Sunday, December 9, 2007

Chanukah gifts so far

1. two vintage ledger drawings (best gift ever) from my mom
2. bowling bag with vintage cowboy levi's ads all over it from my mom
3. black and white square watch from my mom
4. blue (which i swear was green when i opened it) sweater with big buttons from my mom
5. light up twinkle light chile ristra from my mom
6. $25 check in an unsigned card from my grandmother (why didn't she sign the card? also, what's a good thing to get for 25 bucks? i'm taking suggestions. right now i'm think brain age 2 and some honey cranberry goat cheese from whole foods.)

two more nights of presents

also, thanks to trey for coming out and partying and hanging out this weekend, it was super fun. thanks to lissa for hanging more twinkle lights with me on the porch and hanging out.
thanks to lissa and trey for lighting the Chanukah candles with me and my mom on speaker phone, it meant a lot.

happy holidays.

more tv on dvd

my name is earl is a totally awesome show.

Friday, December 7, 2007

a situation i know all too well (from the barista's point of view)

Daddy Needs A Drink: Been Served
By Rob Wilder

Published: December 5, 2007

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Over the Thanksgiving break, my in-laws invaded. Since my niece and nephew had never been to New Mexico before, the eight of us raced around the state, climbing into the ceremonial caves at Bandelier National Monument and hiking through the moonlike landscape of Tent Rocks National Monument. After one outing and before dinner reservations, the kids hankered for some hot chocolate.

“I know just the place,” I said and drove to a boutique chocolate shop that served exotic concoctions in mugs the size of thimbles. Sadly, they had no lids for their teensy to-go cups so we piled back into the minivan and hit my favorite coffee place nearby. My sister-in-law Emily told the kids to stay in the van since time was running shorter than an ADHD kid’s haiku. When we walked in, I saw one vaguely bearded barista by the register while another chatted to a friend at the end of the counter. Their discussion seemed to be philosophical in nature: I heard the word “Persia” followed shortly by “enlightenment” so I guessed that they weren’t confabulating over fantasy football picks.

While our order was not complicated in terms of choices, it was rather lengthy. I judged our server to be new or extremely hungover given that his hands shook as he typed our orders into a computer, then put them on our cups and then as he worked the credit card machine, which refused to recognize the bruise-colored strip on the back of my Visa. I wondered when his colleague would notice and bail the poor guy out. Usually, at these places, there seems to be a two-man game going on: A point man up-sells, rings up and strokes the customer’s ego while the other twists the steam valve, pounds the filter basket and strokes the steam wand on the machine. No such luck. Our guy was in the weeds; kids were getting antsy in the car; and his wingman was now talking about how “we often stray from our path by poor decisions.” No shit, I thought.

Another customer came in and leaned by the register. Bearded barista was elbow deep in coffee, mocha, milk and chocolate that flew in the air like pollen. Even though I have no stake in this establishment, I do frequent it enough to feel some sense of connection. I bring my family here; I’ve dragged my students; I’ve voted for it as “best coffee shop” in a few contests. I’ve even noticed departing workers, new cup designs and the unwavering musical taste of a longtime employee. As I watched the barista struggle and the customer be ignored, a twinge of humiliation ran through my decaffeinated blood. However, I understand how it feels to have a customer tell you the correct way to sweep a floor or open a bottle of wine. In fact, I’d just finished reading Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich’s exposé on workers in America, so my sense of outrage had been picketed by my sense of shame.

I bit my tongue as long as I could, but I became surrounded by sympathetic voices: the worrisome workingman with a face full of steam, the snubbed customer, the kids strangling each other by their seat belts in the van. I stepped in front of the budding philosopher and pointed to the snowy-haired man languishing by the place where he forks over his dough.

“Do you need something else?” the philosopher snapped, sending me back to my forgotten path of conspicuous consumer.

I put my hands up in a “no harm/no foul” gesture of diplomacy and watched as he reluctantly took the man’s order and asked his frazzled partner if he wouldn’t mind making the drink.

In the car, I parceled out the beverages, and we weren’t out of the jammed parking lot before my niece let us know that, “This hot chocolate is terrible.”
“Too much philosophy,” Emily said and cranked up the radio.

Robert Wilder’s newest book is Tales from the Teachers’ Lounge.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

my dad

that's my brother Brian's mom with Dad, on the only night they spent together at an AC/DC concert in Germany. "that poor girl got pregnant that night"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

North Dakota

there's lots of babies here. my favorite cousin is lexi. my other cousins got me too drunk last night. now lexi and i are sitting on a pink princess bed waiting for the slowest internet ever to work! more to come later.

i can't believe that lissa saw the bunny sleeping! we didn't think that the bunny slept because she's always so crazy. also, the link that trey sent me on my facebook was really funny. also it's like almost 6 and i still feel sick.

