yours and personal that it gives you great pleasure to keep these things in a practical, non-hording way. And it doesn't matter I think that my audience won't know, because I know, and this project is for me. The current unit in that class, I should mention, is trench art. Next is Art Brut.

Anyway, I'm chugging along on my rug, and taking in the weather. Found a room-mate for next year and am applying for housing in the Meyerhoff, so hopefully that goes well. It really depends due to the housing lottery. I've just had bad luck with my landlord, and I don't want to deal with that until I'm a grown-up (ie out of college or when I get my first grey hair, whichever comes first).

It's sooo beautiful out, I think I may go biking to fells point before my TA position this afternoon/evening. Maybe I can convince Laura to let us take a walk to the Contemporary Museum or something?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Spring, you tease you.

One week ago, it was t-shirt and jeans weather in good old Mobtown. The crocuses were blooming, the freshmen were out in the courtyard of the Commons dorms, birds, etc etc etc. A few days ago, it sleeted. The second photo, you can see the blossoms on the tree, and the sleet on the ground. It's pretty ridiculous. Spring, why you gotta be a tease like that?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

...On Doocing.

Internet is mildly horrible at best at the station building where my personal art studio is on-campus. And, since I did a ton of prep-work on Thursday-Saturday on my two latest pieces, I'm able to stay in bed with my sunday New York Times.

It is from this contemplative station, and three meals into the day (scrambled eggs and raisin bread toast, palak/saag paneer, with queso fresco substituting traditional Indian cheese, and Spaghetti-O's) that I read my blog-roll, catch up on reading my blogging articles, and Google the phrase, "I was dooced."

One must wonder how I thought I was immune. The following is a list of links, each of which is a fairly well-known or prolific blogger who was fired as a result, directly or indirectly, of blogging.

The list is far from complete, but I'd like to expand upon it as time goes on, sort of as an homage to the phenomenon that almost always ends in the blogger not feeling that bad about venting, the employer seeming pretty petty, and a whole lotta' grown-ups being butt-hurt over what's generally someone's opinion. If I've forgotten anyone you feel needs must be included, please comment and link-at-will!

Note: Out of respect for the self-branding that titling a blog acts as, and lack of publishing of most people's full name and surname on their blogs, I'm listing blog name, not blogger name. Except where Heather Armstrong is concerned. Because, I mean, really. The Dooce herself.

Heather B. Armstrong of Dooce fame (i.e. where the term comes from) was fired from her I.T. job in February 2002.

Raspil, currently of The Noisy Kitchen was dooced at some point in 2002, for something written on another blog of his.

Eclecticism at October 2003. Fired by Microsoft.

Mark was fired from Google in 2004 at some time. His blog is Ninety-Nine Zeros.

Jessica of Washingtonienne was fired from a staff assistant position in Washington, DC in May, 2004.

Erin of Giggle Chick was dooced in June 2004., fired by Friendster, August 2004.

Ellen of Queen of the Sky fired by Delta in September 2004.

Karsh, who writes at Black Gay Blogger, January 2005.

Ambra Nykol, who writes Nykola, dooced January 2005.

Jeremy of Ensight was dooced for "divulging company secrets in a public space" in January 2005.

The Phantom Professor of blog of same name, an adjunct professor at a small private college, was dooced for writing about his bratty students in May 2005.

MEGABLOG at Blogger was a professor at DeVry and was dooced December 2005 for a couple uncited disparaging remarks about the school/paperwork.

Singing Sally of blog of same name, who worked for "a large, bureaucratic, publicly funded institute" (her words), found her blog postings printed, copied, and circulated at the office, culminating in being fired for having opinons on things in February 2006.

Petite Anglaise, an englishwoman living and working in France as a secretary at some sort of firm and a pretty important member of the european blogosphere, dooced April 2006 for "bringing [the] firm into disrepute."

Jessa,, May 2006.

Mr. Fabulous of Pointless Drivel was dooced in July 2006. I'm not sure why.

T.K.O. ...more or less... dooced August 2006.

Reluctant Nomad. No idea when or for what.

There's also an NPR report by Eric Wiener about all these doocing's and bloggers rights.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Yesterday would have been a year with J. It wasn't an easy day. One of my roommates is utterly one-month-in in-love with her boyfriend, and I miss that. I miss him. And I still don't regret being with him, and every relationship leads to a better one, and everything, everything, happens for a reason.

