Wednesday, March 30, 2011

And I Lost My Heart Over....

This song.

Sung oh-so-sweetly for insomniacs-- Passion Pit will stay awake with you.

Poetry Wednesday


The space between our nettles
is where the tide comes in,
sorting and sifting
my ire from yours.

Out of water they blend
so seamless, together,
two hates that stain white
like sea salt.

I listen for the ocean
in the things you’ve touched;
Salt-sick and wind-blind and maddened by thirst,
I pour you from them.

annnnnnnnnnd something not-mine that I love:

by Pablo Neruda

There is something dense, united, settled in the depths,
repeating its number, its identical sign.
How it is noted that stones have touched time,
in their refined matter there is an odor of age,
of water brought by the sea, from salt and sleep.

I'm encircled by a single thing, a single movement:
a mineral weight, a honeyed light
cling to the sound of the word "noche":
the tint of wheat, of ivory, of tears,
things of leather, of wood, of wool,
archaic, faded, uniform,
collect around me like walls.

I work quietly, wheeling over myself,
a crow over death, a crow in mourning.
I mediate, isolated in the spread of seasons,
centric, encircled by a silent geometry:
a partial temperature drifts down from the sky,
a distant empire of confused unities
reunites encircling me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Panda Pappkameraden!!!

This is a photo from 2008, but I just saw it today, so let's pretend it's new. SO MANY SMILES from this. The World Wildlife Fund attacked the Eiffel Tower with cardboard panda-buddies one early Saturday morning in October. 1600 of them, to be exact, representing the approximately 1,600 panda bears left on our planet.

If you know me at all, you know my love for pandas. They're puppies of the jungle. One of my best friends adopted one for me a few years ago- best birthday gift ever. His name is Bada Shanren. He's a perfect pudge-monster.

In other do-gooding news, my friend Kathryn is doing Relay For Life at Vassar. Donate to her, she's awesome, and so is her cause!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Let's Get Our Hands Dirty: Part II

Thank goodness! Good friends let me draw on them. They know it's easier if they don't fight it. Hi Jeff.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

It's strange how things and people and places you thought were in your past can creep up and return to you. I have't been home in a year, but right now all I want is to head north, take Exit 17 off the highway, and hug my best friend.

On Saturday another South High senior committed suicide, bringing the total number of tragic deaths in my hometown up to 8 in the past year and a half. I keep trying to rationalize it, to separate it from the place I'm in and the people I know now, but it keeps coming back. Karmically, I wish the kids who go there now could catch a break: on March 4, the school held its 34th Annual Marathon Dance, raising $326, 213.58 in one night for local charities and individuals in need. I danced in that Marathon for all four years I was there, and it remains one of the best things I've ever done. Those kids are golden, and I think they deserve a little goodness.

SHMD 2011 Web Promo from Joshua Jacobs on Vimeo.

(Check out more on Marathon Dance at

Right now my heart hurts for everyone in that town. Sending my love.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Poetry Wednesday

The Only Love Poem I'll Ever Write

I can’t ignore the way
The tops of your ears
Curl under
Like paper burnt at the edges
I want to keep them
For you to tell me that I can.

annnnnnnd something not-mine, which I love:

This is Just to Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
for breakfast.

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

Monday, March 21, 2011

"I love you more than my own skin" -Frida Kahlo as a Fashion Icon

So there I was, sitting in the German Studies lounge far too early in the morning for my liking, when the most magical thing happened. A back-issue of German Vogue from last year caught my eye, peeking out, as it was, from beneath an issue of Sports Illustrated. When I interned at Ralph Lauren, we had access to virtually every issue of French, Italian, British, and American Vogue ever printed, but I'd never had access to GERMAN Vogue (except during a 2-hour layover in Frankfurt last year, but I was far too busy looking at the steins).

