Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chado = Way of Tea

I am sitting in my ryakubon chado course. We has sweets, we say "I will join you" then we ask "may I?" then we partake in the tea. We will learn to make of the bean paste sweets. Also we will work with clay and glaze to create ceramics. And then also we will make vases and learn to arrange flowers and write words in beautiful ways.

I is happy.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fruit in the city--not on Gay Street

While looking for weekend happenings in the highly-functioning Baltimore CityPaper online, the local weekly free liberal rag of the city, I espied an article about Baltimore city's arabbers, which I think are often misunderstood by MICAns.

Wikipedia describes:

An arabber is a street merchant who sells fruits and vegetables from a colorful, horse-drawn cart. Once a common sight in American East Coast cities, only a handful of arabbers still walk the streets of Baltimore.
One of the stables is located off of Pennsylvania Avenue, an area riddled with pawn shops, loitering, empty store fronts and flashing blue lights. The stables were condemned and now the horses are at Pimlico racetrack temporarily. Arabbers provide a healthy snack to kids who's parents often have to choose highly-processed foods for longevity and price. Not only that, but kids who would never get to see, help take care of, or be around horses get the opportunity in the city. They have around 50 horses, multiple carts, that make loops from Fells' Point to Reservoir Hill, and everyplace in-between.

And I gotta say, they're pretty cool, in a city where there's hardly any wild-life, and horses on the streets of Baltimore are part of the history of this place. It's strange, but any kind of living that can be made in this city in an honest way is valuable, especially that brings life to blighted areas of the city underserved by grocery stores and over-served by liquor markets.

The article is called All The Pretty Horses by Charles Cohen and is in the Baltimore-specific Mobtown Beat column of the Baltimore CityPaper.

Psst---CityPaper is also home to Anna Ditkoff's Murder Ink, a column detailing all murders each week and updating on murder investigations in the city (we hit 200 this week!). And a way-cool 2007 murder map. Thanks, CityPaper!

If you like Baltimore crime, though (you know what I mean), you should really be reading the Baltimore Crime Blog. By BCB's count, we're at 207 deaths by the way.

Oh, freshmen.

For the past few days the normally-quiet job of desk assistant has been as hectic-seeming as anything. Freshmen move in herds, loud and bawdy, drunk on their newly-gotten freedom as art students here at MICA. Parents are high-strung, luckily most have skipped town and their children have been left to their own devices. All the time to teach hygeine, manners, social skills, recipes, healthy living, is largely over. So, of course the parents are nervous.

If there's one thing I've learned at my time at MICA, at some point you gotta call that painting/sculpture/child 'finished,' as much as possible to the best of your ability, and let the critique come.

Of course, I definitely took a long time to figure that one out, before I stopped pulling all-nighters and sacrificing sleep and health for last-ditch efforts. A last-ditch effort will rarely save a piece that wasn't worked thoughtfully and at length in-process. I suppose I'm thinking a lot about wht skills I feel like I need to work on, where I've come to, and take personal inventory before figuring out what kind of art I'm going to make of the various elements and principles at hand.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Nose to the grindstone.

Picked up lots of work hours at the desks at the dorms at the beginning of the semester, but it seems to me that my work hours, instead of lining up somewhat with J's Geek Squad schedule, are the opposite, meaning time with one another is limited. Which is of course something I knew would likely happen, it's just frustrating in actuality. That being said, hopefully I'll get to go to the Maryland State Fair this weekend before classes kick off, look at cows and things with Amanda. And all I really feel like doing is not unpacking or working on thesis or planning the high holidays for Oy!, but rock climbing and hanging out with the honey.

Last night I made spinach quiche and gulab jamun with my friend Kate, which was adventuresome, as per usual. The roommate is supposed to be here this weekend, tomorrow or Sunday, I think, and that's pretty exciting, just because it will be one more person to chill out with. I'm also looking forward to choosing my studio in the Station building and getting that set up, simply because it will be an antidote to this restlessness that I'm feeling. Classes, assignments, and thesis promise to fill my time, distract me from all the thoughts of the tenuous future.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Just give me some Sugar

Lots of good things came out of camp. A whole summer of no cosmetics was great for my complexion and regimen, remembering I don't need half an hour to get ready. I got in the habit of both moisturizing (you know that 8,500 foot altitude isn't that humid) and wearing sunscreen, minimum, on my face, each and every day.