It was a little more heartbreaking finding out that a new RA has moved into my old quarters. I want to tell her about my residents, but I know she's got to learn how to interact with them in her own ways.

A year is not a whole lot of time in the span of a life. It's 1/20th of my life, 5%. So much has changed in such a short while, but it'll just be a blip in memory, eventually.

J's sick, it's really hard to resist the urge to be there to comfort him, to call him and see how he feels. Instead, I have to be alone with myself, and think about how I feel. Which is a whole lot harder, for me.

While I have fewer responsibilities, there's a lot up in the air right now. Still haven't found a camp job for the summer, or figured out where I'm living and with whom next year. Miss my residents, miss programming for them (though I am doing programming for the Jewish Student Union now that I have the time and can prioritize it).

And, of course, there is the reality of how I don't want to be an art-maker right now. How art is less interesting than residents.

But, when I step back, I think of how I've grown and changed in the past year, how part of me has become the me I recognize better, the one that explores the city and has days that are easy to reminisce about.

Yesterday was tough, but things are getting easier, in ways. As the weather improves, my SAD starts to go away, and that's pretty amazing.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Instead of making a cranky, late-night post...

I've decided to list awesome things.

Late-night Typography work sessions with Adult Swim (and cable in general). This is so much more pleasant!

Printed a commemorative bedsheet today. Crappy cell phone photos coming soon!

Got a new racerback tank top with built-in bra from Village Thrift. It's pretty much awesome. The modestly-endowed girl can never have too many tank tops with built-in bras!

Wandered the city with my dear friend Liz for a couple hours this afternoon and enjoyed the spring weather, but not so much the ridiculous distance walked in my leather-bottomed Minnetonka mocs.

1/4-1/3 through Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Wii. Frickin' amazing.

I wish more of the roomies were home so that I had someone to cuddle with. Ally went to bed. Ptthbt.

Oh man, I wish I had deviled eggs right now. That would be amazzzzzzzing. Okay, back to a catnap and homework. Huzzah!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

In another show of the many ways in which I am becoming my parents...

By the time I get the whole way through the Sunday New York Times (which I get delivered so as to keep tabs on what is going on in the world, or at least read the latest Modern Love column), I usually have the next Sunday's paper in hand. It's not an intentional way to savor three dollars spent over a week. It's just what happens.

Which leads to me FINALLY reading the Alexandra Jacobs article called Campus Exposure from March 4th's NY Times Magazine on "a new crop of college sex magazines shows students baring it all. In the age of MySpace and confessional blogs, is this the ultimate in self-revelation?"

The rags run the gamut of scale, size, sexiness, and school sanction. Jacobs writes on the essential nature of the phenomena of printed college sex mags:

Considering that a smorgasbord of Internet porn is but a mouse click away for most college students, there’s something valiant, even quaint, about the attempt to organize and consider sex in a printed magazine. It’s as if, though curious to exp the possibly frightening boundlessness of adult eroticism, they also wish to keep it at arm’s length, contained within the safety of the campus. The students involved display a host of contradictory qualities: cheekiness and earnestness, progressive politics and retro sensibilities, salacity and sensitivity. They aren’t so much answering the question of what is and what isn’t porn — or what those categories might even mean today — as artfully, disarmingly and sometimes deliberately skirting it.

I generally agree that there are certain levels of success and failure in this sort of publication, but I think when it comes down to it, my generation grew up with the Lewinski scandal and pornography a click away. For every sensitive and insightful MTV documentary or public service campaign (Rock The Vote, anyone?), there's a new episode of Jackass to placate the glamourized ignorant male masses. There's a real sense of people just trying to find common ground and comfort in a society that's so fast-paced and complex that one can easily feel divorced or alienated from those around them. I think that's a reason sub-cultures exist, that there are very specific fashions, styles, rules. In the end, it may be harder to try to be an individual, at the same time as someone of mass media and culture, than it is to sort of characterize one's self in the guise of a clique or group.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Funny thing about online journals...

I'm writing this entry as positive reinforcement for continuing to not read the journals of people with whom learning that information is either unneccessary or would be not good for me to read.