Friday, November 9, 2007

my days are long

8:10 am: wake up and look out the window

8:15-9:30 am: read "incidents of travel and adventure in the far west" by s.n. carvalho

9:30-10 am: make coffee, discover google movies search, talk on the phone with boyfriend

10 am-12:15 pm: realize that i need new jeans while getting dressed

12:30-1:00 pm: go to hampshire and pick up a bolex to use over the weekend, talk about broken monitors and borrowing the same said bolex for thanksgiving

1:30-2 pm: make a double batch of asian cabbage tofu slaw to get me through the weekend

2-present: get back on the interweb, read rob's new column and update blog twice

afternoon/evening plans:
sew jeans, drink water, possibly work on div 3, go to bikram yoga (even though i said i'd take a break today), pick up danielle and make dinner.
later trey will get here. tomorrow we'll go to north adams and see yo la tango at mass moca.

most of these plans have nothing to do with working on my div 3, which i'm sure would make the days way more productive.

daddy needs a drink

Rob Wilder is a genius and everyone should read his column, whether you know him or not.

However, if you knew this particularly good English teacher you'll appreciate it that much more.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A single roll of film with photographs of many places

On a highway in Texas:

On a deck in Santa Fe:

On a farm in Massachusetts:

On a few streets in Montreal:

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Part one of a series of photographs from this summer (and perhaps a little earlier)
I haven't uploaded the pictures from my digital camera since march. There's a lot to be seen so stay tuned for highlights.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

book scupltures

I found these book sculptures (for lack of a better name) made by Brian Dettmer to be really interesting:

you can see more of them here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm officially division III yipee (kai-o kai-yay)!!

Division III Contract

For my Division III project I will make an artist book and a film that are interconnected. In my Division II, I studied film and photography along with Native American and Jewish cultural studies. I will incorporate the history of these two cultures into this project's theme. The book will include photography, drawing and writing. I will explore cowgirl culture, Native American life and culture, and Jewish settlers in the West at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries as pioneers and traders and look at their interactions with the Native American people.

I want to make a ledger book style first person narrative about a young Native American cowgirl. I plan to make the characters and scenes in the book come to life through the film using animation and hand processing techniques. The major artistic theme of my Division III will be the idea of handmade-ness. I want everything I do to be hand made and mostly hand processed. I will most likely use a vintage ledger book as my starting point for the book and paper. The story will come from my research and knowledge of the history of Native American and Jewish people, most likely set during the turn of the century 19th. I'd like to incorporate the culture of the cowgirl and the idea of the Wild West into my story as well. I will use my mediums of experimental film and photography and book arts to portray the story of an independent Native cowgirl and her adventures through the American west.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

the snake and the toad, the vans and the spiders

on friday, at the bookmill, i watched a snake eat a toad:

I don't quite know what to say about this experience yet. i feel like it was mostly a male bonding activity because there were so many men crowded around watching the whole time. it was also an intense natural experience that took hours.

also, there are vans that pull in and out of my driveway all the time. most are windowless, driven by slightly sketchy older guys who were probably drunk addicts at one time, at least they seem that way. some times they complain to me about where i park my car and last night there were so many vans that they blocked the driveway.

there's been spiders in my side mirrors of my jeep since i was in new mexico. i also discovered the body of a tarantula in the door crack of the jeep. there's a spider by my desk, there was one in my room and a few on the porch. everywhere i go they are there. i looked them up online and apparently they are there to remind us that the decisions that we make weave our lives, much like a spider web. they are there to remind us of our infinite possibilities (eight legs, the number eight turned on it's side is the symbol for infinity), that we should weave a web of love and take in all we can with that web. they are symbols of mystery, femininity, power and growth (among other things). they also fend off bad storms, perhaps that's why the weather has been so nice.

Monday, September 24, 2007

on love and turning points

I know it's been a while since I've updated and perhaps that's why not many people check up on my blog. so here it goes for now:

i'm at a threshold of turning points and celebrations. i would never have suspected that i would be where i am now a year ago. things change so quickly that you don't even notice until you remember where you were before. this time last year i was in a rocky relationship i took to be true love, looking ahead to a year with almost none of the friends i knew around me any more, meeting some one new and taking a huge risk. now that i look back and see where it's all taken me i realize how grateful i am to have taken that risk. i did what was completely against my better judgement and took a movie like leap into the unknown to get myself out of the rut i had been thrown into. i'm not saying that i felt completely hopeless at the time, in fact i was almost clueless until someone woke me up to my situation. now, on the cusp of our one year anniversary, i can look at this year as a year where i let myself be loved. and i truly believe that i can allow myself to love better because of that affection.
i'm also starting my division III project, a huge unknown undertaking as well. i'm taking another risk, going out on a limb and changing what i thought would be my idea from the start. it will now be an adventure tale of a native cowgirl in the wild west, animated on film and told in a book. this is also a huge transition from what i thought i would do, but it seems that every time i've gone for the unknown that just feels plain right it's worked out.
so here's a toast to believing in what my heart says is right now matter how much my mind tends to disagree. here's to another year with less old friends around me and more space for new ones. here's to this hope for my project, my art and my future. here's to my good and much deserved living space (finally), and to all of those around who will continue to love and support me in all my endeavors, no matter how absurd they seem at the time.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