I also got in the habit of not storing anything pleasant-smelling in my tabin, to prevent bear and chippy visits. Now that I'm back in "the civilized world" I get my spray a day of Fresh's Sugar eau de parfum, a light, sweet, citrus-y affair perfect for the end of summer and beginning of autumn.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Fetuses were one of my great obsessions as high school drew to a close. I was drawn to the idea of being birthed into the real world, going to college. Last night, for the first time in a long while, I dreamt of fetuses. But, unlike times past, I was no longer the unspecific clay-like zygote; I was birthing this parasite. Or, at least as I recall, I was trying to find a safe place, like any other mammal, to drop that which I was carrying. I don't remember who was there, why I was on the run, why I had no place safe and welcoming...so, somewhere along some dunes, on a beach, I dropped my offspring, red and bloody it slipped from me, painlessly (or maybe I only remember it that way), and looked like something alien. Something from another planet. Which many mammals look like before they are ready for the world as well. It was so bizarre, surreal. The day after, it looked human, pleasant, pink and soft and warm, but no longer something frightening like it was.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Kind of mind-boggling.

One of the big reasons I really want to work in Student Affairs is that as young adults, students evolve practically before your eyes.

Students can go from naked mole rat freshman, who don't know how to get groceries or do their own laundry, to being able to be self-sufficient, world-traveling artists/individuals/adults, who pay taxes and have apartments and animals that they can take care of.

I am not exempt from being in this age bracket, however. My mind boggles at where I was 6 months ago, a year ago, freshman year. So much has happened this year, and I can honestly say that I've grown from my experiences.

Charles Saatchi purchases Notion Nanny

I got an email from Brooklyn-based artist Allison Smith, who I took the course "Fabric of Consciousness" with in the fibers department here at MICA last spring with. Her primary interest in fibers is commemorative textiles--handkerchiefs, quilts, rugs, etc. Allison asked for a swatch of one of my printed fabrics, which I was rag-rugging, and along with some dyed skeins of yarn from other students in my class, it, too, was added to the Notion Nanny's wares.

The "notion nanny" doll was a 19th-century tradition, a doll of a peddler woman originating in the south of France, with miniature handcrafts adorning her basket. Smith's notion nanny is part of an itinerant art project where she worked with many artisans to collect and create the objects in her basket.

So, Charles Scaasi, one of the most famous art collectors in the world, recently purchased Smith's "Notion Nanny," which has some of my fabric in it. Was pretty exciting to hear about.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Home to humidity

Chilling out at an open mic (with ilyAIMY and company) in Owings Mills, MD, and in summary all I can say it is so good to be home.

And I say this as a person who doesn't have a place to hang her hat and keep her dozen pair of shoes and her 300-thread-count sheets and arrange her pillows in a highly specific way.

But, I've gotten back together with the old flame, and here in the humidity and my temporary residence in his domicile 'till I get keys to my own tomorrow...it feels like where we're meant to be, together, at this moment in time. And that is perfect right now.

The predators are different back here in the city. Readers of this blog missed out on how one morning, while getting up at 5 am to shower before heading out to Wyoming, I laid in my Kelty 25* bag, it's worn-in nylon fabric and polyester batting, warm like toaster strudel filling. At around 5:12, I was just finishing disentangling my mind from my hazy mists of sleep, I hear, somewhere between Warm Toasty Magpie and Warm Fragrant Shower, the bear. And I kid not, it sounded like Chewbacca. And that cool Colorado morning shower became FAR less welcome than going back to bed. Here, I don't have to worry about bears (I read a whole book on Bear Attacks this summer). Instead I worry about muggers. But from the book I read, I learned that fighting back is what you do with bears, where with muggers you just give them what they want and leave.

So, speaking of bears, the fuzzy one and I are going out again. Nobody's parents are pleased, and we, too, are feeling their apprehension, but the stakes are no greater than before. It's a risk we've elected worth taking.