It's a funny thing, there's the designated dialer, to protect you from calling an ex out of loneliness, desperation, and often inebriation. But, on the internet, with people's innermost thoughts and feelings at an easy-to-remember address at which to follow your impulses, you can find out things you really didn't even want to know. And there isn't a way to un-do the knowing of things. It's a whole pandora's box opened up when you read another persons' journal. I can hardly deal with the goings-on, subsequent doubts and celebrations, regrets, denials, wants, longings.... I can hardly handle my own life 24/7 sometimes, so what is the point of taking on someone elses thoughts, baggage, misconceptions, and theories?

I can be really prone to act on impulse. Am I finally growing up enough to beat my impulses, to think in the long-term, to know that reading so-and-so's accounts of their perfect life is 1) subject to whatever they chose to write and not neccessarily a reflection of reality, and 2) not good for me.

Which sort of speaks to the need to remember why people blog, why people journal, what the publicity of online journals does to effect the writer's entries. Any related blog theory ideas or articles would be much appreciated at this point.

Betty Page-Crocker

I've been able to cook more in the past two days than I did all the rest of second semester in my apartment in the Commons. It's definitley a time issue, but it's not just that. I didn't feel the need to cook as much because I got the face-time and emotional appreciation from my residents and socializing with them, not, like in previous semesters, from my classmates who I fed.

Which, once again, goes back to oxytocin thing. Why do I produce oxytocin when I cook? Is it because it reminds me of being close to my mom, and my body remembers that cooking = feeling loved? It's funny that after a whole semester thinking about work, art, love, cooking, and domesticity, I find myself equally as distant from any sort of solution.

After all, as the wonderful Kristine Woods always says, you have to have an opinion in your art, you have to have a point of view. If you're making art that doesn't offend anyone, then it's probably not resonating super-strong with anyone either. I feel really strongly about feeding people, about empowering people with information, about being nurturing and enabling. And part of that may be because I was raised as a girl in America, but I'm good at it, and I love it.

And it just shows how much an inherent part of myself feeding and nurturing people is, that even now that I don't have any obligations to my old residents, and there's no reason for me to feed my room-mates, I do. I can't NOT do these things. Go figure.

Today was amazing.

Last night on a late-night adventure to the Wal-Mart in Port Covington, Baltimore, the roomies and I got some neccessities, food, etc., and I went ahead and purchased the lovely Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins rom-com I.Q. (1994). I started watching it last night, fell asleep, and finished it this morning with freshly made dried-cherry chocolate-chip popular muffins (variation on the typical Betty Crocker 1969 popular muffins recipe, of my own creation). Once I finally got rolling, some scrambled eggs and another muffin later, and got the roommates up and running, we took a long-awaited trip to Fells Point, in Baltimore.

We took the 13 bus all the way to Wolfe and Fleet Streets, where we were just a couple blocks from our final destinations. Bought cheap bread at H&S bakery outlet, got cilantro and queso fresco at a mexican market, bought fresh tortillas at a tortilleria. It was pretty amazing, there was a lot of bonding with the new girls. I also got a pack of rainbow light Nat Shermans for special occasions. They're lovely, really beautiful, wonderfully packaged.

The girls are pretty open, and that's great for me. The day was full of inside-jokes, insights and explainations, and getting out of the MICA bubble. We finished up as the sun went down, Dominique took tons of photos, Ally ogled the mexicanos. A great day all-in-all, if not particularly productive. But, now that I was dooced, I'm not really as obliged to others. I get to be myself for myself. And while that's really nice right now, I can't say I don't miss my residents.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Wii for music lovers

I'm probably not the only individual frustrated at the fact that the Opera browser for the Wii doesn't fully support streaming audio like Pandora or XM Sattelite Radio. After all, if one can do non-keyboard intensive internet browsing or watch YouTube on their telly, then who's to say that we even need computers if Nintendo releases some sort of keyboard for the Wii? That being said, FineTune has a Wii-friendly player at . I'm not particularly familiar with FineTune, but it reminds me a lot of Pandora in that it matches related songs and artist to create a playlist that you'll enjoy, even if you're not a music connesour, per se. The player is very Wii-mote friendly, looks great on-screen, and I'm really excited to have found a solution to my music-listening quandary. You can check out my playlist and profile for FineTune, or add me if you have it (I don't know that I know anyone who does right now), by clicking here.