So I picked it up, and what do I find? A Lagerfeld homage (with model Claudia Schiffer) to the vibrant styling of my favorite artist, Frida Kahlo. I cannot possibly explain how I love her. Here is a woman who gets impaled by a trolley hand-rail (which enters through her lower back and exits through her lady-parts), and can still find hilarity in the world. Her husband was Diego Rivera (referred to affectionately by Frida as "panzón"....essentially "fattie"), who cheated on her fairly consistently throughout their life together, and yet she loved him still. She was an alcoholic and a cripple. Her portraits are beauty and pain and colors you can't name. She was a feminist and a socialist, an artist, and a lover. Que cajones.

Here are two of my favorite photographs from the Vogue spread which, luckily, I managed to hunt down online:

I love the legacy coming out here- Kahlo, of course, posed for a very famous cover of French Vogue in 1940.

Anyway, as I might have said before, I have a love/hate relationship to fashion. The Ralph gig was a fluke, and though I did get a lot out of it, I know I never want to work in that industry. That being said, this is the sort of thing that makes me excited about fashion. When fashion becomes art and boundaries blur. Fashion--good fashion--to me, is when body=canvas. It's art, it's just on us instead of the wall. I maintain that one of the reasons I got the job in the first place was that there was a print of Nicole Kidman dressed in a black Ralph Lauren gown on the wall of the office where I was interviewed, and I recognized immediately that it was a recreation of John Singer Sargent's Madame X. I may not have been too handy with the flat-sketches, but I loves me some art history.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Movies to Take You Through the Night

I am a notorious insomniac. But in the last week, my sleep-goof status has reached all new levels of impressiveness. I usually end up falling asleep at 7 or 8 in the morning, and then, POP. Up at 10:30 like a pop-tart. Brown Cinnamon-Sugar flavored. Then I fall asleep by accident in my warm laundry. I'm also notorious for coming up with new and creative ways to get warm, but that's another story.

LUCKILY, my favorite movies list has also been rocked this week. Two films I've watched in the weeeeee hours of the morning have stolen my heart: In the Mood for Love (2000) and Once (2006). It's a miracle that I hadn't ever seen the latter, since one of my favorite bands, The Swell Season, kind of came out of the film. I discovered their music before I knew about the movie. The song of theirs I love the most, "Falling Slowly" is featured, and won an Oscar for Best Original Song:

I'll admit, if the music's good, I'm probably going to like the movie, so it's no surprise that I loved Once.

In the Mood for Love is something else altogether, although there's a similar wistful parting, and the music was, likewise, unforgettable. In fact, the music grabbed me within the first few minutes. You get these breathtaking montage-style scenes where everything is slowed down a bit, and the haunting, string-heavy theme plays. The main characters hardly touch throughout the film, but it's one of the most romantic stories I've ever seen. The cinematography is also, I think, unparalleled. Here's one of my favorite scenes:

I did complain to a friend about the title, which comes from one of the songs in the movie. He told me that the Chinese translation is something closer to "The Flowery Years" or "The Age of Blossoms," which I like far better. I think that if it hadn't been recommended to me and I'd seen only the title "In the Mood For Love," I would have passed over it. And what a shame that would have been.

Watch In the Mood For Love by yourself. Watch Once...uhhhh, not by yourself.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My best friend got me my first Gaelic Storm album, "Tree," in 2005, and I've loved them ever since. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Boozy Baking

I. Love. Baking. With whiskey. Rum is also fun, but I'm of the "dark-chocolate-or-I'll-die" school of thought, and whiskey just goes so perfectly with that.

Pictures on top: Dark chocolate whiskey truffle cupcakes with dark chocolate chunks, topped by whiskey buttercream and dark chocolate.

Picture on the bottom: Whiskey apple streusel muffins. Served warm.

Poetry Wednesday


In a fight to the death
between goodyou and evilyou,
please consider
the cost of the rug you’re fighting on
(fighting over)
like two market women,
having seen something to desire.
Please whisper all your secrets
to each other
between blows, like lovers,
and when you movetogether
(against one another)
please keep in your belly
something to sweeten the bite
of you
sitting on the rug like a child
separating insects
from their wings.

annnnnnd something not-mine that I love:

The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water
by William Butler Yeats

I heard the old, old men say,
'Everything alters,
And one by one we drop away.'
They had hands like claws, and their knees
Were twisted like the old thorn-trees
By the waters.
'All that's beautiful drifts away
Like the waters.'

