Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Motvational Quote of the Day

Keep writing. Keep doing it and doing it. Even in the moments when it's so hurtful to think about writing. Heather B. Armstrong of

I've been thinking about starting a historically-based blog on being dooced (that is, losing one's job for what one has written on their weblog), as sort of a warning to bloggers out there and support for those who's online and off-line lives have converged in that perfect-storm sort of way that causes you to reasses your values and existence. And, you know, find another employer.

In case you're curious, here's a link to my previous entry On Doocing.... The entry lists 19 bloggers as of March 2007, so obviously it needs a little updating. I think it's also an art piece I'd like to work on, maybe a commemorative quilt or graveyard quilt?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The wood, the bad, and the hungry

I do love my Home Improvement in the mornings. And by mornings I mean afternoons.

Last night I had a dream I was looking for a navy blazer and found candy hearts on discount in the front of a high-end suit shop.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Officially a performance artist

One month since Christmas, and last night I both had a really lovely time with my friends and felt really vulnerable. I also lost at darts. Anyway, off to method act in class.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Toes chopped off so as to stand closer to the stove

Sometimes I do wonder how I even make it as a contemporary woman. I mean, I barely am capable of keeping my eyebrows shaped and trimmed. In the last few months I've worked hard to stop biting my nails as much, though they never are very long. So entrancing is the care and maintenance of nails that I can spend over an hour or two doing them when I have no other obligations. And, this being the first week of classes, obligations I have few.

Unfortunately, I am terrible at painting my nails. A (guy) friend of mine, astonished at my utter lack of fine motor control in this case, asked if he could sometime paint them, just to see if he could do any better.

Sure, give it a go, man. I mean, I'm not sure anyone could do worse than the job I do when I choose to polish them in a color.

I'm just about over the sickness I got the moment I left my folk's house, my room was super-clean and now the floor is buried under clothes and papers. I have two more classes on Monday, and am still trying to find one more job for the semester as a teacher's aid for foundation sculpture classes, which I've done for two semesters in a row now.

Funny enough, I wasn't made to feel stressed out by filling out my entire time-line for thesis in my day planner during class early today. I dropped off a copy of my higher ed resume for review by a member of staff here in student activities.

Right, darts night! Gonna go scrub up my hands and doll up and drift out!

Vibram Five Fingers

New pair of shoes, testing them out to see if they are at all practical for outdoor work. These are last season's size 40 women's Vibram FiveFinger Sprint in taupe.

Today is the first day of my last semester ever of senior thesis as an undergraduate at MICA. I'm sleep-deprived from working the graveyard shift from midnight to 6 AM, but somehow my heart is racing with excitement and I am petrified and thrilled.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Get what you give

At one point last year, I was dating W, but still seeing my ex. And then I told W that he and I were giving it another go, and for some reason, W has still stuck around.

Well, the guy who I went out with for drinks a couple nights ago just gave me a little taste of my own medicine. He's getting back together with his ex. It hurts, we had a good first date, we were going to go sledding and on culinary adventures together, but because there is so much power in old relationships, he chose a second chance with her. He said he wanted to be friends, I replied I wasn't really interested. I've got enough friends, I was looking for something more.

And I can't really be mad at him, I've done the same thing. There was just a lot of reason to hope, what with the competitive Boggle score and witty repartee.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

"You are everything I never knew I always wanted."

Gotta love Fools Rush In.

Lots of choices!

I just finished putting my resume onto I'm getting my Wilderness First Responder in March, but I don't have enough climbing experience to work with Educo, and I can spend my summer applying for fall jobs, which can be either reslife or part time reslife and outdoor ed or all outdoor ed. There are advantages and disadvantages to wanting to do many things with your life. You can always mix it up, there are forever options for places you can look for work, you have lots of unique skills that set you apart from a typical job applicant. The disadvantage is that I feel like I'm being pulled in two different directions simultaneously. Once again, I am the girl who thinks she can have everything she wants. I think I can be leading young people on wilderness adventures, and saving up money and living on-campus someplace. Reality is, it's probably got to be one or the other.