Wii music info found on LiquidIce's Nintendo Wii Hacks blog, here.

Officially initiated

The other night I was officially initiated as a member of apartment 401. Then Kate and I made magnolia cupcakes (again). Last night, I fell asleep between two of my three room-mates, and I gotta say that falling asleep with other people is one of the nicest feelings the human body can experience. Like little baby cats, full of soothing oxytocin and comfortable, non-sexual intimacy. Cuddling for the win, ladies and gents.

All's Quiet on the Eastern Front

I'm slightly behind on my blogging, which is truly sort of tragic since so much has been going on. Of course, I've been living my life instead of blogging about it, but I'm not forgetting about blogging, and I've made lots of mobile photo posts while living my life, even if I haven't written about them yet.

I'm all moved-in to the new place, left my apartment in the Commons pretty damn barren, which is always sort of a flashback to pre-college, or the end of the summer, or moving in freshman year. Unlike last times I moved, I actually managed my time and packing pretty well, and even spackeld all the holes I put in my wall and removed the anchors. Still, hard to believe I'm probably not going to be living in the Commons, MICA's freshman dorms, ever again. I have a real spot in my heart for that place.

It snowed again on Tuesday, which is sort of exciting. This time it was real, Maryland snow, light and powdery and not for packing, unlike when I went sledding with my residents a couple weeks ago.

Anyway, gotta fold laundry, unpack, and hope my bag of electronics shows up at some point. I miss being an RCA allready, but it's nice to be able to just be a student, too. And I know I'm not, nor will I ever be, "just a student." More on that later.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


1) This post is not intended to imply that ResLife at MICA isn't good at dealing with the human nature of students and sensitive nature of artists, I just think sometimes they could do better.

2) And by do better, I mean it makes me really sad to lose my job for the rest of the year AND the rest of my undergrad career, and I wish they'd made a different set of decisions.

3) Milage may vary.

4) Business-like nature of staff this year has allowed for much shorter, efficient meetings, we operate more efficiently than they did last year, etc. So I'm not saying all the changes are bad, and I do think the longer MICA is at it, the better it gets at ResLife and Student Affairs.

5) Whine whine, bitch bitch, moan, get over it, ya whimp! Workin' on it.

6) I was good friends with an RA not-my-own my freshman year, we happened to be in the same Intro Fibers class, and girlie never tried to hide the fact that she was human from me even though I was a resident, and it made me feel trustworthy, and then I confided in her, and we're still bosom buddies and always will be, even if she didn't have chink-less RA-armor.

A recent e-mail from my aunt:

Life is full of disappointments, sorry to say, and hopefully this will be your worst. You know what "they" say, it's better to have loved and lost...then never to have loved at all! Life is a risk...we all have to be brave enough to take them and learn from them. Some day, we will talk about Jeff and you will learn how many times he has loved and lost, but never gives up the quest to find the person he can make a life with.

It's funny, because at this point I'm getting over the loss of romantic love, I'm starting to get over the ideal/idol complex of that person (J) being The One, moving on in some pretty significant strides.

But, from where I sit right now, I would have made a damn fine RA next year, and I continue to be stunned in the turn of events. If Residence Life defends itself from me by asking me to resign as a course of action, if they choose to do that as opposed to defending all the good I've done in this job, and that I still have a ton to offer residents, then ResLife isn't making the right decisions. ResLife needs to be about students first, and not about keeping it's pristine reputation. The one thing this job truly lacked for me was a feeling of understanding and humanity on a regular basis...sometimes I feel like it's more of a business (business of making parents of under-classmen at MICA happy with their students' living situations) than an art (the art of helping students develop as individuals by advising on conflict resolution, educating, programming effectively, and enforcing policies).

I screwed up, in more ways than one, but it's not my fault if a resident makes a poor decision for the last time. When does bureaucray and appearances take a back seat to doing the -real- work, the kind that cannot be measured or administered like disciplinary actions? When does a resident have to defend making the same mistake over and over, and everyone knowing about it? As a department, when does Residence Life genuinely choose care of students over care of the department? I know the two are intertwined hopelessly, but people make mistakes. Residents do, residents get second, third, fourth chances. When does Residence Life realize that RA's are just as much works-in-progress as our residents?