Drawing: Girl at the Mirror, by Norman Rockwell

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Love Affair With Chuck Palahniuk's Angsty Goodness

If you've never read Fight Club, you've been living under a rock. Most people have seen the movie, which is lovely (bad adjective, but it kind of is), but if you read the book, you're likely to want to read more from Palahniuk, and then the magic happens. His books are glitter and blood and chalk-lines and and heroin all mixed together in a mess on the floor. Which is on fire. There are so many memorable lines in his writing, and pretty much all of it is dripping with angst.

"No matter how much you think you love somebody, you'll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close." -Invisible Monsters

"The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person." -Invisible Monsters

"The truth is you can be orphaned again and again and again. The truth is, you will be. And the secret is, this will hurt less and less each time until you can't feel a thing. Trust me on this." -Survivor

“You know, the condom is the glass slipper of our generation. You slip it on when you meet a stranger. You dance all night, then you throw it away. The condom, I mean. Not the stranger.” -Fight Club

"Maybe humans are just the pet alligators that God flushed down the toilet." -Lullaby

"Music is crucial. Beyond no way can I overstress this fact. Let's say you're southbound on the interstate, cruising alone in the middle lane, listening to AM radio. Up alongside comes a tractor trailer of logs or concrete pipe, a tie-down strap breaks, and the load dumps on top of your little sheetmetal ride. Crushed under a world of concrete, you're sandwiched like so much meat salad between layers of steel and glass. In that last, fast flutter of your eyelids, you looking down that long tunnel toward the bright God Light and your dead grandma walking up to hug you--do you want to be hearing another radio commercial for a mega, clearance, closeout, blow-out liquidation car-stereo sale?" -Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey

Go read a (messy-gorgeous-dark-and-twisty) book. Go.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Young Forever- Ryan McGinley

I'm hiding out in Ryan McGinley's crazed photographs right now. The people and places in the pictures are part of this frenzied, naked world where right and wrong don't exist and every day is warm and open and love is free. When I'm 85 and try to remember what it was like to be young, this is what I'll think of. The pictures are hazy, and full of half-truths, but they're part of a never-ending summer we all want to believe was ours at some point.

His latest series is titled, appropriately, "Somewhere Place." One of my favorite shots is a boy and a girl (man and a woman? yes and no.) looking up into an endless yellow sky, searching for spaceships or superheroes or butterflies or rainclouds. The sky is an eggshell about to crack and pour honey into upturned mouths, eager and innocent like birds in a nest, waiting for Mother. They're all elbows and spines and peach-colored skin that somehow matches the upstairs dome they're praying to. They're Adam and Eve in a godless world where the garden has no gates. Fruit is for eating, bodies were made to go bare. The light is golden, and never goes out.

McGinley does a lot of portraits as well, but I like his summerland pictures better. The people in his portraits are all too beautiful, or rather nobody is un-beautiful. Their expressions aren't perfect, and sometimes they're caught off-guard, but they've got egos. I feel like McGinley could have gotten all of his subjects from the model roster of an Urban Outfitters catalogue. Which is fine. But the pictures I like are the ones where beauty is only incidental, because the moment is about to pass, and it's absolutely essential that we remember the sound of the crickets and the feeling of mud between our toes.

I love the nakedness in his pictures. These bodies are grown, but somehow they're living in the memory of what it was like to be three years old, barely-formed, running around all starkers and not thinking twice about it. When his "naked, feral kids" suddenly put on clothing, the strange sense of the world he photographs falls apart, and all you can do is puzzle about where cotton and seams and made-up colors came from.

Clock-faces and cities and responsibility and closed doors seep back into your brain like salt water, staining everything crusty-white.

These pictures make me want an adventure.....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Poetry Wednesday

The Conch

You go
where I can’t follow and leave
a white seashell.