I think I've really grown over the summer, I think I keep becoming more and more of who I am destined to be (for a while). My path is becoming more clear cut, long term, and the little things that used to upset me don't really bug so much anymore. After all, I spent all summer climbing rocks, eating dirt and avoiding unpleasant bear encounters.

Tomorrow is moving day. I've decided to hire movers, and I am thrilled. Senior year, here I come.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I call it "Twinshop"

Yay for new garments care of teh twin! Also, hooray for trips up the central coast, pina coladas care of the parents, and sage straight out of Wyoming for spiritually cleansing the new dorm room.

Now, to fit clothes and neccessities in just one bag. I think I can, I think I can.

Tomorrow I fly to Baltimore, and I couldn't be more thrilled. One more academic year in Maryland, my graduation is less than 22 hours from my twin sisters'. Good job, CSUF and MICA. Good job.

Certainly this New Belgium Mothership Wit will aid my packing?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"Soon I will be Invincible"

I am currently reading a book which I'm enjoying very much, called "Soon I Will Be Invincible" by Austin Grossman which appears to play on the popularity of City of Heroes and the Incredibles, the need of people to believe in something greater than themselves, the world after losing faith in G-d, the idea that someone is watching out for you. It's about a failed super-villain, and it reminds me a lot of the animated series Justice League, the complex inter-personal relationships the characters developed by the author. It's nice and not super serious, that's enjoyable when I've got a lot of serious things on my mind.

My dad is snoring and I am wondering, dear G-d, why am I on a family vacation at the age of 21?


What is up with people who go on vacation only to fall asleep watching tv the same way they do at home? People who do the tours, spend the money, stay in their comfort zones? I hate it. I don't want to be near other tourists, I want to be near those I love doing something different than usual. That doesn't mean abandoning all I love, like internet in my hotel room, but it does mean actually taking a break. For me, that's catching up on blogging, thinking about thesis. I don't want to putter away vacation times in vacation towns, I want to take vacations centered around things I actually want to accomplish or experience before I die, and I feel really strongly about that.

On blogging post-summer

I don't know what's up with my blogging, whether I'm turned-off from my bad experiences from sharing through this blog (see my entries on dooced), or just out of the habit. I keep coming up with entries I want to make, and summarily they exit my brain, never to be made. The insightful entries I intend to make vanish into the ether of the business of daily life. Let it be known that I -will- work on my blogging, and try and make this a little more insightful and interesting for you folks.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Can never go back.

I appreciate the warnings, but I am, indeed, a grown up. I can take care of myself.

Everyone's impressed with how tanned I am. Lately I've been obsessing over, well, not my weight, but instead my shape, which I like but I also saw one of my co-workers lose like 30 lbs over the last few weeks of camp, and I think to myself "why didn't I do that?" which is a silly question: I didn't do that because I'm not getting married at summer's end, and I like my body, and at 8,000 feet I need the food, damnit. Anyway, I've really got to make peace with that. Weekend will be spent in Big Sur with the fam, which will be lovely, and currently I'm enjoying expensive groceries and watching lots of tivo, with moderate interjections of physical activity.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Don't panic.

Nothin' like not knowing where your wallet is and having lost your keys in some field in Vedauwoo, WY in the past two weeks to drive home how much you do not have yourself together.

I have 5 bags worth of stuff to take back to Southern California after an entire summer in Northern Colorado, somehow. I mean, the additional 7 litres of water-carrying vessels make sense. What doesn't make sense is the twenty-some books, the massive amounts of clothing I simply did not need. Amazing what free laudnry can do to the laundry-washing habit.

So, in addition to losing the keys with the debit keychain-card, and not knowing where my wallet with over $150 bucks in it is, I also don't have any means of identifying myself as who I am, which is fine and dandy when I'm about to Greyhound to L.A. and then fly to Baltimore.

Who the hell even knows at this point? I may have even thrown said wallet out with my paychecks in it. I hate this panic that comes with the excesses of stuff I seem to amass wherever I go. And I hate that once the cycle starts, the panic, the anxiety, little seems to ebb it's free-flow.

I'm going to hop in the shower and see if that helps. Oy veigh, is all I have to say.

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