I am thinking of going back to the camp I worked at last year for the summer simply because it will be easy. It will be doing something I know (even if camp is never easy 'cause of the long hours and low pay), and I will be able to concentrate on finishing thesis and packing up my Baltimore life into a couple door-to-door storage units before heading out to beautiful Northern Colorado. I'd love to see the girls who were in my camps last year, I'd love to work with Blue, who's a great peer leader and will be at her third year at this camp. There are so many little reasons that it makes sense to go back. It'll be nice to leave some things behind, lighten my emotional load, and be someplace completely different after graduation.

Openings aren't up yet for the fall positions at colleges and universities, but I've got a start. I've got to try and leave my club at least as good as I got it a few years ago, and I gotta fledge from the place I love at some point. The date I went on the other night, I basically did the admissions schpiel for him as I showed him my campus and introduced him to fellow MICAns and grads at the local pub over some cider. I love the place that I chose to go to school, and I hope to one day work for an institution that inspires some of the same feelings in their students, for the same reasons it did for me: MICA was a place where I could fumble, learn, make mistakes, and start to grow up. And if I don't leave it, I'm never going to be who I'm supposed to.

Domestic drudgery? I think not.

Photos of yesterday's domestic deliciousness with Sima, and photos of my lovely curtains in a bargain-bin cotton-lycra uhpolstery fabric my mom found at JoAnn's. If you know me, you know that this moddish floral print is myself in textile form. And the Pink Lady organic apples at Whole Foods were on sale and are AMAZING (fresh from Washington). Enjoy!

Sick and tired

I'm cleaning the apartment top to bottom, yesterday my friend and I had a great domestic evening in which we did our nails, make sauce from scratch with fennel and ate it over miniature gnocchi (pictures forthcoming).

I went to bed early, underwear inside-out-and-backwards and hoping for enough snow to sled on (we ended up getting none), and couldn't fall asleep for the life of me.

Adjusting to the time difference is always hard for my body, and getting a cold on top of things isn't helping a lot. I can't breathe well, I have a humidifier but it's not helping a lot. Here's hoping I can recover just a little more today in preparation for the beginning of my LAST semester as an undergraduate!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Reminder to friends who are graduating--

Don't forget to save reciepts for art supplies and certain tools and furniture (starting January 1st) since you'll likely be filing as an independent on tax returns next year! Hooray!

I had DA re-training today but we got out super-early, so I'll be unpacking and getting together a couple bags for goodwill of clothes that I'm no longer wearing. Cleaning, etc. I got a new iron for Christmas so I'm kind of excited about that. It's very dry in my apartment building because of the type of furnace, and as soon as I left my parents' place I started getting this respiratory thing so hopefully I can get some hot water up in my shower and unclog. Also planning on heading out to the studio today, and maybe getting my tire fixed down in Fell's Point.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The words, they tumble

Oh, impulses. Little tweaked out ADD-brain, sleep-deprived and sensitive is not the time to communicate with people.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I don't miss you, Baltimore.

A year ago, when I got dumped, I spent MLK week wandering the city at length. I found one of my favorite sweaters, a hand-knit three-quarter length cardigan with a button at the top, hanging on a dumpster that day on my way to Enoch Pratt Free Library and before I went to watch the parade. A neon sort of orange-red in cotton, with bits of periwinkle and yellow and tangerine, it's cheerfulness and dedication completely belied that day's grimness for me. Dazed, lonesome, and alone, before any of my friends had gotten back to school. I smoked clove cigarettes like a chimney, and cut my hair again and again, as if shedding the keratinized skin cells would make easier shedding emotions and memories.

Granted, it's not easy to be the one breaking up. It sucks. Nobody wants to hurt somebody they loved, it's just a reality, somebody's gotta do it. If there's not hurt, there's anger, and anger...well, we all know what that leads to. It's called a break-up because it's broken. It's a break-up, not a break-down. And other self-help titles. He's just not that into you, maybe?

From Ingrid Michaelson's song Breakable:

Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?

Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts.
So it's fairly simple to cut right through the mess,
And to stop the muscle that makes us confess.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

I mean, I couldn't possibly do worse than I did then, so that's a little optimism inside me, but I am not thrilled to be heading back to Baltimore. Here I can be helpful, feed the animals, talk to dogs, cuddle with little warm bodies that never get sick of being the wrong kind of spoon, and autopilot my way to and from the buzzing city (or far-off suburbs). I've got some hard work to do in the studio, I know that now, and that work isn't the easiest to make. Blood and sweat and tears and money and time, to be put on a pedestal and judged.

I just want to avoid people and places for a while, and I suppose it will be pretty easy to do so since my life isn't tied to his like it was last year, hopelessly entangled. And the fact that we broke up when we weren't in the same physical space was good. As is my way, I have four dates lined up for when I get back, and of course my on-going affair with LEGO Star Wars to occupy my time.

I'm just not a little girl any more, I'm not that naive or innocent or enchanted with possibility, and I'm sort of sad to see that part of me gone for the most part. Still, though, I dream of romance. Of a relationship so well-matched that one can't help but believe in a higher power, with a person who sees me in their future, not just the past and present. I deserve that much.

Scrabulous gettin' sued?

Morning Edition, January 15, 2008 · Scrabble is one of the most popular board games, with more than 100 million sets sold worldwide. An online version of the game, called Scrabulous, is getting a lot of attention. But Hasbro, the maker of Scrabble, isn't happy. That's because it isn't the maker of Scrabulous. Listen here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New AOL IM Contact

Now my AIM address is the same as my email: ellefeldman AT gmail DOT com.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I think this vacation has been the most movie-filled in a long time. I saw Juno, I Am Legend (on IMAX), Perseoplis, and then Sweeney Todd:The Demon Barber of Fleet Street .

And tomorrow, I'm going to go see a sneak preview of the romantic comedy 27 dresses. It's going to be lovely.

Honestly, I am totally scared that it's almost the end of college (undergrad at least), and I want nothing more than to just skip to 6 months from now and just know that everything is going to be okay. I know it will be . I'm more focused and have more direction than most of the people I know and go to school with, and yet somehow I'm worried. Somehow, right? I just have to get into the studio and work and work on some of my applications. I was going to wait to apply for grad school, but I think I'm going to do an application for Shippensburg in PA. They pay you $18,000 a year to go to school part-time and be a Hall Director part-time. It seems right. But I still want to get outside and go on adventures and become a better climber and teacher before I'm too old to do so, till life gets in the way. So many decisions.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Perchance and recup

Me and my momma! Doesn't she look great for just having had two knees replaced? What an awesome lady!

Going to see Juno tonight and hang out with my friend from high school Liz, very exciting!

Oh, and my surreal experience was, yesterday, while in the fabric district buying for next semester's projects at Michael Lavigne's, I texted one of my ex's and told him I just saw his momma's twin. Only, his mom was, unbeknownst to me, in town for a knitting show. "You're kidding?" I answered when he called in reply.
"No, knitting show."
"Call her on her iPhone, right now."
So I, clutching my two yards of rubber-backed yellow fluorescent (at a pricey $13 a pop, thanks Michael Lavigne's!), watched as this woman, HIS mother, picks up her iPhone. She gets asked if she is in the fabric district. She looks around for a satellite or hidden camera or something that would explain...and there I am. And she is there. In my state. In my part of it. In the same store at the same time as I am just because my mom's having surgery a few miles away.
I will never forget how small the world is sometimes if things like that occur in my life on a semi-annual basis.

My Life Is Surreal

and also, my mom's doin' awesome!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Calling all Baltimorons

Anyone want to hit the Ingrid Michaelson/Matt Nathanson show at the Recher in Towson on January 31st at 7 PM? Her station on Pandora has been my breakup listening of choice, and I think it's good to support cool indie-pop artists in concert. Last years' Girls and Boys' "December Baby" is from an Old Navy sweater commercial that was on this past December, and that's how I found out about Ingrid. Listen to a couple tracks on her myspace. And while you're at it, check out Michael Berkowitz, who writes songs about snow and the ocean and Baltimore.