Cherish me, love me always
and never un-love me,
says the poor husk-thing,
outgrown by you.

Little hovel, passed among growers,
you will always be handled,
marveled for the blue blue blue
very bluegreen waters
all snug inside you.

Carry me around;
I am not uncommon, and will not be taken.
But I am home; a thing to be carried,
and outgrown.

Annnnnd something not-mine, which I love:

ordinary wind is winding (cold face blush
by e.e. cummings

ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush
wind is winding here there tomorrow)(
graceful dove wind
theatrical scar wind
struckwinding wind

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Women Making Art- There is an Ocean

A couple of weeks ago I visited the Women's Studio Workshop art collective in Rosendale. If life was a fairytale, this place would be the witch's gingerbread candy house in Hansel and Gretel...minus the witch...and the's just this magical, wonderful, self-sustaining place in the middle of nowhere. And you can't help but be drawn inside.

I love everything about these women. I'm taking a seminar on artists' books this semester, so we'd read up on them a little, and I knew their histories, but meeting them was really bizarre, really funny. Four women started the collective in 1974: Ann Kalmbach, Tatana Kellner, Anita Wetzel, and Barbara Leoff Burge, each with their strengths and weaknesses, each committed to creating a space where woman artists might work outside the shadow of their more publicly-legitimated male counterparts. If you ask them about their feminism, they won't lay claim to anything specific, other than the desire for that free space. It comes out in their work though, so no worries.

Literature about the collective makes them sound like titans, impossibly resourceful and focused and inaccessible. Yes, yes, and no. Somehow formal introductions were plowed through, and I was left to guess who was who among the women showing my friends and me around. I knew from reading about them that Ann and Tatana are partners, and as soon as two of our guides started bickering, I knew that was them. Only lovers fight that way. Anita was the long-faced, soft-spoken one with the fuzzy seafoam sweater. Barbara wasn't around.

So the way the collective works is this: artists apply for (and may or may not receive) grants to live and work on the premises. There's an intern house, an artist house, and the workshop itself, as well as the bright(er) yellow house across the way where Ann and Tatana dwell. Almost all is communal- the space, the equipment, the daily vegetarian potluck lunch....even the dogs...which are adorable...and almost went home in my backpack.

When we got there, everybody was busy. Tatana and Anita were in an office doing paperwork, while Ann was upstairs doing some silk-screening. An artist-in-residence was busy in the front studio doing sketches of birds and marine life, preparatory pieces for her finished color prints, which seem very much inspired by Chinese "Bird and Flower" paintings. "I usually do these fish and herons," she said. "I think I'm going to try an eagle."

In the basement there was an intern, covered in clay and turning out dozens and dozens of bowls in preparation for their annual Chili Bowl Fiesta fundraiser (which just happened on Feb. 26th with a massive turn-out), where attendees are treated to hot chili, live music, and clown antics, and may purchase gorgeous handmade bowls in a variety of price ranges. Back upstairs, and another intern showed us how the printing press works before Tatana, suddenly inspired, whisked us into the next room to show us how they make their paper. They're actually in the process of establishing "ArtFarm," which, once finished, will allow them to grow their own fibers for paper-making and truly make them self-sustaining. I stuck my hand in the giant vat of paper-pulp. It was squishy.

While we were there, we asked to see the few books created at the workshop that Vassar doesn't have in its collection. The books, you see aren't books as you would normally think of them, and they're housed in Vassar's Special Collections section, which means you have to make an appointment to see them. Each is an artwork, realized in book form. Some come in caskets, and contain life-size castings of human body parts. Others order you to blow into a plastic straw, sewn to the page, in order to cure your headache. One of my favorites, "Pistol, Pistil: Botanical Ballistics" (by Ann and Tatana) included preserved slices of squash and fungi.