The thing that frustrates me the most is that I've worked so hard on building personal relationships with my residents in the past two months, in really understanding them, opening up for them a little and recieving the same sort of opening up from them. Whatever blog posts I made that may have tarnished reputations, my own and those of others, appear to be long gone. Not a single resident of mine has guessed accurately why I was asked to resign, not by a long shot. In the course of thirty hours, where the public at large had access to various and sundry entries for which I would later be dooced, 18 people TOTAL spent more than 0:09 (nine seconds) on my blog's site.

I just find it hard to believe that if a resident points out a poor decision made by an RA (that didn't threaten lives and was an honest mis-take) while being met with over something that they did wrong (incense, drinking, pot, throwing things off of balconies, whatever), that Residence Life can't take the position of "That's his/her poor decision, and they have to answer for it just like you have to; Now, let's talk about the better choice(s) you coul have made."

Maybe if Residence Life at MICA allowed my mistake, allowed me to own up to it to my residents, say what I did and what I should have done, maybe ResLife at MICA wouldn't be seen as the sort of "police force" it's construed as on a whole. RCA's here are trained not to ignore situations or not report incidents, but it shouldn't be because of being threatened into doing it, it should be for genuine care of well-being of the residents.

Eighteen people read my blog after I posted the link on my Facebook profile, and before I un-published some unsavory entries. I know the names of at least six or seven of those. That's 12-13 (consider they each found it so fascinating they told a room-mate: 24-26) residents who "read" my screw-up(s). Out of a few hundred freshmen, at least 45 of whom are my residents and know me well, and another couple dozen who I know well even though they aren't in my community, which really makes the bigger impact? Why can't we be human as RA's, so that our faults and successes are both paid attention to, as opposed to being beacons of light, on which one speck of dirt is an abomination of a distraction?

What would happen if ResLife had a blog? What would happen if the list of the incidents, minus names, was posted each week for all to see? I'm just questioning some of the lack of open-ness that's going on here, because 1) It's not like residents are completely imperceptive as to staff dynamics/conflict on staff when it's not brought up to them, and 2) Maybe if Residence Life operated in a thoroughly resident-centered manner, in ALL things, we wouldn't have a whole lot to hide. They'd always do what was best for the residents. A little overly simple, perhaps, as there are certainly cases where it's student versus student(s), but, again, what's so bad about transparency?

The reason blogging is so worthwhile to people of my generation is that by giving information openly, there are a lot of gains to be made. Attention, better understanding, releasing feelings. Pretty soon, there will be no un-tarnished MySpace or Facebook for potential employers to look at; this sort of over-sharing instantly is something so characteristic of this generation, and pretty much everyone will screw up eventually.

It seems to me that in Student Affairs (in general, not just MICA) rules and procedures are put into place to protect the physical and mental health of residents/the student body and encourage healthy growth and development. But should it be at the cost of the physical and mental health of student-staff? Considering my role as a student leader, doesn't MICA have just as much invested in my well-being as that of a acting-out/misbehaving resident?

I guess I just wish someone had told me that by becoming an RA, I would have to cope with everything really well, and that chances given to other members of the student body would no longer be available to me as a member of student staff. I still woulda done it, I still may have even fucked up, but at least I'd have been a little better prepared for being asked to resign.

Or maybe not. Maybe it's similar to love in that nobody can warn you how much it's going to hurt, or how you couldn't even have helped screwing up, so full of passion were you ('omg! I did a good job at policy enforcement! I'm not a failure!'). Everyone can try and warn you, but it'll blindside you just the same. And you won't be the same person in love as you were before it. And you won't be the same person after losing something so precious as you were when you "had it all."

Whew. And, I'm spent. I'm sure I'll feel very differently while at grad school for these things, and maybe I'll understand my superiors better, but I'm still sort of in shock, truth be told.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Well-adjusted? who?

I'm doing some more packing, then heading back to the new place for a coffee-doughnut-Scrabble-Top Gun date. Moving sucks, but the new Sonic, playing Zelda, all these things pretty much rock my socks. I'm going to be okay. Of course, the more time that passes, the less consequence my actions have, the less it makes sense me resigning, the more bizarre and surreal my situation becomes. Which is, generally, where I stop thinking, defrost some butter, and make cupcakes.