Also, if you are a person inclined towards praying or well-wishing, or sending good vibes, send some to my momma, who's having bilateral total knee replacements tomorrow at USC. She's been in so much pain for so long, I hope this brings her as much mobility and relief as possible.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Yay for early thank-you's!

As a present for helping around the house with all of the preparations for my moms' knee replacements (yes, both of them, at once), after making falafel for dinner and retiring to my room to let muscle relaxers kick in, I dropped by the kitchen to see how the food went over, and sitting on the counter was this. "An early thank-you present," mom said. I couldn't believe she'd gotten this for me! It's coming back to Baltimore and will take up residence in my studio this next semester.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Neon Paved Paradise

My dad, the chief veterinarian of the city of Los Angeles, animal services. An off-duty police officer shot and killed this 78 lb. (empty-stomached, and thus probably hungry) female mountain lion who was tearing his dog limb-from-limb (never had a chance). Someone from the park service came to take samples for rodenticides and do a necropsy and this is my dad with the lioness. Apparently there are only 8 or 9 lionesses like her in the whole San Fernando-Conejo-Santa Monica Mountains area, and one male covers that entire same territory.

It was completely legal what the officer did, but still I find it sad, since if this man had kept an eye on his dog and not just put him out, the big cat could have snatched somebody's Kitty and made off with none the wiser and probably not getting shot for following her instincts.

It's pretty easy to forget when you're not out in the back-country that human beings (and our domestic pets) can still be prey for somebody. No matter how much of paradise we pave, we are still on their territory.

You lose some, you win some.

In this case, my family lost two trash bags full of old clothes and linens and deduced it from their 2008 taxes.

And I gained mint copies of Chasing Amy (1997) and Clerks (1994?) laserdiscs for my Kevin Smith collection as well as a VHS copy of the divine Undercover Blues (1993), starring Kathleen Turner and Dennis Quaid (trailer here). Now all I need is a time machine to go back to 1996 to get a VCR and laserdisc player. The Clerks and Chasing Amy LD's have joined the ranks of 4-5 X-Files season 1 LD's I got in Berkley, CA six years ago. Who knows how long it will be till my movie collectibles have a permanent display area, but I've got a MIB Mulder & Scully that are just dying to get the privacy of a cabinet, knowhatimean?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy new year!

  • Rachel was my wing-girl at the House That Greed Bought down in Reseda.
  • There was a fire pit.
  • Costume party--the host of the party wore his Tick costume, I wore my camp counselor gear.
  • Serenity late at night on huge bean bag chairs.
  • Dude, who bogarted our Love Sac, Rachel?
  • As guests left or laid themselves to rest, there was a naked man asleep on the kitchen floor. Later I saw him sleeping on the dog bed, and then at the foot of the bed in the host's bedroom.
  • Witness to lots and lots of debauchery, with really very little involvement therein. I mean, I do love to be a fly on the wall.
  • Always surreal in the Mad Scientist House.
  • Sushi on a unique platter.
  • When we woke up the hot-tub was about 1 1/2 feet short of where it was supposed to be.
  • Fat Tire! Huzzah for Ft. Collins beer!
  • Very very surreal.
  • Rachel & I tag-teamed to make sure everyone got new year's kisses.

Yesterday my new nunchuck arrived and I'm gonna spend all morning playing a few levels of LEGO Star Wars. There are few things that could not be improved by being played by animated LEGO guys, who explode comically in a set of painful-to-step-on bright-colored plastic pieces.

I have no new year's resolutions of my own, though I do have a counter-resolution, that I not at any point let my twin sister become lighter in weight than myself (her resolution is to keep getting more fit, which is awesome, but seriously? Now I will actually have to work to stay ahead. Darn it.)

By the way, making pita pizzas with baba ghanoush in place of pizza sauce and a little kefir and mint on top after baking is super duper delicious.

Elle's shared items