It was interesting; the women seemed a little surprised when we asked to see one of the few workshop books authored by a man. They used to allow men to apply for residencies, but that stopped when the founders chose to accommodate the needs of a female artist--presumably with a trauma in her past--years ago. I have to say though, this book was, for me, one of the most powerful I've viewed so far. Created by Joshua Saul Beckman, it's titled "There is an Ocean," and consists of seemingly never-ending fold-outs, lines and lines and almost miles of verse about one man's encounters with bodies of water, sewn over with thread so that only the smallest bits are left visible. There's an entire life written down on its pages, but the words are almost completely unreachable. We debated in class about whether certain books, certain artworks, have an "aura." This one makes me think so.

Moral of the story? You should go. Look around, stick your hand in the paper vat, stay for lunch. Pet the dog, watch Ann and Tatana bicker, see some amazing artwork being made. Apply for an internship. I'm dying to.

Spring at (Vassar, the Very) Last

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wanderlust- Spring Fever

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

O what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Ryan McGinley photography

Elspeth Diederix: Flora, Fauna, and Things That Will Freak You Out

Elspeth Diederix photographs lots of things: bedrooms and sunlamps and motorbikes covered in paint the color of Pepto Bismol. She admits that she's a world-traveler, born in Kenya, based in Amsterdam, and taking her pictures in exotic locations all over the world. She doesn't want that to show in the images though. Her biographical artist statement is interesting:

"Purposefully she herself remains on the outside. Instead of being absorbed by the setting of her subject, she prefers to maintain a high degree of detachment. This enables her to create a sense of alienation and in her photographs she achieves this by stripping everyday objects of what normally one takes for granted. There comes a moment when everyday objects lose their sense of familiarity, acquire another meaning and seem to become almost abstract."

Most of her subjects are singular, lacking friends, enemies, or incidentals. Like recognizable setting, they could detract from the lonely object, floating in our view.

You have to appreciate the melancholy of these creatures (for even her inanimate objects become them). They border on existential; we are curious about them, but something about their abstraction enables us to tilt our head, puzzle at them for a moment, and then move along. Aesthetically, a lot of her pictures are very beautiful, full of eerie nighttime colors, crowded with vines and flowers, lovely as they snake around wrists and neck to strangle us. She does take photographs full of green grass and sunlight, but I think there's something special about her darker pictures. Each one is like looking into black well-water, waiting for something to float up out of the earth and breach the surface. You're expecting a skeletal hand, pale and threatening, but find instead a white jasmine blossom. Which is no less threatening.

"lilac" is the one I can't stop looking at. I'm drawn in by my association of that smell with the backyards of my childhood, playing hide-and-seek with my sister in the late-May dusk and catching that scent on the breeze. I want to go closer, but when I do, I'm sure some creature, frozen in the flowers, will begin to move. Toward me, at me. But that smell.

The tension between beauty and fear, between the familiar and the unknown, is what makes these pictures so wonderful to look at. I'll admit, I loves me some creepiness. If Black Swan (watch it!) was translated to photography, I think it would come out something like Diederix's dark pictures.

jasmin chair (2004)
familie portret (1998)
casett (2008)
lilac (2007)
car (2008)

Saturday, March 5, 2011


New mix, made for a friend going on a road-trip, sniffing out weird fun.

1.) The Cave- Mumford and Sons
2.) Thieves- She & Him
3.) Low Rising- The Swell Season
One of the best music videos I've ever seen for this one. Check dat out.
4.) Getaway- Stereophonics
5.) About Today- The Nationals
I listened to this song walking home from work in the 100 degree heat over the summer in NYC, exhausted and missing all sorts of people.
6.) The Violent Hour- Sea Wolf
7.) Dinosaurs- The Maccabees
8.) Richard Cory- Simon & Garfunkel
9.) Adventures in Solitude- The New Pornographers
10.) Us- Regina Spektor
11.) Sweet Illusions- Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
12.) Road Trippin'- Red Hot Chili Peppers
For funsies.
13.) The World Spins Madly On- The Weepies
14.) Black Wave- The Shins
15.) Where Do You Run To?- Vivian Girls
This album was overall kind of (and by kind of I mean really) disappointing, but this was the one treasure on it. I think.
16.) Nectarine- Twin Sister
17.) Just Like Honey- Jesus & Mary Chain
I'm going to associate this song with the end of Lost in Translation forever and ever. And I am soooo ok with it.
18.) Vagabond- Wolfmother

Satellites, Cages, Images of Blue: Naoko Ito

One of my favorite installation artists, Naoko Ito, just got a residency in Saratoga Springs, about ten minutes away from my hometown. I'm fairly seizing with happiness. So pleased.