Never leaving my bed again

I finally downloaded Opera for my Wii and am never leaving my bed again. Life is amazing. If you need me, just swing by the Meyerhoff room 401, go to the room at the end of the hall with a big L On the door, and be prepared for me not wearing pants.

That is all.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

I love cable.

The only major moving I did today was my small metal tables, my television, my step-stool, and my folding chairs. I worked six hours straight doing my Desk Assistant thing, and have off the next three days, which I will use to finish moving and maybe go to DC on Monday (can you say "painting cherry blossoms like woah?"). I've still got loads of kitchen packing, clothing folding, and, finally, cleaning to do.

Not to mention the loads of papers which I can never seem to handle completely. At one point it'd be nice to just go ocra/paperless, once I get a computer that's going to last me a while. I've had my little Averatec since Freshman year, and it's case, though replaced once, is showing it's wear, in the form of cracks (not even hairline anymore).

The smell of smoke is sort of pervasive in this apartment, I have to close my door and even then it doesn't stay out entirely. I'll have to figure something out.

I know it's sad that I'm back in bed, but I'm really happy watching Discovery channel from my loft bed and working on camp staff applications. So glad it's spring break, even though moving sucks.

I apologise for the relatively thoughtless nature of these posts, as I've got no huge insightful blog posts on blog theory or on what being dooced so thoroughly feels like. You know? Of course you do, Interweb.

Of course you do.

"You look even more jewish with short hair" --Alex

It's so pretty out that it makes me want to go all the way and crop my hair REALLY close, like, 1/2" shorter. Except maybe for the little sideburns. I want to hook up the television and cable today and get all my clothes and furniture and my printer over to the new place. Also, I would like to go to bed when this desk shift is over. Just two more hours. **eyeroll**

Spring Has Sprung!

It's official: Whilst the tulips and crocuses made their first appearance on Martin Luther King Day in Bolton Hill, they have returned full-force, with a vengeance. The snow all melted yesterday, I'm up for a 6 am to 12 noon shift at the Meyerhoff, my home for the rest of the semester, and the birds are singin', the sun is shinin', and it's otherwise quite goregous out.

Perfect weather for moving, right?

As if ANY weather was perfect for moving. Still, I did all my laundry at the new place, made my bed yesterday--a loft bed, full-size--hung up my secondary/alternative lighting situations, showered at the new place, etc. Today's mission is the tables, shelves, printer, and TV. I've got a TON of papers that I'll have to sort through, but I have four days (including today) to finish moving, and I think I'm allowed, at least a little, to start setting up the new place as I'm moving out of the old. I did a bang-up job of keeping all my shelving, hardware, power cords, nails, lights, and all those other moving essentials as the first things to the meyerhoff. J is going to give me some coaxial cable and help me move my monstrosity of a television into my room, which will be freakin' sweet (as these dorms are outfitted with cable!). I took the safety rail off of my bed, though one leap from it yesterday confirmed the ladder as a true neccessity, as the shock reverberated through every little tarsal, meta-tarsal, and the calcaneus of my feet and made me yelp in pain.

Moving isn't that bad, though I'm not getting the best vibes from one of the new room-mates, though that may be because she was using my room as her own personal studio. But, I like their friends, it's a little messy for me but that means that I won't feel the pressure to bring things back up to code, and I do my art at my studio anyways. I think only time is going to prove to the new roommate that I am NOT devil-spawn, and I promise, scout's honor, to be on my best behavior.

I unpacked the ol' inflatable mattress from my days out on the Terrace, and tucked it under my bed as possible chillaxing space. Alex, my amazing stupendous resident, and I watched The Little Princess (old school Shirley Temple style) and packed yesterday. One of the crappy things about moving is definitley going to be moving all my kitchen stuff. The counter-space is somewhat lacking, and the new place smells like ciggies (it's a smoking apartment), but I have a full-size bed, and I'm pretty sure I'll be okay.It's official: Whilst the tulips and crocuses made their first appearance on Martin Luther King Day in Bolton Hill, they have returned full-force, with a vengeance. The snow all melted yesterday, I'm up for a 6 am to 12 noon shift at the Meyerhoff, my home for the rest of the semester, and the birds are singin', the sun is shinin', and it's otherwise quite goregous out.