a letter to the interweb

dear interweb,
sometimes you make me really sad about my past. i know it's slightly stupid to look at things i know will upset me, but some times you just make it so darn easy [read: tempting]. also, i wish i knew more about how to control you without having to spend half my time during these beautiful sunny days trying to figure out how. as a resistance my website is still an outdated mess.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

woods, rain, silver ions to silver metal

i learned so much about chemistry and photography and filmmmaking in the mountains in the past week that i don't even know what do with all this new knowledge. phil soloman told me stories about abraham ravett in grad school. i met two filmmakers with a new film arts collective in montreal, a girl who lives on a boat with her girlfriend (who happens to be a hampshire grad) on a canal in brooklyn, a girl from fargo who knows matt newman from media services, a woman who works with artificial intelligance, a high school teacher, a guy who's family moved from canada to florida, a mad scientist filmmaker and his family ran the whole group, and we ate amazing gormet vegan food the whole time. we also hiked up a mountain to a basin with pristine lakes and snow to fill our water bottles with. i know how to process all kinds of film, make my own emulsions and cameras, as well as tons about chemistry. all and all i'd say it was a well worth it experience (pictures to come). i can tell it's going to take a while to let all this information ferment while i figure out what my next step is going to be. all i know is that i'm in a for an exciting experimental adventure.

in the next few weeks i have to get ready for indian market yet again. i've read about 300 pages of harry potter in the last two days. i've been sitting at the santa fe baking company all after noon. it's too rainy to ride my bike unless i wake up at 6am. this is my little life. great things are coming, i can feel it as much as i can hear the thunder outside, but for now i have to just wait for it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

hand making films

for the next week i'll be in the rocky mountains in colorado making films by hand.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

a dog was the first astronaut

Dog / Astronaut

Born: c. 1954 (?)
Died: 7 November (?) 1957
Birthplace: Russia
Best known as: The first dog to orbit the Earth
Laika the dog was the first living being to orbit the Earth in space. She was aboard Sputnik II when it was launched by the Soviet Union on 3 November 1957. (She was a mutt, probably part husky, who had been picked up as a stray.) Laika proved that animals could survive the rigors of space travel; monitors attached to the dog sent biological data which Soviet scientists used in planning later manned flights. (The first manned flight was made by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961.) In a cruel twist, no provision was made for Laika's return to Earth; as planned, she died in space. Original reports were that Laika was put to sleep or died when life support batteries died after a week in orbit; more recent reports from Russia say that Laika died when the capsule overheated after four days or less in orbit.
Extra credit: Laika means "barker" in Russian... Though Laika is generally given credit as the first animal to visit outer space, other animals (including American mice and the Soviet test dogs Albina and Tsyganka) had earlier been sent on brief suborbital trips into space... Laika is also the name of an alternative rock band founded in the 1990s.

this has the proof:

if any one has any suggestions for inspiration let it be heard.

for some reason Ken Kesey has been popping up everywhere for me right now. I just turned over "Choke" (the booking i'm reading now) and the quote on the back said that Chuck Palahniuk is his heir. Strange.

if we are all just satellites in our own individual orbits, only traveling side by side for a while, then is there ever really a cure for loneliness? or do we just pass it all off as "being put to sleep" after a few orbits? is it a coinsidence that we feel safer when we go to "sleep" with another person, because then we aren't alone even when we're most vunerable?

for another wonderful example of our [in]justice system see the documentary Paradise Lost: the Child Murders of Robin Hood Hills. Three 8-year-old boys were horrifically murdered and three teenagers who wore black were convicted with no evidence, just some satanic panic.
for more info check out:

Friday, July 6, 2007


All my friends are brilliant.


I'm amazed at the people I know most of the time. Not always because many of them make stupid mistakes as we all do, but they are brilliant none the less.

Hopefully I'll be inspired to brilliance soon. But for now, back to his couch, back to the next book for the next few hours.

then a train ride.

this is a wonderful little book.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


we drove across the country on backroads and two lane highways.

part 1:
blue ridge parkway from start to finish.