Ito's body of work isn't huge, but the things she puts out are always so thoughtful. There's a lightness to her work that's really refreshing without being overly sweet or fragile. Some of her work draws upon materials and found objects that could get precious really quickly, but there's something behind the mixture of cherry blossoms and glass, metal and metaphor, that makes them powerful. Most of her pieces deal with the confluence of the natural world with the world as we've made it. The messages she presents are, on their own terms, quite jarring (no pun intended...she uses a lot of jars), but the way she presents them is quiet, even peaceful. "This is our creation," she seems to say. "Look at what we've made. Look at what I've made."

Also, this might be a really stupid observation, but I think the way she uses jars is lovely. Grizzly Bear used jars as the bulbs for their light display when I saw them in concert last year, and I started thinking about this then. Urban Outfitters sells these "sun jars" my silly four-year-old self really wants. They're supposed to capture solar energy during the day and then re-emit it once the sun goes down. In pretty colors, of course. But jars do lots of things. They hold and preserve. They contain our pet lightning bugs (don't forget to hole-punch the lid!) and the water I use to rinse my brushes when I paint. My grandmother had an ENORMOUS jar full of different buttons sitting in her bedroom when I was really little. Jars hold collections. So I'm trying to work out what Ito is collecting here...

Urban Nature 2009

She's a Japanese artist who works in New York City, so I wonder if an upstate residency will influence her new work at all. When I think of home I think of blue-green water, pine trees, and mountains that follow you, wherever you go. I'm thrilled that she'll be working there, and hope I get to see some of her work popping up around Saratoga.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wanderlust: Field-ing Reality

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
by Walt Whitman

Out of the cradle endlessly rocking,
Out of the mocking-bird’s throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the Ninth-month midnight,
Over the sterile sands, and the fields beyond, where the child, leaving his bed, wander’d alone, bare-headed, barefoot,
Down from the shower’d halo,
Up from the mystic play of shadows, twining and twisting as if they were alive,
Out from the patches of briers and blackberries,
From the memories of the bird that chanted to me,
From your memories, sad brother—from the fitful risings and fallings I heard,
From under that yellow half-moon, late-risen, and swollen as if with tears,
From those beginning notes of sickness and love, there in the transparent mist,
From the thousand responses of my heart, never to cease,
From the myriad thence-arous’d words,
From the word stronger and more delicious than any,
From such, as now they start, the scene revisiting,
As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing,
Borne hither—ere all eludes me, hurriedly,
A man—yet by these tears a little boy again,
Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves,
I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter,
Taking all hints to use them—but swiftly leaping beyond them,
A reminiscence sing.

Painting: Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth (1948)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lonesome Roads/Men Who Travel Them: James Vincent McMorrow

I fall in love with song writers. Every single day. I found James Vincent McMorrow by chance a few months ago, and I swear, he's about to be famous. Which makes me a little (or a lot) sad. Don't even get me started on Lissie.

Anyway, this guy is amazing. He recored his first record last winter in a lonely house by the sea, which makes perfect sense if you listen to it. His voice is soft and sad, heard through a fog, or something you imagined, warm and half-asleep. His lyrics are simple and sincere, but full of....something. Memory, or missing a friend. I feel like the entire album might be a love letter to someone, or to the idea of someone. It's hard to catch-hold of, like smoke or a dream. But I can't stop listening.

There's something really familiar about him too. He's got this bashful way of speaking, and a lovely Irish accent. He seems slightly awkward, slightly shy- he doesn't really like looking into the camera. I know boys like this. They go to Vassar, they sit near me in my Russian class...only I bet they can't sing for beans.