Perfect weather for moving, right?

As if ANY weather was perfect for moving. Still, I did all my laundry at the new place, made my bed yesterday--a loft bed, full-size--hung up my secondary/alternative lighting situations, showered at the new place, etc. Today's mission is the tables, shelves, printer, and TV. I've got a TON of papers that I'll have to sort through, but I have four days (including today) to finish moving, and I think I'm allowed, at least a little, to start setting up the new place as I'm moving out of the old. I did a bang-up job of keeping all my shelving, hardware, power cords, nails, lights, and all those other moving essentials as the first things to the meyerhoff. J is going to give me some coaxial cable and help me move my monstrosity of a television into my room, which will be freakin' sweet (as these dorms are outfitted with cable!). I took the safety rail off of my bed, though one leap from it yesterday confirmed the ladder as a true neccessity, as the shock reverberated through every little tarsal, meta-tarsal, and the calcaneus of my feet and made me yelp in pain.

Moving isn't that bad, though I'm not getting the best vibes from one of the new room-mates, though that may be because she was using my room as her own personal studio. But, I like their friends, it's a little messy for me but that means that I won't feel the pressure to bring things back up to code, and I do my art at my studio anyways. I think only time is going to prove to the new roommate that I am NOT devil-spawn, and I promise, scout's honor, to be on my best behavior.

I unpacked the ol' inflatable mattress from my days out on the Terrace, and tucked it under my bed as possible chillaxing space. Alex, my amazing stupendous resident, and I watched The Little Princess (old school Shirley Temple style) and packed yesterday. One of the crappy things about moving is definitley going to be moving all my kitchen stuff. The counter-space is somewhat lacking, and the new place smells like ciggies (it's a smoking apartment), but I have a full-size bed, and I'm pretty sure I'll be okay.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Old Habits Die Hard

To apply for peer-career advisor--or not to apply for peer career advisor? That is the question. Hmm. Sammy was in my dream, and there was another girl with a Chippewa "Tradition" shirt only hers was blue on yellow and mine is yellow on blue. Such weird dreams.

Today is the first day that one can officially term spring-like in Baltimore. It's amazing how being outside and the good weather improves my mood, and I'm quite thrilled at the idea of spending another summer outside. Seriously. Only thing is I've got to find a job. The more I think about it, the more I'm excited about not doing TARCing, because I kind of know what that's like, and it's definitley not as exciting as the outdoors.

Sooo much packing.

To-do To-day

  • Pack Wisp, plug-ins, and wall clock.
  • Take down secondary light sources
  • Including the lamp in the common room
  • Pack up my Wii
  • Pack up my DVD's
  • Take my shelves from the kitchen and bathroom
  • Un-mount shelves from bathroom
  • Buy new anchors, drill out old ones to evade charges.
  • Do laundry
  • Make up bed at the new place
  • Take shelves, hooks, lamps, etc. to the new place and start mounting them.
  • Leave enough laundry to survive on in old place and start moving to new place
  • Try and ignore how much moving sucks.
  • Pack up food
  • Pack up utensils and pans and such
  • Once in new place, decide where these things will be stored.
  • Clean out fridge
  • Get more Adderall
  • Hope the new roomies have emptied out my room so I can, you know, move in.
  • Clorox wipe and bleach-solution all surfaces.


I definitley just slept for fourteen hours. I got out of class at 3, made Skylar dinner before she caught her taxi to the airport, ended up in bed around 4. Then, at about 7, Alexandra wakes me up, we putter around for two hours. I have lots of dreams about lots of different little boys and girls and summer camps and countries (you can, of course, see where my head is at). Ed had to wake me up for my 6-9 am shift at the commons desk.

On the plus side, my fauxhawk looks AMAZING right after I wake up. And now I have a couple hours to look at more summer camps. The hunt continues.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Graduate School

Despite my not making it through my year as an RCA at MICA, I'm pretty convinced that I love student affairs, and that I want to get an assistantship and be a Hall Director/GA while persuing my masters in Student Affairs, which includes everything from ResLife to Disability Services to Student Activities and International Student Affairs. And, then I can be an artist, after I do that for a while and am sick of college students. Which might take a while. But, that's the tenative post-MICA plan.

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