"If I Had a Boat" is one of my favorite songs of his. Listen to the words:

This is not the end
This is just the world
Such a foolish thing
Such an honest girl
And if I had a boat
I would sail to you
Hold you in my arms
Ask you to be true...

What else is there to say?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Allow Me to Distract You (magicmagicmagic)

This week might go down in Kelly-history as the week my brain exploded. Reasons:

1.) Last week I almost made a Pez-dispenser (doctor's words, not mine) out of my finger while cutting up fruit in the kitchen. Franken-Finger is getting old purrrrrdy quickly.
2.) The wait for grad school decisions is fast becoming torture. Need to get your hands on some international intelligence? Torture me a little more and I'll spill.
3.) I'm out of Papples. Ok, Ok, they're Asian Pears, sometimes known as Apple-Pears. I'm the only one who calls them Papples.
3.) It's mid-terms week. Tonight I have to memorize the principle parts of about 80 German verbs, including "to shit." Sheißen.

What's the remedy? My very favorite-est of favorite movie moments, in no particular order:

Almost Famous- "Tiny Dancer" on the tour bus

Alright, alright, this has to be my very favorite-est. The rest are in no particular order.

Benny & Joon- The roving hat

Casper- "Can I keep you?"

The important part happens at 2:10. Say this to me, and I'm pretty much yours.

The Royal Tenenbaums- The Green Line Bus

How To Train Your Dragon- Drawing in the sand

This gave me chills the first time I saw it. Did you know I'm a viking?

La Dolce Vita- In the fountain

Whale Rider- Paikea's speech

Garden State- Screaming

Finding Nemo- Butt-touching

There, don't you feel better?

Poetry Wednesday

The Sea God

My floors are still wet
from when you came out of the water,
dragged yourself up from the shore,
came into my house.
The floorboards are briney as beards,
and craving attention.

I’ll wait for the tide,
a thing by which to measure
the distance between water
and land.

Annnnnd, something not-mine, which I love:

The Red Wheelbarrow
By William Carlos Williams

So much depends upon
A red wheel-barrow
Glazed with rain water
Beside the white chickens.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rivane Neuenschwander: A Day Like Any Other

My ribbon finally fell off! Now let me explain.

Last summer I was interning in women's couture at Ralph Lauren in New York, and I spent basically every other minute either museum-trolling or sniffing out good live music. Magic, I know. One of my favorite exhibitions I ran into was the "A Day Like Any Other" show at the New Museum.

The ground floor featured this overwhelming room hung (almost) floor to ceiling with colored silk ribbons, stuck into little holes like lovely long insects burrowing into tree bark. Holes that were missing ribbons instead held tiny scrolls of paper, rolled tight and waiting for attention. Visitors were invited to choose a ribbon, each of which was printed with a wish, written on one of those tiny scrolls and printed by the artist onto the ribbons. In return for a ribbon, you were asked only to make a wish of your own and leave it in place of your ribbon. Tie your ribbon 'round your wrist, claimed the installation, and when it falls off, your wish will come true.

Ok, I'll admit, I couldn't keep that thing on my wrist for six months. Too itchy. But I tied it onto the spiral binding of my sketchbook, which is practically one of my body parts, and I figure that's good enough. Do I get my wish now?

Upstairs there were two police sketch artists. "Tell me about your first love," one said. I watched a man sit down on the other side of the table and speak in a five minute-long run-on sentence about his high school sweetheart. Not just physical description, but other things; she loved cheeseburgers and was a terrible dancer. When he was finished, so was the sketch artist. A perfect portrait, a ghost from the past. More magic. They hung everywhere, hundreds of first loves.

My favorite installation was neither of these, however. I walked in on "Rain, Rains" almost accidentally, and then didn't want to leave. Dozens of tin pails, some strung up high, others holding fast to the floor. The ones above had holes drilled into their undersides, tiny holes to make tiny leaks. Drip. Drip. Into the pails below. Standing in the middle of that installation, I found a soft chorus, a quiet, strange sort of company. Other people floated around the perimeter, but I was right in it, and I think they missed out.